Following God One Step at a Time



In this world there are many distractions.

There are people with their own interests, trying to get your attention (and your money).  There are people selling products they are trying to convince you that you need to buy.  There are internet games, and social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.  Social media help us stay connected to people and help us learn new things, which is fun and useful, but it eats up a lot of our time.  These distractions pull our attention away from our own life.

Have you gotten on Facebook or played an internet game, and when you look at the clock, several hours are gone?

How do we find our own space?  How do we find time to spend on our own priorities and interests?  How do we support and encourage our close family and friends?  How do we get our work done? How do we keep enough money for our needs?

Some people are taking a break from technology for one day each week. 

That means no cell phone, no computer, no internet.  I have decided to try this, too.  It could give me some quiet time to think about what’s important.  I could spend more time with family.  I could spend time with God.  I could read a book that I have wanted to read.  I could sit in a park, and enjoy the relaxation of nature.  I love watching the birds at the lake in a nearby park!

There is freedom in letting go of distractions, even for just one day each week.

What distractions eat up your time?

What would you be eager to do for one day of freedom each week?

Freedom?  Yes, freedom from distractions pulling you in different directions.  Freedom from the noise of online videos.  Freedom from somebody else’s “to do” list.  You choose how to spend your day without technology.  Would you like to listen to music you enjoy?  Would you like to go fishing?  Go to a park for a hike?  Go swimming? Take your kids to a playground?  Go on a date?  There are so many options that get lost when we lose our time to distractions. 

What have you been missing?

How about it? Do you want to try taking a one day break from technology?  You might be surprised to find you have more energy and more fun!  You might even look forward to the day each week. 

Make plans for how you want to spend your day of freedom!

What got me thinking about taking a technology break, was a book I just read — Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller. This book uses a day of freedom from distractions in a Christian perspective.  Find out more here! 

If you want more information about taking a technology break, check this out!

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Living While Dying

This is my honest opinion about the book “Living While Dying” by Donna Tarrant.

I applaud the purpose of writing this book, to help other people with a terminal diagnosis.  The author tells her own story dealing with terminal cancer.  In her case, she could live while being treated for the cancer for an uncertain number of years.  She decided to fight as long as she could.

The author, Donna, partnered with God in fighting the cancer.  She put her trust and faith in Him.  She depended on God to tell her how to live, while knowing that she is dying.  Most people could certainly understand that this would be very difficult to do.

I understand what she was facing, as I too had a diagnosis that I was dying of cancer. 

I too turned to God, in prayer, and I am now cancer free.  I first went through years of treatments, not knowing if I would live or die.  So I understand the author’s difficulties.  However, I found much of the book to be repetitive, with lots of information not relevant to dealing with her diagnosis.  Each chapter was about a memory of a specific time in her life, but these memories were not in any order that I could determine.  She jumped about from one time to another.  She does describe her treatments in detail, which could be helpful to others with cancer.

Luckily the last few chapters in the book were reflective, as she looked back over her life so far.  She spoke more about her perspective and lessons learned.  This part of the book, I thoroughly enjoyed!  She says that she cherishes each tomorrow given to her.  They give her gladness and a desire to use each day as a gift.  She refuses to worry about how much time she has left.  I could certainly relate to that. 

So I would suggest that if the first half of the book seems repetitive or boring, don’t just stop reading the book, but jump ahead to the last couple chapters.  You don’t want to miss those.  No matter how much of the book you read, you are likely to at least appreciate how difficult this life with cancer has been for the author.  Perhaps you will even be moved to pray for her.  Hopefully this book will be useful to people who either have a friend or relative dealing with a terminal diagnosis, or they have been given that diagnosis themselves.  The author, Donna, certainly had a good reason to write this book.  I think she made the right decision to write it.  

Should you want to read this book, you can purchase it at Amazon or Westbow Press.

I did receive a free copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers, in order to write an honest review.

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Majority Wins

Isn’t it fun to be part of the in-crowd? 

It is exciting to work for a good company that is giving their employees raises.  It is great to vote for the person who wins.  We all feel safer when we find a good neighborhood to live in.  We enjoy belonging to a nice church that we feel comfortable in.  We are happy when we have good food to eat.  We love life when we have friends and family to share it with!

The problem is there are many people who don’t have these things.  They don’t get raises.  They may not even have a decent job.  Many people don’t have much food to eat, and often go hungry.  Lots of people don’t attend any church.  There are many unsafe neighborhoods where families still live.  In fact, looking at the world, these people, the have-nots, are actually in the majority.  They may not feel like winners.  They may not have much hope. 

These have-nots don’t have the money to help each other.  They need people with money to help them. The people with most of the money are actually in the minority.  That is why in the United States, we have government programs, paid for through our taxes, to help these have-not people.  We have Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, free public schools, and more.  Some people want to get rid of these programs, but what will the poor and the sick do then? 

In countries that do not have these government programs, there are people including children, begging on the streets, because they have no food.  There are small “towns” living in actual garbage dumps, building shacks from scraps in order to have some shelter from the weather.  Many countries have elderly people dying in the streets, because they have no friends or family to take care of them.  Thousands of people have no medical care, so they live with poor eyesight or even blindness, rotten teeth, infected wounds, parasites that destroy their health, and many other health problems.  Millions of people from children to adults are uneducated because their family could not afford to pay for school, so they remain illiterate.

Is that what we want in the United States? 

Of course not!  Yet so many people, even the super-rich, try to avoid paying taxes.  So many voters want to eliminate many of our government programs because they “cost too much”.  But what is the result of that? Would we have mass poverty like in India, Haiti, or parts of Africa? Churches can help some people with food and building shelter and starting new churches, but churches cannot provide health care and free schools.  At most they provide a mobile health clinic once each year or two, and after school  Bible groups or vacation Bible school.  That really is just not enough.  We need good government programs.

Jesus did not need winning majorities or the rich.  He came to help the have-nots. He came to teach us to love one another and work together to help the poor.  He saved us all, anyone who believes in Him as the Son of God.  Yet if Jesus ran for President today, He would lose!  He is not part of the majority.  Yet Jesus treated women and children with care and respect.  He treated the poor as important. Who can we expect to continue to provide for those that Jesus loved?  

The United States has been the example for other countries, as a country that cares for all its people and helps the poor.  Please think about that before you vote this year for President and for Congress.  We need government representatives who are caring, intelligent, respectful of all people, and have experience with government and government programs. 

Please vote for representatives that reflect most of your concerns.  I am thinking and praying and researching before I vote.  We won’t find perfect people to vote for, but at least we can choose the best of who is in the running.  Pick the best.  That is what we deserve, and that is what the world deserves, as we continue to work with most countries all over the world.  God help us to vote for the best.

May God bless all who are elected this November with wisdom and caring hearts.


Live Free From Shame

The new book “Unashamed” by Christine Caine is a very valuable book.

 In this book, Christine shows us that everyone has some shame from their past.  Many people, including me, do not recognize the shame, because they ignore it, or call it by a different name.  Once Christine tells us about our shame that is lurking in our minds, then she tells us how to deal with that shame and move past it through our relationship with Jesus Christ.

This book was a defining moment for Christine.  Writing it, she had to face all her shame.  It was not an easy book for her to write.  If you know any of Christine’s story, you know she has shame from being born in a hospital and left there unnamed, and from sexual abuse as a child, and feeling she was a disappointment to her adoptive family.  Because of how far she has come past her shame, she knew it was important for her to write “Unashamed”.  She now helps the sex trafficked victims she saves from slavery through her charity “A21”, to get past their shame to freedom and healing.

I took part in the first online Bible study of “Unashamed”, and I read comments from others who said realizing they had so much shame was a shock, but that the book and study guide helped them to deal with that shame.  I was surprised to find that I had shame from the past, too.  Many participants in the study were so grateful for Christine acknowledging what they went through, and how deep the shame was that kept them held back from succeeding in their life.  Everyone in that study was very grateful that Christine wrote the book, and even more grateful for being given the chance to do the study.

In the book, Christine says “Shame makes us feel small. Flawed. Not good enough…. Shame is the fear of being unworthy, and it adversely affects our relationship with God, ourselves, and others.”  She asks, “Do you struggle with the fear that you are not enough? Are you afraid to let your true self be seen and known? Are you always trying to gain approval?  Trying to prove you are valuable and worthy to be loved?” These are symptoms of shame! 

If you have any of these symptoms, or suspect you struggle with shame, I highly recommend you read Christine’s book “Unashamed”.  There also is a video study with a study guide available.  Her book refers to this Scripture as explanation of the purpose of her book–

Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

God did not create us to live with shame.  We are meant to live free in His love.

If you want to purchase or learn more about Christine’s book Unashamed, click HERE.

If you want to look at the study guide, go HERE.  (The study guide is meant to be used with the 5 session DVD, which is sold separately.)

To show you how far Christine has come, and to get a glimpse of how big her heart is –


To find out more or to donate, click HERE.

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After the Hurricane

My husband, I and our home were in the path of category 4 hurricane Matthew!

We were 5 miles away from the mandatory evacuation area.  We had been through two other hurricanes before, so we knew we would not be flooded out.  What we didn’t know was whether a tree would fall and smash our roof or break windows.  We had never been in a category 4 storm before!

We prayed for days before.  We prayed for the people of Haiti, because we know missionaries there, and the people in Haiti mostly live in shacks, not able to withstand a hurricane.  We prayed more, and we discussed our options.  We felt it was safe to stay in our home, but we did prepare, and we planned to ride out the worst of the storm in our downstairs bathroom, because it was small and had no windows, so it should be the most secure part of our home. 

Friends on Facebook offered to pray for us, so I asked them to pray for the hurricane winds to slow and move away from the coastline, out into the ocean.  We watched the storm make its way through Haiti, where hundreds died, and 100,000 were left without a home.  We watched the storm go through the Bahamas, and head toward Florida.  Hurricanes take days to complete their path of destruction.  This hurricane was moving less than 10 miles per hour, giving it more time to cause damage and flooding. 

We continued to pray, and counted on many others to be praying too. 

When I heard that the hurricane was now downgraded to a category 3, I cheered and thanked God!  I knew the prayers were being answered.  The next good news was that the storm had moved about 10 miles off shore!  I jumped for joy!  We still had a rough storm to ride out, but we knew that we and our home would survive it.

After the storm was past us and several towns north of us, we dared to look out and see what the storm had done.  Our neighborhood streets were clear and there was no flooding there.  There were several trees down in our yard, but none had hit our house.  There was debris everywhere, and we had no electricity, but we had water, and we praised God, because it could have been so much worse.

On the news the reporter was interviewing a woman who had evacuated and returned to find her house smashed by a tree.  She said her life was over.  But no, her life was not over.  Now she had a chance to rebuild, clean up, and find a closer relationship with God.  She was hit hard, but her life was not over.  If she believed in Jesus, she would know that.

Every day since the hurricane, I have been praising God!

So many people are saying they are so happy, because the storm could have been so much worse.  I spent Sunday reading the Bible, listening to Christian music, praying, and thanking God for answering prayers and keeping people safe.  There were very few deaths in the U.S.  I also prayed for Haiti to get needed food and water and shelter to the people in need there. 

I know a missionary couple (Sarah and Kivins) who live and work in Haiti. 


They have a school and church that is still standing.  Although they and all the people from the school and church are alive, only the missionary’s home survived. They need shelter, water, and food.  The people of the town of Jeremie have nothing. If you can donate please send checks to Jeremie Christian Mission, P.O. Box 273, Scottsmoor, FL 32775 .  In the memo write “Hurricane Relief”. 100% of the donations will go to those in need. Thank you for your mercy and generosity.

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Rhythms of Rest



Shelly Miller is the founder and leader of the “Sabbath Society”, a group of mostly women, wanting to have a day of rest each week.  These are people seeking relief from their busy lives, and deciding to begin practicing Sabbath, a day of rest. I joined this group a couple years ago.

Through “Sabbath Society” Shelly has been helping me wrestle with the many competing tasks in my schedule, to find a way to keep 1 day a week, separate from the other 6 busy days.  It has been a fruitful journey.  Who knew that this seemingly simple commandment could change the tenor of my whole week?  This day of rest restores my soul. 

Shelly’s website was and the group she started is “Sabbath Society”.  She sends out weekly emails encouraging each of the members to find a way to keep Sabbath rest a priority in their busy lives.  She explains that it takes planning to get all the work done in six days, so that the seventh day can be a relaxing day.  She tells us that doing so brings us many benefits.

Now Shelly has written a book based on the “Sabbath Society”, and yet so much more.  Her book is “Rhythms of Rest”.  I am so glad that Shelly has put so much information from “Sabbath Society” all in one place, so more people can read about how and why to do a weekly day of rest.

As Shelly points out in her book, Sabbath rest is actually a gift. 

We all need time to rest.  It is actually healthier to have time to rest each week.  That does not mean you sleep all day.  You certainly can take a nap.  You can have fun.  You can read.  You can listen to music.  Shelly talks about different ways to practice a day of rest.

If you are wondering why you would want to have a day of rest, or if you think you are too busy, or if you think it is only for the extremely religious, then read this book!  Shelly will show you that a day of rest provides many benefits, and even people who have young children can find time for at least a partial day of rest.  Shelly tells about members of her “Sabbath Society”, how they plan for a day of rest, what activities they do on that day, and why they continue to practice Sabbath rest.

Anyone can practice celebrating Sabbath, even if you don’t go to church.  If you believe in God, then Sabbath can be a beneficial weekly habit for you.  It certainly doesn’t hurt to try it.  This book will help you find a way to begin practicing Sabbath each week. 

If you are a regular reader on my blog and are wondering why I am posting my blog on Monday instead of Sunday, it is because of Sabbath.  Even though my blog takes me into the Bible and keeps me thinking about sermons from the pastors at my church, it still is work, so now I will post my thoughts and experiences on becoming a better Christian by “following God one step at a time” on Mondays.  My book review posts will continue to be on Fridays.  Today’s post is a combination of these, because the book and my struggles to be a better Christian have interconnected.  I am still learning how to better practice a day of Sabbath rest, one step at a time.

To find out more about the book “Rhythms of Rest”, or to purchase it, go here.

You can follow #SabbathSociety on Instagram.

To find out more about the group “Sabbath Society” go to Shelly’s website.  

You can also follow Shelly on Twitter @ShellyMillerWR 

Her new website is

You can read the entire 4th commandment from Exodus 20 at Bible Gateway.

I did receive a free copy of “Rhythms of Rest” from the publisher through  I had already been a member of “Sabbath Society” for 2 years.  It has been a good influence on my life.

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All Authority


This is my book review of “All Authority” by Joey Shaw.

This book details the authority of Jesus Christ.  It also describes a program at the Austin Stone Community Church, which obeys the authority of Jesus by sending over 100 missionaries from the church into countries where there are people who do not know Jesus Christ.  The author is one of these missionaries, and he is the Field Office Director at Austin Stone Community Church.

In great detail, the author describes the total authority of Jesus Christ.  For example, on page 17, the author discusses a word from the New Testament of the Bible, the Greek word archegos, which is used to describe Jesus.  The author tells us that this word means that Jesus is the leader or ruler and also champion or trailblazer.

This book intends to erase all your doubts and confusion about Jesus.

If you have any doubts about who Jesus Christ is, reading this book will make you certain that He is the Son of God.  If you wonder if Jesus is able to help you with any problem or sin, then reading this book will convince you that Jesus is able to do anything you need.  If you are not sure that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven, then this book will erase all your doubts. 

The only problem I have with this book is that it goes into extreme detail, so I did get bored at times.  I found it hard to finish this book. I already believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Son of God.  I did not need to be convinced.  Some people though do need a lot of convincing.  This book could convince almost anyone that Jesus Christ has supreme authority over all life. 

This book also lays out the reasons for all believers to be servants of Jesus Christ, to surrender to His authority. 

The author tells us that it is an honor to be a servant to Jesus.  In the Bible this honor is shown by calling believers “chosen ones” and “saints”.

The author in the last chapter of the book says that the basis for his book is Matthew 28:18-20 —

“All authority has been given to Me (Jesus) in Heaven and on earth.  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, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.  And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Certainly this book lays out all the proofs to believe that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and we cannot live a good life without Him. 

If you would like to read more about this book, you can find it here – “All Authority”.

I received a free copy of this book from B&H Publishing, so I could write an honest review.

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The Wall That God Built


What is your part of the wall that God built?

God made sure that the walls for His temple were built back in the Old Testament by Solomon, King David’s son.  Later the city and its walls are destroyed.  God made sure the wall was rebuilt in the book of Nehemiah.  (The photo shows part of the wall rebuilt by Nehemiah.) When Nehemiah was chosen by God to rebuild the wall, each family was responsible for their part of the wall.   They took  stones from the rubble, and rebuilt the wall.  Nehemiah was the leader who made sure the job was done.  (This past weekend, our preacher spoke on the book of “Nehemiah” and said that it is a great study on leadership.)

The walls around Jerusalem have been destroyed and re-built several times throughout history.  Now Jesus is building His Kingdom through His believers.  We each are responsible for our own part. God gave each of us a task.

What is your part in building God’s Kingdom? 

Some of us are prayer warriors.  Some of us are leaders like Nehemiah who can organize people and make the plans to get the job done.  Some of us are teachers or journalists who tell the truth.  Some of us are protectors.  Some of us are skilled laborers.  Some of us have the financial resources to help.

What role do you identify with?

If you read the book of “Nehemiah”, you will see each of these roles played out in various people.  A brother of Nehemiah and some men from Judah are like journalists who bring news to Nehemiah about what is happening in Jerusalem.  Nehemiah is the leader who takes on the job to rebuild Jerusalem’s wall.  Nehemiah is also a prayer warrior, which probably all leaders should be.  The King provides the financial resources.  The people of Jerusalem provide the skilled labor, and some are protectors who are prepared to fight to protect the workers and families.

That wall gets built! The people praise God and worship Him. They read the Scriptures.  Then there is celebration with food and drink!

God is building His Kingdom, preparing for the day that Jesus will return.  When He does, we will be celebrating!  But first we each are workers, working on our part of His Kingdom.  One part is preparing ourselves and learning Scripture, so we are ready when Jesus returns.  Another part is helping as many people as we can to join the Kingdom.  You don’t have to do everything to get people into the Kingdom; you just need to do your part.

I am a teacher.

How about you?  What is your part?

If you would like to learn more about the book of Nehemiah, I recommend this Bible study –“Nehemiah” by Kelly Minter.  I found this study to be very interesting and very helpful.  I learned a lot about Biblical history, and I learned a lot about myself.  You might be surprised what you can learn from the book of “Nehemiah”.


Join me and other God-sized dreamers at the Dream Together link-up.



New Books


There are several really good Christian books that have recently been published, or are going to be available in days. 

You need to know what books these are, and get your hands on some of them!  Maybe all of them! I already have some of these books, and I have a pre-order on a couple.

You don’t want to miss these!

Unashamed by Christine Caine

Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller

Flourish by Margaret Feinberg

The Undoing of Saint Silvanus by Beth Moore

Maybe you noticed that all these books are written by amazing women!  I am a big fan of these ladies, all Christians, and all amazing teachers and writers.  They all have a different focus to their writing.  So in case you don’t know some of them, I will give a brief description, and links where you can find out more. 

So here goes! –

->Christine Caine is from Australia.  She is the founder of the charity A21, which rescues people who have been sex or slave trafficked.  She focuses on getting better, gaining strength, being positive, and encouraging in all her writing.  I just finished the small group study for Unashamed, and it is awesome!  You may think you don’t have shame in your life, but read this book, or do the study and you may very well find some hidden shame.  Her study helps you push shame out of your life.

For more information about Unashamed by Christine Caine –

—      Go to Lifeway and Bible Gateway.

->Margaret Feinberg helps people see who God is.  She searches for the meaning behind the words and phrases God uses in Scripture.  She always brings out new meanings I never knew before.  I have read many of her books.  I have just started reading her new book, Flourish.  I had it on pre-order and just got it this week.

For more information about Flourish by Margaret Feinberg –

—      Go to Margaret’s website or Amazon.

->Shelly Miller may be new to you, because Rhythms of Rest is her first book!  I have already started reading it too. (Yes I always read several books at the same time.) Shelly focuses her writing online and in her book on Sabbath rest.  This is not the Old Testament kind of Sabbath.  There aren’t a lot of rules to follow.  This Sabbath she talks about, is to claim the gift from God of Sabbath rest.  She explains in her book how to practice Sabbath, and the benefits you get from it.  God loves us, and He wants us to have rest.

For more information on Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller –

—    Go to Amazon and Shelly’s own website Amazon has a great price on the pre-order!  And find even more on Pinterest!

->Beth Moore is famous, so you probably know her, but this is a new type of book for her.  Beth writes in depth Bible studies and Christian books that teach about the Bible and about being a good Christian.  The Undoing of Saint Silvanus is Beth’s first fiction book!  I have this on pre-order.  I do not want to miss this book!  For information —

    Go to Amazon or Lifeway for the pre-order.

I bet you are going to love these books!




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Reasons for Prayer

Many of us pray when we or family, or a close friend, are upset, hurt, sick, or unemployed. But God wants to hear from us during the good times too.


Prayer should not be just “Help me” prayers. If a friend only hears from you when you need something, you may lose a friend, or they might just avoid your phone calls.

If you don’t want God to “avoid your phone calls”, by not answering your prayers, then you need to pray even when you are not desperately in need.

Prayers of thanks can be a daily time to appreciate all God does for you.  I pray every day, but saying “thank you” to God actually makes me feel happier.  A prayer of hello every morning puts God first in my mind and in the start of my day. Both of these prayers let God know that you are listening to Him.

I believe that with so many serious problems in the world today, that we all need to be praying beyond our family and friends.  Pray for your neighborhood and the people who live there.  Pray for your city, and the decision makers in city government.  Pray for your state, and the state government

Pray for your country, the leaders, the military, and the Supreme Court. 

When we complain about government decisions or lack of action, we need to pray about it.  Complaining does not change anything.  I know this, but I still find it hard not to complain.  I wonder if I can remember to say a prayer over each complaint. That’s a good challenge for me, because complaining is just a waste of time, but prayer changes things!

Be patient waiting for God to answer your prayers. 

Don’t lose your faith just because the answer takes a long time.  I have felt great joy when a prayer is answered even if it took several years to see the results! It is helpful to remember there may be other factors and other people delaying the results.  God won’t force people to do something they don’t want to.  He may need to nudge people several times if they are procrastinating or reluctant to comply.  There may be a series of events that must happen before your request can be granted.  Be patient with God; He is always patient with you.

Even if God answers your prayer with a “no”, thank Him for listening, and ask Him again if it is very important to you, or ask Him to help you accept the “no” answer.  Yes, I have gotten my share of “no’s” from God, but I have also had many prayers answered, some in amazingly awesome ways that I never could have expected!

How much time do we need to spend in prayer?

Most of us do not pray enough.  I know I don’t.  So I think we all need to pray more.  There are some people who spend 3 hours praying on certain days, like Saturday or Sunday.    Most of us can’t pray that much at one time, but we can pray more than we are now.  For example, if you add 5 minutes in the morning when you wake up, 5 minutes during lunch, 5 minutes while driving, 5 minutes before dinner, and 10 minutes before bed.  That alone, adds 30 minutes of prayer to your day. 

So I am giving myself the challenge to stop and pray for 5 minutes several times each day.  I challenge you to do the same. 

The amount of time we pray is not the issue.  What is important is that we take the time to pray at various times each and every day.  God needs to be on our mind and in our heart every day.  You just might get more results from your prayers.

If you want something to encourage you to pray more, I highly recommend the movie “War Room”.  It is now available in DVD and Blu-rayMy husband and I saw the movie at the theater, and liked it so much, we bought a DVD copy.  The movie is about a family falling apart, and about the battle all Christians fight.