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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Current Recommendations 12.03.16

Saturday, December 3, 2016
I have a deep love for reading, music, and movies and I was trying to think of a way to incorporate it all into my blog. Some things are worthy of a whole blog post, but I think I just want a quick way to talk about whatever fandom I am currently obsessing over. I have an annoying quality that if I like something, then I really like it, and I want to scream it from the roof tops. This new series just seemed like a good outlet that allowed me to save my voice ;)

Music:It's December, so Christmas music is basically a given. Here are some of the newest albums that I have discovered:

Sleeping At Last's Christmas Collection 2016 album: I fell in love with Sleeping At Last a few years back (embarrassingly enough, I discovered it through the Twilight soundtrack. It was a phase, alright?!). It is made up of just one guy (Ryan, actually-But not to be confused with my Ryan). He has a very mellow sound and poetic lyrics. He is also a Christian, and filters his lyrics through that grander picture of humanity and its relation to God.
for fans of: a soft and sweetly curated collection of Christmas songs

Lauren Daigle's Behold album: I had the good fortune to see Lauren Daigle at last year's Winter Jam (well, at least the back of her because we got there too late and sat in the nosebleed section behind the stage). She has a powerful, soulful voice. Her Christmas album is an absolute DELIGHT! She blended her soulful voice with many jazzy renditions of some of the classics.
for fans of: Christmas music infused with a hearty dose of soul

Ella and Louis Christmas album: It's Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Do I really need to expound upon that?
for fans of: daydreaming about a different time and place


The Giver: This isn't a newly watched movie for me. I just had a strong desire to watch it again last night. I watched the movie when it first came out and I loved it/was moved by it so much that I went out and immediately read the book. It's normally taught to middle schoolers in our district so I've always kind of snubbed it. But honestly, I'm not really sure how middle schoolers can exactly get the message pertained in this book. I'm still really processing it myself. Click here for the trailer!
I normally say read the book before watching the movie, but this movie does such a phenomenal job at portraying the story and its full range of emotions, just watch the movie!
for fans of: negative utopia, feeling all of the feels about humanity, a pro-life story

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: In typical Joellen fashion, I could watch anything Harry Potter related on a loop. Seriously, when I am being belligerent in the old folk's home, tell my nurse to turn on any of the Harry Potter movies. So of course, I've already watched this one in theaters twice. Per JK Rowling's usual flair, she created all new characters that you can't help but falling in love with. Including a bunch of the nonhuman type! I do have to warn that it is darker than the original Harry Potter series, so it should probably be screened and carefully considered before letting any really young kids watch. Rowling always includes an inordinate amount of subtext, so I'm super excited to see where this 5-part series will go.
for fans of: the Harry Potter world, giggling over cute magical creatures


Tim Keller's book on Prayer: I probably shouldn't recommend a read before finishing it. I've just really learned a lot so far. He does an excellent job of building upon a foundation of scripture and expanding it in its complete historical narrative and context. He is a lot like CS Lewis, but puts things in a very understandable way. Sometimes Lewis jumps from point A to point Z and I have to really think about what he is stating. Keller explains every letter in between. He guides the reader with scripture and logic. If you are tired of emotionally based "theology", Keller's books might just be the biblical sidekick you are looking for.
for fans of: biblically based, God-focused truths and deeper theology

The following articles were something that I really needed to read this week. Sunday evening I posted a video on my Facebook page about a pro-life ad that was banned in France (watch here) and in my comment I made the appeal that this is somehow what our political "correctness" has come to be. I have a Facebook troll that has taken it upon her job to refute everything political that I post. Which is fine. But challenging comments are never really comfortable for anybody. I made a blogpost (here) in an attempt to really help me process my feelings and embolden me to keep professing my faith and beliefs. I've still battled with insecurities, feelings of alienation(I know, I'm super sensitive, but trying!haha), and really thinking about what it means to be a Christian and challenging world views this past week. I came across these two articles today and they were just exactly the affirming words that I needed to read:

Sisters, Jesus is Not Your Cheerleader

If We Aren't Being Attacked for Our Faith as Christians, We're Doing Something Wrong

for fans of: hard truths, encouragement pertaining to living your faith BOLDLY!


  1. I love all of this! I've got read that book on prayer. I've never seen or read The Giver, but now I need to.

    1. I really think you'll like it! (At least what I've read so far). I've read the introductions out of three of his other books and they look just as good!
      I think you would really like The Giver. It was one of my favorites! Let me know if you watch or read it :)

  2. I LOVED The Giver book, but I still haven't seen the movie!!

    1. It's SO good, right? You need to see the movie!