Saturday, August 13, 2016

4-Step Process for Making a Plea to God on behalf of Others


Moses’ Plea to God
Exodus 34:8-9: And Moses made haste to bow low toward the earth and worship. And he said, “If now I have found favor in Thy sight, O Lord, I pray, let the Lord go along in our midst, even though the people are so obstinate; and do Thou pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Thine own possession.”
God has just finished telling Moses Who He really was, what He does, and what mankind is to do, and Moses gets it. He knows God is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, full of lovingkindness, forgives iniquity, transgression and sin, and will not leave the guilty unpunished. Given that, Moses believes it is a perfect time to make his plea directly to God.
He bowed down and worshiped God. Then he asked Him to show His mercy by “staying in their midst” regardless of how undeserving the people may have been. Moses does not want to go forward alone. He knows he needs God with him. So he asked God to exercise His “forgiving” characteristic that God Himself shared with Moses, upon these people.
If you’re a leader today – be it of your family, your business, your church, your community – then you would do well to follow Moses’ example in making your plea to God on behalf of those you lead.
1.     Know Who God is.  You do that by seeking Him and hearing Him.
2.     Worship Him as His true child and follower. You need to have an established relationship with Him; you need to be credible.
3.     Appeal to Him more on behalf of others than yourself.
4.     Then stop and patiently wait for God to respond in His way, His time.
It’s as uncomplicated as that. And it works just as well today as it did back in the days of Moses.

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Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my two favourite charities, SCA International and/or ICC International, by clicking on their logos below. Ken.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Author’s Brutal Honesty Could Help Save Your Life, Marriage


Hanging On To Hope: From Marriage to Divorce Thru Depression
To Remarriage And What God Taught Me Along The Way
Author: Annette Newcomb
Published by: Westbow Press, Bloomington, IN, 2016


This is the incredible true life account of a woman who for all intents and purposes, could be you, your spouse, your sister, your mother, or your friend. I would be astonished if anyone read the whole book without saying “that’s me to a T” or “that’s my. . .” at several points in the story.
Annette Newcomb shares her personal experiences, thoughts, relationships with her husband, life with her sons, and her reliance on friendships very transparently and in a way that allows all of us to identify with her struggles, fears, disappointments, and hopes. Interwoven through her life story which includes loss of a loved one, battles with cancer, suicide attempts, illness of a child, severe financial troubles, a rebellious teenager, a wonderful marriage turned awful through abuse, divorce, and later the discovery that she is bipolar, is her constant conversation with God. What she needed was ‘hope’ and there was no better place to find it than in a relationship with God through prayer and the study of His Word.
If there is anyone in our modern typical North American society that knows trials and tribulations, it is Annette.  Short of living in extreme poverty, under constant war, being used in the sex trade, or controlled by a gang, Annette’s earthly problems ranked way up there. But through it all she discovers, sometimes through a friend, sometimes through her own study, or the words of a pastor, that God gives to His children without ‘finding fault’; that He can be trusted if when He doesn’t tell us why we are going through something awful; that we have to come to the place where if God were to withdraw His blessing and it would not affect our trust in Him; that He will be ‘with’ us through the difficult waters; and that God didn’t talk about ‘if’ difficulties come our way, but ‘when’ they do.
Newcomb at one point cries out for God to bring along an older, wiser man that her husband could talk with, pray with, and discuss his issues with, but God fails to comply. As I read that, I wondered if it was not so much that God did not want to provide a positive response to her plea, but that there just are not enough such Godly men around. If that’s the case, what a sad commentary on our society. But still, Annette never judges anyone in this book and in fact, goes out of her way to explain how she understands all who have gone through the various life experiences she has, including divorce as a Christian.
In the process of sharing her life, the author recommends several great resources for Christians and married couples. The section on the reconciliation between her ex-husband and herself was described with great candor.  It reminded me of the movie Fireproof (2008), only this was for real. Another part of her honesty is evident when in several places throughout the book, Newcomb identifies some bad decision she made alone and some she made with her husband.
While marriage, “the only relationship we have here on earth that compels us to exhibit each of the fruits of the Spirit on a daily basis” is her main thrust, Newcomb also spends considerable time discussing her observation of how our churches and individual Christians treat mental illness today, shows us how that can change, and pleads for us to make it happen.
This is a book that will touch anyone who reads it. It is also a book that should be given to anyone contemplating marriage.  I intend to use it with the pre-marital counselling I do. It is also an excellent resource for married couples. But above all, it will change the way you view your life, your family, your marriage, and your relationship with God.  Put another way, it will help you know, seek, and find hope.

By Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, August 9, 2016. www.accordconsulting.com


Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my two favourite charities, SCA International and/or ICC International, by clicking on their logos below. Ken.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

A Theory Re. Coincidences: Reality or Placebo?


Connecting With Coincidence: The New Science for Using Synchronicity and Serendipity in Your Life
Author: Bernard D. Beitman, MD
Published by: Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL, 2016
In our society, the word “coincidence” is well understood by almost everyone by the time they reach ten years of age, if not younger. Coincidences are observed by us all and most of us are quick to explain their happening either as a mystery (an act of God for the believer) or strictly an event that occurred randomly (by chance). I was no exception, although I employed (and still do) both plausible causes identified above, depending on the circumstances under which a coincidence occurred and its significance. Therefore, it was easy for me to agree to review this book when given an opportunity by the distributor. That decision, however, resulted in a personal challenge.
Psychiatrist Dr. Bernard Beitman is a brilliant author. His book is professionally laid out in three main sections. In part 1, his aim is to convince us (it does not take much) that weird coincidences do commonly take place; part 2 is dedicated to how one can integrate coincidences into their life; and part 3 is devoted to the serious reader who wants to more closely examine a new ‘theory’ about coincidences. [Beitman more correctly uses the term ‘theory’ here as compared to the sub-title of his book where he uses ‘science’ to describe his beliefs.] In this last part he introduces us to what he calls the ‘psychosphere’, or mental atmosphere, where we all, in his view, subtlety exchange forms of energy and information with each other.
As the author is a medical doctor as well as a psychoanalyst, we get to learn some very interesting things (e.g. twins joined at the head are called ‘craniopagus’ twins; those who have identical medical issues in hospitals heal faster if their bed is by a window; and so on). And he asks some very interesting questions such as “Why is joy not shared at a distance in the same way as negative painful emotions?” which he then proceeds to answer as best he can.
Beitman is both a realist and very clever. Examples of the former are that he admits his mathematically inclined colleagues and people of faith, would say coincidences are examples of random chance at work or God, respectively. Examples of the latter are his statement that he couldn’t convince either of them otherwise as “theirs is a fixed belief” in the laws of probability or God’s total involvement in our lives.
As a ‘religious scientist’, the author believes that we use our “God-given abilities to influence the way we, and others, live.” There’s something that sounds right with that, but does it go far enough?
Beitman describes the environment in which we are most likely to notice coincidences in our lives. These include high emotions as well as being in a state of transition.
He is also very careful to caution us on the misuse of coincidences.  At one point he describes a couple that married as a result of coincidences, but the marriage didn’t last long because marriages he writes, “must be maintained through trust, commitment, caring and consistency.”  The book is full of useful “ideas” and suggests which he identifies with an icon of a light bulb. One of them is the thought that while “coincidences (may) deserve a seat at the table of your romance – they don’t deserve to be the decider-in-chief.” He also deals with “library angels” and “internet angels” – a more recent form of coincidences.
In a section entitled, How Romance Coincidences Are Created, Beitman describes the fourth step in the process as “The person often enters an altered state of consciousness.” And that’s where he loses me.  He does, however, indicate that those who know useful coincidences commonly occur come to expect them as part of daily life. My experience is that whether one does or does not expect them, the same coincidences would happen – that is, albeit one who is not looking for them may miss them but they would still occur in the absence of expectation.
Part 1 is full of examples of coincidences that have been recorded through family ties, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, health situations, ideas in the air, timely money, pets, and work.  One cannot argue with what happened in these stories. One only has the option of assigning a cause to the coincidences. For example, one person prayed to God for money and he was led to where he found it. He “believed that God guided him to the money.” But Beitman believes the person himself played a collaborative role with God in finding the money.  I can even buy that.  After all, God is the One who has given us a brain and a memory with which to think and reason things out and act accordingly.
Throughout the book, the author talks about “base rates” with respect to various probabilities of things happening randomly. But while he walks us verbally through one example, he never uses number for one reason or another, and that would have helped greatly. While he believes we can take steps to increase our ability to notice and take advantage of coincidences in our lives, he also quotes the old saying, “The dog that trots about in the right places finds the bone.” So maybe it is more about perseverance, being optimistic, learning from failure, and relying on intuition than anything else.
In the last section of the book, Beitman tries to show us how “simulpathity” (connecting with the experience of others at a distance without knowing how we do it) and “Human GPS” (finding our way to people, things and ideas without consciously knowing how) together get us to “loved ones in distress whose location we don’t know” just in time to save them. While he argues well for his case, that still is not an idea I am willing to swallow as it is based on there being “mechanisms by which energy-information is converted into electrical nerve impulses the brain can process into emotion and behavior.”
As a creationist, I parted company with Beitman when he wrote near the end of his book, “I believe that our physical being seems to have emerged from a primordial soup, a rich mixture of energy (perhaps electricity) and information (perhaps simple molecules).” May I suggest, perhaps just a theory. This psychosphere leads us, in his mind, to “the One Mind, of Consciousness, of the Universe, of God” and to the realization that we are all one and the same. All bringing déjà vu of Shirley Maclaine’s “I am God” philosophy.  I was hoping scientists had gotten past that these days, but alas, perhaps not.
While Dr.Beitman has a lot of things right, including about the internet and social media, I would take issue with him on his conclusion that the “spread of personal qualities through social networks adds yet more evidence for the existence of the group mind and, by extension, the psychosphere.” In reality, it can also point towards our great diversity of mind.
So, who is this book for?  A lot of people who know the word “coincidences” and want to learn much more about how they may happen and the related theories that try to explain them. It should however be read with a critical mind for once we try to explain something like this beyond the two traditional explanations, we are wading into waters where true science can only accompany us so far, and the rest is simply conjecture. We’re on our own.
Now, just in case you think I am being too tough on the author and the book, let me share with you the following: When I was about to start my careful reading of Part 2 of Dr. Beitman’s book (while taking in the sun and the beach at Garden City, S.C.), I stopped and checkd my phone in case there was a free wi-fi around.  Just prior to that I had been reading (in his book) about Oprah Winfrey’s audition for the role of Sophia in the film, The Color Purple. In my search for free wi-fi, up came two possibilities, one of which was Purple Rain. I intentionally wrote a note about what had just happened and observed, in the margin of the book, and then checked the wi-fi availability again. ‘Purple Rain’ was gone.  Was this coincidence? Did I really see it on my phone?  Who knows?  At least I noticed it and Dr. Beitman would have been quite pleased, I’m sure.

By Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, May 13, 2016. www.accordconsulting.com


Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my two favourite charities, SCA International and/or ICC International, by clicking on their logos below. Ken.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Exposing the Modern Evolutionists


The Evolution Delusion: A Scientific Study of Creation & Evolution
Author: Dr. Bo Kirkwood – Published by: Truth Books, Athens, AL, 2016


As a Christian, a father, and a grandfather, watching the impact inconclusive and unproven science has on our world and loved ones, I find it very hard to resist “just one more perspective” on the issue of evolution vs. creationism. So when offered an opportunity to review Bo Kirkwood’s book on the topic, I took up the challenge.  And a challenge it was – for reasons you’d not easily guess.
Dr. Kirkwood is a Board Certified Physician and on the faculty of two medical schools. Previous to medical school, he earned a B.Sc. in Biology. He is also the author of Unveiling the Da Vinci Code as well as a co-author, with his two brothers, Ron and John, both doctors, of A Case For Life: Christian Ethics & Medical Science. Bo Kirkwood is also a Christian but that should not prevent anyone from reading his book, as he approaches this topic with extreme fairness to the “other side”.
The book is clearly not for novices in this area. Kirkwood starts it off with a historical view on the origin of species as well as material on homology, DNA and the Genome. He very carefully addresses topics like irreducible complexity; the creation of life; birds, moths, and a missing link; the human fossil record; Cambrian explosion; and entropy. One of my favorite chapters was his treatment of evolution and racism.
At the end of the first section Kirkwood gets very direct identifying what he calls the “elephant in the room”. In a chapter by the same name, the author calls it out, “. . . if evolution is so obviously philosophical and so diametrically opposed to the scientific method how can so many very smart, extremely well-educated people, accept it so easily and in most cases without question? . . .  Many, many scientists today and in the past have rejected evolution on a scientific basis . . . People like [and he lists them] do not accept molecules-to-man evolution and this list could go on and on and on.  So the question remains, why can some see the problems scientifically [sic] with evolutionary theory and others cannot? This seems to me to be the elephant in the room!”  That chapter alone is worth the price of the book.
In the second half of the book, Kirkwood offers some alternative views when he tackles cosmologies; a fine-tuned universe; the age of the earth; and beginnings. His passion though comes out strongest in his last chapter entitled “What Does It All Mean?” He then proceeds to answer that for both the evolutionist and the creationist.
Admittedly, someone with a scientific mind or background would be able to navigate the book’s pages much better than I did, but certainly having a keen interest in the topic as I do, helps one follow the arguments both for and against both sides. Even though we know what side the author lands on, he still encourages us to think for ourselves. His biggest bone of contention is the circular arguments used by evolutionists today and the fact that theory (which is what Darwin himself called his hypothesis) is today passed off as fact.
The book helped me get a better picture of the bigger “evolution vs. creation” world. It isn’t simple. Evolutionists are divided on many counts. Creationists are not all marching to the same tune. So someone who is really searching for answers has to do some homework, and more importantly, be open to both possibilities. Kirkwood isn’t so kind on those who start off with the belief of evolution and then reject all arguments against it; nor is he too accepting of creationists that do not seek to understand what science has indeed truly proven (vs. unproven theories) and try to work that into their beliefs. And it’s this open-minded perspective that makes Dr. Kirkwood’s book well worth reading for the Christian, the atheist, the scientist, and the searcher. This is a book I’d want my grandchildren to read before they embark on their post-secondary school studies.
In the process, I gained many gems of knowledge that I found not only fascinating, but helping me to both better argue for my own beliefs as well as understand the nature of the debate. Here are but a few:
·      When experimentation cannot disprove the hypothesis then that theory becomes much more relevant.
·      Both evolution and creationism require a degree of faith.
·      What must be considered, however, is that evolutionary studies already presuppose evolution.
·      Darwin was keenly aware of the biggest obstacle with his theory and that was the lack in the fossil record of transitional forms which should have been innumerable, thinking they would come later, but never did.
The book clearly gives anyone who is a creationist a sense of comfort that not all scientists (including some non-theists) are letting evolutionists get away with bad science or worse still, no science at all. And for that, Bo Kirkwood has done a great honor to the topic and the debate.

By Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, May 13, 2016. www.accordconsulting.com

Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my two favourite charities, SCA International and/or ICC International, by clicking on their logos below. Ken.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Hearts Are Well Designed To Handle Hurt -- DVD Review


When Calls the Heart: Troubled Hearts
Starring Daniel Lissing, Erin Krakow, Jack Wagner, and Lori Loughlin;
Directed by Michael Landon Jr.; 2016

This movie is number two in season three of the When Calls the Heart series and like all its predecessors, it continues to entertain, challenge and teach us. The series is inspired by the novel of the same name by Canadian author, Janette Oke.
Also like all previous episodes, Troubled Hearts has a host of sub-plots – each one somehow intertwined with the others and each one with a special lesson for viewers.  From young Cody’s hatred for school and those taking care of him as an ‘orphan’ to the women who have suffered the loss of spouses and yet again being betrayed by the men they have dared to be attracted to.  And the criminal element is also well-represented – both at the murderous gangster level (those you’d like to put away for life) and at the weasel level (those whose necks you’d like to wring and make them pay back every cent they embezzled).
Yes, of course, there’s romance.  This time I counted it developing on four fronts for sure and a possible fifth, complete with some very touching moments and the promise of more to come in the future in most cases. Throughout the movie, building trusting and nurturing relationships are paramount. And even though there are numerous characters, all the main ones are well-developed. Villains are dealt with and those that have erred have a change of heart or mind.  Wrongs are made right. But unlike the fairy tales we read as children or the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys novels we enjoyed, there is no indication that everything has ended well -- the main reason being, of course, that there’s more to come from Michael Landon, Jr.
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention that both Oke and Landon, Jr. made a special effort to have some of the movie’s script sound like words from the Bible. It’s done very well and it’s very apropos, but I wonder how many would even recognize it.
We watched with our almost 11- and 13-year-old grandchildren as well as our senior neighbor – and all enjoyed it thoroughly. Highly recommended for the whole family, whether accompanied by popcorn or not.  And yes, I’m looking forward to still more – one of the few “fiction” works I allow myself these days.

By Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, July 16, 2016. www.accordconsulting.com

Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my two favourite charities, SCA International and/or ICC International, by clicking on their logos below. Ken.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Isaiah: Putting It All Together For The Layman

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Isaiah: A Ride In The Chariot
Author: Theodor B. Rath; Publisher: AuthorHouse, Bloomington, IN., 2015

Theodor (Ted) Rath is a veteran of the Korean War, a teacher, and a pastor, with a Doctor of Ministry Degree from the McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Il. This volume clearly evidences his love for the historical and prophetic books of the Old Testament (O.T.), especially as they relate to our current and future times.
I had read through the O.T. Book named Isaiah in the past and realized it covered a lot of ancient history, to say the least. As a believer, and familiar with the New Testament (N.T.), I could see references that could well apply to the end times. But whether they did or not I left for scholars to decide. More of us, however, know about the book of Isaiah through the sermons preached by our pastors over the years. It was hard putting it all together, though. And this is where Rath’s book came into play for me.
The author does a good job of giving us a description of what each section, chapter, and group of verses in the book of Isaiah communicated to the readers. He explains very carefully how the book is structured. He believes the main author was Isaiah but that other followers of his wrote under his name as much as over a century later than earlier parts of the book. He carefully points out the possibility that certain portions have double meanings with respect to the period of time for which the prophesies are made.  That is, some of what the book predicts could be understood to have already taken place after the prophesy and before the time of Christ, while it is simultaneously possible that the prediction also, or only, covers the future end days that many Christians await and which are related to the return of Jesus Christ, as He promised. Rath leaves it up to the reader to decide.
Clearly explaining, and more so interpreting, Isaiah, is a difficult challenge to take on. And at times it becomes a challenge for the layperson reader to stick with the thoughts the scholar is trying to get across. But there are some gems to be found in the work’s pages.
For example, early in the work he writes, “The primary purpose of this study is to show that prosperity can either be a blessing or a curse.” Agreed. The problem is that for me at least, the author didn’t point out that conclusion blatantly enough out in the volume. It is only realized when one reviews one’s notes where one highlighted that statement, that its truth becomes obvious to the reader.
But there are other gems that are easier to find. Here are two examples: First, he relates the children of Lot (the Ammon) as the original inhabitants of the modern Jordan.  Second, he writes, “Believing in the custom of the first-born child being designated as the rightful person to be chosen for certain family leadership roles, many Moslems (sic) feel their people should take precedence over Christianity.” This reader had never quite thought of this global situation we have today with our Muslim co-habitants of the earth in those terms before.
He takes us very quickly through the history of Mesopotamia (part of modern-day Iraq), the “cradle of civilization” to its modern times in a very clear fashion. Then he throws us back to about 5,000 BC when the Sumerians became prominent in the region and established the earliest written language.
Rath also gives us quick summaries of the role of all the other prophets, but maintains his emphasis on Isaiah by indicating that time and time again Isaiah shares with us the concept that God has great patience with His people, willing to save them.  In fact, the name Isaiah means “salvation of the Lord” or “Jehovah saves”.
He explains very logically how and why it was that the Israelites, “unaccustomed to the ways of agriculture, turned to the gods of the land. In doing so, they did not mean to turn away from Yahwah, the God of the Exodus and the Sinai Covenant. They would look to Yahweh in times of military crisis and then turn to Baal for success in agriculture.” The very thing (syncretism or blending of two faiths) that God did not want for His people.
Based on his study of Isaiah and related texts, Rath goes on to give us a very serious list of five things that need “to be done to reverse the conditions that so adversely affect so many people in this country and elsewhere.” They alone are worth the purchase of his book.
On the downside, I find that Rath often shares two sides of an argument with us (e.g. he may say some Bible “versions say x and y, but these versions say so-and-so”) and then leaves us hanging.  You never quite know which version he prefers or why one position is more probable than the other. Or he says the prophecy of some particular verses may refer to something that has already happened or it may refer to something still to come – and again never tells us what he thinks. This all simply points to the whole perplexity of Isaiah’s book in the O.T.  He even says at one point, “Verses. . . are difficult to understand.” I appreciate his honesty, but with it, came some level of frustration for me.
He is very clear in relating the role of today’s Christian as being very similar to that of the prophet Isaiah, namely, “To proclaim salvation is the chief work of the Christian church and all of is denominations and congregations.”
Another very valuable section in his book is one entitled, the “Nine Images of God”. It can easily make a great sermon series, as can other parts in Rath’s book.
This book adds a very necessary perspective to a serious study of Isaiah and I recommend it for all who wish to make sense of one of the most challenging Biblical books. But it’s not a quick read, especially if you follow the author’s recommendation to read it with your Bible open at the verses he is writing about.

By Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, May 13, 2016. www.accordconsulting.com

Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my two favourite charities, SCA International and/or ICC International, by clicking on their logos below. Ken.

More Heart and Subplots Works Well After a Long Day


When Calls the Heart: It Begins With Heart
Starring Daniel Lissing, Erin Krakow, Jack Wagner, and Lori Loughlin;
Directed by Michael Landon Jr.; 2015


This is a movie that requires two things: First, the more you have seen of the episodes prior to this one, the better off you’ll be.  Second, be ready to spend more time watching the next episode.
This series first shown on the Hallmark Channel obviously keeps on delighting thousands and this episode was no exception. I watched this one down south in the heat of the night and found it most refreshing.  Coal Valley (now renamed Hope Valley after the mine closed) is on the verge of getting national exposure on New Year’s Eve as a great frontier family town. And it takes the whole town’s cooperation to pull it off.
But while that main plot progresses, we get ample opportunity to look in on several other subplots – both romantic and not-so-much.  This results in many surprises as well as moments of tenderness between human beings. And in the process, lessons are communicated to the audience.
One father who recently lost his wife is heard saying, “We work for a living” when the lead character Elizabeth Thatcher (the town’s teacher played so well by Erin Krakow) speaks to him about his daughter doing art which he was opposed to.  Her response, “Being creative is part of work for children.”
At another point, the owner of the lumber mill makes his new year’s resolution to be able to say ‘no’ for once to his very bossy and self-centred female crush in the person of Rosemary LeVeaux (plaed by Pascale Hutton) with this beautiful comeback, “Sometimes life is more important than just appearances,” as he forces her to tell the truth to the reporter writing the special feature on the town.
Clearly the message is that a vibrant community is one where ‘family’ extends beyond the walls of a single home.  And as nice as that goal is, it needs to be pursued with the understanding that everyone has deep secrets of the past that may or may not come out in any given episode of the series, or for that matter, in real life.

Jack Thornton (played by Daniel Lissing), is the local Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable overseeing Hope Valley with whom Miss Thatcher is in love.

Once again the script is rich with great lines and dialogue time and time again.  Clearly not an extremely big-budget production. What the movie lacks because of its many subplots is the fact that we meet so many characters but never get to know them.  They, understandably, cannot not be developed as deeply as we would like – at least not in a single episode.
The film and the entire series is based on the work of Janette Oke, a Canadian author still living in Alberta, Canada. Faith is a big part of her life and the Producer-Director Michael Landon, Jr. has honored that aspect of her writings. (In an earlier review I had stated he became famous in his role on the well-known series Bonanza – but that was his father, Michael Landon.  My apologies.)
Unfortunately, I did not record every instance of brilliant and very witty dialogue between the characters this time – I should have.  But suffice it to say that if you watch this film, you’ll be pleasantly entertained by them.

I’m looking forward to watching the next episode.  So, if you’re looking for some great family thought-provoking entertainment, join me and take a look at this entire series.


By Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, May 13, 2016. www.accordconsulting.com

Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my two favourite charities, SCA International and/or ICC International, by clicking on their logos below. Ken.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Some People Chase A Dream, Others Follow It

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Noble: A Dream Can Change A Million Lives
Starring Dierdre O’Kane, Sarah Greene, Brendan Coyle, Liam Cunningham, and Ruth Negga; Directed by Stephen Bradley; 2015

This is a movie based on the true life story of Christina Noble – a recipient of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) – who is the founder and driving force behind the Foundation that bears her name. It’s a story about children's rights in Vietnam. But it starts in Ireland many years earlier when young Christina, born in 1944, experienced being homeless and desperate. Life in an orphanage run by nuns is not all it’s cracked up to be for a young girl. Nor is a bad marriage. In 1971, she dreams about the napalm bombings in Vietnam and the children screaming and fleeing to survive. In her dream, she could see them falling into cracks in the road, disappearing forever, as some stretched out their arms to reach her. Nearly two decades later, with her own children now grown, Christina follows her dream to what was formerly called Saigon, and then Ho Chi Minh City, arriving as a tourist. Through some extraordinary circumstances she obtains a temporary work visa for just three months to prove what she can really do. On her last day, she is ready to head to the airport for a flight home, feeling a complete failure. You’ll have to watch the movie to find out what happened.

Director Bradley takes us back and forth between Christina’s life in Ireland and her time in Vietnam. Three different actors play her role at various ages and they are all excellently cast. The dialogue between those speaking English and those speaking Vietnamese is suburb with perfect intonation and simplicity in sentence structure.  The movie is strewn throughout with songs of Doris Day and others that Christina loved to sing as a young aspiring singer.  Some of them are actually worked into Christina’s lines and form a key part of the story.

But the most interesting aspect of the movie, from the time Christina is a very young girl until the very end of the movie is the fact that she talks very directly and as only a young Irish lass could, to God. There is no doubt He plays a significant role in her life and in the credits, one can read the phrase, “Christina Noble still talks to God.”

This is indeed an inspiring movie about a real inspiring life. Great viewing for the whole family, it is not heavily religious, nor is it sugary sweet. It tackles a lot of issues including rape, drinking, adultery, adoption, and child sex offenders with sufficient discretion.  In that regard, goodness knows we need more of these.

The movie certainly kept me interested and it was thoroughly enjoyed as well as thought-provoking. You come to the realization that you can’t save everyone you want to – but you lose much by not doing all you can to save the ones you can.

By Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, May 13, 2016. www.accordconsulting.com

Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my two favourite charities, SCA International and/or ICC International, by clicking on their logos below. Ken.