Thursday, June 15, 2017

An Utterly Swoon-Worthy Second-Lead!

Head on over to The Silver Petticoat Review, to read my article about the utterly lovable character, played by Choi Si-Won, that stole the show in She Was Pretty. (Hint: He wasn't the lead!)

Here's an peek at one of the heart-melting moments from She Was Pretty. You can read the rest of my article here! (Psst! The original article includes pictures of this swoon-worthy K-Drama second-lead).

Orabeoni, Interrupting
 "[...] Hye-Jin and Shin-Hyuk’s friendship starts out as an older brother (orabeoni) and younger sister (dongsaeng) relationship and he makes it his personal mission to pest her endlessly. One day [...] [w]hen Hye-Jin remarks how pretty the sky looks, he looks at her with a smile and says “Yes. It is pretty.” Aww. My heart just melted a bit. Or a lot."

Saturday, June 10, 2017

My First Post for The Silver Petticoat Review!

Today, I made my debut as a contributing author at The Silver Petticoat Review! An online magazine focused on sharing the love of old-fashioned romance, it's a wonderful source of book/tv/film reviews, fun recaps, lists, recommendations of old classics and more!

My first article is now up - read an excerpt of the article about Myung-Joo and Dae-Young below. Then head on over to The Silver Petticoat Review to read the rest.

An Excerpt from The Silver Petticoat Review...

"There were so many moments I could have chosen for this post, but in the end, I decided upon this particular moment because of its lightness and touch of humor. [...] While many scenes with Myung-Joo and Dae-Young were intimate and romantic, there were few not edged with pain or the looming threat of separation. Dae-Young and Myung-Joo were so often fighting to stay together, that I wanted to focus on a lighter moment, where their steadfast love runs quietly underneath."

To read my complete Romantic Moment of the Week, please go here

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Category: Before a Family Was Found

This is a post that I wrote which appears on Ting Ministries.

Imagine being put on a list. You stayed on that list your whole life. Then one day, when it was too late, you were filed away and forgotten. Please look at the photos of all these children. These are children I watched, prayed, and advocated for over several years. Tonight instead of the "At Risk" page, I found them all on the "Aged Out Before a Family Was Found" page. There were even more children I recognized and just didn't share in this post.

There is something wrong with this. With all the people involved in adoption, all the Christians in the world, all those who saw these pictures...these children should have families. Yet, today they will never get the chance to know the love of a family or what it means to belong. I pray, as you read this post tonight, you do not glance over it, think to yourself how sad it is, but then go on with the rest of your life unaffected.

The minute we start thinking, "It's just another child," we spit in the face of the Gospel.

Christ said, "And whoever welcomes one such child in My name, welcomes Me," and he warns of the consequences of not welcoming such children. Yes, the Lord is the Defender of the Orphan, promising to "set the lonely in families" (Psalm 68:8). Yet He uses US to accomplish His purposes, telling us to "Go and visit the orphan and widow in their distress..."(James 1:27). As Christians, we should be burdened when children such as these age out and become unadoptable because our own salvation through Christ is our adoption. " God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure." (Ephesians 1:5).If we think it doesn't matter when a child ages out, we are guilty of disregarding the importance of Christ's death on the cross--because He died so that all may be saved" (John 3:17).

It may be too late for these children--but not for others. Please visit the Waiting Child Advocacy page on this blog (contact us for the password) to see other children waiting for a family. Or please visit: to help Brittan and Hope come home. Thank you.

"You may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say you did not know." ~William Wilberforce, abolitionist and author of "Real Christianity"

Photo Credit: Reece's Rainbow (Listed Under: How You Can Help -The Children-Aged Out Before a 
Family Was Found)

Thursday, June 1, 2017

From Prince to Convict: New Trial

The first show I saw Kang Ha-Neul in was Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, a historical drama where he played one of the princes. When I saw the trailer for New Trial what grabbed my attention was how vastly different this role was from his character in Scarlet Heart: Ryeo. 
Mild spoilers below. 

Kang Ha-Neul in Scarlet Heart Ryeo
(August 2016)
Kang Ha-Neul in New Trial (February 2017)

New Trial is about a teenager Hyun-Woo who is falsely accused and forced to confess to a murder he didn't commit,  and then spends 10 years in prison. When he gets out, he is a hardened young man, who has to care for his blind mother. Since his release, the shame of being a convicted criminal hangs over his head. To make matters worse, if Hyun-Woo can't pay $ 170,000 dollars for indemnity,  he will go back to prison. At first, the lawyer, Lee Joon-Young, who takes Hyun-Woo's case does so to prove himself to a new law firm, hoping to raise his public image and get a job. As the movie progresses however, he sees Hyun-Woo as someone hurt by the very laws that are supposed to protect. 

"Don't mention justice and morality," the head of the firm says to the lawyer, when asking him why they should take Hyun Woo's case (much less ask for a re-trial after 10 years). Yet by the end of the movie, this is exactly why the lawyer continues fighting for Hyun Woo, despite everyone else telling him to give it up. As Joon-Young's heart changes, he becomes a Voice for the Voiceless. (Proverbs 31:8-9).

This is based on a true story. The real "Hyun Woo" was released on November 16, 2016. Today, he is a family man with two children.

There were several scenes in this movie that struck me deeply. The character's struggles are complex and real.  Parts of this film were difficult to watch. Hyun-Woo was only a teenager when he was tortured in his interrogation. This film is partly about finding the evidence to clear Hyun-Woo's name and legal drama. Yet, more importantly, I feel this film is about suffering, choices, and ultimately, redemption

"Let's meet again in college."
When Hyun-Woo takes a fellow employee to the train station, these are her last words to him. As the train pulls out of the station, the look on Hyun-Woo's face is crushing. He is hopeless.

How many other teenagers have grown up in the same sad circumstances? Hyun-Woo has lived his life in a tiny town, where no one leaves. Even without a criminal conviction, he is surrounded by peers involved in gangs. Getting his GED is a dream. How many other children's lives waste away in slums or orphanages? Like Hyun-Woo these children are waiting for someone to come along and give them a chance. Like Hyun-Woo, they have to decide what to do when the chance is given--but if Joon-Young had not come along, he would have been stuck for the rest of his life. 

"Have you every received someone's entire life savings?"
Joon-Young says this to the head of the law firm, who shakes his head no. Joon-Young smiles quietly to himself, recalling the moment Hyun-Woo handed him a folded envelope. It contained only a handful of bills, but it was the only money he had saved. He gave it to Joon-Young the day he accepted him as his lawyer.

This reminded me of the story of the widow's two coins (Mark 12: 41-44). While the pharisees gave money out of their excess, she gave all she had. As Hyun-Woo. begins to open up slowly, he wants to express his gratefulness to Joon-Young. He gives everything to his lawyer, but it is more than just money. It is the beginning of trust, after his circumstances and years in prison taught Hyun-Woo to trust no one, care for no one, but himself. 

Throughout the movie, Joon-Young comes to understand that for man to live, he doesn't need money. Rather, "To live like a man, we must clear his name."

"You are not a murderer."

As Joon-Young stands in front of Hyun-Woo and repeats these words, gently and emphatically, Hyun-Woo's face crumples. These are the words he has been longing to hear for ten years. 

This was moment in the film was raw and piercing. Hyun-Woo had a choice: to clear his name or succumb and become a murderer like everyone already believed he was. Because one person believed in him, Hyun-Woo was able to find redemption. It didn't erase everything that had happened. But now he had hope. 

What if we can be that one, the one person who believes, for someone else? 

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. ~Ephesians 1:7

Photo Credit: To Owners

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Orphans Aren't Convenient

Image may contain: text

"As you look upon these images and hear these words, I hope you are filled with a desire to act. I hope the pictures burn into your soul, and you hear the cry of the orphan." (Post from Ransom for Israel).

Orphan care is not picture perfect. Providing 24/7 care to children who can give nothing back is not a hobby. Parenting kids with the baggage of 16 years in an orphanage is not something we do for "fun" or "just because we want to."

It is a command.

James 1:27. Psalm 68:8. Proverbs 31:8-9. The Bible makes it clear that Christians are to care for the orphan. So tonight, as you read this post, I hope you are moved to do something--not sit and wait for someone else. I hope the pictures burn into your soul--and that you cannot live with ignoring the reality outside your door. I pray you hear the cry of the orphan--and that you do not turn away.

Nineteen years ago my parents made the decision to bring me home from Russia. My mom promised she would pour her life into her new daughter. It is one thing to talk about sacrifice. It is another to live it, day in and day out. Yet when Christ called his disciples, he said "Pick up your cross and follow Me."

Caring for the Least of These means carrying the Cross with you every single day. If you have to carry a cross with you, that means other things in your life have to be moved...or left behind. Maybe we don't want to make that uncomfortable commitment. It means giving up our lives of relative ease and convenience. It's not convenient to change diapers at 3 am. It's not convenient to sit and feed a twelve year old with a spoon, because the neglect they suffered in an orphanage has left them unable to do the most basic tasks by themselves.

In fact, orphans aren't convenient.  

They challenge us to look outside our own lives. Caring for an orphan means less time to do the things you want. It means worrying about children you have never even met. Not only this--but James 1:27 tells us that caring for orphans means doing something. As Christians, it is our responsibility not only to pray and advocate but to bring these children into our home.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can such faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food,  and one of you says to them, “Go in shalom, keep warm and well fed,” but you do not give them what the body needs, what good is that?  So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead by itself.
James 2:14-17 
Loving an orphan will flip your life upside down. But as the quote at the time of this page says, the ultimate measure of a man is not where we stand when we are living our lives of ease, with nothing to inconvenience us. The measure of man is where we stand when we are challenged.

Orphan care isn't easy to do--but the choice stands right in front of us.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Have You Seen?

Have you seen a child dying from lack of food and human contact?
I would like to show you the first photos of Hope that I saw...when her life did not matter to anyone around her. I can't until she is safely home as a Carpenter girl.
I can show you Lina and Olyvia when they were dying a slow lonely death in Pleven, Bulgaria and Ukraine. You can visit other blogs and see similar stories and photos from such blogs as Maya's Hope, Ransom for Israel and The Blessing of Verity. When you have seen and when you have held a child like Lina and Olyvia you can never be the same.
When we saw -how could we turn away. We said yes not knowing the future. We serve a God who holds our future in His hands.
His Word tells us to care for the orphan (James 1:27) and to speak up for those who can not speak for themselves ( Proverbs 31: 8-9).
When you know Hope's story and Brittan'story - How could we turn away. We have been given so much and their lives matter to God and to us. They are lives with a hope and a future.
We will continue to be their voice and a voice for orphans around the world.
Will you join us?

Image may contain: one or more people and people sleeping

Image may contain: 1 person

These Two Matter Too

These two matter too...

The Harnish family returned from China with their Annie and Wesley just as we were leaving for our Annie! It is all because of Kelly, a missionary couple, some wheelchairs and God's miracles and timing that we even know of Hope! She had no paperwork and was not even listed to be adopted - she was a life that did not matter but now she has a name and a family racing to bring her home. Orphans lives matter! Show your support by at.least sharing!
God bless each and everyone that hears the cry of the orphan!

Visit the Harnish family YouCaring here: 

Help Our Kids BustOUT of the Orphanage! Giv'em Family & Hope (Harnish, Dale and Kelly)