Seven Favorite Films About Family

Bring on the popcorn!  Today, in honor of the Oscars, I am sharing a list of some of my favorite movies of all time.  If you are like me and enjoy a movie with an endearing story about family or community, then these are films that you would enjoy.

1.  A wonderful film about a family of Norwegian immigrants.  I love that mama protects her children from the financial worries they face.  I love the sacrifices she makes for her family.  Mama can fix anything!  Great cast.  (Irene Dunne as the Mama)  Unforgettable story.

I Remember Mama

2.  A sweet film about a little girl and life on a farm with her Norwegian parents.  I especially love her relationship with her father.  This is a wonderful film with a great cast.  (Edward G. Robinson in a change of pace role for him.)

Our Vines Have Tender Grapes

3.  A great film (and book) about a family in Brooklyn at the turn of the century.  Their struggle to survive is made more difficult by the alcoholic father.  The connection between the father and daughter is touching.  The mother, by necessity, has become tough and strong as she fights for her family to survive.   Excellent cast of characters.

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

4.  Giving fathers equal time, this film of family life in Victorian times always makes me laugh.  “Gads!”    William Powell is great as the father.  I love Irene Dunne as the mother and her dizzy reasoning.

Life With Father

5.  Based on a great book this film is the true story about a family with twelve children.  I just love the chaos of the big family and the eccentric parenting ideas of the father.  The original movie is much better than the more recent version.

Cheaper By The Dozen

6.  The story of a family’s life in a Welsh mining town.  Roddy McDowall, Donald Crisp and Maureen O’Hara are outstanding.

How Green Was My Valley

7.  Another film about a large, loving family.  I could watch this film over and over.  Henry Fonda as the hard-working, loving father and Maureen O’Hara as his wife.  This movie was based on the novel that later inspired the television series, The Waltons.

Spencer's Mountain

There you go!  Grab the popcorn and settle in for a good family film.

Do you have a favorite family film?

Put a Stop to Negative Self-Talk

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One aspect of anxiety that plagued me for years was the negative self-talk that played non-stop in my head.  Almost anything could trigger a memory of a past failure or embarrassment and the incriminating tapes would begin to play in my head.  “That was stupid.”  “I can’t believe I am so dumb!” “What an idiot!” Or, the voice of the one I longed to please the most saying, “What did you want to go and do something stupid like that for?”  Ouch!

It takes some work, but you can have victory over negative self-talk.  Here are a few steps that have helped me tremendously in overcoming this toxic habit.  I hope they can help you, too.

1.  At the first negative thought, Stop!  Recognize these thoughts as poisonous and reject them from your mind.  God tells us that He takes our sins and buries them in the deepest sea, Micah 7:19.  He never brings them up again to taunt us.  These negative thoughts are not from God. One of my favorite Corrie Ten Boom quotes is, “God takes our sins and buries them in the deepest sea.  Then He puts up a sign, “No Fishing Allowed”.

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2.  Remind yourself that no one else remembers your mistakes from the past.  Thoughts of an embarrassing mistake I made in the fifth grade used to torment me.  It sounds silly now, but this memory would pop into my head and I would feel such shame over it even all these years later.  I thought everyone who was there at the time must remember it, too.  I mistakenly thought this was a sign of low self-esteem.  Finally one day I heard someone explain how prideful it was of me to think that other people spent so much time thinking about me.  I am just not that important!  What a relief to be able to let go of those past failures.  That knowledge really set me free.

3.  Replace the negative thoughts with God’s Word.  Read God’s Word and find out what He has to say about you.  God is always thinking good thoughts toward us.  Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  Reading and memorizing God’s Word is the best way to change your thought patterns.  Study and meditate on the Word of God each day.  Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

4.  Remember, God’s grace covers all our sins.  We don’t have to carry them around with us anymore.  Let it go.

“I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.”  John Newton, Amazing Grace.

5 Resources for True Intimacy in Marriage

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If you want true intimacy and lasting fulfillment in your marriage, don’t look to books like Fifty Shades of Grey or sexually explicit novels.  They only work to distort and destroy God’s plan for sexual fulfillment in marriage.  Here is a resource list of books to help you find the lifelong love and fulfillment God designed for your marriage.

Intended for Pleasure by Ed Wheat, M.D.  –  “This book has helped more than a million people understand and enjoy the gift God intended for pleasure.”

Lifelong LOVE AFFAIR, How to Have a Passionate and Deeply Rewarding Marriage by Jimmy Evans – “God didn’t create marriage to frustrate men and women or make them feel inadequate. He created this covenant relationship to meet our deepest needs and desires. He created marriage to be filled with passion, purpose and excitement. Even better, God created marriage to last a lifetime…learn how to embrace God’s dream for your marriage, how to cultivate romance and fun, and how to fulfill your spouse’s spiritual, emotional, and sexual needs. Transform your marriage into a lifelong love affair!”

the key to sexual fulfillment in marriage, creating an atmosphere of sexual pleasure in your marriage  by Jimmy Evans – “God intends for married couples to enjoy sex! In fact, He designed this experience to bring tremendous pleasure and fulfillment to marriage…Jimmy Evans shatters the lies of the media where sex is concerned. And he reveals the powerful truths of God’s perfect plan for sex within marriage. Your sex life will dramatically improve as you and your spouse: Understand the Sexual Differences Between Men and Women; Eliminate the Common Enemies of Sexual Fulfillment; and Work to Create an Atmosphere of Sexual Pleasure.”

Sexual Intimacy in Marriage by Sandra Glahn, ThM and William Cutrer, M.D. – “Every couple has those questions they don’t know how or whom to ask! Sexual Intimacy in Marriagediscusses the basics, like the definition of marriage, and the not-so-basic topics, such as achieving sexual pleasure and biblically “OK” sexual activity. This highly acclaimed, medically and biblically accurate book covers all the bases about sex in marriage with a sensitivity and frankness that every couple will appreciate.”

God on Sex: The Creator’s Idea About Love by Daniel Akin –  ” Having lead over 300 marriage seminars across the United States, he is in touch with the distorted contemporary perceptions of sex. But the Bible is not silent on this subject. As a matter of fact it has much to say. As the creator of sex, God makes clear the conditions for sex at its best . Akin sets the many and varied misconceptions about sex alongside God’s design to reveal His intention and blessing for this vital dimension of life.”

Now for three resources that warn of the dangers of seeking sexual fulfillment outside of God’s design for marriage.

The Fantasy Fallacy – Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts by Shannon Ethridge –   “Many are looking to sexual and emotional fantasies as avenues to fulfillment.  Our fantasies, however, are not reliable guides into the future—they are actually rocky road maps from our past. Best-selling author Shannon Ethridge theorizes, “Fantasies are simply the brain’s way of trying to heal itself from unresolved tragedies and traumas. We mentally compartmentalize our pain to make room for pleasure.”

Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time by Stephen Arterburn – “Shattering the perception that men are unable to control their thought lives and roving eyes, Every Man’s Battle shares the stories of dozens who have escaped the trap of sexual immorality and presents a practical, detailed plan for any man who desires sexual purity-perfect for men who have fallen in the past, those who want to remain strong today, and all who want to overcome temptation in the future.”

Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment by Shannon Ethridge and Stephen Arterburn  “When does an affair begin? Not with the first forbidden touch…but with the first forbidden thought. Unexpectedly, you find yourself enjoying a powerful emotional bond with another man. You feel like you matter to someone again. And the door you thought was locked so firmly–the door to sexual infidelity–is suddenly ajar.  The only way women can survive the intense struggle for sexual integrity is by guarding not just your body, but your mind and heart as well.”

Why Fifty Shades of Grey Destroys True Intimacy

Every day at my job I see the destructive influence of pornography and violence on women and children.  I see it in the police reports and protection orders that come across my desk daily.  Real people.  Real faces.  Real lives destroyed by someone else’s desire for sexual gratification through violence and intimidation.

I am here to tell you that true intimacy does not bring pain.

True intimacy does not bring shame or guilt.

True intimacy is not selfish, but places the well-being and pleasure of your partner above your own.

God designed sexual pleasure and intimacy to be fulfilled in marriage between one man and one woman.  It is a picture of the spiritual intimacy and oneness that God wants to have with each one of us.  This intimacy is tender and imparts great value on the other person, never degradation or unworthiness.

Sexual violence in any form destroys women and will destroy your marriage and family.

Sexual fantasy and pornography lead to lust.  There is a huge difference between lust and true intimacy.

Pornography and sexual fantasy are like heroin.  You start using a small amount and tell yourself you have your habit under control.  This is a lie from hell.  Like an addict your brain needs more and more erotic stimulation, degradation and violence to be satisfied.   This destructive cycle leads to heartbreak and ruined lives.

You may have been told that Fifty Shades of Grey is harmless and will spice up your love life.  I caution you that in reality you are exposing your mind and heart to destructive fantasy that is degrading to women and will destroy the intimacy of your marriage.

Please do not bring this book or movie into your home.  As with any book or movie, ask yourself, “Would I want my son or daughter to have access to this material?”  More importantly, would you want your daughter to experience this kind of sexual violence?  Would you want your son to inflict pain and violence on his partner?

God’s design for sexual intimacy in marriage is a beautiful thing.  It is designed for pleasure and oneness.  In my next post I will provide a list of books that will help you find true intimacy and fulfillment in your marriage.