A Post Full of Audio Dramas

I came across something entirely new to me– the ATC Seneca Awards, which recognizes the best in family audio dramas.  The Awards are according to the opinions of the Audio Theatre Central podcast which you can check out here.  I thought it would be fun to dredge up trailers for as many nominations as I could find and collect them all in one place on this post.  Audio dramas are a great source of favorite family memories and long car trip entertainment.  Have fun!

Captain Bayley’s Heir – (Heirloom Audio Productions; John Fornof (writer/director); starring John Rhys Davies, Finty Williams)

The Trials of St. Patrick – (AIR Theatre; Paul McCusker (writer/director); Philip Glassborow (producer); starring John Rhys Davies)

Ode to Saint Cecelia – (AIR Theatre; Paul McCusker (writer/director); starring Derek Jacobi, Hayley Atwell)

The Giant Killer – (Lamplighter Theatre; John Fornof)

Wulf the Saxon (couldn’t find a trailer) – (Heirloom Audio Productions; Todd Busteed (writer/director); John Campbell (score))

*You can find reviews of all of these audio dramas and more on the ATC podcast.






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Posted by on June 24, 2018 in Audio/Radio Dramas


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Miss Midday? New Book Club!

If you’re like me, you’ve been continuing to miss the Dr. Rosalie de Rosset classic book club on the former Moody program Midday Connection, along with the book club that hosts Anita Lustrea and Lori Neff began.  I keep coming in contact with other people on social media who long for it back again as well.  I have good news!  Anita and Lori have begun a new book club again on Anita’s podcast, “Faith Conversations.”  Lori Neff is now in the publishing industry with IVP, and a great one for book suggestions.  I am so pleased to have a new program to listen to!  Their first book club pick is: “When Mockingbirds Sing,” by Billy Coffey.  They will be discussing the read in a later podcast.  Check it out!


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Movie Review: In the Heart of the Sea

0bba4907568246579cbeaea9a220b52fBased on the book Nathaniel Philbrick.

Version: 2015; starring Chris Hemsworth; directed by Ron Howard

Genre: adventure; drama; based on true story

Plot Summary: Herman Melville is looking for his next greatest story in order to make ends meet and thinks he make have a lead.  An aged seaman has a story to tell, if only he can glean the truth from him.

My Review: Disclaimer*: I have not read the original book, so this review will not by comparing it to that novel.  Only as a story in and of itself, totally unrelated to the book.  

I make no apology for my puns. I was hooked from the first glimpse of the trailer.  I only wish I could have seen it on the big screen!  Oh, the drama!  It seemed to promise to do big scale justice of the story behind the world’s most famous whale.

And it delivered! What a riveting tale told through great acting, costumes, props, the works!  Best of all, a story that kept me glued throughout.  This was right up my alley of love for seafaring adventures.

Parts are a little hard to stomach, such as how the whalers went about harvesting whale oil. But it seemed historically accurate, and similar to the book “Moby Dick” in many ways (capturing the factual details of the whalers’ chores).  Also, a group of men adrift at sea are forced into some difficult decisions, SPOILER ALERT: namely cannibalism.  But we are not shown graphic details. END OF SPOILER.

I think one of my favorite aspects of it was the psychology behind the different characters. When you have an extreme situation with different people coming from different backgrounds, with different values and beliefs, what will each person choose and why?

It was apparent to me that this film was made with somewhat of an agenda [ie, whaling was ALL bad], and not one I would entirely agree with. But it did make for an exciting story and one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend for an older audience.

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Posted by on June 19, 2018 in Movie Reviews


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~Quote for 6/17/2018~

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Posted by on June 17, 2018 in Quotes


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Audie Awards 2018 Tonight!

In case you didn’t know, the 2018 Audie Awards are being hosted tonight!  You can watch it live on Facebook here.

You can also view a list of the nominations by clicking here.  Among the names and titles that caught my eye:

Paul McCusker’s audio drama (I didn’t know he had a new one!) entitled Brother Francis, and starring Geoffrey Palmer.  He also has another audio drama I didn’t know about!: “The Trials of St. Patrick” (starring John Rhys-Davies).

Treasure Island is also among the nominated audio dramas.

Rachel McAdams is nominated for Best Female narrator for “Anne of Green Gables.”  (Does her red hair make her sounder redder?)

Both Kenneth Branagh and Stephen Fry are up for Best Male narrators for “Murder on the Orient Express” and “Sherlock Holmes” (respectively).

Martin Sheen narrated “The Home Front” and Phylicia Rashad narrated “My Life, My Love, My Legacy” –they are nominated for Best History.

“Captain Bayley’s Heir” (Heirloom Audio Productions) is another audio drama, nominated for Faith Based productions.

Another Christian fiction title is “Catching the Wind,” by Melanie Dobson.

For classics lovers, “Daisy Miller” (Henry James) and “Phineas Finn” (Anthony Trollope) are nominated.

I just noticed that Johnny Heller is being nominated for his part in “Wedgie & Gizmo”.  I had the privilege of seeing him and his wife in person, and asking a few questions.  (I’m name-dropping now; I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t know me from Adam.)

Oh yeah– and let’s not forget Scott Brick. 😉

Have you listened to any of these?  Feel free to provide reviews!




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Characters Series: Heroines with Names

What’s in a name? Really, I mean it. I recently heard accomplished professional say that the only thing you really own in life is your name. Our pastor preached a sermon on Sunday in which he told us he would give us two names to see how we would respond to each. The first was: Adolph Hitler. After a few seconds of gag reflex, he then gave us the name of our beloved pastor emeritus who is battling cancer. Immediately, a warm feeling and smile came to our minds. This is because name is actually made up of reputation. Reputation is made up of actions taken, or not taken. And our actions come from what we believe deep down. Jesus said that the one who hears His words and puts them into practice would be a Wise Man, and the one who hears and does nothing is a Foolish Man. Two names, two different reputations because of their choices in life.

It seems that many are flippant about the value of their name in this day and age. It used to be that a woman’s honor and reputation was a very precious thing to be protected at all cost. This can be easily observed among the ladies of Jane Austen’s fictional worlds. Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters do not have very much money to entice worthy gentlemen to marry them. However, they still have their dignity if they so choose. The youngest sisters (Lydia, in particular) flaunt themselves in public and behave in totally juvenile and inappropriate ways. Elizabeth is worried about what this communicates to others.  But we are only responsible for our own actions, and as Elizabeth’s father tells her, “Wherever you and Jane are known you must be respected and valued; and you will not appear to less advantage for having a couple of—or I may say, three—very silly sisters.”  When Lydia runs away with Wickham, it does cast an unfortunate shadow across the entire family.  It takes men of excellent character- Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy- to look past that and recognize the treasure to be found in the two oldest Bennet girls.

Another Jane Austen character is also not so careful. In “Northanger Abbey,” Catherine’s friend Isabella Thorpe goes out of her way to attract male losers in Bath. Once she has sullied her reputation, she no longer has the respect of others. Her story is a sad one with no happy ending. Incidentally, Austen draws a connection here between a girl’s reading material and the lifestyle she chooses to emulate. Thank goodness our heroine Catherine finds better friends to hang around with before it’s too late!

Does this mean that a person’s good name once lost is lost forever? We certainly don’t have to live or die by others’ opinions of us, but it is very difficult to gain one’s integrity back again. That is why it is so valuable. Proverbs tells us that a good name is more desirable than great riches, to be esteemed better than silver or gold (21:1). And Proverbs 3:4 says, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”

Unfortunately, it is popular in this #metoo culture to be found guilty based solely on the seriousness of the charge. A lot of good reputations have been shot down where there was plenty of accusation in the absence of crime. A heroine named Hero [don’t ask me how she got that name] finds this to be the case in Shakespeare’s famous play “Much Ado About Nothing.” Hero is engaged to Claudio, but an enemy spreads lies about her virginity and she is horribly accused at the altar. A state of mayhem ensues and Hero suffers miserably. We cannot always control what others think of us, and we are only responsible for our own actions before God. But Hero is lucky to have one who challenges her accuser to a duel to defend her honor. (This was obviously back in the day when gentlemen did such things). Because a good name is worth fighting for.

In real life, Billy Graham knew this well. I do not know of a more devoted couple than he and his wife, Ruth. Mrs. Graham asserted that even though her husband was often away on evangelistic duties, the times when he was home was worth more to her than if she had left him for someone else. And the Rev. Graham always maintained his marital loyalty by living by what is now called “the Billy Graham rule” (never being alone with another woman). Many may not follow this lifestyle for different reasons, but the risks do increase. How refreshing to know of two faithful souls who loved God and each other and modeled grace to us!

Another respectable real-life person that has recently passed away is First Lady Barbara Bush. Even if a person doesn’t care for Bush politics, I think deep down most would have to agree that she exemplified good character with good humor. Another Proverb says that “a kindhearted woman gains respect…”

Now more than ever, we need role models whose names inspire us to live similar lives of integrity. We need to be people who value our reputations, so that others will see God reflected through us and praise Him. We need the next generation to know what a good character looks like, amidst a world that says one thing and lives another. What is your name worth?

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Posted by on April 25, 2018 in Character Reflections Series


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Listen to “The Man Who Was Thursday” on BBC

Are you in the mood for a little G. K. Chesterton?  I enjoyed reading “The Man Who Was Thursday” a few years ago (see my book review here), but I am enjoying Geoffrey Palmer’s reading of it even more!  For a limited time, you can listen to it for free on BBC Radio 4.

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Posted by on April 23, 2018 in Audio/Radio Dramas


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