Below, you will see the graphic for the blog’s next featured story:

Grace Trials

THE STORY

If you saw the post about Manuscript Monday, going into extensive detail about why I chose the story I selected, I mentioned a story I wrote called, “Girls of Grace”.

“Grace Trials” is “Girls of Grace” rebranded, revamped, an under-new-construction rewrite. I guess, this will be my revision quest and I’m inviting all of you along for the ride.

In the original “Girls of Grace”, it was about three girls who became friends through church. In all honesty, this story is slightly based on real life, but in totality it really isn’t.

Like, the main character is a little like me. One of her friends is a little like one of my strong-willed friends that battles depression. The main character’s other friend is this super-family-oriented-person who has OCD. All three of them go to a tiny, baptist church where everybody knows everybody.  Me and my two friends, all went to a tiny, baptist church where the three of us formed a friendship. Beyond that, that is as real as the story gets. Okay, most of the story takes place in the city where we all live…

But the main plot points, the scenarios that unfold, and events that take place… never happened to me or my friends in real life… to my knowledge.

This revamp, however, will be wildly different. I started the project in 2012. Seven years later, with the characters well developed and a plot with lots of options, the content will be richer.

SYNOPSIS

Lauren Rae Tyler – 18, Melissa Grace Russell – 21, and Makayla Johnson – 17, are best friends that are closer to each other than sisters. Through all the trials life hurls them into, they rally to be there for one another and see each other overcome their tribulation. But they know they can’t obtain any victories without God’s grace.

Grace Trials may be the name of Lauren’s dad’s ranch and church, but the “Grace Trials” make up the casebook that proves God’s grace is for those who believe and cannot be saved, delivered, or set free without the free grace of God. (Okay, you’re right – the Bible has already done that, and proves so… It’s great!)

DREAM-GOAL

Yes, I want this story turned into a movie too! Executively-produced by Kirk Cameron. Pray with me y’all! (I’d accept working with David AR White too.)

It’s odd that I want to work with him so much… like I’m not a fan girl of his… I don’t really watch a lot of his ministry videos, nor have I seen any of his latest Christian Film Productions.

I just want to work with him. I think it would be cool!

WARNING

This story will feature some hard to swallow material, but the topics shouldn’t be ignored and swept under the rug in the church anymore.

MY REQUEST

If you like it as you read it, share it with someone you think may enjoy it, or benefit from it in someway.

MY HOPE

Is that someone who never had faith before, find faith in Jesus.

Yes, this may be a fictional story, with fictional characters, but the God of the Bible is the only God. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life… and in this little piece of fiction, God can save you or someone you’re praying for to be saved!

MANUSCRIPT MONDAY or STORY SUNDAY

At this point, I’m thinking neither, but we’ll see.

Thank you for joining this journey with me.


If you read my post,“Crossing the Finish Line”, then you heard about my story on LITNET called, “A Digital Age Courtship”. If you didn’t read that post or even if you did…

A Digital Age Courtship

The link below takes you directly to that story. ENJOY!

https://litnet.com/en/reader/a-digital-age-courtship-b106691?c=928921&p=1

Disclaimer: Obviously, these are the top five in my opinion.

# 5 – God’s Not Dead

This film is about a college freshman who takes a philosophy class with an atheist professor who is notorious for killing God by saying God isn’t real.

The title probably comes from something Friedrich Nietzsche wrote when he concluded God is dead. If you didn’t know, Mr. Nietzsche most likely died of thinking so much his brain gave out killing him…

Let me just give a shout out to David AR White! He was a mennonite kid that never grew up watching tv and as an adult he followed the leading of God, went to LA, and pursuing the dream God placed in him built what he has today. As a co-founder of Pureflix, an actor, a producer, (a list of credentials that go on and on), he is an example of someone living out the God-given dream God placed in him.

I used to be incredibly critical of his work and his films because deep down inside I was so jealous. In essence, he is doing what I want to be doing in life! But not just for the Christian community. I want to make films and TV shows that crossover into the secular world but honor God’s precepts. It’s like when you read the Bible and it reads, “Cain killed Abel”. I would display murder in a film, but it wouldn’t be gory or maybe the audience would only see the moment before… Like the Bible reads that Abel’s blood cried out to God from the ground. I would show the spot where the audience knew Cain killed Abel and then with an audio voiceover and dramatic music I would have Abel’s voice crying out to God because he has gone to the place of death (Sheol).

I think that’s more impactful than watching a man kill his brother.

BACK ON TOPIC! This film ranks at number five on my list because it did better than anyone imagined. During its run in theaters, it ranked #4 in the box office, and grossed over 64 million dollars.

I remember working at a movie theater, in Northern Arizona when this movie was released. We were a small theater so we needed to take in films that would make money. When this movie came in with a rank of number four at the box office, our theater finally got it, and there were lines out the door of people trying to get in to see this film!

Kevin Sorbo’s performance is phenomenal by the way. (He plays the atheist professor.)

# 4 – OCTOBER BABY

This film is based on a true story. A young woman finds out she was adopted. Needing to know her origin, she goes with a friend to search for her birth mother only to find out she survived a botched abortion. Out of shame, her birth mother abandoned her, and the young woman was adopted by her parents. Her adoptive mother being a woman who was one of the volunteers who kept her company when she was in the NICU.

The Erwin Brothers are AMAZING! They’ve worked with Pureflix and the Kendricks Brothers for Mom’s Night Out. I actually love every film they’ve done to date.

From the music, to the script, to the ensemble of the cast made this film one of the better faith films. Overall, this film was made better in quality than the faith films before it, but the message was and still is extraordinary.

# 3 – Left Behind (Kirk Cameron Version)

This film was based on the popular book series Left Behind. A fictional story based on how the last days may look on the earth.

I was SO CRITICAL of this film as a kid. I thought if the movie was remade with academy award winning actors in it, it would be better…

Well a few years ago a remake of “Left Behind” came out… with Nicholas Cage – any academy award winner… and it wasn’t as good as the original. (That’s putting it nicely. The good news is I have heard testimonies of people getting saved after they saw the remake version – so proof God was behind the making of it.)

That’s because to make a great film it takes more than great actors. It takes a team of people from the administration, to behind the scenes, to the music, to the writers, to the producers, and to the directors… I even might as go as far to say that the stars need excellent assistants to stay focused to give their best performance.

If you want to think about what the rapture may look like and don’t feel like reading – watch this movie series. However, like all things it’s not 100% accurate. We don’t fully know how everything will play out, but it is interesting to watch and to talk about with friends. Warning: you may feel a burning desire to actually study the Bible about the end times. LOL! That’s a good thing right 🙂

# 2 – WAR ROOM

This movie is about a woman who learns the power of prayer through a matriarch in the faith and through prayer her family is changed for the better.

The Kendricks Brothers make films that transform you when you walk out of the theater… this is their ministry. I would love to work with them one day for their anointing on some ideas I have… which is odd… because yes – I once was critical of these dudes too!

I went to see this movie with some friends and the audience was so lively. We laughed, we amen’d, we cried, we prayed, and we stood up applauding when the film ended. It was like going to church, except many of us were strangers. The fact this film could bring such unity shows how when God is in something it bring His family together!

# 1 – I CAN ONLY IMAGINE

I can’t believing I’m leaving my first favorite film off this list (The Remaining).

MercyMe is an incredible band that wrote a tremendous song called – “I Can Only Imagine”. This movie is based on the life of the band’s lead singer – Bart Millard – and tells the long story behind the hit song, which is the same name of the film.

First of all, the cast was AWESOME!

Secondly, the movie was so well written, beautifully directed, and overall I would say this film should have gotten award recognition from the secular world.

There was a moment I cried sad/happy tears! How does that happen?!

This one was entertainment and ministry. If you have not seen this film – SEE IT! Have tissues though.

It made just over 85 million dollars with a 7 million dollar budget… That’s incredible.

When someone gives the Erwin brothers like 100 million dollar budget it could become one the top grossing films ever. They’re such good stewards with their dollars and they do a lot with a little. I’d love to work with them one day too.


I also recommend watching the following films, they’re watchable, inspiring (or thought provoking), and they are all films that took me deeper in my walk with Christ Jesus. I’m not sure if they’ll do the same for you, but if you need a break from what Hollywood keeps making… these films will give you that Hollywood fix but fueled by Jesus.

  • The Remaining – It is a rapture themed film based on Revelation 8 and 9. It’s classified as a thriller – so it’s spooky. It’s not very biblically sound, but Alexa PenaVega (Spy Kid Girl) is in it and I LOVE HER!
  • Grace Unplugged – AJ Michalka who stars on ABC’s “Schooled” now. The spinoff show from the “Goldbergs”. In this film, the daughter of a rockstar, who left his wild life behind to follow Jesus, leaves home for LA and gets caught up in the fame monster Lady Gaga sung about and loses herself in the process. It ends well, but if I say more, I’ll spoil how. Chris Tomlin is in this movie for those who love his worship music. Jamie-Grace Harper Collins is in it too.
  • The Song – is sort of a modern version of King Solomon, if he were a Country Music Star and only had one wife… Alan Powell from Anthem Lights stars in it.
  • Woodlawn – another Erwin Brothers film. Also based on a true story. It’s a football movie about one of the first interracial teams. And the cool part is that Jesus the Messiah had so much to do with it!
  • Mom’s Night Out – IF YOU LOVE GREY’S ANATOMY’S DR. APRIL KEPNER – you will love Sarah Drew in this movie about motherhood. Well, mom’s needing a break from being a mom…
  • The Case for Christ – This was like the first well made Christian film I’ve seen script wise. It would be like in my top ten at #6 or maybe tied with #3. Erika Christensen may be a scientologist but she was a genuinely believable Christian convert. Her performance deserves an award in my book. I also think she is so underrated. Let’s pray she finds Jesus and leaves Scientology.
  • Unbroken: Path to Redemption – I wish Angelia Jolie wanted to tell the second half of the Olympic Runner Louis Zamperini’s life. He got saved at a Billy Graham Revival! It’s a new cast replacing the original cast and crew of the first film “Unbroken”, but Matthew Baer returns as a producer.
  • Soul Surfer – starring AnnaSophia Robb, Helen Hunt, and Dennis Quaid… Carrie Underwood is in here too. Based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton and WOW this film is so great! I saw this at a really low point in my life and it picked me up and inspired me to dream again and to work hard at achieving my God given dream.
  • Breakthrough – no words other than that’s how faith works. See it!
  • Run the Race – this film felt like an indie film – (technically it is one) and had that pace. Super cool camera angles to bring a realistic depth and feel to the story. I cried during the main characters monologue prayer. I think it was little melodramatic with the storyline but I still loved it. When I say I got delivered from some things after watching this movie – I got delivered! Worth watching once.
  • Miracles from Heaven – answer to prayer. No lie… maybe I’ll write about it one day. Watch this with your family.
  • 90 Seconds in Heaven – Also an answer to prayer… It’s an alright film. I suggest watching it if you have a hard time believing people can die, see heaven, and come back to life.
  • Unconditional – heartwarming.
  • The Christmas Candle  – My favorite Christmas story that isn’t a nativity story.
  • Jumping the Broom – If you like romcom films.

Did I leave your favorite faith film off the list? Drop the film title in the comments and the reason why you love it, I’d like to check it out if I haven’t heard of it.

Okay, we all know 21st Century Americans (or any member of a first world country) love TV shows! Netflix, Hulu, and AmazonPrime are beloved streaming services people flock to for entertainment. For the Faith-Based Audience, we live off Pureflix and the Hallmark’s Movies app. But let’s keep it real… it’s because God taught us to see the good in anything, we can find satisfaction in Pureflix and Hallmark, because these are the avenues that give us grown up content without the nudity, the language, the gore, and the darkness. Yes, there is Vidangel that filters all the bad stuff out of “Game of Thrones” and “Stranger Things”, but is it really as good as the uncensored originals?

Programmers make content that the current society can relate to, and they do this to ensure people will watch their show. If programmers want to introduce something new to society, we now consider taboo, we will see it in comedic format until society catches up to this “something new” and having a drama with the content is palatable.

One of the first TV characters to have a baby, out of wedlock, on TV was Murphy Brown. “Murphy Brown” the TV show, was a comedy in the late 80s to mid 90s (it has been rebooted and cancelled after season one… not gonna lie… I prayed for that cancellation). Single mothers were common across America at the time. The programmers (producers, writers, directors, executives, etc.) addressed single mothers because they knew there were many out there and could relate to it. Also, think about the young women at the time who watched this show, and were raised to believe having kids out of wedlock was wrong… how many do you think decided maybe it wasn’t so bad if they had a kid outside marriage, and they made different life choices because of “Murphy Brown”?

Don’t twist my words… making choices based on what one sees on TV can be negative, but it can also be positive. Some may think, “No one makes life decisions based on TV and TV characters!”

I was on Instagram today, and one of my favorite actresses Olivia Wilde, made post about how proud she was of her bisexual character Alex Kelly on “The O.C.”. I literally read a comment where someone posted they realized they were gay because of her character on that show

Now, depending on what worldview lens you hold, will determine how interpret what I wrote above.

As a person with a Judeo-Christian perspective, I don’t agree the homosexual lifestyle can be lived out and lead to Heaven with the God of the Holy Bible. There is enough scripture in there to support my personal belief. Now, if you’re reading this and you don’t believe homosexuality will lead to eternal death, I’m not angry and I won’t try to convince you otherwise. If you want a better understanding of what I believe and why I believe it, please email me at justbriannamonique.blog@gmail.com. If I quote scripture on homosexuality such as the following:


Leviticus 18:22: Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin. (NLT)

Leviticus 20:13: If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense. (NLT)

Romans 1:26-27: That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. (NLT)

1 Corinthians 6:9-11: Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive or cheat people –none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (NLT)

Then I could be accused of using hate speech on social media and I don’t want to get removed from Facebook. I’m quoting from the sacred text that billions of people believe to be the WORD OF GOD, the One who MADE EVERYTHING. Now, what the WORD says may not sound awesome to embrace and may be contrary to how a lot of people feel and think, but in a world where definitions and truths are as fickle as feelings and ever changing, what my God says today is the same it was 4,000 years ago and that brings me peace.

[Let’s rabbit trail, and think on this for a moment… God is love (1 John 4 says so) and love that is unconditional will always do what is best for the other person, regardless of how that other person feels, thinks, or acts. However, we have learned as the human race, we don’t do anything unless we believe in what we’re doing and believe what we claim as truth as our reason for why we do what we do. We are like this, because God designed us to believe in Him, but if we miss Him, we will find anything else to believe in that makes ourselves feel good…

So God, who is LOVE, had awesome experiences with humanity for thousands of years, but no one could stay consistent in listening to Him. Through the founding fathers of faith (in Judaism), He gave guidance and instructions to live a blessed life and because God longed to connect with the rest of humanity, he asked Abraham and his descendants to live according to love and to live for others as opposed to living to self, which is vain and leads to death.

Think about circumcision? Men are less prone to diseases and less likely to spread diseases if they are circumcised. How loving is that? God wanted men and women to be in good health! I will spare us specific details of why, for all the adults reading this, you can think of why.

To help humanity out, and specifically His people out, God writes down His guidelines and His instructions to the Blessed Good Life. Anyone who reads it, believes it, and lives out their life upon what the WORD says will live a BLESSED GOOD LIFE (in the end, when you look back on their life).

If you look at the Kosher Diet, that some people in Judaism follow to the letter, living in a time without the FDA, antibiotics, probiotics, and weight loss pills… that diet is the best diet to live a long, prosper life way back in those Bible days.

The Ten Commandments may have had harsh penalties, but if we look at 8 of them, they all prevent people from doing bad things, if they abide by them. The first two, if those are followed, those people would never do anything bad because following God of the Bible didn’t ask for crazy rituals to be pleased…

Do you realize most pagan idols (gods) back then required human blood sacrifice, sexual orgies, eating raw animal meat, torturing people, killing animals, doing drugs, mutilating their own bodies, and who knows what other vile things?!

People back then lived by fear. If they were afraid of something or someone, they most likely didn’t do what would get them in trouble. To ensure the people Israel wouldn’t do super bad things, God made a super bad punishment knowing most people would be too afraid to go against that. And if you read the Bible, when the whole lot of Israel got disobedient, He just graciously exiled them from the Promise Land, he didn’t kill all of them and start again, He realized after Noah, that doesn’t really work (kidding… I think…).

God is GOOD. He is LOVE. His WORD is LIFE. Living by His SPIRIT does HELP US in our EVERY DAY LIVES.

End of rabbit trail.]

Again, why isn’t there anything good (suitable for believers) to watch on TV?

I think we settle for it.

We watch what we want because it gets us hooked and because we know the truth all the sin, all the falsehood, and all the blaspheme against God doesn’t affect us that much. If we’re solid in the WORD, solid in our PRAYER LIFE, and connected to the BODY these shows don’t impact us deeply. For some folks, watching a scene with nudity could lead them to falling in the area of lust and acting upon those lusts. Or watching a show with bad words could lead them to cuss. Apply a scenario you watch on a show and how you do similar things in real life.

I’m not telling anyone to quit all TV, but if you want a program that honors God, and puts what is good on display, free from deception and the grips of the enemy, then we need to let programmers know there is a demand for it and there will be an audience that watches it. But it starts with us writing emails to local networks and asking why isn’t there a primetime show safe to watch with your kids about doctors? Who would love a Shonda Rimes Drama free from the scandal – okay, probably no one because she does scandal so well she created a show called SCANDAL! Hopefully, you see my point!

Another thing we could do is pray… Pray for more content to be made not just for the enjoyment of believers but to spread the Gospel beyond using the Nativity Story and the Life of Jesus. (Be on the look out for Chosen TV on Vidangel. Yes, the creators of Vidangel are Mormon, excuse me, LDS, but the creators of Chosen TV are not. Dallas Jenkins is the creator and director and this series is going to be BETTER than the BIBLE SERIES because it is more Biblically accurate with consulting from Messianic Rabbis from Israel! The first season isn’t out yet, but it’s coming sooooooooooooooon).

Also, have such an appetite for the things of God that whatever you’re watching, you see Jesus in it or where Jesus is lacking!

Programmers will make what we want to see when we show them what we want. Maybe we’ll luck out and Sarah Drew and Chris Pratt will team up and create an AWESOME show that is faith inspired and faith based for Hulu or for Netflix, and everyone can’t stop talking about it because it is SO GOOD! (Yes, this is secret prayer of my heart…Oops, it’s not a secret anymore, where two or more are gathered, HE IS THERE!)



Feel free to comment below, I only ask that you remain respectful. If anyone has any personal questions or wants to know my testimony about being set free from gender dysphoria and then lesbianism, email me at justbriannamonique.blog and I’ll be more than happy to share how I was Transformed By God’s Love (LBGT backyards acronym).

ALSO, if you feel inspired to, SHARE THIS POST with whoever and wherever! I’m already grateful for the gift of writing, this blog platform WordPress, and apps like Canva and Adobespark that help me do all this. I give God the MOST GLORY (like all of it) because I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without His constant leading and prodding.

My meditation scripture for the foreseeable future is Psalm 23:5-6 (ESV):

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely[a] goodness and mercy[b] shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell[c] in the house of the Lord
    forever.

And yes, I plan to meditate on these verses three times a day, every day. Normally, I would think such an act is “too religious”, but I found out Lindsay Lohan meditates three times a day and that is her “personal religion”. She made zero mention of a god or believing in an existing religion as hers. Who knows what she meditates on… maybe she thinks of something or maybe she empties out her mind.

But meditating with God’s Word is simple, it’s a matter of going over the verses for a few minutes and thinking on them. Soaking the verses in to the point you believe them.

If you ask me right now, “Hey Brianna, do believe in the Lord in the way David described Him in Psalm 23?” I would say, “yes”. But if you look at how I respond to certain circumstances in my life, no way… okay, maybe sometimes. But David was always saying out loud what he thought of God and who God was to Him in relation to how he saw the world. Many times, he received prophetic words about our coming Lord Jesus. So he wasn’t thinking of God in light of how He wanted to see God, he thought of God how the Lord revealed Himself to David. And for living as he did because he thought as he did, David became the man after God’s heart. David was after God’s heart. David was not ultimately after his own. 

Wow… rabbit trail two! I am definitely a woman, right?


To really sum it up, let’s make TV Networks give us more of what we want. Let’s watch less of the smut they are showing us and force them to create something that glorifies God, not exploit God. Be intentional what you stream, download, and tune into on TV.