10.08.2011

Plenty of Roses

By Ashley from Striving For A Crown


There is a little girl that I know that I am 100% sure that I would lay my life down for. My almost two-year-old niece, Brooklyn. That girl is a ball of energy! Full of fire, smiles and hugs. She has curly, ringlet hair that is frizzy as ever, but just adds to cuteness.

"Brookin" the other day kept pointing to a scar on my leg and saying "Ow." I said, "Yeah, it's an owie. It hurt!" Then she repeated kissed it trying to make it all better! She is such a joy and her eyes soak in everything, trying to learn.

I have been thinking a lot about her innocence. When things all around her are going bad, she still sits happy at the dinning room table, eating her grapes. In her eyes, we have her covered and there is nothing to worry about. She will jump to me from the table because there is no doubt in her mind that I'm going to catch her.
Often, I think I should be more like her. She is so trusting of fallible human beings. Yet, I sometimes have trouble trusting a infallible God.

Only moments ago Brooklyn ran from my room. We were jumping on the work-out trampoline together. Jumping, she saw something on my dresser that she wanted to take a closer look at - my purple rose mom picked from the garden for me. She pointed and I brought it to the floor to show her. Her immediate instinct was to wrap her fat little fingers around it, and she did. But I said, "No, no Brookin! Gentle! We have to be gentle or the rose will break." She looked at me confused. She tried to smash it again and I had to remind her again. And again. And again. Then I told her smell it, she did and then tried to take a bite out of it. :D I guess it smelled good!

Eventually, she got it. She stuck her index finger out, quickly rubbed it across the flower and said, "Hentle".
I think we are this way with God. God has to reminds us of His promises over and over and over. He has to say "I love you!" and "Don't be afraid!" many times until we really believe it! This with any lesson. Little children learn by repetition and so do we! I know for me that I didn't really believe that there could be something in my life that God wanted to use, but now, I believe it - even though I still struggle. And the only reason I have learned this lesson is because God has taught me so many times! After continuous repetition, I finally get the point. Gods promises and His statements as simple as "I love you" start to change me. At first, just on the outside, but then the inside. I stop just hearing the words and saying "I believe it". They change me and I start ACTING like I believe it!...whatever the lesson may be.

It's hard to be patient with kids. I have four nephews and a niece and sometimes you want to go crazy, but I am so inspired by our wonderful Savior. Isn't it great to remember that the Lord's mercies are going to be new every morning? He isn't ever going to yell in frustration at us and wonder "why we don't get it". He is always going to be there, gently pointing us the right direction and teaching us through His sacred word. Never angry or impatient when we fail and squish the "task" or "rose" He has given to us.

My Father is amazing!

The rose...well, lets just say that it doesn't look as good as it did. Dark lines in the roses petals indicate that someone had tried to squish it, but that's okay. A lesson was learned and there are always plenty of roses. :)

 

10.04.2011

Worlds Collide

Worlds Collide by Alison Strobel


Worlds Collide is the fictional story of Jack Harrington, the famous Hollywood actor, and Grace Winslow, an average Christian girl. They share their memories with Jada Eastman who will be writing their biography of how they met each other and Christ, and how their trials helped shape their life.

This book really didn't grab my attention like I hoped it would and there wasn't any unpredictable twists in the plot. It was just one of those books that didn't bore me, but at the same time, didn't have me dying to turn the pages. Even though later on in the story, it showed the negative results of pre-marital sex, I still didn't like how much it focused on it and how much alcohol references there were. Also, there were a lot of typos that I found very distracting.

I did enjoy the writing style of Alison Strobel though. The way the chapters switched from Jack's and Grace's different views was very interesting and added more depth to the characters.

I can't see myself recommending this book to anyone and only give it two out of five possible stars.


Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review. All expressed opinions are uncensored and uninfluenced by them.

9.06.2011

Who's Your Hero?

By The Director from Castles, Quills, and Cameras



When I read a book or watch a movie, I emotionally invest in those characters and the story.

I'm going to assume that on some level, you do too.

For two hours or for several days (however long it takes me finish a book), I've lived with any given set of characters; I've learned who they are; I've journeyed with them; I've laughed and cried with them; I've come to admire some and despise others; I've come to sympathize with all of them. In a sense, I've fallen in love with them. I hope you understand.

I've fallen in love with these characters that I've met, but out of everyone, the one I know the best and care about the most, is the main character, whether hero or heroine.

Ask me who my favorite character is from any book or movie, and I almost guarantee you that I'll say the main character. Why? That's the one I've journeyed with the most, that's the one I know the best. Even if some other supporting character has a better personality or whatever, that's not what counts to me. I've invested more emotion into the main character than anyone else. This is the hero's journey I'm experiencing, not the supporting actors'.

And those heroes (mainly heroes, not heroines; I don't read too many books with just a female MC) become my heroes. In a funny way, I look up to those characters.

I finished reading the second Castaways of the Flying Dutchman book last night. It's called The Angel's Command. You know who my favorite character is? Ben. (You had no idea, huh?) Once again, I got all sniffly by the end, but I'll deal with all of that in my review on the book, which I will do later.

But I've totally emotionally invested in Ben (and Ned). And it hit me last night: the way I've fallen in love with the character of Ben, they way I admire him and want to read more about him, should be the way I feel about Jesus.

Jesus should be my ultimate hero.

You see, friend, Jesus is no distant being, or a character in the pages of a dusty old Book. He was God in the flesh, and walked this earth 2,000 years ago. He did. And He gave His life for me. He saved me from Death itself. He's preparing a place for me and will be coming back for me. And I love Him so so much.

But it didn't hit me fully until last night just how much I've been holding back some of myself from Him. I hadn't really realized it.... He. Is. My. Hero.



Those thoughts and emotions swelling in me for Ben, for Joriem and Benjiah (Binding of the Blade series), for Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee (The Lord of the Rings), for Aidan and Antoinette (The Door Within Trilogy), for Cat and Anne (Isle of Swords & Isle of Fire), for Marcus and Esca (The Eagle of the Ninth), the list goes on... those thoughts should be for my Savior.

That love should be for my Jesus.

It hit home last night, and I'm pretty sure I cried and whispered, "Sorry, Lord."

Because He's greater than any of those characters I'll ever read about. And He hadn't been above them in my heart yet.

Because even though I had put Jesus first in my heart, something else still had "first" in this area without me realizing it.

Sure, I will still have fondness those book and movie characters, but they won't have my ultimate admiration and love. That's for Jesus. And now, I'm pretty sure I'll be spending more time reading my Bible than reading those other books on my nightstand/bookshelf.

So this is just me here to publicly say that Jesus is my true hero. He's my first love. And He's first in my heart. I won't ever love Him perfectly, I'm only human after all, but I'm here to remind myself and you about our First Love.


What about you? Who's your hero?



I've included links to some videos that have really blessed me recently. If you can take the time to watch/listen to them (the first two are for the song, the last is a well-known skit that recently moved me to tears), then I hope they bless you as well. 


Chris Tomlin's Our God 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlA5IDnpGhc&feature=related
Trip Lee's The Invasion
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2Tthv56A-Y
Lifehouse Everything Skit
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyheJ480LYA

9.01.2011

Dug Down Deep

Dug Down Deep: Building Your Life on Truths That Last
Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris


I have never read any books on theology before Dug Down Deep, so I wasn't real sure what to expect. But since it was written by Joshua Harris, I knew I wouldn't be disappointed.


"Dug Down Deep is my revealing theology in my own simple way -- not too polished, sometimes awkward, less than scholarly, hopefully gracious and faithful. Even though these are deep truths, I don't pretend to be swimming in the deep end of the pool. I'm splashing in the shallow end. But if my splashing can inspire you to dive in, I will have succeeded."

Joshua humbly teaches his readers to build their lives on truths that last, along with many other lessons by giving examples from the Bible and his own personal stories. I was motivated by many things that I read and found the book very interesting. Some of my favorite things were how he explained that we're all theologians, how we need to look past our mirror-faces and stop treating God as a Divine Butler (even if we don't mean to), and how just the way we pray can reveal how we view our relationship with God.

With the down-to-earth writing style, Joshua makes his book understandable and easy to relate to. Though, there were a few concepts that I personally didn't agree with, you don't pick up a book on theology and expect to see eye to eye with the author on everything. Overall, I enjoyed Dig Down Deep very much and would recommend it to almost anyone (because of some topics covered, I feel like the reader should be a bit mature). I would give this book four stars out of five.


"I've come to learn that theology matters. And it matters not because we want a good grade on a test but because what we know about God shapes the way we think and live. What you believe about God's nature -- what he is like, what he wants from you, and whether or not you will answer to him -- affects every part of your life.

Theology matters, because if we get it wrong, then our whole life will be wrong."


Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review. All expressed opinions are uncensored and uninfluenced by them.


8.25.2011

Aspire to Inspire

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!
     ~ Audrey Hepburn


When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
     ~ Helen Keller


And in the end it is not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years.
     ~ Abraham Lincon


Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
     ~ Mark Twain


Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.
     ~ Marilyn Monroe


You'll never find a rainbow if you're looking down.
     ~ Charlie Chaplin


God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.
     ~ C.S. Lewis

8.18.2011

♫ How Deep The Father's Love For Us ♫

If I was listening to music and you were to ask me who I was listening to, most of the time, I would say Owl City -- I'm addicted to it!




" My prayer is that the music of Owl City serves as a bright light in a very dark place, a ray of hope in this haunted house of a world. I want the Lord Jesus to use my music to do WHATEVER it is He wills."
~Adam Young in an interview with The Christian Post

8.08.2011

The Canary List

The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer
Summary: 

Jamie Piper is a twelve-year-old foster child who wants a normal life and family. But she can't feel safe when she can sense the evil in people around her. So on one June night, she turns to her teacher, Crockett Grey for help.
"...the feeling of Evil was still so real she couldn't shake it. She wanted -- no, needed -- to talk to someone about it. Wanted -- no, needed -- to feel safe. Somehow."
But Crockett never wanted to be a part of the mess and never imagined how quickly things take a turn for the worse.
"Surely the man had to be exhausted, but he wasn't showing it. And most surely, the man had to be bewildered. A week ago, his life was that of a schoolteacher at the beginning of summer break. Now he was in Rome, Thrown into events far beyond his comprehension."

My Thoughts:

"The Canary List" was definitely a fast paced and suspenseful novel but it wasn't very gripping. It was a bit confusing and I found myself more than once having to re-read parts because I felt so lost. Also, the story followed many different characters (some of them only playing minor parts) and so it was hard remembering who they were later on.

Most likely, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. It was nothing like I expected and I wasn't really able to get into it. I was pretty disappointed (especially in how much it was focused on Satanism) and only give it two out of five stars.


Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review. All expressed opinions are uncensored and uninfluenced by them.


8.06.2011

Right Now

By Annie P. from resting resting


i find myself wanting complete directions
before i take a step.

but sometimes God asks us to take
a step of faith and simply trust
as he guides.

he will open doors
and he will shut them

when the time is right.

so right now
{i need to} simply trust

and start walking.




8.02.2011

The Fab 50's

I doubt that in fifty years people will want to have 2010's themed party where they can dress up in bright skinny jeans and listen to electropop music.

But we have 1950's parties and I think it's because we're still in love with that golden era.


Misc. Facts:
  • In 1954 the words "under God" were added to the pledge of allegiance.
  • Credit cards were introduced.
  • In 1952, 3D cartoons made their debut.
  • Barbie and Hula Hoops were some of the most popular toys.
  • McDonald's was founded in 1955.
  • Alaska and Hawaii become the 49th and 50th US state.
  • Minimum wage was 75 cents per hour.

The Trends:
  • drive-ins and diners
  • having a television (the average kid watched it 6 hours a day)
  • going steady
  • rock and roll
  • cruising the boulevard
  • hanging out at the malt shop
  • sock-hops

The Lingo:
  • actor - show off
  • agitate the gravel - to leave
  • ankle biter - a child
  • cast an eyeball - to look
  • cat - a hip person
  • cube - a normal person
  • cut the gas - be quiet
  • fat city - a great thing or place
  • in orbit - in the know
  • radioactive - very popular
  • royal shaft - badly/unfairly treated

The Movies:
  • Roman Holiday
  • Titanic
  • Father of the Bride
  • Sabrina
  • Old Yeller
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
  • The Shaggy Dog

(And of course) The Look:
  • Men wore gray flannel suits and women wore dresses with pinched waists and high heals.
  • The teenagers wore what we remember most though. Poodle skirts, crew tops, and saddle shoes.

It's so vintage - I love it!

7.22.2011

"Sabrina"



Thomas Fairchild ~ He's still David Larrabee, and you're still the chauffeur's daughter. And you're still reaching for the moon.

Sabrina Fairchild ~ No, father. The moon is reaching for me.

7.17.2011

Correction

On my last post I announced that Blogger was removing the ability to edit your blog's HTML. Now I found out that it was (thankfully) just a rumor! I apologize for the mistake though.

I'm so happy, I feel like the seal in this picture!

7.16.2011

Announcements

Today I don't have one of my "normal" posts. I just wanted to share a few announcements.


First of all, the other day I found out that Blogger is truly making it where we can't edit our blog's HTML. That's pretty upsetting since I was planning on having a blog makeover.

Secondly, I will be publishing some guest posts on Sam's Blog. Now I'll get to see what it's like to be the guest poster instead of the guest post publisher.

Last but not least, I wanted to tell everyone that Inlets and Harbors has its own Facebook page. You probably already saw the "like box" on my sidebar, but I wanted to let everyone know anyway.

7.07.2011

Bokeh!

I've recently found out that I really like bokeh photographs. I guess I've always kind of liked it but just recently found out there was a name for it. 


Well, the blog Live Your Life is hosting a photography contest just for bokeh pictures. I've only entered a couple other blog contests before and almost missed the deadline for this one! 

Here's the picture I'm entering:


I took it on the Fourth of July after my cousin and I figured out that the fireworks pictures still looked good out of focus and a little abstract. Maybe I'm somewhat like a bokeh photograph: out of focus and a little abstract. (I did say somewhat.)

Now I'm thinking having my own photo contest would be fun. What do you think?

7.02.2011

An Ode to Summer: A Poem with Pictures

By Sam from Sam's Blog


With my camera, my big backyard and a little imagination I created a summer.

Summer....
The most peaceful
The most beautiful

The freshest

The sleepiest
The buggiest
The yummiest
(mmm...birthday cake ice cream...who can live without it? no one ;)

The most patriotic
The splishiest-splashiest
(lol...my mom says Lucy looks deranged in this picture but i think it's cute :)
The bounciest
Summer is the best of all.

6.28.2011

Dream of Night

For me, it's sometimes hard to find books that I think are interesting and still clean. So when I was first thinking about starting this blog, I knew I wanted to write reviews. The idea was still floating around in my mind but it took me this long to read a book that I wanted to review.


"Dream of Night" by Heather Henson

Summary:

Dream of Night is a Thoroughbred born to race. But when his leg starts hurting, he starts losing, and no one wants a racehorse who doesn't win. After being sold and re-sold more than once, he gets kept chained to a stable wall without food, water or fresh hay. Even after all the abuse, he would stay strong and fight back.

Shiloh is a twelve-year-old girl taken away from her home after being abused by her mom's boyfriend. She never stayed in a foster home for long because she was "...too angry...". She still wanted to live with her mom again, so she would stay strong and fight back.

Night and Shiloh share the same story and they both end up at the foster home of Jessalyn -- she's their last chance before the state takes over. But Jessalyn is strong too. Even though she knows that Night and Shiloh will be hard to take care of, she's determined to make things work.


Thoughts:

The story is definitely a good one about love, trust, and hope. I really liked how it was told from the main characters' different perspectives since you can understand each of their feelings, thoughts, and history much better. But the plot for a girl and horse friendship has been used so many times and in the same way, it seemed a bit unoriginal.

Even though the suggested age is 8-12, I still liked it and would recomend it especially to someone who likes horse stories.

Rating:   G -- It does have some references to alcohol, tobacco, and abuse, but the language is completely clean.


Star Rating:  3 1/2


"Dream of Night."
 She says it out loud, and the black horse raises his head from the ground.
"That's your name."
The black horse blasts air out his nose. A dragon breathing fire. A monster. He definitely looks like a monster. She will scream back if he tries to scream at her.
"Dream of Night." She says it again, and then, "Not bad."
The name is perfect, really.
                                     

6.14.2011

Guest Post Revision

To make things easier, I decided to change the guest posting just a bit.

If your entry hasn't been published, you don't have to resend anything -- your submission will always be valid! You can still enter a different post at any time, but it will replace the older submission from the same blog.

That's the only thing that's changed but if you have any suggestions be sure to let me know!

6.09.2011

Feeling A Little Shaky?

Tuesday morning, our toy poodle, Teddy woke me up around 3:00 AM. I looked around my room -- I didn't see anything that could have scared him, but he was acting weird and trying to get my attention. I figured he just needed to go outside though.

I was able to calm him down some, so I laid back down and closed my eyes. I was only half-awake and really didn't want to go outside, I thought I could just lay there for a little bit longer. After what was probably two seconds later, my eyes shot open.

The whole house started shaking, I could hear a low rumbling noise, and Teddy was barking uncontrollably. It was an earthquake!

I jumped out of bed and into the doorway somehow picking up the panicking dog on my way. Honestly, I felt like I could start panicking too. It's a really strange feeling when the ground you're standing on isn't stable. Then I realized the shaking wasn't violent and I probably didn't have to stand in the doorway. I decided not to move anyway.

Then it just stopped. I stayed in the safety of my doorway for a while before going back to bed. When I laid back down, both Teddy and I were wide awake and a little tense. I was expecting an after-shock even though it was only a 3.9 on the Richter Scale.

I've heard how animals can sense an earthquake before anyone can feel it, but I always wondered about it. Now I don't have to wonder anymore. Teddy was telling me something was wrong even before it happened -- he's like one of those dogs on TV!

6.04.2011

Go And Be Light!


Is it just me, or is it strange that when someone is having a bad day where they get mad at whatever moves, people describe it as someone waking up on the wrong side of the bed? I don't know, it's just... weird. I mean, why would you be angry if you woke up on the wrong side of the bed? It would be more like waking up on the floor. That would make me angry. I wake up on the wrong side of the bed ALL THE TIME. And yet, like the guy I am, I just get up and not care, and I'm as happy as a lark! I usually sleep on the left side of the bed and multiple times when I wake up I find myself sleeping on the right side (and on strange occasions, sideways) and I never automatically get angry and/or frustrated. I just laugh and and get over it.

There are things that do make me mad or "out of it" and those things are as follows: music and the weather. Music makes me grumpy sometimes; but it all depends on what the music is about. If it is about cars, money, and fame then I would throw it away. But if was about their opinion of girls, then I would first burn it, then throw it away (nothing against the female gender). I usually enjoy the music that focuses on eternal things, (like Jesus, God, The Bible etc.) music that I can sing to. Praise and Worship, Contemporary, and I'm big on what I call "holy hip hop". Those are just some types of music that I like to listen to. there should be a playlist on the bottom of the blog that you could tune in to and listen to some stuff that I enjoy. But I didn't come at this blog to talk about music. What I want to talk about is the weather!

You know the saying, "Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it." Well, to an extent, that is very true! The weather is virtually unchangeable, unstoppable and uncontrollable. In other words, it does what it wants to do and you can't stop it.

Weather controls my mood in these ways: When its sunny, I'm happy and energetic; when its cloudy or rainy, I'm "out of it" and bored; and when its stormy and dark, I am usually creeping out.
We need to be like the weather.

Like the weather, other people often affect a person's mood. There's a study out there called 'sociology' (soe-see-ahl-oh-jee) which is basically the scientific study of humanity's social behavior. It is how a group of people affect an individual person. Sociology is our main weapon for spreading the Gospel. Christians are a group of people who often hide who they need to be: cross-bearing disciples of Jesus Christ. When we love the Lord, others will love the Lord; when we go, others will go; when we do, others will do. But here's the question: Are we loving? Are we going? Are we even doing anything?

Jesus tells us that we need to be the Light of the World (Matthew 5:14). And He tells us that you're not supposed to hide the light. You're supposed to show it. Don't hide it under a a bowl (Matthew 5:15). Don't keep it to yourself. Like the weather, if we shine our light like the sun, we will be able to make the darkest night look beautiful! Are we going to let our light shine? Or are we going to blow it out like it doesn't matter? It's your choice.

People follow us. When you tell people that you are a Christian, they will test you, try you, and watch you. If you aren't a light, then you may as well not call yourself a Christian.

We are other people's peers. We are who they follow. We are to be light. Why not start acting like it? We love Christ. That is why we are Christaholics. We proclaim His Name and His only. Now, go and be light!

Colossians 1:28



6.03.2011

A Hard Decision

When I first put up the guest post entry form, I was really afraid no one would participate. I got a lot of submissions, so there was no need to worry! Everyone sent in great posts, so it was a hard decision picking just one to publish.

But I wanted to remind everyone that if you want your post to be considered for the next month's guest post, you have to send another submission. That way, I know you still want your post to be published and then in the future, I won't be using year-old entries.

Thanks to everyone who participated! If I always get such a great number of entries, I may consider publishing guest posts more than once a month.

5.28.2011

Don't Stop Believing...

People can tell you to keep your mouth shut, but that doesn't stop you from having your own opinion.
                                                                                                                          ~Anne Frank

5.21.2011

I Feel So Lucky!


According to legend, each leaf of the four-leafed clover represents something. The first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.

5.19.2011

Very Interesting...

A few nights ago some of the homeschool families in the area met for a “family night” to fellowship with each other. Some of us who were still in school had display boards and presentations. On the spur of the moment, I decided to make a display board on ASL since I was also going to be signing to a song.

Since I didn’t have as many resources (and hardly any time) it wasn’t as good as last year’s project. But I was able to find out some really interesting facts.
  • Approximately 2-3 of every 1,000 infants are born deaf or hard-of-hearing.
  • 34 million Americans have a significant hearing loss; of these, almost 6 million are profoundly deaf.
  • 93% of deaf children are born into hearing families – only 7% are born into deaf families.
  • Men are more likely to have hearing trouble.
  • Gallaudet University is the first liberal arts college for the deaf.
  • The huddle formation used in football originated from Gallaudet to prevent other schools from reading their signs.
  • ASL is the third most used language in the United States.
  • Presidents Ford and Carter used the “I love you” sign in the 1976 presidential campaign.
  • Most of the actors in silent movies (1800’s – 1920’s) were deaf or had deaf parents. It allowed them to show better facial expressions and gestures.
  • Scuba divers often use sign language underwater.
  • Nationally, deaf people have safer driving records that hearing people.
  • Statistics have shown that deaf people live longer that hearing people.
  • Deaf people do not feel like they are disabled in any way – they can do anything except hear.

Fingerspelled

5.11.2011

The Great Invitation

Since I've been anxious to have a guest post to publish, my cousin, Dakota has agreed to be the first. Be sure to check out his Christian devotion blog for devoted Christians, "A Look at Life from a Deer Stand".



Over the years we’ve come to label many things in Scripture as great. There’s the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), the Great Commandment (Leviticus 19:18James 2:8), the Great Flood (Genesis 6-9), the Great Physician (Mark 2:17), and, of course, the Great I Am (Exodus 3:14). And while nobody can deny that these are all “great” verses, one passage of Scripture stands out in my mind above the rest as some of the most beautiful words ever spoken: the Great Invitation in Matthew 11. It is in these verses that Christ not only puts into perspective the weight and bondage of sin, but actually shows us the way out by promising rest to all who put their faith in Him.
“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
                      -Matthew 11:28-30
As Matthew Henry wonderfully put it in his famous commentary on the Bible, “All those, and those only, are invited to rest in Christ, that are sensible of sin as a burden, and groan under it; that are not only convinced of the evil of sin, of their own sin, but are contrite in soul for it; that are really sick of their sins.”* It is that place to which we all must come – where we are actually sickof sin and the burden it brings – before the significance of this Great Invitation can really begin to sink in. In other words, if we fail to see that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), then we’ll be unlikely to show even the slightest interest in an offer of redemption from it. On the other hand, however, those who experience Godly sorrow because of their sin (2 Corinthians 7:10) and recognize its destructive nature will joyfully respond by “casting their burden upon the Lord.” (Psalm 55:221 Peter 5:7)
Like the tree in my photo, sin leaves a person nearly broken under its weight. It leaves them frozen, lifeless, and barely able to make it from day to day. Yet in this truly Great Invitation, God has shown us a better way that is free from sin’s burden and penalty - a way of life and salvation that is accessible to all who call upon His name (Romans 10:13). Those who travel it, no longer having a burden to carry, can do as was written by the prophet Isaiah and“…mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) After all, they will have nothing to weigh them down anymore.
*Matthew Henry’s Commentary in One Volume , Page 1,262

"The Great Invitation"
By Dakota

5.09.2011

Guest Posts

I’m happy to say that everything is ready to start publishing guest posts! You can click the link on my sidebar or below to view the rules and send in a submission. I will publish a post or picture by one of my followers each month, most likely on the first Saturday.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to ask by leaving a note.

Enter Your Guest Post/Picture Here!

4.21.2011

Just an Idea

Here's something that I want your opinion on.  What if at the end of every month, I publish a picture or a guest post by one of my followers? If you decided to submit a guest post, you wouldn't even have to write one especially for my blog -- just pick out one of your favorite posts that is on your blog already. It would give you a chance to promote your blog and add a new layer of taste to my own.

If I go with the idea, here's how it would work:

I would have a 'Contact Me' page added where you could send me your post or picture along with your blog URL and if you like, you could also send a summary of yourself or your blog. I would accept entries all month but submissions containing sensuality or foul/rude language will not be considered for positing. I will decide on whose post to use and publish it on the last day of the month. If your post is not selected, you can feel free to enter again for the next month.

So, vote on the poll or comment below and tell me if you like the idea and would be interested in participating.

4.15.2011

The Millionaire's Captain

Today, 99 years ago, the R.M.S. Titanic sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Approximately 1,517 passengers and crew died that night. It was a disaster that left the world shocked -- the unthinkable happened. People said she was unsinkable and that not even God could sink her, but they were quickly proven wrong.

Naturally, after such a great loss of life, people wanted someone to blame. Though he was one included on the death toll, Captain E.J. Smith was greatly accused. The British inquiry came to the conclusion that he was not at fault while the U.S. inquiry said that he was "indifferent to danger" and had "overconfidence and neglect".


The night of the disaster, Smith was resting in his cabin, leaving his second officer in charge. Sadly, none of them knew that by changing their course slightly to the south only put the Titanic’s route directly into the iceberg.
Some believe that the Captain was brave and gallant even to the end, while others view him as the complete opposite--almost as a cowardly figure--not even carrying out his orders like he should have (such as telling the officers to prepare the lifeboats), they describe him as being in shock of it all.

I believe that he probably was stunned with the fact the Titanic was sinking. It was supposed to be an unsinkable ship. Plus he knew that because of the lack of lifeboats, less than half of his passengers would have a chance of rescue.

We do know that Smith stressed ‘the law of the seas’ and shouted into his megaphone “women and children first!” repeatedly.

There are also diverse stories about his death. One survivor claimed seeing him swimming carrying a little girl to a lifeboat after the Titanic dissapeared into the ocean. Some have said he went to his cabin and took his own life. While others believe that he went down with his ship after telling his crew they had done their duty.

I don't think that the Captain should be blamed completely for the sinking of the Titanic. We will never know what exactly happened that decided the fate of the doomed ocean liner. Perhaps it was a series of things that caused the disaster. 

What we do know for sure though, is that the stories of the Titanic -- told and untold -- will never be forgotten.


(To see a timeline of the disaster, check out my other blog Titanic Memories)

4.08.2011

The Technicolor Phase

Okay, today’s post is a little random, but it’s really fun too. Plus this will give you an idea of the music I listen to. All you have to do is answer the questions and it makes your life a musical!

Instructions:
1. Put your iPod or MP3 on shuffle
2. Press "Next" for each question
3. Use the title of the song to answer the question
4. No cheating

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
The Airway - Owl City

WHAT'S YOUR OUTLOOK ON LIFE?
Never Let Go - David Crowder Band

WHAT DOES YOUR FAMILY THINK OF YOU?
We are Loved - David Crowder Band

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Too Much- Leeland

WHAT DO STRANGERS THINK OF YOU?
Pure Bride - Leeland

HOW WILL YOUR LOVE LIFE BE IN THE FUTURE?
Here With Me- Mikeschair

WILL YOU GET MARRIED?
Carry Me Home - Third Day

WILL YOU HAVE KIDS?
Wire- Third Day

ARE YOU GOOD AT SCHOOL?
Beloved - Tenth Avenue North
.
WHAT SONG SHOULD THEY PLAY ON YOUR BIRTHDAY?
Dental Care - Owl City

WHAT SONG SHOULD THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Walk on the Water - Britt Nicole

THE SOUNDTRACK OF YOUR LIFE:
On the Wing - Owl City

YOU AND YOUR BEST FRIEND ARE:
Caught Up in Yourself - Third Day

HAPPY TIMES:
Back to Life - Mikeschair

SAD TIMES:
Panda Bear - Owl City

EVERY DAY:
I've Always Loved You - Third Day

FOR TOMORROW:
The Nearness of You - David Crowder Band

FOR YOU:
Can't Stop - Leeland

WHAT DOES NEXT YEAR HAVE IN STORE FOR ME?
Call My Name - Third Day

WHAT DO I SAY WHEN LIFE GETS TOO HARD?
Come Together - Third Day

WHAT DO I THINK WHEN I GET UP IN THE MORNING?
The Lost Get Found - Britt Nicole

WHAT SONG WILL I DANCE TO AT MY WEDDING?
Feel the Light - Britt Nicole

WHAT DO YOU WANT AS A CAREER?
Don't Worry Now - Britt Nicole

YOUR FAVORITE SAYING?
Eastern Hymn - David Crowder Band

FAVORITE PLACE?
The Veil - David Crowder Band

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?
Ready - Britt Nicole

DESCRIBE YOURSELF:
What this World Needs - Casting Crowns

WHAT DO I LIKE DOING MOST?
SMS (Send Me a Sign) - David Crowder Band

WHAT IS MY STATE OF MIND AT THE MOMENT?
Hey - Leeland

HOW WILL I DIE?
Cave In - Owl City

THE SONG THAT YOU'LL PUT AS THE TITLE?
The Technicolor Phase - Owl City

4.05.2011

Smile for the Camera!

My Camera

Last year when we were on a trip, we went into a flea market and found this camera. I thought it would be really neat to have a couple of antique cameras since I love photography and it would go along with my bedroom d├ęcor. So my parents bought it and gave it to me for Christmas.

You might be wondering why I’m posting about something I got about three months ago. The main reason is: I hardly know anything about it. 

I’ve seen cameras like this on TV shows like I Love Lucy and The Waltons, so I’m guessing that it was made around the 1940’s. But that’s just a guess and I’m really wanting to know more about.

Like…
  • Exactly what year it was marketed.
  • What company made it.
  • The name of the model.
  • How much they sold for.
  • What film was used.
  • Even examples of the pictures that it took.
  • Et cetera.
I was hoping that one of my readers knew something about it. So if you do, please let me know!

My Camera (view 2)

3.31.2011

Invisible?

You know the saying that goes: If a tree falls in a forest and no one's around to hear it, does it really make a sound? Well, I was wondering, and if a blind man is all alone, is he really visible? It's the same concept.

Just something to think about...

3.26.2011

Party in the USA

So, if you've read 'about me' you probably already know that I would like to pursue a career in Sign Language. Though I don't personally listen to this kind of music, this guy's signing is amazing! His expressions are so clear that you don't even have to know Sign Language to understand what he's saying.

Check it out:



3.24.2011

A Beautiful Quote

I don't know who said it, but it's one of my favorites:

"To the world you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world."

3.19.2011

My Security

I wrote this poem yesterday afternoon and it was originally going to be about insecurities, but as you can tell by the title, I had a different thought as I went along.


My Security

It feels as if I'm in the spotlight now
I want to run, but I've forgotten how
But You are there to rescue me
You are my security

When I'm crashing into the sea
And when I'm sinking into the deep
You are there to rescue me
You are my security

So I bow my head and say a prayer
Knowing that You're always there
You're always there to rescue me
You'll always be my security

3.17.2011

LOOK!

Despite my doubts, my Carnations sprouted Monday! Now they’re all approximately one centimeter tall. I might not have a green thumb but at least I can’t be called a plant killer any more.

Carnation Sprout

It’s so exciting!

3.13.2011

Women’s History Month

Since March is Women’s History month I knew I had to blog about a great woman and the first person that came to my mind was Margaret Mary Tobin Brown. Now she is better known as the Unsinkable Molly Brown.

Margaret was born in Hannibal, Missouri on July 18th, 1867. She lived in a little house near the Mississippi River with her parents and five siblings.

When she was eighteen she moved to Colorado with her sister and met a miner there named James Joseph “J.J.” Brown. The two were married on September 1, 1886. They had two children and bought a house in Leadville where James continued in the mining business. Over the years he became on of the most successful mining men in the country. The Browns had struck it rich. But later in life, it is said that their marriage was coming to an end—even though they lived in the same house, they completely avoided each other.

In 1912 Margaret got news that her grandson was sick while she was traveling and made the quick decision to go to New York on the first passage available. Because of her hastiness, hardly anyone knew where she was going or what ship she was taking.

On April 10, 1912 she boarded the RMS Titanic from Cherbourg France.
The voyage was pleasant and the weather was good—they were even due to arrive in New York early—until four days later when the Titanic struck an iceberg. Margaret though, showed no fear. She helped gather women to be put in the lifeboats until she was put into one herself.

Even when Quartermaster Hichens (who was in charge of lifeboat six) had given up all hope for rescue, Margaret stayed strong and threatened to throw him overboard. She told the women to row and kept their spirits up.

When rescued from the Carpathia, she still did everything she could to be of assistance. She helped aid the survivors and by time they reached New York, she raised $10,000 for destitute survivors.

For her heroism she was nicknamed the Unsinkable Molly Brown, but not until the 1930’s. She was never known as Molly when she was alive, though her friends did call her Maggie.

Margaret Brown is mostly known for her bravery that fateful night of 1912 but she also did many other great things. She was an advocate of human rights, she worked to establish the first Juvenile Court in the U.S., worked with the relief efforts during World War 1 and was also a Suffragist. She really played a big role in women’s history.

Margaret Brown
“Typical Brown luck. We’re unsinkable.”
                                        ~Margaret Mary Tobin Brown

3.11.2011

An "F" Waiting to Happen

My science teacher assigned an experiment perfect for spring time but not so perfect for me: growing a plant.
I started it yesterday but I don’t have much confidence about it. You see, last year I tried growing ten plants and all of them died (except for one that my dad saved before I killed it all the way). I don’t really have a green thumb.

I got a package of carnation seedsguaranteed to grow”. I made a light hut ( a box covered with aluminum foil, slits for ventilation, and a light bulb at the top) and I planted the seeds with extreme care. I even used a ruler to be sure I wasn’t covering them with too much dirt.

According to the package they take ten days to germinate. So if I don’t see anything by March 20th, I’ll be upset.

Now, if this project does work out, I think I should get an A+ after considering my bad history with plants.

They should grow…they’re guaranteed to.

3.06.2011

A Funeral for a Fish

Phelps
September 19, 2009 - March 5, 2011

My fish, Phelps has died and this time it's for real. There were two other times he was about to "swim to the light", but as my mom said: third time's a charm. For a beta fish, he was very old and everyone was surprised whenever I told them how long I had him.

So, in his memory, I will share the story of the second time he almost died:

I had just finished cleaning his bowl and I was ready to put him back in it when he jumped out of the net. I reached to get him out of the sink but when looked, he wasn't there. Standing there a little confused, it took me a few seconds to realize that he slipped down the drain. I never thought he would fit through the tiny hole.

After telling my mom what happened, she went into the bathroom to take off part of the pipe under the sink. We were really hoping he would be in the P-trap (that's the part of piping that looks like a hook) but sadly, he wasn't there.

When my dad came home about an hour later, he went to put the pipe back together and sitting on a towel under the open drain pipe was Phelps. Surprisingly he was still alive. After he was back in his home he swam around more and acted better than ever.

Apparently he was stuck at the top of the piping and didn't get dislodged until no one was looking. It was amazing that he was able to live through a trauma like that.
For a fish he lived a full life and at least he only died of old age this time.

But of course we had to have fish for supper...

3.04.2011

Helpful Hints

A while back my dad gave me a paper with some tips that that he got in an email. I kept the paper because all of them are so logical. I thought I would share some of them because you never know when they might come in handy.
  1. If you’re choking on an ice cube, simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat. Presto! The blockage will instantly remove itself.
  2. Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold the vegetables while you chop.
  3. If you can’t fix it with a hammer, you’ve got an electrical problem.
  4. A mousetrap placed on top of your alarm clock will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.



**Since doing things like pouring boiling water down your throat can be painful and dangerous, please use common sense and do not attempt these tips—they’re only for a good laugh.**

2.23.2011

A Poem By Me

I'm not really into poetry, but this is the second one I've written this week and probably the first serious one I've written in over a year. So I thought I would share it with you.  I was inspired to write this because of the book Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris (one of the best books you could read, by the way) I'm not a poet though--so it's not the greatest thing you'll ever read, but I'm kind of proud of it...

My Comfort Zone

My zone is small
I want to step out of it
But I'm comfortable in it

My zone is small
There are things building up walls around me
But I'm not trapped physically

My zone is small
The chains are only in my mind
But I still need help breaking them

My zone is small
I want to change something
But I wonder if it will make a difference

My zone is small
It's easier to stay where I'm at
But then I see a hand to help me out