Gift of Life

by Grace 31. December 2018 19:26

I pulled on my seatbelt and slowly began rolling out of the driveway. I was sad I was going to church by myself, but I understood, being that most everyone else wasn’t feeling well that morning. The radio was playing some contemporary Christian music. “I don’t really want to listen to this…” I thought. I unbuckled my seatbelt while still driving to reach into my pocket and grab my cellphone. I was about to turn onto the road and buckle up while I was still driving, but then I decided better safe than sorry and stopped at the edge of our driveway to strap in. As if anything would happen anyways I thought to myself.

I glanced at the clock as I pulled onto the road. 10:55. I’ll be late. Bother. I stepped on the gas a little. As the turn down the hill became tighter, I stepped on the brakes. And then I started fishtailing.

The car swerved wildly to the right, so I instinctively jerked the wheel left. The car then jerked in the other direction. My mind was racing. Should I be hitting the gas??? No, I remember I shouldn’t… Uh… Do I hit the brakes when I’m swerving or let off??? I DON’T REMEMBER!!!

I began jerking the wheel back to the right to avoid the steep ditch on the left, but the car wasn’t turning. And then I suddenly came to the terrifying realization: I’m going to go off that ditch. There’s no way I’m gonna get this thing turned in time.

The out-of-control vehicle hit the gravel on the left side of the road and ran madly into the ditch, but I didn’t actually start screaming until the thing actually began rolling over. I finally came to a stop – I had landed upright on the neighbor’s t-post fence facing up the hill I had been driving down.

I grew hysterical. “Daddy!” I screamed. “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!!!” I couldn’t find my phone and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get out of the car. And my left hand was becoming a red balloon.

For some reason I thought that when people grew hysterical, their brains stopped processing or whatever. But mine was racing. I didn’t want to open the doors because I wasn’t sure if it would break something more than it already was. I wasn’t worried about the car – I knew I had wrecked it. I just didn’t want to make my situation more dangerous. I knew that if I didn’t find my phone I’d have to wait for someone to drive by, which I knew could be an 1-2 hour wait being that we lived on a little country road and that people were at church.

I continued screaming and started crying as I continued looking for my phone. Somewhere between 5-10 minutes I finally found it and immediately called Dad.

Within 2 minutes he and my sister came down in his truck with my two older brother’s following in Daniel’s truck. They pulled me out and got me home quickly where I sat on Mom’s bed with ice.

To make an already long story somewhat shorter, I’m still at home and only appear to have minor injuries. They were able to get the neighbor’s yard all cleaned up and put back together. Apparently you can barely tell anything happened. I haven’t been there yet – this was yesterday morning and I’m still taking it easy.

I totaled the car though. They brought it back up to our place, and when I saw it, my stomach churned.

I realized just how happy I was to be alive.

And I began to wonder, was I ready to die? Yes, Jesus is my Savior, and I know where I’m going when I die, but am I spending the little bit of time I have down here to the fullest? Because we never know how long we have left. I’ve been thanking God so much – He was so good to spare my life. The new year may have come, and my siblings might not have had their big/little sister anymore. My parent’s might not have had their daughter anymore.

So many things could have gone wrong. I had taken my seatbelt off. If I had waited any longer to put it back on… I don’t like to think of what could have happened. And I rolled that thing over. I’m so glad it landed upright. And if I had swerved left first instead of right, I would’ve rolled down a hill covered with trees and with a pond at the bottom instead of in a ditch. (When you lie awake unable to sleep at night, you have plenty of time to think of all of the things that could’ve gone wrong!)

I emerged alive and so far with only minor injuries, and I’ve still been able to be up and about. God was so good, and I’m so thankful for the prayers of all of my friends who I scared so badly when I told them. Friends, as you go into the New Year - 2019 - don't take life for granted. Take every moment captive. You never know what day may be your last. And also don't take prayer for granted. I am so amazed every time I see that car that I actually walked out of it by myself.

And hey, I’m leaving the year with a bang! That’s to be sure. Gotta leave my mark on 2018 before I leave it behind. ;)

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Remembering Hope

by Grace 24. December 2018 20:19

                I once (actually fairly recently) had someone tell me, “I don’t believe in hope.” Those are some of the saddest words I’ve ever heard. My response was, “I believe in hope, but I believe there’s only one source.”

                I think that a lot of us who are saved take hope for granted. We were given hope, and we live with it every day, hear about it every day, see it before our eyes every day. We get used to hope.

                But if we take hope for granted, do we truly have it? When we take it for granted, we begin to look around and see the devastated world we live in. A world full of hurt, sin, messiness. We begin to wonder what the use of living is. We get caught up in our own struggles, misery and mistakes. We begin to define ourselves by what has happened in the past. We begin to lose sight of hope when we look at what the future seems to hold.

                I had a rough year. One of those things that every conservative Christian girl things would never happen to them happened to me. I tried to take control on my own, trying to make the mess I was creating magically fall into place. I made mistakes. Things spun out of control and I was left with the tattered pieces. I hurt people badly, and I felt heartbroken and scarred. The thing I had longed for and worked for more than probably anything else this year fell like a delicate glass frame on a rude, concrete floor and shattered into pieces. And those pieces cut me. I cried a lot, and spent a week in despair, barely eating.

                But then I remembered I had hope. Hope for healing. Hope that my mistakes did not define me. Hope that healing could be rendered to those I had hurt. Hope that the meaning in my life that I had forgotten could be restored.

                Christians, have you ever stopped at all to think about how those without Jesus feel? How they truly don’t have hope? Think about it. What do they have to live for? How meaningless do you think life is for them? Don’t take hope for granted. Cherish it with everything you have in you. It’s one of the most precious gifts God gave you.

                And to my dear friend who doesn’t believe in hope (though I don’t figure you’re reading this), and to any other unbelievers who may stumble across this post, like I said earlier, hope comes from only one source. But there is an abundance of it, and if you truly seek it, you will easily find it. Hope came in the form of God humbling himself to come in the form of a baby, born amongst animals and laid in a manger, and was made abundant and free to all who believe when that baby died on a cross for the sins of man.

                Yes, my friend, I understand: this world is a disaster right now. Sin runs rampant. Hurt abounds. But we have hope because, where sin did abound, grace did much more abound. We have hope because God, if we humble ourselves as he humbled himself, and submit to his will, will free us from the chains of our sin. If we only give our hearts to Him (which, being that He is our Creator, belong to Him anyways) we can have hope that although we turmoil in sin down here, and live a life of struggling against evil and hurt and pain, one day it will all be over, and we’ll live in peace forever on that beautiful shore.

                Merry Christmas to you all, and a happy New Year, and may we all enter this new era of our lives with renewed hope and invigorated faith.

 

This is a song I wrote shortly after having the aforementioned conversation and several similar ones with my unsaved friend. In the devastating times we live in now, it's important to remember that even in there's mess, we have hope, God still loves us, and through His strength our faith can remain strong.

 

There is Love

Verse 1: You say you don’t believe in goodness, you say you don’t believe in love.

You’ve lost your sense of purpose and your faith in God above

You don’t trust anybody, and you’re hurting from your past

And you invest your life in things you know aren’t really gonna last

 

Chorus: But I tell you there’s a God that really cares

And He has a purpose for each single life

I tell you there is goodness everywhere

Despite the sin and strife

And I tell you there is hope for where you are

And with faith that you can step on every star

And emanating from God’s throne above

I tell you there’s love

 

Verse 2: I know you feel you’ve been forsaken and that your life has always seemed so wrong,

But God has authored all your circumstances and He’s been with you all along

He’s waiting for you now with arms of love and care

He wants to help you on this journey and all your burdens share

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Happy Valentine's Day!

by Grace 14. February 2018 11:50

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

Hope you all have a fantastic day!

You know, I'm 18 years old, but I don't mind being single this Valentine's day. I have never had a boyfriend in my life.

And that was a personal choice.

But you know what?

I've still got PLENTY of people to love!!!

And besides...

Why worry about a prince when you've got a King???

I've got my Lord, and I don't need anyone else! And He'll bring me my prince in His timing (if He so chooses to bring me one!)

 

Have a blessed day!!!

Now let's hear from you!

 

What are your plans for today? Have YOU made Jesus the center of your life?

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Happy New Years Everyone!!!

by Grace 1. January 2018 23:33

Happy New Years Everyone!!!

It's hard to believe that 2018 is already here. 2017 has gone by faster for me than any other year before.

Like a friend of mine said on her blog, it's kinda sad to leave last year behind. It was a huge year for me. It set a whole new vision and purpose in my life - a completely different yet exciting new perspective. Unrealistic dreams became realities; some of which were dreams I never knew I had or fully understood.

But this year will be exciting for me too! God has a plan for this year that is just as big, wonderful, perfect, and challenging as last year was! And while last year was setting a vision for my life, this year is when I will start pursuing that vision. And I'm excited for that!

You know, as I sit here reflecting on 2017, I realize that I made some pretty BIG mistakes. But you know what? I grew a whole lot last year - probably more than I've grown in other years (I mean in character - according to our measurements of my height, I'm shrinking... Our statistics must have been off somewhere along the line). I faced some of my greatest fears (my mom's miscarriage, a car accident involving someone from my family (fortunately the family member who was in it was fine though) and tough timed exams).

And through all of this, I have learned so much about God. There is no one we take for granted more than God. Even when we are in complete awe of Him, we still cannot fully comprehend how great and holy he is. No other can be just yet merciful in the way that He is. And no one else can make an intricate plan for the life of millions and billions and trillions of people and make all of them unique in their life's story, their looks, and their personalities. In addition, none of us can even fully comprehend or understand Him, let alone understand the things He can.

And have you ever really thought about how much it entails to be perfect? I don't think that even Mary Poppins understood what it meant to be practically perfect in every way. (*Gasps*) Perfect in mind, pure of heart, spotless in actions and attitudes. And he accomplishes this easily. Not only from the throne of heaven, but on earth, He was PERFECT. PERFECT!!! That is no small thing. And if it wasn't for this perfect, holy, loving, just, merciful, caring, supernatural God, I would be living the same useless, miserable life that I had been living a few years ago.

Before I sign out here, I want to share with you a few things I did last year, things I want to do this year, and some of my goals:

 

Things I did last year: 1. I started school through OBCL to be a paralegal. This is one of the biggest things I have ever done!

2. I started a blog!!!

3. I made some new friends. I even made a friend through what at first was just an embarrassing accident... (shout-out to Grace)

4. I worked at many new events for TCB (a security and event staff company). I especially enjoyed Clackamas County fair in Canby, OR, but I enjoyed all of them.

5. I helped with a wedding. Ooh, this was so fun! It was such a beautiful wedding, too!

6. I overcame (partway, at least) my fear of timed testing. For those of you who don't know yet, for the three courses I've gotten grades for so far (there were four courses I had tests for last quarter) I got two -A's and an A (100%!). I'm still waiting for grades for the last one. :)

And that's just a fraction of what I did... I'm too tired to remember anything else right now. Just for your benefit, all of you, writing posts at ten o'clock is a REALLY BAD idea I'm finding right now. Should've done my New Years Day post this morning instead of two hours away from the end of New Years Day.

Moving on...

Things I Will Do This Year:

1. I'll turn 18. And in law terms, that means I won't be an infant anymore! (By the way, for those of you who don't know this, the law term for minors is infant...)

2. I'll graduate from law school. I finish in the first or second week of August, I believe.

3. I'll graduate from highschool. Yup, folks. highschool and College in the same year. Cool, huh? Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. :D

Goals For This Year:

1. Be more friendly and outgoing and less shy and reserved. I'm too afraid of people. And being an introvert makes it easy to not even try to engage in conversation with others. I can easily go sit in the corner and write songs or poetry or something. And that's good sometimes, but not for the most part. I really need to push myself outside of my comfort zone and reach out to others more, and think more of how they feel instead of how I feel.

2. Practice piano, violin, guitar, and mandolin more this year. Something I didn't do too well with this year.

3. Memorize several passages of scripture. Another thing I didn't do too well with this year. I'd like to memorize Psalm 23, 119, and several other passages, but I'll go through and set more concrete goals in a few days.

4. Finish reading Lord of the Rings. Yup, this is PRETTY important to me and to another unnamed sibling who really wants me to finish reading it.

5. Work at a new event that I have not worked at before. There's a few more events throughout the year that I'd like to try.

6. Get my DPSST.

7. Work as a paralegal. Possibly even do some internship type stuff before I've finished schooling. We'll see. 

8. Put the birthdays of all of my friends and family and extended family in my calendar and do something for their birthdays. Much easier than doing something for all of them at the same time on Christmas...

9. Finish our CD. Me and my siblings started this sometime last year... We really need to finish it...

10. I forget... maybe I'll remember tomorrow what I was going to put here. All comes from staying up to late. BAD IDEA. I'm a morning person, by the way. "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man (or girl!) healthy, wealthy and wise!" as Benjamin Franklin put it (although I obviously added the part in parentheses...)

Well, there you go! I'd better go to bed now... This post should get the longest post of the year award. Yay for any of you who actually read all of this... I'm very long-winded when it's late and I'm tired.

Happy New Year! And goodnight!

 

Now let's hear from you!

Are you excited for the new year? What are some of your goals? Your favorite memories from last year? Things that will happen in your life next year?

 

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Song Suggestion: Christmas Songs Medley

by Grace 14. December 2017 23:33

Hey y'all,

I'm pretty busy so I can't chat, but I thought I'd post this for y'all. I thought it was pretty fun and it was funny at some parts. I don't usually listen to songs like "Jingle Bell Rock" or "Santa Clause is Coming to Town", but this little medley done with a more southern gospel flare was fairly amusing!

Better run y'all, hope you enjoy it!

Triumphant Quartet -Christmas Songs Medley

 

Now let's hear from you!

Did you like the song? Sorry I'm in such a hurry, everybody. Hope you enjoyed it!

 

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Song Suggestion: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

by Grace 12. December 2017 15:19

Hey everyone! Let's have a show of hands for how many of you like gooood a'cappella music!!! Oh, wait. Never mind. Guess I can't really see your hands. ;)

Anyhow... Here's the song. This is the best version of this song out there, if you ask me. But so many different southern gospel groups all sing this same song that way, that I could probably put a recording of a different group singing this exact same version (with minor tweaks, of course) every day for the rest of December. But I won't do that. So far, I think this is my favorite recording that I've heard yet. Without further ado, here's Triumphant Quartet singing God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 

Now let's hear from you!

Did you like the song? Have you heard this arrangement before?

 

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Special Post: Poem/Song Suggestion

by Grace 7. December 2017 21:08

Hey everyone!!!

I have something special for y'all today! (: Here's a poem I wrote a few years ago:

 

Humble Baby Born so Low

Humble Baby born so low,

Put inside a manger bed;

Born within a noisy stall,

With no pillow for his head.

 

Shepherds left their flocks to roam

Gazing at the Christmas star,

Gathered staffs and headed out,

Went to Bethlehem so far.

 

Wise men followed the bright star

With myrrh frankincense and gold

As gifts for the little child,

This a tale to be retold!

 

Thank God for his gift of love

That he gave us Christmas day,

Let us show our gratitude

By walking the holy way! 

Copyright © 2014 by Grace Helland

 

 

Now here's the special thing about this post - follow this link and go to 40:41 and you will see us performing this song last year at our Christmas program! I know some of you have asked if I could post a video of me singing some of my songs in the past, so I thought you all would like it. (: I wrote the lyrics, created my own tune, and then wrote out all the four harmony parts. Hard work, but I love doing it! It's a passion of mine! I wish I had more time on my hands to do it. (: Anyhow, enough of my chatter. ;)

P.S. Credit to my siblings Abigail and Daniel for key change suggestions and having one person start and then everyone gradually join in on the first verse. <3

 

Now let's hear from you!

Did you like my song? Were you happy that I FINALLY posted one of my own songs for you to hear? How did you like our a'cappella arrangement that I made? Do y'all know HOW EXCITED I was to share this with you????? ;)

 

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Christmas Song Suggestion: Ring Christmas Bells

by Grace 3. December 2017 13:01

Hey everyone!

Since there's only like 4 weeks until Christmas, I'll be sharing Christmas song suggestions more regularly than once a week. Here's a treat for y'all: the song I'm sharing with you is a video of me and my siblings singing "Ring Christmas Bells" last year at our Christmas concert that we had at our church with some of our friends. The order we're standing in is: Abigail, Jacob, Daniel, then me. Hope you like it! Let me know what you think. (:

Ring Christmas Bells 

Now let's hear from you!

Did you like the song? Do you think we did a good job with it and used a good arrangement? Would you be interested in seeing more videos of us singing songs? Comment and let me know your thoughts!

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Song Suggestion: Thankful

by Grace 24. November 2017 17:48

Hey everyone!

Here's a song for the Thanksgiving season! It has a little mix of bluegrass and southern gospel. I've not been too impressed with some of this group's more recent songs (a little too modern for my taste) but I did like this song. The track for this song kind of makes me think of the Bontragers a little bit (I posted a link to their song "I Have Been Blessed" a few weeks ago).

Well, anywho, let me know what you think of this song!

Thankful

 

Now let's hear from you!

Did you like the song? What are you thankful for? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

 

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Happy Independence Day!

by Grace 5. July 2017 01:54

Happy Independence Day!

Remember to thank God for those who laid down their lives so that we could have liberty!

 

Now let's hear from you!

How was your Independence Day?

 

Fire off the cannons! We're victors!!!

 

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