I WILL Return! || The Lord Has Not Forsaken

by Grace 10. July 2018 12:07

Hey everyone!

Sorry I haven't been here much recently. A lot has been happening over on our end recently, more of which I hope to share later. But one reason I wasn't here is because I've been experiencing some writer's block... (yep, poets/lyricists get that too and it's JUST as painful for a poet as it is for any other writer!) Anywho, I feel like I'm starting to come out of that and hopefully I'll have something new to share with you soon. However, today I'm going to share something I wrote in 2014. ;)

 

The Lord has not Forsaken

The Lord has not forsaken, the Lord is on our side;
He will watch o'er His children, and He His own will guide.

 

The Evil one is striving to tear families apart--
To persecute God's children and to cause a bitter heart.
But God has not forsaken while Satan thus derides
And for all of His children deliverance provides.

 

When all things seem in ruins, and all hope fades away;
All men now stand against us, and night doth hide the day...
The love of God cannot be harmed by Satan's strong attempts,
For God is stronger; Satan's strength He holds in great contempt.

 

Pure men have been imprisoned, and children have been taken...
But God is right here with us; He never has forsaken.
The evil one is striving God's children to molest--
But He will bring us through and sustain us through the test.

 

The Lord has not forsaken, the Lord is on our side;
He will watch o'er His children, and He His own will guide.

 

Also, I just thought that I'd post links to posts in the past that were my favorite or that I remember y'all really liking. Here's the top 11 (in no particular order):

Sparkle In the Rain

What Am I?

When You Feel Like an Unredeemable Shipwreck

Lord I'll Be what You Want Me to Be

Looking Higher, Reaching Farther

Merry Christmas! // God Will Give Strength

Happy New Years Everyone!!!

Reflections on My Day - Do Looks Truly Matter?

Straight From My Heart

Our Lives are Passing Times

Troubled Waters

 

 

Okay, I lied... I think they're in order of newest to oldest. ;) By the way, right now I kinda have a strange liking for the number 11. Probably only my siblings understand that. Haha! I bet they do too. Either that or maybe they like 13. Hehe.

AND BY THE WAY, I haven't given up my Q+A video. I just haven't had the chance to sit down in front of a camera with my sister and answer 70+ questions yet. XD

 

Now let's hear from you!

Did you enjoy the poem? Do you remember any of the posts I listed? Are there any I've written that you remember especially liking?

 

 

 

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Blog Tour: Why I'm Waiting - Chloe Hale

by Grace 27. June 2018 10:42

Hey everyone! Today I want to share with you and interview I did with Chloe Hale upon the release of her book Why I'm Waiting! Without further ado, here's the interview!

 

Hey Chloe! Thanks for joining me today! I'd like to start with some random questions so that our readers can learn a little more about you.

1. Favorite icecream flavor?

I really don't have a top favorite, I don't suppose! But I prefer the flavors that are not just plain-like cookies and cream, chocolate chip, strawberry swirl, etc.!

2. Favorite book?

Besides the Bible, the SHIELD series by Beth jane and Dawn of a Thousand Nights by Tricia Goyer!

3. A pet peeve?

People leaving lights one when they leave a room!

4. Favorite verse?

Isaiah 53:5 and Isaiah 55:8-13

5. Country or city?

Most definitely COUNTRY!! I've lived on the same farm my whole life and country life suits me great! 

6. Sweatpants and t-shirt or fancy dress?

Well, I'm a t-shirt gal (and jeans!), but I adore a big, fancy dress!! (not for around the farm, of course! lol) So guess I pick both!

7. Sweet or savory?

Sweet

8. Favorite color?

Hmm... A few of my tops are certain shades of pink, and I like teal, brown and certain blue shades! 

9. What's a favorite memory?

I have lots of nice memories, but one that I like is when I got some wood up my foot when I was really young, (we got the wood out) and when it was supper time, my older brother carried me on his back to the table! (my brother's pretty amazing)

10. Alright, onto the author-related questions. When did you first want to start writing? How long after that did you start?

Well....My older sister is a writer and I suppose I was just doing what she was doing at the time; I had tried to write before, but the books never amounted to anything. But I started this one book called Home Is Where The Heart Is (western fiction), and I musta been around 15, because I finished it the night before my 16th birthday. It started from there! I've written around 10 books now-and only this one if non-fiction!

11. Is "Why I'm Waiting" the first book you wrote?

No, it's my latest one!

12. When and how did you decide to write "Why I'm Waiting"?

Well, purity and waiting is one of my greatest passions, and I'm saddened when people are down because they don't have a person in their live yet. I wanted to write this book just to let everyone know Why I'm Waiting! And I want this to encourage them to know that God sees them as worth having the one He has for them, and I believe this book is God-inspired. He showed me things regarding purity during the research of this book thatI didn't know before!

13. Do you have a favorite chapter? If so, which is it? Why is it your favorite?

I'm not sure I have a favorite, but I believe chapter 2 titled Being Content is something that all single people need to hear! 

14. What was the hardest thing about writing this book?

I really didn't want to sound judgmental to people who do date, or do things before they're married. Sometimes I come off sounding like I'm judging people and I didn't want my readers to think I was doing that!

15. How long did it take you to write it?

I believe it took 4 days! It was easier because I was writing non-fiction, just sharing a subject with people! I didn't have to plan things to happen, etc. like you do with fiction!

16. Which of your books was your favorite to write? Which one was easier to write?

Oh, my! I don't really know which was my favorite to write...this was the easiest! 

17. What was one of your biggest inspirations for writing this book?

God was, and I reckon the desire that Jesus has given me for purity was an inspiration. No one knew I was writing this book (except my sister who knew what I was doing without me even telling her!)

18. If your readers could only remember one thing from reading your book, what would you want it to be?

That it will be so worth the wait when God brings the one he has for us into our lives! And to be content during that season of waiting, etc.! Jesus died for our purity, let's not deny it!! And even if we have made mistakes, Jesus restores and gives back what we lost!! 

Well, thank you so much for allowing me to do this! Congratulations on your first published non-fiction book!

Thank you so much for doing this! God Bless!!

 

The links to Chloe's sites are:

Website: givegodtheglory.weebly.com

Blog: heresclo.blogspot.com

If you would like to see another post about Chloe's new book, check this out (done by a dear friend of mine):

 

Christ's Light: http://christslightmagazine.com/blog.html

I'm Alive! // Is it the Guns?

by Grace 12. June 2018 10:30

Hello everyone!

Sorry to everyone who might have believed I'd fallen over a cliff, due to my abrupt stopping of letter writing, commenting, emailing, posting, and all things social for the past two weeks or so. I should hopefully slip back into the old routine as quickly and suddenly as I fell out of it.

I just wanted to quickly glaze over the topic of shootings and guns. So many people are calling for more gun control. I don't have any statistics with me today... Maybe another post. But I do have a few main reasons why more gun control will NOT stop shootings.

1) It's not guns who kill people. It's people.

It starts with the heart. Not the gun. If someone wants to kill people, he or she will most likely find a way to kill people. Restricting guns won't fix the heart issue.

2) Gun restriction won't take guns out of the hands of people who want to hurt others.

You know, when the government tells people to hand guns over, it's going to be the law abiding citizens who hand over their firearms. Not the ones who want to hurt people. People with illegal ends usually don't mind using illegal means to get there. And all of us who may want guns for safety purposes are left defenseless.

Sorry if that was a little scrambled - just something on my mind this morning. This was certainly NOT an exhaustive list of why guns are not the issue and why gun control would be bad, but that's for another post. Hopefully I will get my Q+A video finished up soon and get back to commenting around the world wide web again shortly.

 

Now let's hear from you!

Did you think I died, and if so, how? XD What are your thoughts on gun control? What have you been up to recently?

Also... I'd be interested to hear... Is there a post that has specifically stuck out to you over the year that I've been blogging? A favorite song or encouraging article that I've shared? Is there anything you'd like to hear more about or... *gulp* less about here on my blog?

 

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I Know Who Holds the Future

by Grace 30. May 2018 23:18

I Know Who Holds the Future

I can't tell you what tomorrow holds
Whether joy or pain for you
I can't tell you what it holds for me
What I will say and do
I can't tell you what may happen here
Or in other distant lands
I don't know what the future holds
But I know Who holds it in His hands

I can't tell you who your friends will be
Whether they'll be strong and true
I don't know the people you will see
Or what they will think of you
I don't know who I'll meet on my way
Or with whom I then will stand
I don't know what the future holds
But I know Who holds it in His hands

I don't know if I will live a life
Filled with pain and agony
Or if I will have a journey home
Filled with joy and luxury
I don't know what lies before me
I don't know what God has planned
I don't know what the future holds
But I know Who holds it in His hands

 

Now let's hear from you!

Did you enjoy the song? Are you looking forwards to the upcoming Q&A video?

 

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Sparkle In the Rain

by Grace 27. May 2018 22:17

Hey Everyone!

Here's a song I wrote recently. No matter what we may face, there's always something to be joyful about in each circumstance. Don't miss the sparkle in the rain!

Sparkle In the Rain

Chorus: In every drop of rain there is a sparkle,

In every bout of darkness there's a star

In every barren desert there is life

For every night a daytime isn't far

For every single trial there's a blessing

When all seems lost hope still remains

For every hard today there's a tomorrow;

Lord help me see the sparkle in the rain

 

Verse 1: Everybody in this life

Faces his or her own trials

And oftentimes if feels so hard

To meet our troubles with a smile

But our Protector's always with us

Helping us to run this race;

So remember this, oh child of God

In everything you face...

 

Chorus: In every drop of rain there is a sparkle,

In every bout of darkness there's a star

In every barren desert there is life

For every night a daytime isn't far

For every single trial there's a blessing

When all seems lost hope still remains

For every hard today there's a tomorrow;

Lord help me see the sparkle in the rain

 

Verse 2: So when a loved one slips away

Think of the new life they have

Confrontation from the darkness

Show what you really believe

Fright'ning circumstances show us

That our faith can conquer fear

When you're weary and you can't go on

Rest through Christ is near!

 

Chorus: In every drop of rain there is a sparkle,

In every bout of darkness there's a star

In every barren desert there is life

For every night a daytime isn't far

For every single trial there's a blessing

When all seems lost hope still remains

For every hard today there's a tomorrow;

Lord help me see the sparkle in the rain

 

 

Now let's hear from you!

Did you enjoy the song? What's the sparkle in the downpour you're in? Does anyone else here struggle constantly with accidentally spelling "sparkle" as "sparkly"???

 

 

 

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A Few Things...

by Grace 14. May 2018 15:43

Hey Everyone!

Just thought I'd share a few things...

1. My friend Grace over at Grace Notes just put up a really great post!

2. There is a giveaway over at A Barefoot Gal that you all should check out!

3. I probably will not post for the rest of the week because I have to finish up catching up with school. ;)

EDIT: 4. Here's a link to another giveaway! https://clara-and-co.com/2018/05/15/giveaway-fonts-graphics-bundle-creativeqube-design/

 

Psalm 118

1 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.

Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.

Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.

Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth for ever.

I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place.

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

The Lord taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.

10 All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord will I destroy them.

11 They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord I will destroy them.

12 They compassed me about like bees: they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the Lord I will destroy them.

13 Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the Lord helped me.

14 The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.

16 The right hand of the Lord is exalted: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.

17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.

18 The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord:

20 This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter.

21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.

22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

23 This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.

24 This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.

26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.

27 God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

28 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.

29 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

 

 

Now let's hear from you!

What have you been up to? What are some of your favorite passages of Scripture?

 

 

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Gave More than What She'd Been Given

by Grace 13. May 2018 19:28

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to take the time to talk about my mother a bit... She's an extraordinary woman.

You see, she came from a broken family. In a family that didn't put God first. She was in a public school for all of her education. She didn't live an easy life. And when she grew up, she could have just walked away and tried to make things as comfortable for herself as she could. But she didn't.

She started a family. And she wanted something better for her family than what she'd had.

She married my Dad, who had come from a better family (although still far from ideal) and they made a family. Both were the youngest in their families. They were 20. My mom had twins right off and probably didn't even know how to change diapers at first. She had me quickly after - 3 kids who were 1 and younger (my brothers had turned 1 two months before I was born!). Family and friends around were not sure she would be able to keep up.

But she did.

Even crazier, she homeschooled us.

When she hit kiddo number 5, the people around us and in our church were starting to look at our family weird. Another one, Kanyon? Seriously? So what did she and my Dad do? They found a new church! My parents knew that children were a blessing from the Lord, and they instilled that love of children into each and every one of their children.

My Mom continued homeschooling us as we continued popping out. She's an amazing cook; I remember a family we used to know, and whenever they ate something that they really liked at potluck on Sunday, they would say, "This is really good Grace. Did your Mom make this?" And half the time they were right! And the times they were wrong, there was something better than whatever they were eating somewhere in that building, I can assure you (unless I had convinced Mom to let me do the cooking for that Sunday...). And she is the diaper changing queen (in a good way!).

We have so many friends that will come and tell all of us kids stories about how amazing my Mom was with us when we were little. My Mom always looks embarrassed and tells us that the stories were exaggerated, but we know better. My Mom is amazing - she did for us what her family had failed to do for her. She and Dad have been married for almost 20 years now. We've been taught to know and embrace the gospel. She supported us and helped us pursue our dreams and interests and made what we loved a priority in her life (music, law, college, work, you name it - there's ten of us, and that's a lot of interests!). Her dedication to healthy eating and living and my Dad's love for the country inspired them to move from the capital of Oregon to the countryside. I know whenever I need her, I can walk into her room and she'll sit down with me and give me biblical advice.

My Mom truly gave more than what she'd been given. And me, my Dad and my siblings are grateful.

Mom, I love you!

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What Am I?

by Grace 9. May 2018 19:52

What am I?

What am I? Who am I?
Hear the desperate, honest cry;
Answer the question? Shall I try?
To a question of my own reply?

Who am I? One in a million
Living in vanity under the sun(1)
Undistinguished, here barely at all
And none here my name again will recall

What am I? Tissues, organs,
Bones formed in the shape of Man
Arms and legs, neck and spine
Body parts that I call mine

What am I? An atom mass
Inhales gas, exhales gas(2)
A million particles all in one
Decingrates when life is done.

What am I? Depraved, disgraced
A past of sin I can't erase
Made of dust, returned to dust(3)
A vile creature worthy of disgust

Who am I? A wretch now called
To be redeemed from effects of the fall
Elected to be saved through Christ
According to His sacrifice

What am I? A human soul;
Washed in blood and now made whole.
Nothing good on my own,
Full of worth through Christ Alone.

What am I? A work not yet done
Still being conformed to the likeness of the Son
Having, through faith, been justified(4)
In the process of being sanctified.

Who am I? One of few
Saved by grace, made new;
Promised glory when I fly
To a land where I'll never die.

 

(1) Eccl. 1:14
(2) Oxygen and carbon dioxide
(3) Genesis 3:19
(4) Romans 5:1

1) If you have not asked questions in my current Q&A, you can do so HERE!

2) I have exams tomorrow... Prayer is appreciated! My grades have been good so far... We'll see what happens. ;)

3) Yes, I know I posted earlier today. But I wrote this and wanted to show it to all of you. XD

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Late Night Inspiration!!!

by Grace 7. May 2018 00:57

Hey y'all! Let me know what you think of this:

 

Chorus: He forgives, He understands

Just keep clinging to His hand

He can see your weary heart

And when things seem to fall apart

And when you fail and make a mess

There's no need to stress

Just hold to His hand; He understands

 

Verse 1: I've made mistakes that I can't fix

And I am bearing a load of stress

I stay up too late, get up too early;

And my life just seems a mess

Sometimes I feel like I'm a failure

I need relief; pure release

But when I turn to my dear Savior

I suddenly am filled with peace.

 

Verse 2: Perhaps you're struggling to stay afloat

Lost in tunnels of work you've built

A million things you cannot do

Plague your mind with endless guilt

You've lost you're strength; you're tired out

You don't think that you can go on

Fly to the Father's waiting arms

He'll give you hope and a new song

 

By the way, what do you think I should name this song? I was going to call it "He Understands" but I already wrote a song called that (read it here).

Okay, it's late here... I'm headed to bed! ;) Sorry this post was kind of choppy...

Now let's hear from you!

Did you enjoy this song? Any suggestions for the title? Do you ever get late-night inspiration?

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What do YOU believe?

by Grace 3. May 2018 21:47

Today I found out that a lady I know abandoned her faith.

To say the least, I was shocked.

As I listened to several of her family/friends discussing it, an important truth was brought up:

YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE.

What your parents told you growing up is not enough. What your pastor teaches is not enough. You need to know what you believe and why you believe it or else you won't be strong enough to resist when the devil lies to you. You need to be grounded in the truth or you will be swept off your feet. You need to have a relationship with God and know Him and his attributes or else you will question and doubt Him and loose faith.

Your parents' and pastor's beliefs won't do you any good if you don't understand them. Don't live your life assuming they're right because that's how you grew up. NO. Dig in yourself. Figure out the truth. Don't stop until you've found it... Your life for all eternity depends upon it. Don't be a lukewarm Christian. Be passionate, and live your life fully for Christ or not at all. The Bible says that exceedingly bad things are in store for apostates (Hebrews 10:19-39) and lukewarm Christians (Revelation 3:15-16).

Ask your friends:

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?

Parents, make your children think:

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?

Siblings, challenge eachother:

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE???

We don't have forever to get it figured out. Temptation will come and lead us astray if we do not TRULY know what we believe.

So I now ask you:

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE???

 

***Please take the time to share a link to this post through text or email or take the time to ask your friends and family this! Souls are too precious to be left to wander without considering this question!!!***

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Liebster Award!

by Grace 30. April 2018 12:45

 

Hey Everyone!

I was tagged by Grace over at Grace Notes, and then I was tagged again by Beth over at This Redeemed Girl for the liebster award. Pretty exciting, huh? Tags are so fun to do!!!

Here are the rules for the Liebster Award:

1 – Thank the blog that nominated you and include a Liebster Award graphic (I took mine from Alyssa’s blog).
2 – Answer the questions the blogger gave you.
3 – Share some random fun-facts about yourself.
4 – Nominate as many other blogs you can/want to, and inform them of the nomination.
5 – Give your nominees questions to answer (aim for somewhere in between 8 and 11).

Without further ado, here are my answers to their questions.

 

Grace's Questions:

1 – What is your favorite topic to blog about?

Ooh, this is a hard question. I probably enjoy posting songs/poetry I've written most so far, but I really enjoy posting other things too. ;)

2 – Share a person example of the evidence of God’s hand at work in your life (can be a recent example or something in the past).

He gave me the money to finish up with my schooling in a way that came unexpectedly and surprised me! He’s also helping me to have more faith in Him and trust Him, even when I don’t see the way or don’t think His plans align with mine. There are so many things I’ve been clinging onto for years, but I’m learning to let them go, one by one, into the hands of Jesus. ;)

3 – What is one random thing on your bucket list?

Hmm... Sing a solo onstage from any song I've written in front of an audience. :D That sounds pretty fun, huh? Who here enjoys performing in front of an audience? It's probably easier for me than being involved in a large group conversation. I'm an introvert...

4 – What would be your favorite dinner + dessert menu?

Taco salad and ice-cream!!!

5 – Which vacation would you choose: mountain cabin, beachfront cottage, amusement park, or a landmark that intrigues you?

Hmm... Either beachfront cottage or mountain cabin. I love the beach and I love getting in the water, but a mountain cabin sounds more adventurous and I love hiking around and spending time in the wild.

6 – Describe yourself with five words.

What??? But how??? Adventurous, spontaneous, reserved, musical, creative...

7 – What is your dream instrument?

Hmm... Mandolin, viola, double bass, banjo, cello, or piano. Sorry, not very specific... If I were to narrow it down, I'd probably say mandolin or cello since I already play violin which is similar to the viola and I've played double bass, banjo, and piano before and we have a piano and a banjo. Probably mandolin because I think I like that better than the cello.

8 – Three Bible verses that are special to you?

Romans 5:20, Psalm 23, Hebrews 11. Passages count, right? If not let me know and I'll give you specific verses. Hahaha! It's hard to narrow it down to 3 single verses!

9 – Fun inside joke?

Ooh… This is a hard one… specifically because the ones that are constantly repeated are the ones that I can’t share! Haha! We constantly say jokes related to Sherlock Holmes (we’ve watched some of both Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett). My sister asked me to do a Sherlock Holmes impersonation last night. That was funny! Don’t know how I did… And sometimes we may attempt to use British accents… That doesn’t work well either. Haha!

10 – Favorite resource (book, blog, movie, etc.)?

I love the book "The Call" by Os Guiness. I'd wholeheartedly recommend that book to ANYONE! And the movie "On the Shoulders of Giants" is really good. And my parents are also AMAZING resources. Just sayin’. ;)

 

Beth's Questions:

1: What is your favorite book of the Bible?

Um… Romans, Hebrews, Psalms, Proverbs… Something like that. Sorry! I love them all!

2: What is your favorite story from the Bible? 

Hmm… I’ve always loved hearing about Jesus coming to life again and the story of Ruth, and the creation account has always left me filled with awe of our God.

3: What's your favorite childhood memory?

Ahh! These are hard questions!!! Maybe my thirteenth birthday??? My parents threw me a surprise birthday party and I was totally not expecting it. 

4: What is your favorite movie?

I don’t know… I love “On the Shoulders of Giants”, Lord of the Rings (although I’ve only watched the first two), and I love watching Sherlock Holmes… The Granada series or the Basil Rathbone series (I don’t know what they’re called… Abigail, help me out here!!!).

5: What was/is your favorite subject in school?

I LOVED my Faith and Vocation course in my paralegal program.

6: Have you ever written a book?

Oh, and here comes the shocker that only two people that I can think of probably know – yes, I have written a book. One that I ACTUALLY finished. It was a 113-page novel and honestly had some potential. However, it needs the BIGGEST rewrite you could ever imagine… I might do that sometime in my life. But if it doesn’t get done somewhere throughout the year of 2019, I can’t see myself finishing it. But I would like to write a book or two sometime… Some sort of devotional, a book of poetry, and possibly a book set in WW2. Who knows. We’ll see.

7: What's your favorite novel and why?

Ah! I DON’T KNOW!!! To tell the truth though, I haven’t read many novels recently… I’ve done PLENTY of reading, but I’ve mostly been reading “Legal Research and Writing for Paralegals” and “Basic Wills, Trusts and Estates for Paralegals” and things that generally fall under that topic. Probably "Alone Yet Not Alone" by Tracy Leininger.

8: What is something just wow God has done for you? 

He put me in a free country. That’s something we all kind of take for granted here in America, especially with our tumultuous politics and with things going downhill. But we’re still in a place where we can worship God freely! That’s what’s most important!

 

Grace, Beth, if I missed any of your questions, let me know! XD I very well might have.

 

Random fun facts:

1. I always wear socks and shoes. I wear them inside and outside and I wear socks to bed. I do occasionally go barefoot outside if I’m playing volleyball or something similar, but otherwise, I keep socks and shoes on at all times.

2. I love volleyball.

3. I’M A COLD PERSON. The event staff crew that I work with (I’m related to half of them probably… XD) make fun of me all the time as I’ve been known to wear a coat on an 80 degree day…

4. I’ve been known all my life for liking just about everything when it comes to food. There’s one exception. Bell peppers. *cringes*

5. I tend to view disliking things as a disadvantage (you don’t know how many times I’ve tried to like bell peppers…)

6. One of my biggest (and most irrational) fears is that someday I’ll come across a friend that I love but haven’t seen for a year or so and they won’t remember me. (Only happened once I think…)

7. I’ve only been in Oregon and Washington. However, I’m *hoping* to take a road trip to KY this year to visit some of my best friends who just moved out of OR. Honestly, over the past year, so many of my friends have just up and left the state. So sad. *Cries* Perhaps someday I’ll take a huuuuge road trip with some siblings and we’ll go visit all of my pen-pals and our friends who have moved away and attend every concert we can. XD

8. I personally don’t enjoy most Christian Contemporary music that much. Sorry to all my CCM loving friends/family/readers…

9. I’ve (somewhat recently) become a fan of Sherlock Holmes (not Sherlock… I haven’t watched BBC’s show before). I usually don’t watch anything besides documentaries, creationist science videos, and history related videos. Lord of the Rings and Sherlock Holmes are currently two exceptions to my norm. ;)

10. I really want to learn how to play mandolin! I know a little, but I’d like to get really good at it. It’s one of my favorite instruments. I love the violin/fiddle, but I can’t sing while I play that!!! If anyone reading this plays mandolin and knows of good resource for learning how to I’d love to hear about them!

 

Alright, who to tag... So many bloggers I know of have already been double-tagged and may not appreciate a retag... Hmm... 

I nominate:

Lydia @ Noveltea

Abby Rose @ Truly Beautiful

J.S. Clingman @ Clingman Photography 

Stephanie @ The Enchanting Rose

 

Here are my questions:

Favorite author?

Three favorite quotes, phrases, or sayings?

Do you play instruments? If so, what instruments?

How many siblings do you have?

Outside or inside?

Favorite genre of music and least favorite?

Someone you would really like to meet in person someday (doesn’t have to be a celebrity ;)

Favorite meal?

3 favorite Bible passages/chapters? (I’m not one of those cruel people who tell you to pick 1 verse… ;)

Favorite music album?

Favorite pastime?

 

If I tagged you and you can't do this tag, that's fine! And if you were hoping to be tagged but weren't, go ahead and do it anyways. ;)

One last thing... I have a 1 YEAR BLOGVERSARY COMING UP!!! Any suggestions as to what to do to celebrate? Giveaway? Contest? Blog party? Q+A? Video??? (Hehe...)

In addition, I'd love to hear from you all what types posts you've enjoyed the most here and what y'all would like to see on here in the future. Thanks for all of your support! You all are awesome!!!!!!

 

Now let's hear from you!

 

What are your answers to some of these questions? What do you think I should do to celebrate my one-year-blogversary? What posts would you like to see more of in the future?

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Hey there!

by Grace 25. April 2018 11:01

Hey Everyone!

Just thought I'd drop in really fast and say hi! I've been very busy with school, spending time with the littles while Daniel, Abigail, Jake and Dad went on a camping trip, and saying so many goodbyes to friends going out of state, and I am afraid that I'm not quite finished with goodbyes because I have a friend leaving this month and two others leaving in a month or two. I'm glad that most of them will be back this fall and the others will be back next year!

A few random things that I've been learning this year:

-Life is only as complicated as I make it.

-Following God requires faith. Nothing more, nothing less.

-When I feel I am at the end, or things are too stressful, emotional, painful, or hard, God gives more strength. Thank God! I have very little of my own patience and strength.

-A laugh and a smile help everyone and everything.

-Listening is the best thing ever. You can show someone you care by listening, you can help them deal with pain and hurt by listening, and you can become closer friends by listening. And you can learn by listening, and others can help you if you listen. I want to be as much of a listener that I can!!!

-I am superdy duperdy blessed (yes, new words).

-I'm not near as smart as I think I am when I'm feeling proud and not as dumb as I think when I'm feeling down. I'm somewhere in the middle. ;)

-Stressing doesn't help a thing. It only hurts you and the ones you love most or who need you most.

-I need to rely solely on God's strength, mercy, and grace. I'm a failure at best. I see that I am a wretched, horrible, depraved sinner. But I see that Christ can save to the uttermost!

-I never can love or thank God enough. He is too faithful, too good, too kind.

-I'm learning how to lay my cares at the throne of God. It's so hard to sacrifice one's ambitions, hopes, dreams and aspirations for what often seems rather uncertain. But what God has in store for me is so much better than what I could ever dream!

-Reading my Bible helps everything.

-If I give all to God, I don't have anything left to worry about. ;)

-He is the only one I can trust to never let me down, but I can trust Him completely.

-God is really too amazing for me to comprehend. I have done so much to hurt my Saviour, even though He died for me. I do and will continue to. But He forgives me again and again and again and again and again. I am so humbled by His unfailing love.

Okay, this is longer than I thought it would be. My posts are often that way. XD

 

Now let's hear from you!

What's been going on in your life? What have you been up to? What are some things God has been teaching you?

 

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When You Feel Like an Unredeemable Shipwreck

by Grace 12. April 2018 21:14

Today has been one of those days. 

Those days where I feel horrible... Like an unredeemable shipwreck... Like the sinner I am. When my heart is heavy with guilt and shame.

And you know what? I bet you've had those days too. Days when you can barely live with your own self. Those are long, hard days. 

Recently, I've been kind of wondering about those kinds of days. Those days when the weight of my own darkness is on my shoulders. What those mean, and what I should do in those times. I've been learning a few things and I thought I'd share them with you all. I certainly don't have an exhaustive list of what you need to do -- just what I've learned. But I hope it helps all the same.

I've found that these are the times to examine yourself by the scriptures. And I've found that these are times that we have to be deathly honest with ourselves to pursue the truth. And it's important to pray during this process and have a Bible handy (I have one on the desk with me right now!)

Get ready for a bit of intense cross examinations and multiple choice tests!!! ;)

 

Why do I feel this way? What is the cause, and who's fault is it?

Because it's somebody's fault. Believe me. Thoughts have three sources: God, the Devil, and yourself. And being that God died to take your sins away and bear that burden and grant you release, (as far as I can tell) we're left with two options...

The key here is to ask yourself why you think you're such a bad person. We'll deal with whether you are or not in a minute (by the way, it's not a flattering answer), but for now, we'll deal with why you think what you think.

 

-Devil’s attacks vs. Sin in our lives

This is a tricky question that takes a lot of processing and scripture reading to answer. Now, undoubtedly, either way you're under attack by the devil, whether you're dealing with current sin in your life or he's searching out your insecurities. Right now we're just dealing with what route he's going through.

Ask yourself. Why do you think you are a bad person? Is it because you're thinking of all of the mistakes you've made? Maybe you've received a lot of correction recently from a parent (be honest teens, we're not as grown-up as we like to think, and sometimes we... *gasp* get in some trouble...). Maybe you did something really not-so-great (please excuse my attempts not to use stronger language there) and you can't get over it. Maybe you have some habits that you think are just rather odd or gross. Maybe you feel like you just mess things up all the time and get in the way all the time. Maybe you're frustrated that your lack of confidence gets in the way of being a better friend or a better coworker. Maybe you've made someone mad recently. I could (obviously - just proved it) go on and on and on with the list.

These could very possibly attacks from the devil, but it could also very possibly be... something worse. Perhaps you've got something in your life that you really need to deal with. Something in your heart. Let's cross examine ourselves to see what it could possibly be that is troubling us.

Feelings or Knowledge?

Think for a moment. What's bothering you? Is it just the feeling of guilt and shame? Or is it a knowledge of something in your life that disturbs you? If you just feel like you're a miserable failure and an all around bad person, it could be an attack from the devil on you and your identity in Christ. If you can lay a finger on something a little more tangible (we're not talking about an action/thought difference, we're talking about vague/specific difference), it's time to take things to the next step.

Sin or Strangeness?

Now that you've perhaps identified the thing that's bothering you, hold it in light of the scriptures. Do you feel prone to making really foolish mistakes? Look at the scriptures. Is that a sin? No. (Thank God!) Is feeling dirty, tired, and stressed a sin? Look at the scriptures. No, it isn't. Do you feel like a highly unproductive person? Look at the scriptures. Is a lack of productivity a sin? Yes. God calls us to redeem the time (Ephesians 5:15-16). The lazy man is repeatedly scorned throughout the book of Proverbs. Diligence is a highlighted virtue in the scriptures. Now, as for being down-to-earth serious with ourselves... Call everything what it is. If you look for "exceedingly tired all the time" in the Bible, you're not going to find it. But is it really just that you're tired all the time? Or is that maybe... laziness??? And that works the other way around too. Don't slide something under the title of sin because you feel horrible. It'll just make things more confusing. Examine things in the light of the Bible. Don't nitpick and misinterpret God's Word to get the results you want, expect, or feel you deserve.

 

Past or Present?


Okay, so maybe you've narrowed it down to a sin that's bothering you. Think about this sin. Is it something that is currently part of your life? Or is it in the past? And when I say in the past, I don't mean last decade. I mean last year. Last hour. Last minute. Maybe even just a few seconds ago. Think about it. If it's an action, look to see if you've been doing it consistently recently. No? That's past. Have you apologized to those you've possibly hurt? It's past. Was it a heedless accident? It's past. Have you prayed about it? It's past. You need to let go. What we're dealing with is chronic sin. We're always going to be struggling with sin. We're going to do wrong things, repent, ask forgiveness, move on. What we're specifically looking for right now though is those ugly little creatures that continuously and persistently pop their heads into our lives. Wrong thoughts are often chronic sin (not always, but often). Remember to make sure they're wrong thoughts and not attacks from the devil. Thoughts about who you are are often just the devil trying to get you down because who you are is identified by Christ as a believer. But other thoughts that don't follow the guidelines of Phillipians 4:8 are often sin.

Let's look at some things you should not do when you're dealing with the devil attacking you with insecurities in your life or using your sin to discourage you.

-Don't flatter yourself. You aren't a good person. You ARE a very bad person. Telling yourself that you're not as bad as you think is just a way of running away from the problem and trying to cover it up, and if it makes you feel better, it probably just puffed up your ego (P.S. Not a good thing).

-Don't try to 'wait it out'. If you're dealing with something, deal with it! Don't let it sit and soak in you and drain you. From personal experience, if it does 'go away', it'll come up again later in full strength.

Okay, now the things that we should do.

-Pray and read your Bible!

Pretty obvious. If it isn't, that's very possibly your problem.

-Pray and study those scriptures some more!

-Talk to someone about it!

If I'm having a seriously rough time over something, I talk to my Mom or my sister about it. They always have lots to share, and it's easier for them to see what might be going on from the outside looking in.

-Remember who you are in Christ.

If you're struggling with attacks from Satan, remember that God has washed your sins away. He took them to the cross, and they didn't last any longer than that. They're gone. Don't let them trouble you anymore. Lay them down. Jesus' sacrifice was and is sufficient. To doubt that those sins are gone, to feel that you still bear the guilt of them, is to doubt the grace and power of God to take those sins away!

-"Go and sin no more."

God has commanded us to sin no more! We are to be following in His footsteps. Are you struggling with chronic sin? Do you consistently deal with anger? Pride? Lust? Some other sin? Tell someone and ask them to pray for you and help keep you accountable. And then replace those bad thoughts with something pure and holy. Replace those wrong actions with their opposites. Jealous? Thank God for the success of the person you're envious of and pray for those who aren't as fortunate in life as yourself. Lazy? Find something useful to do! Selfish? Think of unique ways to be generous! 

-Search for things that heighten your feelings of discouragement.

Here's a list of things that cause us to be unnecessarily discouraged:

1) Lack of sleep

If you're over tired, you're going to struggle with stress.

2) Neglecting Bible reading/prayer

No-brainer! God is our Sustainer. He is the center of our lives as Christians. He's the one who took away our guilt. If we're forgetting him, we're gonna feel down.

3) Not keeping up with health

I struggle with chronic heartburn and I have a sensitive stomach. If I eat something that bothers it, it'll throw me fully off balance. This is an area that I really need to work on. If I neglect to take my vitamins, I run the risk of becoming deficient in certain things and that will throw me off.

4) Stress

Brothers and sisters, lay those burdens down! Cast your cares upon the Lord. Take heed for nothing. God has everything under control. Just let go and let God.

 

 

Okay, I hope that was of some help! Like I mentioned earlier, this is not an exhaustive list of all of the solutions. There are things that I certainly haven't addressed. This isn't a fix-it-all formula to be sure. It's just me sharing from my heart and my experiences on a bad day. ;) If you have anything to add, if there's anything on your heart, or if there's anything I can pray for you about, comment and let me know! (Or use the contact form if it's something personal. ;) Here's some random resources and verses that I thought of or looked at while I was writing this (this list is by no means exhaustive either!). Not everything is necessarily even related to the whole general topic... Sorry if I list a resource down there and you don't know why I did! Hahaha!

By the way, I commend you if you made it to the bottom of this post!

2 Corinthians 10:5

Phillipians 4:8

Eccl. 9:10

Prov. 6:11

Eph. 5:15-16

Acts 17:11

II Corinthians 13:5

Looking Higher, Reaching Farther

I Stand Redeemed - Legacy Five

As Many Times - Kingdom Heirs

Big Enough - Clark Family

Now let's hear from you!

Was this helpful to you at all? Did it make sense? Have you been dealing with feelings of guilt and shame recently? Remember, these are great times to grow in Christ! Do you have any thoughts to add? Is there something that you disagree with? Is there something I can pray about for you?

 

 

 

 

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Lord I'll Be what You Want Me to Be

by Grace 7. April 2018 19:55

Hey everyone!

Here's a song that I've written a while ago, but it means a lot to me still. It's one of my favorites that I've written. Some of you that know me might have heard me mention it before -- I am currently working on an arrangement of it with piano, cello, and violin.

Let me know what you think! 

Lord, I'll be what You Want Me to be

Chorus:

Lord I'll be what you want me to be tho' the way seems foggy and unclear

Lord I'll do what you want me to do I will cling to You and never fear

For you're holding my hand

Lord I'll be what you want me to be

 

Verse 1:

I'm tired of fearing, and not believing in Your Sovereignty and grace

I'm growing weary of not trusting You to carry me through everything I face

I'll not be standing idle longer while I hear you calling after me

I'll follow You,

Lord I'll be what You want me to be

 

 

Verse 2:

I'll take a breath, and hold Your hand while You lead me down this path I do not know

I will follow Your direction even when Your plan to me you do not show

I am trusting in your promise that You'll always do what You know's best for me

I'll cling to You,

Lord I'll be what You want me to be.

 

To be honest, I made that second verse just now... I started putting it up here and I thought, "This needs a second verse!" And that was easy for me to do because I've been learning to release my desires to God and be what He wants me to be. 

But that's a story for some other time. ;)

Now let's hear from you!

Did you like the song? Do you have any ideas of how I can significantly shorten the title??? That's one thing I have trouble with... Titling songs. My titles are always WAY too long. Y'all have probably noticed that though.

 

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Random Tidbits/Poem

by Grace 3. April 2018 16:54

Hey everyone!

I haven't been on here very much have I? I thought I'd drop by and say hello really fast. ;)

A few things:

1. Due to how busy I've been, I will not be posting from either series tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be posting the Family Focus series next week. Some of you may have noticed that I actually posted the first post last week, but because of a few issues I took it down. ;)

2. It's my Mom's birthday tomorrow! Happy Birthday Mom! Love you! Hope you have a wonderful rest of your year while dealing with me. ;D

3. The GIVEAWAY ends the day after tomorrow! If you commented but your comment hasn't shown up yet, if you haven't gotten all of your possible entries, or if you just haven't entered yet, NOW is the time to do that!

4. I got a shot today. I injured my hand a while back and we haven't been able to find out what the matter was. I went to a local doctor, but she didn't know what was wrong, so she sent me to someone else who looked at it today. He seemed very knowledgeable. It was a huge answer to prayer! However, my hand is kinda puffy and numb so I'm avoiding the use of a certain finger... If you ever have your finger numbed, try typing with it and you'll see what I mean!

5. Y'all should listen to this song. ;) My Rock

 

Like I said before, I'm extremely busy. I have a wedding coming up that I'm going to be a bridesmaid for. I have several assignment deadlines coming up. I have friends going out of state this month and had one leave last month. I just had a doctor's appointment and I have a followup scheduled. It's stressful, and I'm always fearful that I won't be ready for my next quarter finals. Yep, still afraid of quarter finals. I've done just fine on my other finals - much better than I could have hoped for. But I'm still afraid.

It's funny how the devil can make you fear for things that God has helped you conquer over and over and over again. For some reason, the situation is always "different"... Well, it's usually actually mostly the same as last time. It's just a lie that the devil likes to use.

But it's convicting to read the words "Oh you of little faith!" and "casting all your cares on Him". Instead of focusing on the lies Satan uses, I need to focus on the truths God gives. We've been through this before. God's proven Himself faithful. I have no valid reason to fear or worry. ;)

Well, that's me and my life for now. I had better run now!

 

Why does the day have to be so long
And why does it feel so short?
Why does getting up earlier
Feel like a last resort?
How does my list of things to get done
Grow so big, so fast
And why does the morn seem slow, so slow -
When I start work, I think 'at last'.
Why do I feel irate and want
To get tasks done and over with quickly
But the thought of an upcoming deadline
Makes me cringe and feel queasy?
Why do I feel afraid at all?
I've been through this before.
God's given me all the strength I need
That and plenty more.
Help me Lord to not complain--
Not to fear or stress.
I have You to see me through
That should fill me with happiness.
Things will not be easy
You never said they'd be.
But that's okay, 'cause You're here to stay.
You'll always be here with me.

 

Now let's hear from you!

 

Did you listen to the song? What's been going on in your life? What have you been up to? Have you entered the giveaway yet? Did you like my title-less poem?

 

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Giveaway! Daniel's book More than Conquerors

by Grace 26. March 2018 23:45

Hey Everyone! The giveaway of my brother's book "More than Conquerors" is finally here! I've invited Daniel himself to come share a little bit about himself and his book:

 

Hello everyone, my name is Daniel Helland.

Since I was a young boy I have been writing stories. Under my bed I have a bucket full of pads and binders that I wrote my ‘books’ in over the years. I guess it was around the age of thirteen that I got serious about writing, and wrote a medieval fantasy novel. It was meant to have a sequel but I never completed one. At age fifteen I wrote a Western. And then in September of 2015, I started a two year journey to write and publish More Than Conquerors: A Tale of the Huguenots - my first attempt at historical fiction. 

My book has often been likened to Henty’s novels.  However, some have said that it is similar Ballantyne’s writings because of its plot and character development. Because it is set in the Reformation, religion is a powerful factor in the story – religion and faith that is. In truth, it was rather a showdown between the two. Old and young have enjoyed this book. A small book club of young people is digging into More Than Conquerors, while many people more advanced in years are also reading. There is something for everybody, I hope.

More Than Conquerors is a high adventure tale interwoven seamlessly with the history of the Reformation that follows the experiences of three men in 16th Century France, a country torn by civil war. Theodore, a young man who wants to fight for a worthy cause, Charles, an older man who wants to kick one more dent into the world, and Johanne, Theodore’s uncle, a man of reason who is about to have his philosophies challenged to their core. The reader will walk through the streets of Calvin’s Geneva, see a coastal city besieged by a massive royal army, tour the halls and corridors of the Louvre palace in Paris, and sail to the jungles of Brazil. There are armies on the field of battle, Inquisitors in dark tunnels, tribes of cannibals in the forest, and humble preachers ministering to their congregations in caves secretly.

It was an incredible time period, and I wanted to capture some of the excitement of the period in a story. My hope is that my readers will enjoy More Than Conquerors, and learn something from the courageous Huguenots themselves, as I did.

 

“They have the power and the money,” Theodore said. He looked at a Bible on his professor’s desk. “But we have the faith.” -More than Conquerors

 

Now, for the giveaway!!! ;)

I am giving away 2 free paperback copies of More than Conquerors. The deadline for accumulating entries ends on April 5th and the winners will be announced shortly thereafter.

 

Here are the rules for entering:

1. ONE comment equals one free entry. 

2. Every question you ask Daniel about him, his book, the Huguenots, and the Reformation is 1 entry each for your first five questions in addition to your entry for commenting.

3. If you post about the giveaway on your blog and comment with or email me a link to your post, you get 5 entries.

4. Last of all, but most importantly, DO NOT COMMENT ANONYMOUSLY!!!!! When I post the winner, I don't want to say "the winner is... anonymous #17!" NO!!! Use a pseudonym, alias, your initials, comment with your name set as "LOL" - I don't care. But do NOT comment as 'anonymous' or I will not include you in the giveaway!

Daniel's YouTube Channel

Daniel's Facebook Page

Daniel's Website ~ Daniel in the Writer's Den

More than Conquerors ~ Amazon

 

Now let's hear from you!

Have any questions for Daniel? Ask away! By the way, I am very sorry for not posting the first part of the Family Focus series last week. I will try to get that up for you all this next Wednesday.

 

 

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SOFP ENTRY!!!!!!

by Grace 16. March 2018 15:26

Hello Everyone!

As you all can probably tell already by my excessive exclamation points in the title, I'm super excited about this entry. I hacked into my sister's files *grins evilly* and stole a poem out. 

Okay, I got permission. ;)

Anywho, I got it. Now, if there was ANYONE I ever envied for their poetry-writing skills, it's my little sister. She can add meaning and depth to her writing like no one else can. Fortunately she doesn't write a lot of poetry or else I'd go out of business... Totally kidding!

Alright. Here it is!

 

 

Looking Through My Crystal Window

Looking through my crystal window

My forlorn eyes meet a fragile rose;

A vibrant red, resolutely rising,

With face turned up, this flower grows.

How do you climb, so all alone?

How did you weather the Winter’s frost?

Roots of steel, a determined stem

You reach for the sky, at any cost.

 

Looking into your house so bright

I could’ve dreamt of what I don’t own.

Whispers of warmth welcomed vain wishes

For in the cold months I’ve grown alone.

But I know that Winter passes

And envious thoughts don’t help a thing.

My name is Hope; a budding flower

Who always believes there is a Spring.

 

Beautiful, isn't it? All of the alliteration sends shivers down my spine. ;)

Before y'all leave, check out my recommendations page on the sidebar!

 

Now let's hear from you!

 

 

Did you enjoy Abigail's poem? Be sure to let her know in the comments! Would YOU be interested in doing SOFP? Did you check out my recommendations page on the sidebar?

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Identity Focus Part 1: Introduction

by Grace 14. March 2018 11:43

Hello everyone!

Here's the beginning to the first series... I know you all have been waiting!

The title of the first series is called "Identity Focus". I'm anticipating somewhere around eleven posts in this series, so it's gonna be pretty long.

So... What's up with this series? What exactly is it about?

Well, we find in the Bible that we're to get our identity from Christ. His righteousness is imputed to us (2 Corinthians 5:21, Phillipians 3:9, Romans 4:22-24). We are the bride of Christ (Revelation 19:7-9). We are children of God (Romans 18:16).

This series is about some things that take our focus off of our identity as believers in Christ.

Why is it so important to remember our identity?

1. Who we are in Christ is our only hope
As the song goes, "In Christ Alone my hope is found." We only have hope when we are covered by the blood of Christ. We only have hope when He changes us and give us a new identity.

2. When God looks at us, He sees His Son and declares us innocent
As another song says, "When You look at me, You see the nail-scarred hands that bought my liberty - I stand redeemed." When God looks at the believer, he sees the righteousness of His Son that was imputed to him (2 Corinthians 5:21). This is where our Salvation lies - our identity in Christ. Righteouss. Holy. Set apart. It's important to understand a little more clearly who we are so we know who to be. Imagine not being sure who you were and acting like an enemy to the king in a castle - when you were actually His son or daughter!

To wrap things up for this week:

1. For anyone who may be wondering, I will be using KJV most if not all of the time I quote a verse.

2. If you disagree with anything I've said or have something to add, voice your opinion! Just make sure to do so in a respectful manner. As believers, it's good to have discussion, especially with things that we disagree with. Not arguments. DISCUSSION. It helps us to recognize what we truly believe in and can help us learn deeper truths.

3. Spread the word! Invite friends and/or family to join us on this journey! The ride will be fun and, I'm praying, insightful.

4. I'll have a resource section at the end of each post in this series where I'll post resources (songs, verses, videos, books, lyrics, other things) that relate to what we talked about. There might not be much, and sometimes maybe nothing. Sometimes whatever I share down there may be what was down there for the past 3 weeks. But sometimes there may be something down there. ;) If you all have anything to share, comment and let us all know! Don't keep it to yourself!

P.S. If I share lyrics and there happens to be a recording of the song, I most likely haven't listened to it so I can't verify that it's worth your listening in my opinion. Just sayin'. :)

I'm not defined by what others say

Or by the standards of the day

I am defined by my faith in Jesus

And what he's done for all of us

 

I won't judge my worth by how I feel

'Cause what I feel often isn't real

I get my worth in Christ alone

The greatest status ever known

                                  - Verses 1 and 4 of Looking Higher, Reaching Farther

Resources:

I Stand Redeemed - Song

When You Look at Me - Song

Looking Higher, Reaching Farther - Lyrics

In Christ Alone - Lyrics

 

Now let's hear from you! 

Did you enjoy the first part of Identity Focus? Are you looking forwards to the Family Life series starting next week? Did you look at any of the resources listed? If you did, which ones did you enjoy? Have you seen any of them before? Do you have any resources that are related to this topic to add?

 

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Questions and Answers Part 4: My Answers - Pt. 2

by Grace 26. February 2018 12:06

Hey Everyone!

I'm back with the rest of the answers... Sorry it took so long!

Olivia's Questions:

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Cookie dough hands down! I LOVE cookie dough icecream! It's been my favorite for years!!!

Favorite season?

Fall! I love the changing colors of leaves, the crisp air, the ripening apples and pressing cider!

Favorite holiday?

Christmas, without a doubt. I LOVE Christmas. It's a day we always spend at home together celebrating one of the greatest events in history - the day when God came down in the humble form of a baby to be born in a manger to save the world!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Hmm... I don't know! Maybe Corrie Ten Boom's place, or NQC, or the Alamo in Texas, or to visit an out of state friend, or something like that!

Or actually... I want to go to a coast where it's actually WARM!!! I love the beach, but it's always cold here in Oregon. Last time we went it was freezing. Me, Abigail, and a friend still waded around in it until I fell in (on accident!). But it would have been much more fun if it was warm. Then falling in wouldn't have been a problem, being that the only reason I didn't want to get that wet is because it was so cold.

I thought it would also be fun to go to OBCL's alumni retreat this year too (unless that's next year - can't remember), but I'll worry about that a little more when I'm actually an alumni! Haha!

If you could take only one person with you, who would it be?

My sister Abigail, probably! But it'd be fun to take my brother Daniel or my other brother Isaac. And it would be fun to take my friend Mal with me too. ;) It really depends on where I'm going!

Grace F's Questions:

What is your dream instrument?

Tuba! No, not really... ;) I'd love to have mandolin lessons! Or double bass too. I'd also love piano lessons. And guitar. And harp. And viola. And banjo!!! Okay, okay, okay... Well, if it's something I've played before but haven't had lessons for, it's gonna be mandolin or piano. But if it has to be something I've haven't played at all, it's probably harp. Viola isn't as pressing because I can play violin/fiddle. Can't be much different, right? Especially since I've played a 5 string violin before. And banjo... I'd love to play it but not as much as harp. Isaac is really good at it so I don't need to play banjo. Guitar and bass lessons would be awesome, but I can already do at least 5 chords (on my good days I remember one or two more ;).

What is your *favorite* Bible verse?

Romans 5:20 "...Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound..."
If you study law for any length of time, you realize how bad this world really is. Sin is everywhere, choking the life and purpose out of millions, causing death, causing pain, causing tribulation, strife, envy... It's sickening. Some of the sin that goes on in this world is unconceivable. You feel hopeless looking around. Offence abounds. It doesn't just lurk around in the dark corner. No. It's everywhere. In the streets in the form of the form of impatient commuters and reckless or drunk drivers. In the business place in the form of greed and envy. In our Government in the form of tyranny and abuse. In our own homes in the forms of heated arguments, rebellious teens, ungrateful children, insubmissive wives, and fathers who don't lead their families in God's truth. And rooted deep within the human heart.

But wait! Wait! There is still hope! because where sin is now thriving, "grace did MUCH MORE abound..." There is more grace in this world than sin! And not just a little more, but MUCH more! Friends, there is hope for us, thank God! Can I get an amen???

Who is your favorite composer/arranger/musician/music hero?

Roger Bennett or Rodney Griffin, to be sure!

Roger Bennet was already a great musician when he started playing piano, singing, and writing songs (he was the piano player for one of the greatest and most well known Southern Gospel quartets, the Cathedrals), but he got better when the he got cancer, the Cathedrals retired, he launched his own group called Legacy Five with his best friend Scott Fowler (also from the Cathedrals up until they retired), and continued singing and playing piano and writing songs. He wrote Whispers in the Night, I've Read the Back of the Book, Don't Be Afraid, Healing, and many others. Roger Bennett died in 2007.

Rodney Griffin is really good too. He writes many wonderful songs, sings in Greater Vision, and *supposedly* plays saxophone (that's a southern gospel joke ;). He wrote Still, Waiting by the Well, and It Pays to Pray, along with many more!

I also love the songs that Diane Wilkinson wrote, and Mark Trammell and Gerald Wolfe are some of my favorite singers (both in their days with the Cathedrals and now that they have their own groups). I also like the Mylon Hayes family, the Bontrager Family Singers, and many others. But my top favorite musicians are Roger Bennett and Rodney Griffin.

Oh, and Isaac. Just to let you all know, my brother Isaac is an amazing composer, musician, arranger, singer, and everything. I've never met a better musician.

Are you all wondering why I have to take so long to answer a couple questions yet???

What is one random fun fact about you?

I don't like bell peppers. But that's not very fun or random. Hmm...

I love volleyball! But the person who asked this question already knows this...

I'm not a very random person! Okay, I'll try again. Besides, I am.

My personality type is INFP. There we go. ;)

What is your favorite part of blogging?

Being able to share with and bless others that I wouldn't be able to reach in this way! I love being able to share my poetry, share other people's poetry, and talk about music, poetry, family life, and other things. Oh, and I love comments. ;)

What is a secret talent of yours that many would be surprised to know?

Hmm... Secret talent that people would be surprised to know... Probably arguing, haha! Everyone always thinks I'm sweet and quiet, which I generally am. But I can DEFINITELY hold my own if I get fired up about something. Hand motions, strong arguments, facial expressions, evidence, and everything. I did debate for two years which probably helped.

I'm also good at pretending. I can say I'm happy, and look like I'm happy, and act like I'm happy, when really I'm not. And the other way around.

And I can also be EXTREMELY COMPETITIVE! Some of the other mothers of debaters who talked to my mom during debate season always could hardly believe her when she told them how I loved debate so much! But I thrived in the competition.

Okay, enough bragging about myself...

Laura's Questions:

Do you live in the country, city, or town?

50 acres in the country! I love it!

What's your favorite girl name?

Hmm... I love K names (especially Kate and Kitridge), and I love M names (especially Mallory and McKenzie).

What's your favorite board or card game?

Dutch Blitz! It's a family favorite!

Alright everyone! There ya' have it! If anyone missed the Q+A or has any last straggling questions, go ahead and ask and I'll answer them in the comments. Otherwise, I think we're done! Thanks to everyone who participated! I had a lot of fun with this and I hope you all did too!

And now, I have a question for you!

I've been thinking of starting a blog series. I have two ideas and, although I'll probably do both of them, I don't know that I should do both of them at the same time (although that's still an option). I'd probably try to post once a week about whatever I choose. Here's the two ideas:

1. Things that take our focus off of Christ or things that we try to find our identity inThere are a lot of things that we tend to find our identity in and this is one area I struggle in and I've been learning about.

2. Family lifeI've been thinking recently - you know, I've been just about everything. A little sister to older brothers. A big sister to little brothers. A big sister to little sisters. A daughter to a mother and a father. I've dealt with babies, toddlers, middle-aged kids, and adults as siblings. And I know I've had questions asked about being a sister and I've had requests for posts on younger siblings.

Let me know which you want to see most!

Be watching out for a long-overdue post - a tag by Laura @ Flowers in my Basket!

 

Now let's hear from you!

Have you enjoyed the Questions and Answers series? Which was your favorite question that I've answered? Are there any answers that surprised you? What are YOUR answers to some of these questions? Do you have any last minute questions? Which series do you think I should start first? Identity focus? Familyhood? Alternate between the two each week?

 

 

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LETS GET STARTED!!!!

by Grace 9. February 2018 21:16

I wrote this today while mentally struggling with multiple things that I feel God is calling me to. Here; you fill in the blanks. Put in something that you know God wants you to do, but your afraid to do, don't know how to do, or just plain don't feel like doing.

 

Here's the thing: I need to ________________ (Fill it in!), no matter what. God is on my side: if He is for me, WHO CAN BE AGAINST ME? Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. I have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to worry in doing this because God has EVERYTHING under control and He will guide the way. He's got this planned - expenses, directions, venues, helpers, EVERYTHING I could EVER POSSIBLY NEED. He's left me one thing. All I need to do is be willing to get out there and do something. That's all. 

Seem impossible?

All things are possible with God. And it WILL happen if it's God's will.

Seem frightening?

God will hold your hand the whole way through and be your shield. 

Not sure where to start?

GOD IS THE WAY! And besides, it was HIS IDEA in the first place. He's got a plan; He will lead and direct me.

So what am I waiting for?

LET'S GET STARTED!!!

I had a lot of fun playing with the fonts on this, by the way...

Now let's hear from you!

I know I said I'd be back on the 18th, but I thought I'd share a little bit of my logic-process while doing school... ;) Did you enjoy this? What are some of the hard things God is calling YOU to do right now???

 

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Short Semi-Breakish Sort of Thing

by Grace 30. January 2018 10:37

Hey everyone!

I just thought I'd pop in and say that I might not be here much again until sometime after the 18th of February. *Sniffs*

It's not that I thought I needed an internet break (although I could probably use one sometime or another) and it's not that I've run out of inspiration (I've got at least three posts in mind that I need to do - one of which is the rest of the Q + As which WOULD have already been posted if my computer hadn't suffered from momentary insaness and deleted half of the stuff I'd had on it. I can't sue it, unfortunately, because it was insane - it didn't destroy my work on purpose. Oh well). In short, I didn't want to take a break.

Why then, you may ask? Why have I decided to put my blog on the back burner for a while? Well, I've just suddenly gotten very busy.

With what?

Midterms.

And I'm more scared than last time. I'm not near as prepared as last time and don't have as much time to prepare, and I made a few mistakes, and these are going to be some hard tests. And it's not like God said not to worry...

Oh wait. He did. Never mind.

So I'm not going to! (Well, I'm trying...)

That doesn't mean that I'm not going to work hard. It doesn't mean that I'm not going to start studying early in the morning and keep going until late at night. It doesn't mean I'm not going to turn down multiple opportunities to do things that are 'more fun'. It doesn't mean it's not going to take an extra dash of courage and determination and lots of God's grace to make this happen.

In short, it doesn't mean it's going to be easy.

It just means that I have all of God's grace that I could want and that His grace is MORE than sufficient for me. 

What about you?

Alright, things that'll happen before I see you next:

I'll be 18!!! February 8th will mark my movement from infant to major (law terms... another word for 'minor' is infant. Haha, sorry to all of my friends and readers who are younger than 18! You're technically still infants.)

I'll be halfway done with my paralegal program. OH MY! Crazy!

My little brother Jacob will be 14. (No way. Jacob, I know you're reading this - you used to be the cutest, chubbiest little guy the world has ever seen. Whatever made you decide to change that!? Just teasing. Besides, you ARE still an infant. Hahaha! Get that??? ;)

I will have *hopefully* put in around 100 hours of school (preferably BEFORE testing :/ ).

Now, I've been talking like I'll be gone for weeks (which I might) but I most likely pop in again sometimes regardless of my busyness, and I'll keep an eye out for comments too. And if any of you feel the need to keep in touch with me during this time of gone-ness, there's the contact form somewhere on here. ;) As you can tell, I really don't want to be gone!!!

In the meantime, here's a song for you to enjoy and the lyrics to this song are coming from the bottom of my heart ;) I only like songs in this style as long as they're done just right; very little beat, no weirdness, and good, strong lyrics are the only way that this kind of tune is going to take off for me. But the Kingdom Heirs nailed it.

And the words are super good. Here y'all go.

Kingdom Heirs - Pray For Me

 

Now let's hear from you!

Will you all miss me? (I'll miss you all *sniff*) What are some things that will be happening for you during my break? What are some of your favorite verses when dealing with stress and anxiety? How many of you all are infants???? (No, just kidding! Honestly!) Did you all like the song?

 

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Questions and Answers Part 3: My Answers - Pt. 1

by Grace 23. January 2018 21:53

Alright, let's get right into this! I'm excited - are you?

Mom's Questions:

What's your favorite food?
Taco salad!!! Beef with lots of taco seasoning with lots of cumin… I feel like I’ve said all of this already. Haha!

What made you interested in poetry?
My interest originally came from Grandma, who is an amazing poet! She is one of my greatest inspirations when it comes to poetry – THE BEST poet I know.

What do you see yourself doing long term?
I'm hoping to be a wife and mother long term (Lord willing!), but beyond that, I don’t know. I would really like to see myself involved in music for some period of time, and the same goes for paralegal work , but I won’t know for sure what I’ll be doing long term until I get there, I guess. My plan is to start paralegal work first, but we'll see where God leads.

What time do you usually go to bed at night?
Ooh… It depends. On nights where I’m up late with school, I won’t go to bed until 11 (I can’t focus on the brain intensive reading material after 11pm) but otherwise, I usually try to head towards bed at 10.

How do you feel about our current administration?
I have mixed feelings about it – so far (although I say this very warily - I haven’t kept up with the news very much recently) Trump hasn’t done anything bad. From what I understand, he's done some good things. But, from what I can tell at least, he’s not a Christian, which means he looks at everything from a very wrong perspective. And as for the house and the senate, they’re not all that great, I’m afraid. There’s some good guys and bad guys, I guess, but mainly non-Christians who don’t have a right purpose for living, which means that they don’t have the right objectives for leading our country.

You know (this isn’t entirely related to the question), it makes me sad when people complain about politicians and how wrong and evil they are. Really, the majority of people wouldn’t do anything different once they held the power that government officials do. The only difference between us and the politicians is that they have power that we don’t and that all of their wrongs are highlighted in the news and ours aren’t.

Our positions are different, but our hearts aren't. We're all depraved human beings who desperately need God's mercy and grace.

What's it like to have 7 brothers?
It's a great learning experience! You learn pretty quickly to not be easily offended (although it took me a while because as a young girl I was super dramatic and always assumed that people were intentionally trying to hurt my feelings... I had to get over that eventually!) and it's a great way to learn how to help men of all ages. As women, we were created to be helpmeets for man. Woman was made for man, not the other way around. And although there are specific helpmeet roles that only a wife should fulfil and should only be done for her husband, we're still to be helpers to the men around us - brothers, fathers, and brothers in Christ.

And they're also just a lot of fun. If I want to have a heart to heart conversation, I generally go to my sis (and best friend) Abigail, but if I'm feeling heavyhearted and I just want something cheerful and fun, brothers are a good source of jokes, laughter, fun. They're also (mostly my older brothers) good, intriguing, logical and/or theological conversations. That's how I keep up with the news, too... My brothers. And they're very informative also. Even all of my little brothers can often tell me something I didn't know before, and that's a big thing because I'm a law student that hears about everything.

And they're also very protective. Sisters tend to be more sympathetic, and brothers are more defensive. I remember I mentioned that a boy at the highschool talked to me occasionally (nothing more than occasional short, light conversation) and before I had even finished my story (about how he was horrified at how many siblings (especially brothers ;) I had and how hilarious that had been to me), my older brother Daniel immediately interrupted and said, "Some guy talks to you? Don't worry, me and Jacob'll go and beat him up!" Suitors, beware!!!

One of the hard things about brothers is that they usually have a good dash of manly pride... in other words, they don't often like to be told what to do by girls (little sisters or 'bossy big sisters'). A few certain brothers especially don't like it. But what I've learned is that while boys have the power of strength, girls have the power of influence. When you have brothers, you learn to respect their God given authority as men, and learn to say things differently and kindly so that instead of making them annoyed that their 'bossy sister is telling them what to do again," they're happy to be around you and they're also more willing to help you out. Not even girls like to help a bossy sister, and brothers are even more repulsed at the idea.

The thing that I have trouble with the most is that boys seem to go through 'that boy stage' (for us usually from about 8-12, I think) where they're beginning the transition from boys to men and they want to be treated like men and act like boys about it. This is definitely the point where I struggle with most as a sister. Instead of encouraging them to act like men, I often get frustrated and tell them things along the lines of 'you're too old for this' and 'you should know better' and similar things. I remember the first time I realized that something was wrong and needed to change was once when Jacob (4 years younger than me) was going through this stage, and for once we weren't angry at each other and we were looking at some pictures of us about four years prior to the time. And I remember feeling rather guilty when the poor young fellow said, "That's when we were actually friends." Oh my! Imagine having your brother say something like that to you. Since then, I've been trying to be a better older sister to him (although he's pretty much past that stage) and Jon (who is in that stage right now). It's not been an easy journey, but God is helping me and good things are rarely ever easy.

Olivia's Questions:

What is it like to be an older sister?
It's amazing - one of my biggest blessings. I love being an older sister and pulling a little brother onto my lap or helping my youngest sister with a project, and knowing that they all look up to me and love me.

But it's also stressful. As the oldest girl, I feel the heavy burden of setting a good example - a good example to my sisters with how to treat brothers, an example of diligence, and an example of being fully devoted to Christ. When I see a sibling misbehaving, I wonder if they somehow picked that up from me. When I get mad at a younger sibling without cause, I wonder how badly I hurt their feelings. After I argue with the older ones, I wonder what message I've just sent them - do they think I don't care? That they're annoying? That they're hopeless? That I don't want to hear what they have to say? I'll lie awake in bed at night tossing and turning, wondering if I'm the sister I ought to be. And that makes things worse, because I'm not, and will never be. I'm only human, and I'm only where I am because of Jesus. But I can do my best, and with God's help, I can be a christ-like example to them - even though I'll sometimes stumble and fall or make a mistake.

One tip to older sisters (or just people in general really - this is just something I've learned as a sister) is to ALWAYS say sorry, even if you don't feel that you're the one to blame. It's a good way of humbling yourself before God and showing whoever it was that you offended that you love them. And when they respond with a cutting remark, answer in love and don't pursue a conversation with them. They'll get over it; if you say sorry and they're still angry, just give them a break.

And in a situation where one of them (or anyone, really) tells you you're doing something wrong or you've done something wrong, instead of arguing with them about it and defending yourself (even if you're entirely innocent), think of what you can do better next time. Do you think you were wrong? Resolve to do better next time! Think you weren't really right or wrong? Think of how you could have been christlike! Think you were christlike in the situation? Think of how you can be MORE christlike next time! There's always room for improvement.

And one more thing for when you feel that you're right and someone else is wrong, it takes two to make an argument, and (for the most part) an outside occurence to provoke or anger. I say for the most part because there will be times when someone wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. But even then, if they're treated right, the grump will *usually* cheer up pretty quickly.

What is it like to have sisters? (I only have brothers!)
I love it! I don't have better friends. Brothers can be meaningful and say heartfelt things too - don't get me wrong. But heart to heart talks with sisters are always especially refreshing.

Of course, like everything in this world, sisters definitely have areas that are highly affected by sin nature. Girls, as a general rule, are actually better at hurting feelings than brothers. Boys generally tease or act rather insensitively, while an angry girl can usually craft her words to be sharper than an arrow (the Bible makes multiple references to the tongue of a woman). I know I'm guilty of this too. But we learn how to refrain from saying these hurtful words ourselves and how to deal with these unkind remarks from others, which prepares us for the world ahead that we all must enter sometime. And when the world tries to hurt my feelings, I know my sisters will always have my back.

 

There, I answered some of the questions. If you all have more questions or didn't get to ask me questions before, you have until the next (and final!) Questions and Answers post to comment with your query!

I'll be posting my answers to the other questions in another post... As you can see, my answers to a lot of your questions are EXTREMELY LONG!!! XD

 

Now let's hear from you!

Have you been enjoying the Questions and Answers posts? Which was your favorite question that I've answered so far? Are there any answers that surprised you? What are YOUR answers to some of these questions? Do you have any additional questions you want answered in the last Questions and Answers post?

 

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Reflections on My Day - Do Looks Truly Matter?

by Grace 9. January 2018 20:41

It happened again.

Somebody told me I look nice today.

For years, just about wherever I've gone I've always been told that I was pretty. I've heard it from old and young, boys, girls, family, and friends - "You're so pretty!" "I love your hair!" "You have such a pretty smile!" "You're so thin!" "Your eyes are so blue - are those contacts???"

It's not necessarily a bad thing. I love hearing my Grandma, my mom, or my dad tell me things like that. And I like hearing my family and friends tell me I did a good job with my hair or things along those lines. But sometimes, I actually rather dislike it.

Some of you may be asking why on earth, but maybe some of you understand. For those of you who don't, let me explain.

I've often wondered when people have told me I'm pretty, "Why does it matter?" I haven't done anything to look the way I do. I've never tried losing weight - I still remember feeling thrilled whenever I gained more weight when I was younger. I didn't do anything to get blue eyes. We're still not even precisely sure where I got them from. I didn't give myself long, dark brown hair that went from waves towards the top and curls at the bottom. It was just there. I haven't done anything to get the face I have - I've never even worn makeup before. It's a gift from God, to be sure, I didn't do anything to get my looks and can't really do a substantial amount to make it any better - so what's the use in complementing my looks because they line up with the world's standards of pretty? I mean, it's not an evil thing, but it can be useless and oftentimes excessive.

And I know that it can be discouraging to me because I daily strive to be more like Jesus and more focused on Him - I try to be a better sister, more humble, more diligent, more patient, more graceful, more enduring, and many other things. And after working so hard, the only encouragement I get is, "Your eyes are so pretty!" Perhaps I was grumpy when my sibling did something annoying, but at least I have pretty eyes, right??? Again, it's not necesarily a bad thing for people to tell me my eyes are pretty, but I tend forget their comment pretty quickly. It doesn't mean much to me anymore.

The things that really stick to me are things like when a lady at the school walked by and said, "doing a good job, as always!" or when she said "as always, wearing a smile!" Or when my sisters say they love having an older sister. Or when my friend and coworker tells me I'm her 'Saving Grace' because I gave her an umbrella and an extra coat while we were working in the cold and rain. Or when somebody at the fair comes by after I've dealt with a tough visitor and tells me that I'm doing a great job and to keep wearing a smile. Or when my parents tell me they're proud of me for paying for college by myself. That's what matters most to me in my life. Our looks don't matter - God looks at and cares about the inside of us, not the outside. And He doesn't flatter us about our blue eyes and big smiles. He's more pleased when He sees a faithful heart, and we should be too.

And you know what? Most people who are praised for their looks probably already know. Before you told them that they had beautiful hair, an slender waistline, or a handsome face, they'd been told a million times - perhaps they begin to act like me sometimes, wearing sunglasses and a hat when I work at the fair so that people take me a little more seriously. Or they feel vain and proud for something that was a gift, not their own doing. There are some people who need to be told that they're beautiful - that God made them the way they are and they're precious to Him.

But the people who are beautiful in the World's standard don't need to hear it.

It'll bounce off of them, or they'll feel vain, or perhaps, like me, they'll simply ponder why it matters. If anything, some of us just need to be reminded that it's the heart that matters and not our appearance.

My looks aren't a talent. They're a gift. And, although I'm not mad when people tell me I'm pretty, I'd rather hear their encouragement or even their criticism - what I could be doing better in my Christian walk.

Next time you think to tell someone that they're pretty or handsome, stop to think if you have some encouragement for them or if there's a way to compliment their behavior.

And next time you're told that you look nice, tell them that it's a gift from God and that they look beautiful too.

 

Now let's hear from you!

Do YOU ever feel this way? Have you ever wondered why it mattered? What are some of your suggestions on things you can encourage friends in instead of telling them that they're pretty?

 

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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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Looking Higher, Reaching Farther

by Grace 19. December 2017 10:26

Hello everyone!

You don't mind if I post songs that have nothing to do with Christmas during the Christmas season, do you?

If you answered no to that question, then good. If you answered that you do mind, don't look at this post until Christmas is past and you'll never know I posted it during the Christmas season unless you read this part of the post or look at the date on the top.

Here's a song I wrote recently (oh, by the way, if you couldn't tell already, it's not a Christmas song). I haven't completely decided what order I want the verses to be in, but I'm thinking this is probably how I'll keep it. Hope you enjoy!

 

Looking Higher, Reaching Farther

Chorus: I'm looking higher, I'm reaching farther,

I want what's better, I want what's best

And so I'll stand uncompromising

Whenever I'm put to the test

So I'll keep walking on the narrow and straight

I'll be watching, and I will wait

I'm looking higher, I'm reaching farther

Than this world could ever dream

 

Verse 1: I'm not defined by what others say

Or by the standards of the day

I am defined by my faith in Jesus

And what he's done for all of us

 

Verse 2: I will not settle for the first man

Who says he loves me and asks for my hand

I'm waiting for the one God has chosen

I'm waiting for a godly man

 

Verse 3: When I am ever tempted to fear

I will remember that the Lord is near

I'll trust in Him; I'll fear no evil

For everything's in God's control

 

Verse 4: I won't judge my worth by how I feel

'Cause what I feel often isn't real

I get my worth in Christ alone

The greatest status ever known

 

Now let's hear from you!

Did you like the song? What did you think about the order of the verses? Did you have a favorite verse? Were you irritated that I posted something that wasn't Christmas-related during the Christmas season? If so, I don't really want to know...

 

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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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Song Suggestion: I Know All About Scars

by Grace 18. November 2017 22:17

Hey everyone! I realized that I forgot to post a song suggestion last Thursday! Haha! If I do that again feel free to post an angry comment or send a mad message through my contact page and I'll go ahead and post something! xD

Alrighty, here's an interesting one. Listen to it twice. First, imagine it is Jesus talking to you, and the second time imagine it's a Christian brother talking to you. Then let me know which you think fits best.

Happy hearing! ;)

I Know All About Scars

 

Now let's hear from you!

Did you like the song? For those of you who liked the song from last week, did you notice that this is the same group? Have you heard this song before? Who did you think was the speaker in this song - Christ or a fellow Christian?

 

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Finals Exams/Fear and Anxiety

by Grace 13. November 2017 21:35

Hey everyone!

I'm starting my quarter finals test tomorrow (for those of you who don't know, I'm a student of Oak Brook College of Law (OBCL.edu)). My quarter finals exams will consist of four 2-hour exams, two tomorrow, one on Wednesday, and one on Thursday. And for the record, one of my greatest fears is timed tests.

But I thought I'd just hop up here and let y'all know that even when we're facing our worst fears, we can lean on Jesus and HE can relieve us of our fears.

In reality, having fear is a sign of lack of trust. Let's say you went to the doctors and they said that you had a disease and that they would need to operate on you for you to get better. But you cry, "No way! That's just plain CREEPY! You're not cutting into me! That's terrifying! I don't care if you drug me to sleep first! I'm afraid!" The doctor shakes his head and says, "you don't trust me, do you? Well, if this is the way it's going to be, you're just going to have to deal with this issue that's cutting away at you."

Folks, anxiety is a sign that we're not trusting God enough, and as a result, that fear will be used by the devil to cut away at our souls. And I can attest to that; I'm still scared to death. But when I pray about it, the Great Physician begins His operation I start to feel better. However, if I don't let go, the pain of fear drains me so that I'm not as efficient for the purpose God has created me for.

Now, fear is something that takes time to rid yourself of. In fact, we cannot be fully immune to the temptations (yes, temptation -- a lack of trust in God is a SIN) of fearing and not trusting God until we get to heaven and are fully sanctified in His presence. But it's something to work on, and letting go of your fears and leaving all in God's care is glorifying to Him.

So for all of you who are like me, shaking in your shoes and wondering what to do and how to do and where to do and what to do and then realizing your muddled brain is going in circles, cast your cares upon the Lord and put your best effort in for the glory of God. Give Him your all.

Eccl. 9:10

Blessings and Prayers for you all!

 

Now let's hear from you!

What struggles and challenges have you been facing that cause you to fear? What are some of the Bible verses you refer to when you're fearful, stressed, and anxious? What is your reaction when frightening things come up - praying or panic?

For those of you who haven't seen yet, check out my new 'About' page on the sidebar!

 

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Our Lives are Passing Times

by Grace 7. November 2017 10:42

Hey everyone! Today I finally have some of my own inspiration to share with you! 

Let me know what you think!

 

Our Lives are Passing Times

The years are flying quickly by,

And time is flying fast;

And someday that is coming soon,

Our lives here will be past.

What have we done with what we have

To make our lives worthwhile?

Have we reached out to troubled souls?

Or giv'n the world a smile?

God's given so abundantly,

More than we'll ever know;

The least that we can do for Him

Is His great love to show.

Our lives are spent most selfishly-

In gaining for our pleasure,

And though things we get or want aren't 'bad',

It's all just earthly treasure.

And while we're  spending all our time

Enjoying what we've got,

We forget the ones who really

Haven't got an awful lot.

God's given so abundantly!

The least that we can do

Is to reach out with what we've got

to help a soul or two.

It isn't truly thankfulness

To hide with all our stuff,

And then ignore the ones

Who haven't near enough.

We would not have anything

If it weren't bestowed by God,

So we should help the weary souls

Who harder paths now trod.

You can't bring earthly things to heav'n,

And soon I'm sure you'll find,

It matters not what we'll bring with us

But what we'll leave behind.

 

And hey, just for the fun of it, if you can tell what rhyme scheme I used, comment below and let me know! Perhaps I'll do a post on rhyme scheme soon.

 

Now let's hear from you!

Did you like the poem? Any suggestions on how to make it better??? 

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Patience my Child

by Grace 7. August 2017 21:45

Hey all! I'm back! Fire off the cannons!!!

Here's a song that I wrote recently. This is something God's been telling me a lot recently! If I have my way, this will eventually make it onto our CD, but my way doesn't always happen in circumstances like these... Oh well. We'll see what happens. At any rate, here it is and let me know what you think!

Patience My Child

CHORUS: Patience, patience my child

Patience, patience my child

I have the answer

And remember

That I'll not forget your name,

Patience, patience my child

 

VERSE 1: I was wrestling through a struggle

So I lifted it in prayer

And I waited for a while

But my prayer for this trial

Didn't seem to have an answer

I great despair I asked Him

If He had heard my cry

He smiled at me, and this was His reply

(Chorus)

VERSE 2: When you're faced with life's decisions

And you ask God what to do

But it seems the Lord above

Who's always looking down in love

Wasn't looking down at you!

Stop fretting for a moment

Know that He will make a way

If you listen close, you will hear Him say

(Chorus)

 

Now let's hear from you!

 

Did you enjoy this poem? Is God currently teaching you this lesson too?

 

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