Monday, September 19, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Just to update a little about my book, I am nearly finished with one lesson, and the title has been tweaked slightly. My Mom suggested the title be “Dead Flies make Perfume Stink, and other life lessons for the young.
I have finally decided on a set in stone format for each lesson. I have also refined the goal for this book. This book began with me wanting to get something published and ready to sell in my little book store, but really it’s become much more than that. As I was coming up with the topics, I realized that most of these terms- biblical terms- are lost to society today. Terms such as folly, humility, and repentance are just a jumble of letters to most kids today. I went to my younger siblings and asked them the meaning of each word, and most of them gave me a blank stare. These very important topics, and many more are being bypassed now. People try to get by with telling their kids to “Be good” and “What would Jesus do?”, all the meanwhile, the kids don’t understand the concepts that are being taught in the Bible. Kids are given a watered down version because it’s assumed they can’t understand, when really the problem is that no one is teaching them what they need to know in order to understand.
Many kids today are also not learning the vital lessons of Christianity that will carry them through their teenage and adult years. Lessons on retaliation and why it’s wrong, pride and why it’s hurtful, forgiveness and the example Christ has set. These are the lessons my parents spent hours on end teaching me, but there are kids that aren’t getting that kind of teaching anymore. It’s important that kids learn these things when they are young, so that when they are old they will not depart from it. People today often think they have plenty of time to teach their kids, but the saying “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” has a tad bit of accuracy. It gets harder the older you are. You have developed your life habits, and habits are hard to break. So that, my friends, is the purpose of my book. To teach kids the life lessons they need in order to better equip them to understand the Gospel and to make it through life as a shining example of Jesus Christ.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
But that isn't just the title of this blog post. It is the title of my new project, "Dead Flies Make a Good Smell Stink, and Other Life Lessons For the Young." (Title subject to tweaking). I will be taking a lot of the topics I've written about here, and have taught time and time again to my siblings as I passed on what my parents have taught me, and putting them in book form. I would love it, though, if I could get some suggestions.
- What kind of things would you want me to include?
- What age group should I target this at?
- Would you buy a book buy this title, or does it need to go?
Edited to include a sample "Lesson"-
Just simply live. . . can we do that? Can we just simply live? Can we live to be alive, and nothing more? Or could it be that there must always be something to live for?
Can we simply live? The answer is no. Living is not simple. The Bible says in Galations 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me...". The third definition of crucified is to "subue (passion, sin, etc.)". So we must be subdued to live? What kind of living is that? The best kind! It would seem so contradictory, but it's the best freedom you can have. It is the freedom that gives you eternal life by the blood of Jesus Christ. We are able to live almost forever. Our minds cannot even fathom that. If we are able to live forever, how can we just simply live? How can we live eternally and just simply live?
We have to live for something, and we have to live for it with all that we are. We live for Christ or we live for Satan, we live for Heaven for we live for Hell.
When I was homeschooled as a young girl, my mother made me do handwriting lessons. Day after day I had to painstakingly scrawl each cursive letter until each curlicue was perfect. I hated each moment of it. There was one perk, however, that I greatly enjoyed. When I got to Friday, the end of the week, my cursive lesson was to write a Bible verse in cursive. That page of the book had a beautifully framed section for me to write my Bible verse in, and the drawings were black and white. Each Friday, as I finished my verse, I was allowed to color the frame that surrounded my hard worked for verse.
The day came that my mother said I was ready to move on from handwriting, and that I could drop handwriting lessons and use my cursive in every day school. I was appalled at the thought. How could I give up my handwriting lessons when I still had a few Fridays left to be had out of my book? It was the incentive of those Friday lessons, in which I could color to my heart’s content, that kept me going through the rest of the lessons. This same concept applies to our lives. We don’t go through life and live for nothing. We do live for something, and we do not just simply live for it. We live and die for it. The question is who and what are we going to live for. The question is: Will you just simply live?
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
This has nothing to do with the South. This has nothing to do with anything you would ever expect to be put on this blog. But this is a post well deserved, and it shall be written. Today was a day of tragedy and yet hope. Today (April 26, 2010) around 6:30 pm Ryan Modrow (18) and Daniel Walters (22) died in a motorcyle accident. We lost two friends, two young men- sons, brothers, friends- in a tragic accident, and yet there is hope. These young men weren't just any young men. They were followers of Christ. The hope lies not in what they have done, but in what was done some two thousand years ago to give us hope today, tonight, and in the weeks to come. The grief is still here; it won't leave for years to come. But with the grief there is hope. They aren't gone. Their lives aren't ended. They have only just begun.
Ryan, I haven't known you long, and I may not know you well, but we had some fun times, and pulled some good pranks on each other. You always had a knack for dropping jokes at just the right time. You had a way of making everyone about you smile when you were doing the same. You were kind and caring, and you are sorely missed. You touched so many lives! Ryan, God had his hand on you, and loved you to the end of the life you lived here on this earth. I cannot even imagine the glory you are experiencing in Heaven. You will be missed.
Ryan to the left, Daniel on the right.
Daniel, I never talked with you, but I did know your brothers and sisters. You were greatly loved and respected, and you, too, will be missed. The Lord knew every hair on your head, and your death was not unexpected to Him. He called you home, and I know you will be happy there. There will be no more pain there. No more suffering, no more pain. We cannot understand the ways of God, but I know that what God has allowed to happen was for the best. Daniel, your family and friends love you, and you will always be in their hearts.
I know that we cannot know why they died when they did. But regardless of that, they lived full lives. Their lives were not in vain. God used them to touch so many others. The Bible tells us in James 4: 13-15 that life is a vapor:
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city,
spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know
what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that
appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If
the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”
And I know that neither Ryan's nor Daniel's lives were empty. Both lived wonderful lives and leave behind many, many loved ones. And these loved ones will treasure their memory forever. You will never be forgotten. The day will come when all will reunite with ya'll in Heaven, and there will be much rejoicing. Until then, we love ya'll.
~God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain. But He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way. =`)
everything I think;
If only you could smooth away
every single kink.
If only we could always be
together, not apart;
If only we were tethered strong,
together, at the heart.
If only time, and age, and space
never did exist;
If only we could overcome
these problems that persist.
If only as I sit and think
of all these little things,
We could somehow rid ourselves
of the tears our feelings bring.
But no matter how we try
to wish our troubles gone,
Only God can know the times,
whether short or long.
In His name and by His power,
we are made brand new.
By His light, and life, and love
our paths run straight and true.
God, take my "ifs" and "only's",
and throw them far away.
Help me trust in You alone,
and do so every day.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
I do have legitimate reasons, which will lead me to what I am really planning on posting about. My first reason for not posting is quite simple. I lacked inspiration for the longest time. Hard to write with no inspiration, eh? My second reason for not posting was that I really was quite sick these last couple weeks. I couldn't get out of bed for a few days and felt quite miserable. Then the right side of my jaw and neck started swelling and hurting like the dickens and I couldn't talk very well for nearly a week. For some reason this silenced me even in writing. Ha. The third and final reason for my not posting was simply because I have been busy with real life things. And I love it. I used to hate it, but now I love it. I love being busy(er). Which leads me to my ramblings.
I always wondered why my father hated (okay, not really hated, but disliked) excessive use of the internet. To me it was always the greatest friend. I loved blogging, and chatting, and foruming, and shopping, and writing. I loved it all. I still do, in a way. But I discovered something. I discovered that I like calling up my best friends and going out to lunch with them more than I like sitting on a computer and shopping for things I'll never buy. I discovered I would much rather watch children and babies in the church nursery on any given day of the week than I would posting on a forum. I even love doing chores more than I love blogging. *gasp* I love a clean house. I really do. Don't get me wrong, however, writing is still one of my great passions. I'm constantly getting new story inspirations. Some... well, let's say some will never make it. But one day I hope you all will see my work (actually, strike that, you will, quite soon. :D I'm being published in a magazine for children to pre teens. Just a small story. But still, you have no idea how much this blows me away.) Anyway, Writing is still a passion of mine. Oh boy, is it.
Something I've also been fascinated (again) with as of late would be piano. I've been needed down at the church for two or three days a week these last six weeks and whenever I get the chance I go in the sanctuary (alone, and whew, I'm not gonna lie, it's scary for some reason) and play the beautiful grand piano. Music is something indescribable to me. It brings me joy, expresses my sorrow, and rids me of anger. I love playing, and I don't know why I ever stopped. It saddens me that I only know as little as I do. Anyway, enough of all this randomness. Those are my excuses for not blogging for seemingly forever, haha. But I am well now, and I do have a little more time. So I shall make a little more of an effort to be inspired. ;)
I love each of my dear readers, and pray for all of you, whoever each of you may be. I really do want God to bless each and every one. Whether that be through something I have written, or pointed you towards, I can only pray for. Thanks for each of you who take your time out of your day to read my little ramblings. You have no idea how much it means to me. :)
Sunday, February 27, 2011
To begin with, none of this is meant to brag or gloat, and at times I am going to sound like I am saying something that is wrong, but there is always a track for these trains of thought. Just ride it all out or skip the trip.
I have something called an image. You have one, too, whatever it may be. Let me explain to you what my image is. To those outside of my family it is the “good girl” image. To my parents it switches between the “will she ever get what we are saying” image and the “perfect child” image. But most of the time I hear the “good girl” and “perfect child”. Let me say here, this is absolutely nothing to brag about. First of all, it is more of a hindrance than a blessing. This is where the rambling begins.
Most people want that sort of image. “Why can’t I be like so and so? They do everything right.” Ha. You only think that good people do everything right. We don’t. I promise. Don’t try to be a “good girl” or a “perfect child” (or a “good guy” for that matter). This is why it is a hindrance. When you have an image of a certain way of being, people notice when you sway from what they deem to be that image. If I wear a piece of clothing they deem to be immodest (everyone has their own personal convictions) or gaudy, then I am judged by their perceptions of what a “good girl” is and does. If I decide I want a tattoo, but that is against their convictions then *gasp* I’m…. I’m a rebellious little thing. (Just as a note, I currently do not want nor plan to have a tattoo, nor will I condemn them as sinful. That is for you all to decide for yourselves.) It is hard. It is very hard. We want to be good, but we fall, we stumble, we sin. We may believe something to be right, but someone else doesn’t, and said other person decides to ruin our image. I know for myself, I have refrained from doing things thinking “if I do this they will think I’m not a perfect young lady anymore”. I’m not joking. It wasn’t because my heart was in the right place, it was because I was afraid of the perceptions of others.
Here is one reason that Christianity comes so hard to me. (Please hear me through). Because of this image that I have ‘to protect’ (hint of sarcasm there) I always had for myself a list of to do’s and to don’ts based on what other people said to me. Here are a few-
1) Read your bible every day. Why- If you don’t you won’t know God, you aren’t a true Christian, and you are a hypocrite.
2) Stand out. Be different. Don’t do what the rest of the world does. Why- If you do you aren’t a true follower of Christ. You aren’t truly being conformed and transformed to His image.
3) Go to church every Sunday. Why- Because in order to grow at all, you must have fellowship with other believers. You can’t consider yourself a good Christian and not go to church. You won’t grow without church.
4) Always obey. Parents, teachers, pastors, etc. Why- Because God commands you listen to those in authority over you. Any sort of questioning, talking back (even in a respectful tone), and disobedience is highly punishable. They know things you don’t, never question, simply do.
Now some of those may seem like good reasons to do those things. But let me now explain to you why the why’s in each of those really good, healthy things to do damaged how I looked at them.
1) I felt that if I didn’t I was a sinner and hypocrite, and didn’t feel close to God. I felt like it didn’t matter whether I read my bible because no matter what I did, I couldn’t be close to Him.
2) This caused me to do all I could to stand out (including never even considering college or a job), and it also caused me to judge others as well, in accordance with what I deemed to be a “good person”.
3) This caused me to become reluctant to attend church, and pushy when we didn’t go. It was a hard spot to be in. I didn’t want to go, but felt I needed to. I never desired to worship and praise, I did it because I had to.
4) This was the toughest one for me. This made it hard for me to express my true thoughts, for fear of being shot down and considered rebellious. I was under the impression that even if something wasn’t the best option available, if I was told to do it, I needed to do it. I wasn’t supposed to suggest better options.
Now I am not in any way excusing what I think and do. I am in charge of choosing how and what I think, with the help of my Savior. But these are the things that negatively affected just how I think/thought about Christianity. I felt that it was impossible. I couldn’t be perfect. I wasn’t Jesus! So I sort of abandoned what I felt was Christianity. I didn’t want it. I looked the part, talked the part, even partially walked the part, but deep down, in my heart, I was only doing it to protect who I was. Or… who I thought I was. I thought this way until last summer. Until I read a book that really taught me more than I can say. It brought me to tears at some points and laughing at others. I was so wrong!
People today are often times so bound to their image. The image created for and by them. They don’t understand that Christianity is not about our image. It’s about His. We have to be free to be conformed to His image, not ours. It starts with us being willing to forget what others think about us. We should be thinking primarily of what God would think of us. Do that and you are bound to have a good reputation with most. Everyone may not like you, but you can be sure you will be in the right. It doesn’t matter what others think, because 100 years from now you’ll be in front of God Almighty, not them. It’s a hard choice to make. We are naturally pleasers of ourselves and of others. When we allow Christ in us, our primary reputation to keep should be our reputation before God.
Now I am not “bashing” good girls or “perfect children”. I’m not saying I want to be rebellious and totally detach from my roots. I’m not saying I want to forsake Christianity. I love my faith. I really, truly, honestly do. No matter how much I try to convince myself (I don’t really try at all, but you know) that God is not real, the more I am convinced that He is. I see Him everywhere. And I love Him. He died for me. What I am saying here is that I don’t like being bound by these images. I want my image to be that of my Savior's. What I am saying here to you all, is to think before you judge. Before you point fingers at people, make sure that you are living the way Christ has called you to live. Don’t judge people on their clothes, their talk, their actions even. Actions, when observed out of context, can be misleading. Don’t assume. Know the heart of a person and their reasons and thinking before judging them and accusing them.
Anyways, that was just a lot of rambling thoughts on my part. I hope it made sense… and that I even made a point. :)
Friday, February 25, 2011
No, I haven't died; Yes, I do have time; No, I haven't forgotten you all; Yes I've run out of words to say... wait... what?
Saturday, February 12, 2011
We live in a culture of lies. Lies that are harmful, hurtful, and even deadly. As Christians our primary responsibility is to glorify God. We are to focus on Him, and live for Him. We are to live against the grain; combating these lies that Satan is throwing at us and stabbing us with by being obedient to the precepts God has laid for us in the Bible. It seems pretty simple at a glance. Follow these rules, all goes well, right? Wrong. In this culture of lies, it is rare to find truth. It is rare to find what is just, righteous, and Godly. Many young people are not receiving teachings of truth, and are, therefore, being sucked into the falsehoods of our society. That is one goal of We Shall Speak. We want to give insightful, encouraging articles full of the truth and righteousness of God. We want young people to grow. We want to be increasing the truth of our Father and decreasing the deceptive images shoved in our faces.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Chapter 18 (In which I confess to many dastardly deeds and purpose to change my defective ways and begin again, avoiding said deeds and all nefarious actions hereto after)
So I had other posts planned to write, and still plan to write them, but this one completely won out. Why? Because I really felt God confirming this as something I needed to say. Lately... lately I have allowed myself, even chosen, to become distracted. Distracted with family, friends, chores, grocery shopping, cleaning, even sitting there doing nothing (go figure). I have allowed myself to get distracted so that I would not have to bother with the things that I knew would keep me from what I was using to distract me (did you get that?). I wanted to do what I wanted to do, and I knew that if I gave God any leeway He'd take it. So I didn't. I sat day after day explaining to myself why it was okay, finding loopholes and exceptions that could justify my actions. Guys, I am here to tell you (oh how many times I have heard that phrase) that it doesn't work! Again, I was looking in my little square of now and not looking to the big painting of tomorrow. You want to know what the end result was? More hurt than I ever could guess (okay, well it's not so bad as it could be, but let's just say my highway has a looooot o' potholes right now **).
So that isn't even the confession. That was just the prologue. Thank you folks, I know it's a wonderful read so far (apparently lack of humility isn't on the list of confessions). Here it is. I don't read my Bible any more than I absolutely, positively, completely, and totally have to. Seriously. I am eighteen years old, and most nine year olds raised in Christian homes probably read their Bibles more than I have. I. Feel. Awful. I'm a Christian who doesn't read the Bible. That's like a governor who doesn't read his state's newspaper (oh, wait... that's true for our state).... okay, that's like a law student who doesn't read the law books! So simply put, I am a hypocrite. I totally just confessed that on Blogger. It's not like God didn't know already. So why am I telling you guys (that is, whoever reads these crumby little things) this? Because it doesn't end there.
That's one thing I love about God. It never just "ends there". There is always, always, something left to be done, and if you are willing, He's going to be doing it. Recently, as in the last week or so, God really has been moving some things. He's been pulling the walls down of my "hiding place". I looked up just in time to see what was coming, but by then it was too late. To be honest, I saw what was coming last summer, but me and my selfish and sinful heart didn't care. I was willing to risk everything I knew to be right to have what I wanted most. Do I regret it? Yes, I do. Can I undo it? No, I can't. But I can change how I go from here on out. I have really had a desire in the last week to know God's word. To really know it. To stop having to think "oh I need to go on Bible Gateway and do a search so I can write on this topic", and to start thinking "oh, this verse I just thought of would be great for that post I'm writing". Paul commended the Bereans for searching the Scriptures to see if what he said was true (Acts 17: 10-12). I have been so guilty of just accepting what I hear. The Bereans measured all things by Scripture. So that's how I want it to be. With the aid of the New King James Version Daily Bible (whew, what a name!) I will do just that.
Now this is where it gets cool (in my opinion). So this last week there has been a Bible story that has really stuck out to me. The story of Peter walking on the water. Not because some maniacal dude walked on water. Rather because some crazy dude trusted. This guy trusted. I mean, how crazy is that? Did he really think he could walk on water? Probably not. But he was crazy enough to trust and try. He didn't take a ton of steps before thinking. Each step was a thought.
Step one- "I trust in you, O God".
Step two- "You are trustworthy, Jesus".
Step three- "You are trustworthy, right, Jesus?".
Step four- "Um, hey, Jesus... my feet are getting a little wet... and now my ankles.... and now my calves... Lord, save me!"
Now get this. Jesus didn't say "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" and then stretch out His hand. He immediately stretched out His hand and caught him. That's how He is with us, too. When we cry out "Lord, save me!" He doesn't stand over us and point out all of our sins and say "Why have you doubted me?" before pulling us back up to our feet. He pulls us back up and asks us why. More for our benefit than His. Our doubt only hurts us. God knows what is going to happen no matter what. So when we doubt, all it does is harm us. A friend said to me recently "The beginning of fear is the end of our faith." And that is ever so true. It is an active war we fight against Satan for control of our thoughts and emotions.
It was when Peter focused solely upon Jesus- not the tossing waves and cutting winds around him- that he walked on water. The moment his eyes left the face of Jesus the doubt crept in. My eyes have left the face of Jesus many times this past year or more. I have not fought to see Him alone. The doubts crept in and I clung to what I felt I needed to keep me from sinking in the lack of hope I felt. Note I say 'felt'. I doubted up and down the planet, because I was scared God wasn't big enough to give me what I wanted most. How lame is that view? I really need to broaden my view of God. Which brings me to my next thing (oh yeah, there's more coming).
God showed me today yet another example of just how big He is. So I said I have had the story of Peter walking on water (Matthew 14:22-26) on my mind all week, right? I also said I was going to be using The New King James Version Daily Bible, right? Today was my first day using it. I remember thinking earlier today, "I wonder if I'll start reading and something will come up about things I've been thinking about lately, or something I want to write about." So I flipped to January 22nd. I read in Genesis. Had some good thoughts there that will go into another blog post (cause do you really want any more added to all of this?). Then I read Psalms. Good stuff there, too. The Lord tests the righteous.... and does He test hard. Then I read in Proverbs. God, thank you so much for Proverbs. That was the slap in the face I needed. Wow. How convicting. A reaffirming of the awesomeness of parents, right when I needed it most. Then.... then I read in Matthew. The very same story that I had been meditating upon the whole week. There it was. And then I read "Lord, save me!". And I thought "God, that's me! I'm sinking, please save me!". I then proceeded to read on. "And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him." And I knew, that is what God had done and is doing for me. I was up to my knees, but He is pulling me back up. I need to focus on nothing but Him, walking side by side with my Saviour, through the storm to the other side.
And folks... I belive that is all for now. Note I say 'for now'. Because I have more coming whenever it comes. Until then, lots of love in Christ.
**in reference to the song "Life is a Highway".