Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Favorite Post For March...

Here are my five personal favorite post I did for this month... Thanks to all who followed me this month and left kind words here and on Facebook.

Day 64: Letting Him Breathe Into Your Dreams...

Day 66: Just The Way You Are...

Day 72: Becoming Friends With Those You Call Un-Friendly... Reaching Out...

Day 78: Death... It's Been Conquered... 

Day 83: Amazing Grace... The Story Behind It...

What were your favorites this month? (All post can easily be found on the right hand sidebar) See you all tomorrow.

Friday, March 30, 2012

My Favorite Blog/Website Of March...

Today I would like to share one of my favorite blog/websites. I will be doing this every month on the second to last day. Here were my favorite site(s) for January and February. I won't be sharing as many today, as I did last month and the month before, just because I really want you to visit the sites I share and I'll be doing this at the end of every month now... so I have a lot of chances to share my favorites. For now on, I think I'm going to do just one special blog/website every month...

This months favorite blog/website is...
Heavenward Reviews by Noah Arsenault.
Noah writes wonderful reviews on books and movies (you can truly trust his opinion). He holds some really fun contest/giveaways every now and then, and shares some great things on his beautiful blog. Go check out his blog and leave him a comment or two.

What are some of your favorites blogs/ websites? Please share, even if it's your blog/website... I always enjoy finding new sites.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 89: Sing With Me... I Dare You To...

Yes, I am going to be a little lazy today :D This is one of my favorite songs off of Music Inspired By The Story... All of the songs (there are 18 total) are really, really good. Enjoy the words to this beautiful song and may you be blessed by it.

(Remember to pause my purple music box, located on the right sidebar.... below My Blog Archive. The bottom middle button will pause it)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

CSFF Blog Tour: Night of the Living Dead Christian: Day Two

About the book:
Author: Matt Mikalatos
Genre: /Fiction/Fantasy/Christian Spirituality/ Spiritual Allegory
Page Count: 272
Publisher: Tyndale SaltRiver

What does a transformed life actually look like?

In his follow-up to the critically acclaimed Imaginary Jesus, Matt Mikalatos tackles this question in an entertaining and thought-provoking way—with MONSTERS!!! While Christians claim to experience Christ’s resurrection power, we sometimes act like werewolves who can’t control our base desires. Or zombies, experiencing a resurrection that is 90 percent shambling death and 10 percent life. Or vampires, satiating ourselves at the expense of others. But through it all we long to stop being monsters and become truly human—the way Christ intended. We just can’t seem to figure out how.

Night of the Living Dead Christian is the story of Luther, a werewolf on the run, whose inner beast has driven him dangerously close to losing everything that matters. Desperate to conquer his dark side, Luther joins forces with Matt to find someone who can help. Yet their time is running out. A powerful and mysterious man is on their trail, determined to kill the wolf at all costs . . .

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Night of the Living Dead Christian is a spiritual allegory that boldly explores the monstrous underpinnings of our nature and tackles head-on the question of how we can ever hope to become truly transformed.

About the Author: 
Matt Mikalatos is the author of Imaginary Jesus. He works with a Christian non profit equipping college students for overseas missions. He started watching the Saturday morning Monster Matinee with his father at the age of two and as a result has a natural fear of giant irradiated insects, bloodsucking rocks, and carnivorous dinosaurs. He lives near Portland, Oregon, with his wife and three daughters.

My Review:
First of all I would like to say that I really, really enjoyed this book. Matt Mikalatos is one talented writer. Night of the Living Dead Christian is unique, original, one of a kind, challenging, beautiful, and entertaining... I have never read or have come across a book like this and I’m not sure if I ever will. I highly recommend entering this fun tale, that is filled with a deep truth...

Now I must say I am not at all a monster fan. In fact I hate monsters with a passion. Dislike and stay clear of paranormal and urban fantasy. Gag over the crazy vampire craze and laugh at the Twilight nuts... come on, you agree right ;-) I watched the first few episodes of The Walking Dead and had nightmares of the zombie apocalypse for months. So why in the world would I pick up this book and read it? Will, I first read other reviews on it (courtesy of Amazon) and was very intrigued by the greater message within the story... we all have a monster within us and only one can destroy it, but are we really allowing Him too?

The book itself is lovely. From it’s nice font and awesome book cover art, to the wonderful interview with the author located at the back of the book, along with a great discussion guild, and a fun, yet silly guild on, Are You a Monster? There is also two pages on rejected titles and taglines for the book, which is interesting to read... especially for us writers.

If you want a book of humor( Mr.Mikalatos has wonderful humor) a book filled with a different look at the monsters we all know and a book that will give you one of the greatest challenges for your life... go get a copy of Night of the Living Dead Christian or of course download one on your e-book reader haha... whatever fancies you.

Here is a wonderful trailer on it with the author Matt Mikalatos...
 (Remember to pause my purple music box, located on the right sidebar.... below My Blog Archive. The bottom middle button will pause it)

Here is one link to buy the book

Check out the author’s website  

And Please be sure to check out what the other tour members are saying about it..."> Gillian Adams
"> Julie Bihn
"> Red Bissell"> Thomas Clayton Booher
Thomas Fletcher Booher"> Keanan Brand"> Beckie Burnham"> Morgan L. Busse"> Theresa Dunlap"> Amber French">Tori Greene"> Nikole Hahn"> Ryan Heart"> Bruce Hennigan"> Janeen Ippolito"> Becky Jesse"> Jason Joyner"> Carol Keen"> Leighton"> Shannon McDermott"> Rebecca LuElla Miller"> Nissa"> Joan Nienhuis"> John W. Otte"> Crista Richey"> Sarah Sawyer"> Chawna Schroeder"> Rachel Starr Thomson"> Steve Trower"> Fred Warren"> Shane Werlinger">  Nicole White"> Dave Wilson

 In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.  I was not required to write a positive review. Thank you Tyndale!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

CSFF Blog Tour: Night of the Living Dead Christian... Day One

It’s time for the CSFF Blog Tour again... This months tour is on a fun and unique book called, Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos.

Here is the teaser for it:

What does a transformed life actually look like?

In his follow-up to the critically acclaimed Imaginary Jesus, Matt Mikalatos tackles this question in an entertaining and thought-provoking way—with MONSTERS!!! While Christians claim to experience Christ’s resurrection power, we sometimes act like werewolves who can’t control our base desires. Or zombies, experiencing a resurrection that is 90 percent shambling death and 10 percent life. Or vampires, satiating ourselves at the expense of others. But through it all we long to stop being monsters and become truly human—the way Christ intended. We just can’t seem to figure out how.

Night of the Living Dead Christian is the story of Luther, a werewolf on the run, whose inner beast has driven him dangerously close to losing everything that matters. Desperate to conquer his dark side, Luther joins forces with Matt to find someone who can help. Yet their time is running out. A powerful and mysterious man is on their trail, determined to kill the wolf at all costs . . .

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Night of the Living Dead Christian is a spiritual allegory that boldly explores the monstrous underpinnings of our nature and tackles head-on the question of how we can ever hope to become truly transformed.

Tomorrow I will give you my personal review, but today I would like to lead you to a few other fellow blog tour reviews and talks on this book...

Jason Joyner has a great monster quiz going on in his post for today, go see what monster you are... and find out what one I am ;-)
Monsters Aren't Imaginary - A CSFF Tour Special Report

Check out Fred Warren’s wonderful review...
March CSFF Blog Tour Day 2: Night of the Living Dead Christian, by Matt Mikalatos

Leighton wrote a very nice review check it out...
The Night of the Living Dead Christian – A Review

Nissa wrote a good post on one reason for not completely enjoying the book... I don’t completely agree with her, but it’s a good post to check out :-)
Night of the Living Dead Christian: Why Allegory Disappoints

And of course I always recommend Becky Miller’s post. Her newest post focuses on the subject of transformation. A BIG theme in the book...
Transformation: CSFF Blog Tour – Night Of The Living Dead Christian, Day 2

Check out the other tour members for this months tour and come back tomorrow to see my review :-)"> Gillian Adams
"> Julie Bihn"> Red Bissell"> Thomas Clayton Booher
Thomas Fletcher Booher"> Keanan Brand"> Beckie Burnham"> Morgan L. Busse"> Theresa Dunlap"> Amber French">Tori Greene"> Nikole Hahn"> Ryan Heart"> Bruce Hennigan"> Janeen Ippolito"> Becky Jesse"> Jason Joyner"> Carol Keen"> Leighton"> Shannon McDermott"> Rebecca LuElla Miller"> Nissa"> Joan Nienhuis"> John W. Otte"> Crista Richey"> Sarah Sawyer"> Chawna Schroeder"> Rachel Starr Thomson"> Steve Trower"> Fred Warren"> Shane Werlinger">  Nicole White"> Dave Wilson

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 86: Some Lovely Quotes You Probably Haven't Read...

When you look at the human condition, we're a hopeless (sad and pitiful) bunch . . . without God. Here's our problem: we love our desires/ourselves more than we value God, and this mindset leads to depression/frustration/emptiness/anger/you name it. No, focusing on yourself does not get you satisfaction. You were meant for more than yourself. Why are you settling for a dejected and hopeless you when you can be living the ultimate fulfillment of your life?
~ Taylor J. Beisler

Thoughts are worthless unless they become words. Words are worthless unless they become deeds. Deeds are worthless unless they are expressions of God's thoughts.
 ~Bryan Davis

"In every action we take, we are either helping to create hell on earth or helping to bring down a foretaste of heaven. We are either contributing to the broken condition of the world or participating with God in transforming the world..."
~ I think this is also from, Taylor J. Beisler.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 85: My Review on, The Hunger Games Movie...

My family and I went out and saw, The Hunger Games, at our small local theater, Thursday night... yes it was the midnight showing. That was my crraazzzyyy thing I was doing. The midnight showing was a ton of fun. The first time I have ever done a midnight showing and I did it with no caffeine... lots of sugar though. Here is my review on it. Please feel free to share your review (ONLY if you have seen the movie) in the comment section below this post.

My Review on The Hunger Games Movie:
I know a lot of people have had some crazy harsh things to say about this movie. These reviews are coming from Christians which I find to be funny and a bit shameful.... on making us Christians look a little stupid. Twilight and Harry Potter is okay to a lot of Christians, but The Hunger Games isn't?  I admit I have never read nor seen Twilight or Harry Potter, nor will I ever. They are evil in my opinion. But I find it strange to consider this story unchristian like... especially when you see Twilight and Harry Potter, being okay. I personally don't see The Hunger Games, being evil. In fact they are more human like than perfect Vampires and good Wizards... both of these stories have a lot of dark things in them with death and fighting.  Maybe I'll do a deeper review on this soon, for now here is my review on the movie...
My only disappointment in it was Peeta. They (in my opinion) made his character dull, compared to what I saw him in the book. His demeanor was just different and almost unlikable. I think they also missed on putting in some big key elements of him and Katniss, that would make you understand and see their friendship build better. In my opinion I think they did a really poor job on that. I like the actor who played Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), and I really don't blame him for it, more to whoever wrote his parts.

My mom who didn’t read the book (she does it after seeing the movie) thought the flash backs of the bread scene was him being a jerk and the reason for Katniss being a little hostile towards him. That was a sweet scene in the book, not the way they betrayed it in the movie. My mom thought Peeta was a bad character, until all of a sudden Katniss was nice to him. I got it, though it bugged me, but she didn’t. And one BIG thing with him at the end, which I won’t say, but it deals with his leg. They made that end happier and wrote in a very different scene... ha, ha.  But that was something that I felt was pretty touching in the book... so I sort of missed it, even though the movie version was happier.

I think they did an excellent job at not making it too gory, which it really could of been. It was just enough were you got it and was sad, but not enough to make you want to turn your head. I liked that! I'm really glad they didn't get into too much details of characters killing each other. I know that is the theme of the story and some have said they wished for it to be more gory. They in my opinion did it in a satisfying way. Too much would of ruined the movie and the bigger story. I still highly recommended being 12 or older to see it. PG-13 is a good rating for it. We need to be cautious with what we see. DON'T bring your younger sibling or child to see it. Too disturbing for a young mind to understand, yet this is just my opinion...
The actors were great, especially Jennifer Lawrence who played Katniss. I’m not a fan of hers, but I think she did a beautiful job. I really felt and saw her emotions. She truly put a lot of work into her part and it really showed. Also she had a natural prettiness about her.

Do I recommend this movie... yes! I'm going to buy it when it comes out on dvd and I really look forward to the sequel :-)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day 84: Should I or Shouldn't I... National Donate Your Hair Day...

April 2012: Donate your hair to cancer...
On Friday, April 27th, Pantene & Seventeen Magazine are hosting the first ever
~*~National Donate Your Hair Day!~*~ To make real-hair wigs for woman battling cancer.

Okay everyone... I need your help. Should I or Shouldn’t I join in on this beautiful cause. It’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for years, but haven’t been brave enough to take the cut. My hair grows really fast, so if I cut it short, it should grow back in less than a year... Oh, I truly cherish my long hair, but this is really too neat!
Yesterday Rachel Ray... yes I watch her show every now and then :-) Well she talked about this and had three beautiful woman with really long hair that did this... wow was the red head’s hair gorgeous. She especially said something that really touched me, “Every time I think of my hair, I will be thinking about my hair sister and how I helped give her some comfort in something so hard.” What a neat thing to do for someone.

So feel free to cast your vote... I think I’m going to go for it, but I would love a little encouragement and people to hold me to it, because I’m going to need it :-/ Also would anyone like to join me???

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About Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths:
Pantene created Beautiful Lengths because healthy hair means a lot to us, and the appearance of healthy hair means so much to women battling cancer. We want to be there for women when looking and feeling healthy is so important to them. As one breast cancer survivor put it, "It was very hard when my hair started falling out. It was coming out in chunks. It really takes away who you are when you look in the mirror."
Many of the women we help say that putting on a wig makes them feel like themselves again. When you donate your hair to the cause, you’re helping make that happen.
Beautiful Lengths is a partnership between Pantene and the American Cancer Society, the largest nonprofit health organization committed to saving lives from every cancer, in every community, and improving the quality of life for people facing the disease . The role of Pantene is to help women grow long, strong, beautiful hair and provide the funds to turn this hair into free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer. So far, Pantene has donated 18, 000 free real-hair wigs to the American Cancer Society’s wig banks which distribute wigs to cancer patients across the country. We’re currently the country’s largest donor of real-hair wigs through the American Cancer Society. Because real-hair wigs are expensive, and many women with cancer can’t afford them, demand for these wigs is high. We can only create as many wigs as donations, so your part is critical to improving the lives of as many women as possible. To see if you are eligible to receive a free wig or if there are wigs available in your area, please call the American Cancer Society’s Wig Bank Line at 1-877-227-1596.
To us, it’s hair, but to women with cancer, it’s hope.
Give your hair care new meaning
Since Pantene started the Beautiful Lengths program back in July 2006, we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. Every year, we receive page after page with messages of hope and gratitude, of love and of loss. We receive boxes of photos of women, children, and even men holding their ponytails, sporting a new short style, with notes attached in memory of their loved ones. These photos, letters and cards are moving and inspiring in the purest way.
Thanks to the generosity of people like you, Beautiful Lengths has collected 272,113 ponytails, to date—a number that’s growing every week.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Day 83: Amazing Grace... The Story Behind It...

One of my favorite songs is Amazing Grace. It can be sung so many different ways and always be beautiful. The lyrics are touching, but the story behind it is even more...

It's hard to shake off a mother's influence. John Newton's earliest memories were of his godly mother, who, despite fragile health, devoted herself to nurturing his soul. At her knee he memorized Bible passages and hymns. Though she died when he was about seven, he later recalled her tearful prayers for him.

After her death, John alternated between boarding school and the high seas, wanting to live a good life but nonetheless falling deeper and deeper into sin. Pressed into service with the British Navy, he deserted, was captured, and after two days of suspense, was flogged. His subsequent thoughts vacillated between murder and suicide. "I was capable of anything," he recalled.

More voyages, dangers, toils, and snares followed. It was a life unrivaled in fiction. Then, on the night of March 9, 1748, John, twenty-three, was jolted awake by a brutal storm that descended too suddenly for the crew to foresee. The next day, in great peril, he cried to the Lord. He later wrote, "That tenth of March is a day much remembered by me; and I have never suffered it to pass unnoticed since the year 1748... the Lord came from on high and delivered me out of deep waters."

The next several years saw slow, halting spiritual growth in John, but in the end he became one of the most powerful evangelical preachers in British history, a powerful foe of slavery, and the author of hundreds of hymns.

Here are some things you may not know about Newton's most famous hymn. His title for it wasn't originally "Amazing Grace" but "Faith's Review and Expectation." It is based in Newton's study of 1 Chronicles 17:16-17: "King David... said: 'Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? And yet... You have also spoken of Your servant's house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the rank of a man of high degree..."

And here's a nearly forgotten verse that Newton added near the end of "Amazing Grace." Try singing it for yourself:

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, the sun forbear to shine:
But God, Who called me here below, shall be forever mine.

Copyrighted to Robert J. Morgan, Then Sings My Soul(Special Edition)

 (Remember to pause my purple music box on the right sidebar. The bottom middle button will pause it) This has some different facts in it that I didn't share up above... It's also pretty short :-)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 82:Really Quick....

Getting ready to do something crraaazzzyyy. Until then check this out....

Pretty cool huh? I promise to post a lot more tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day81: Standing Firm In Faith... Colton Dixon...

Be alert and on your guard; stand firm in your faith (your conviction respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, keeping the trust and holy fervor born of faith and a part of it). Act like men and be courageous; grow in strength! ~1 Corinthians 16:13

I haven't watched American Idol in years, but this guy makes me want to watch it and support him. Love it... keep shining Colton Dixon! 

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Colton Dixon: ‘American Idol’ producers asked me to tone down devotion to Jesus Christ on show 

Tenn. rocker has plans to make Evangelical music after show ends 


Friday, March 16, 2012, 10:01 AM

“American Idol” producers have apparently warned Colton Dixon if he doesn’t tone down his overtly Christian act, he won’t have a prayer of winning the reality competition.
The 20-year-old devout Christian, though, told that he answers to a higher authority than voting viewers.
“When we first started the Twitter and Facebook stuff, they said beware of political and religious tweets,” Dixon told the site. “Just because it can turn off voters or whatever. But, you know, being a Christian is who I am. It is a part of me musically. It is what I want to do after the show — go into Christian music.”

Evangelical Christians have had more to cheer about in professional sports with the emergence of Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, who openly proclaim their faith.
On television and movies, there is a tendency for a less obvious display to avoid alienating many mainstream viewers who are just looking to be entertained without sitting through a sermon.
Dixon told that he prays before every performance.
“I wake up and I do devotional every morning,” he said. “It reminds me why I am here, which is to share the love of God.”
He also wears his faith on his sleeve - literally.
While performing White Lion’s “Broken Heart” during Wednesday’s show, Dixon sported a bracelet that contains a line from Jeremiah 29:11, according to Christian Post. It reads: “For I know the plans I have for you ... plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Someone is looking out for the Mufreesboro, Tenn., native — after striking out on “American Idol” last season, he’s now one of the final 11 contestants.
Just as producers figured, however, some watchers are turned off by that intense display of religious fervor.
One Twitter skeptic Tweeted that “he can’t Tebow his way to a win.”
“I don't follow tebow, I follow a guy named Jesus. I’m just trusting His plans. Whatever that may be,” Dixon responded.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day 80: Spring, Melting Hearts, and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe...

For fans of C.S. Lewis and his book The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, I thought this was interesting and beautiful. It also fits well for today. I hope you all had a wonderful first day of Spring.

You will remember that the White Witch cast her spell on Narnia, decreeing that it must be always winter and never Christmas. So when the children in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe first arrive in this amazing place, the fields are covered with snow.
A simple enough device for a good fairy tale, don’t you agree?
But Aslan, the true king, who is a royal lion, has returned to save the Narnia kingdom from the White Witch.
When the spell of the White Witch is broken, the melting begins.
C.S. Lewis reveals this change in a scene with the children and those jolly Narnians, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. Father Christmas arrives with sleigh bells jingling. At once the children and Mr. and Mrs. Beaver suspect that the White Witch is losing her powers.
He was a huge man in a bright red robe (bright as holly berries) with a hood that had fur inside it and a great white beard that fell like a foamy waterfall over his chest.…
Now that the children actually stood looking at him… he was so big, so glad, and so real, that they all became quite still. They felt very glad, but also solemn.

“I’ve come at last,” said he. “She has kept me out for a long time, but I have got in at last. Aslan is on the move. The witch’s magic is weakening.”

And Lucy felt that deep shiver of gladness that you only get if you are being solemn and still.
Father Christmas has brought presents for everyone. He intends to deliver to Mrs. Beaver a new and better sewing machine, and says he will drop it off at her house. When Mrs. Beaver mentions that her house is locked up, Father Christmas says, “Locks and bolts make no difference to me.”
Mr. Beaver’s Christmas gift also will be found when he gets home. “You will find your dam finished and mended and all the leaks stopped and a new sluice gate fitted.”
The children receive presents as well—"tools, not toys," Father Christmas explains, saying “Bear them well"—the time to use them may be near at hand.
For Peter: a shield and a sword. “The shield was the color of silver and on it was a red lion, as bright as a ripe strawberry when you pick it ...also…a sword belt and a was just the right size and weight for Peter to use."

For Eve's daughter Susan: a quiver full of arrows and a little ivory horn. “When you put this horn to your lips and blow it, wherever you are, some kind of help will come to you,” he tells her.

For Lucy, Eve’s daughter: a little glass bottle of healing cordial and a small dagger. “In this bottle is a cordial...," Father Christmas explains. "If any of your friends are hurt, a few drops of this will restore you. And the dagger is to defend yourself.”

Then from his bag Father Christmas brings out a large tray with five cups and saucers, and cream, and sugar, and a teapot sizzling and piping hot!

Not at all what one of our American Santas might do at the mall.

When departing, Father Christmas calls out, “A Merry Christmas! Long live the true King!” He cracks his whip and the reindeer and sledge are soon out of sight.

Not long ago, while leading a discussion of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at a nearby Episcopal church, I realized the source of the winter spell in Narnia, and its ending. This figure of snow melting is one way that Lewis describes the last stage of his own experience of religious conversion. He describes his own conversion, with all its fits and starts, in Surprised by Joy: the Shape of My Early Life.
For Lewis, conversion was a long, slow process—first an acceptance of Theism and later, belief in and surrender to Jesus Christ.
There was one special moment “before God closed in on me,” Lewis writes. At a given time in a bus at the top of Headington Hill it seemed to Lewis he was offered a moment of “wholly free choice.”
Lewis became aware that he was holding something at bay or shutting something out. He felt as though he was tightly dressed up in stiff clothing like a lobster. There was a door he could open or keep shut. But there were no bribes, no rewards or punishments either way.
Lewis made the choice for God. He insists his conversion was not dramatic, but quiet.

After accepting God there was, however, “repercussion on the imaginative level.” Lewis suggests it all happened without words and images, but he uses vivid words and images to describe his inner change of heart.

 “I felt as if I were a man of snow at long last beginning to melt. The melting was starting in my back—drip-drip and presently trickle-trickle. I rather disliked the feeling.”

A few pages later, he insists that his conversion was almost without consolation. “There was no strain of music from within, no smell of eternal orchards at the threshold, when I was dragged through the doorway. No kind of desire was present at all.”
Lewis’s figure of snow melting is a good one, I think, to suggest how a person’s long coldness of heart may be changed, bit by bit, into a warmer, living heart for God.
Small wonder that Lewis later used this figure of snow, enlarging it to a whole snowy kingdom under the White Witch’s spell.  When the snow of Narnia melts, Lewis is suggesting how winter in our hearts gives way to a springtime of faith.

Another passage in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe heightens the drama of snow melting. It is when Edmund (who has been captured by the White Witch) realizes that her powers are declining.
Now they were steadily racing on again. And soon Edmund noticed that the snow which splashed against them as they rushed through it was much wetter than it had been last night....
After a few moments Edmund realizes that the White Witch’s spell has been broken.
All around them, though out of sight, there were streams chattering, bubbling, splashing and even (in the distance) roaring. And his heart gave a great leap (though he hardly knew why) when he realised that the frost was over.
Patches of green grass and green tree-branches were beginning to appear throughout the forest. Aslan had broken the White Witch’s power.
And much nearer there was a drip-drip-drip from the branches of all the trees.
(It’s a clear parallel to the language in Surprised by Joy.)
Though the Witch fights it every step, Edmund can see more clearly than she. Her slave the Dwarf holds Edmund hostage and keeps yanking on the rope that binds him. But Lewis writes:
This didn’t prevent Edmund from seeing. Only five minutes later he noticed a dozen crocuses growing around the foot of an old treegold and purple and white.
It’s a simple but powerful metaphor: winter cold suggesting the deathblow of evil in human lives; and springtime to suggest personal transformation and the redemption of the whole human race.
Because his cold heart had been warmed by the love of God, C.S. Lewis extended the metaphor to Narnia, and thus we see the melting snow when Aslan is on the move.
copyright ©2005 Emilie Griffin

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 79: The Difference Between a Paycheck And A Gift...

For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord. ~Romans 6:23

Since we are getting closer to Resurrection Day, or what some of you might call Easter, I thought this was too nice to not share.

"What is the difference between a paycheck and a gift? You earn a paycheck, but you receive a gift. In Romans 6:23, Paul teaches that the payment, the unavoidable consequence we earned because of our sin, is death. What a relief that God offers to every individual the gift... something we cannot earn... of eternal life in Jesus Christ. If you haven't received God's gift of eternal life, I encourage you to ask Him for it. He will gladly give it to you!"

I am so thankful that my payment has been covered... how about you?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 78: Death... It's Been Conquered...

A tragic event happened in my area today. I don’t know why such horrible things happen at times. A little eight year old girl was killed in her bed, from a tree that fell through her house.
Snow is falling very hard in my area and the trees are ready for spring, so they break easier.

This hits a little too close for me and is perhaps why it bothers me so. Last December a very large Ponderosa almost killed me. I honesty don’t know how I made it. God was so gracious to me.

As I’ve gotten older I’m more sensitive to things. Things that used to not bother me so much bother me now. I recently watched a movie I had seen many times, but  hadn’t seen it for a few years. The death scenes in it bothered me so bad, that it hung with me for a few days.

I know that death is not the end for us, yet the beginning of something new, yet why does it hurt?

I have had death hit me in the heart. I have lost loved ones and people I knew. I don’t know if it’s God’s way of comforting us, but slowly you forget these people. You forget the way they talked. The way they smiled, how tall they were, and their special presence. It doesn’t happen fast, but over time it comes and there isn’t a way to really stop it. Life goes one... life always goes on.

Death is sorrowful, but death has been conquered and I think we forget that. I forget that. Jesus broke the pain from death and brought beauty instead. Such great beauty. Why should we cry over that beauty?
I don’t understand why some of us go home so early or over something so hurtful, but I do know that death shouldn’t be something that’s so sad, but is. Yet it is not the end, but the beginning of something beautiful.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St Patrick’s Day...

I’m still not feeling too well... this cold is hanging on. Also it’s been pouring down snow all day and my power might go out. So I have to make this quick :-)

~*~Happy St Patrick’s Day~*~

For, behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing [of birds] has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth and ripens her green figs, and the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
~Song of Songs 2:11-13

I’m really looking forward to spring, how about you?

Hopefully I’ll see you all tomorrow...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Day 76: Inspired...

Due to fighting a nasty head cold, my post is going to be a little short today and not so personally written from my heart. Hopefully tomorrow I'll come up with a more original one :-)

Every weekday morning I receive a short beautiful devotion in my e-mail by Inspired from WaterBrook Mulnomah  .  Here are two recent ones, that blessed me. I hope they bless you too. Check out Inspired and sign up free today to receive a little devotional every weekday morning.

The truth is, God not only desires you to live extraordinarily but also has equipped you to do so. Don’t ever forget these words. Etch them on the tablet of your heart. A remarkable, amazing, extraordinary life is not restricted to certain individuals or professions. It doesn’t matter who you are or how you serve in life. If you’re a schoolteacher, businessperson, government leader, stay-at-home mom, athlete, factory worker, hairstylist, student, pastor (the list is endless), it doesn’t matter, because you were created for extraordinary achievements in that role. The power to accomplish remarkable feats and live an exceptional life is not tied to an occupation but to a disposition of the heart. This is not only God’s will but also His great pleasure.
— Excerpted from Extraordinary by John Bevere

How can you change your heart to live an extraordinary life for God?

When I look at Jesus’ life, I see someone who knew how to live. In fact, Jesus knew how much time He had left. So how did He live when He knew He had one month left on earth? He lived out these four principles that we’ve looked at. First, He lived passionately. In fact, we call the end of His life the passion of Christ. He lived His life all out, totally for His Father and to make a difference in the world. Jesus was the most passionate person who ever lived, and He wants us to live with that same passion. In John 10:10 He says, “I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness” (GNT).
— Excerpted from One Month to Live by Kerry Shook

What can you do today to start living a passionate, Jesus-inspired life?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day 75:The Path We Tred...

I read this today and thought it would be neat to share, especially with those who enjoy writing.

Our lives are like plotlines in a novel, with God as the Author. In literary terms, I have heard it said that there is no such thing as a Christian tragedy because, though tragic things may happen to the Protagonist, the Christian always ends up in the arm of God.

Death is not the last word. Disaster only brings the Christian closer to God. Nasty surprises or twist and turns of plot do not deter us from the path we tread. Because of the cross, we may march through earthly jungles, deserts, gardens, cities, but we are on a heavenly trek. No matter what our journeys lead us through, we always end up in God. From where we stand now, our future may look dreadful, exciting, boring, but we may rest assured that we are in better hands than our own if we simply give our future to Christ.
~ Leslie Williams (Night Wrestling)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 74: Created By One...

Sometimes life is hard to comprehend. So many of us, think we come from nothing. That this world is it for us and there is nothing else to come. That it was by chance that we came to be. Baam the world was formed in this huge thing called the universe that goes on and on and on and on. When we die that is it or maybe we will recycle back as something else.

Everywhere I look I see life being not a coincidence, yet something that has a purpose.We were created out of love, by someone all powerful. Scientist still aren't able to understand how we came to be without saying there was indeed a creator. Someone created you and I and everything around us.

None of us are here by chance or some unexplained accident that originated from crystals or whatever the newest thing is. We have not evolved from an animal, yet came from the same creator. We are here for a purpose and a grand one to say the very least.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Day 73: Every Life Is Beautiful... October Baby...

I'm really happy to see this movie coming out to most theaters. I think all us Pro-lifers should support this movie.  Every life is beautiful and we need to share that.

OCTOBER BABY is a coming of age story of a 19 year old freshman named Hannah. Hannah has always felt like an outsider. Something is missing. Although she is an incredible stage actor with a lovable naivety, She has always had a deep seated feeling that she has no right to exist. Because of escalating health and psychological problems her parents reveal to her that she was adopted and was never told because of the shocking and heartbreaking circumstances surrounding her birth. With her identity and world thrown into turmoil she sets out on a spring break road trip to New Orleans with her best friend Jason, his girlfriend and a host of misfits piled into a decrepit VW minibus. Everyone else is on the ride for good times, but Hannah is determined to use the opportunity to return to the city of her birth and find the answers she craves - something her overprotective father has forbidden her to do.

(Remember to pause my purple music box on the right sidebar. The bottom middle button will pause it)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Day 72: Becoming Friends With Those You Call Un-Friendly... Reaching Out...

"You are more righteous than I," he said. "You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly."
 ~1 Samuel 24:17

I have shared a few stories on my puppy Wyatt  “Day23:Prayer-Googling-and-Dog Whispering”
Today I would like to share a story that I hope you will understand what I aiming for.

Wyatt has been a very hard puppy for my family and I. We have had a lot of ups and downs. Secretly I really hated this guy and wished for him to magically go away. Wyatt had aggressively bitten me on my right hand that will now forever hold a little scare. He wouldn't allow me to pet him in certain places like his face and belly, and would give me this really evil growl. He was very protective over my mom's and dad's room, which I have to go through every day to use the shower and do laundry.

In all my life I have never held any fear over dogs, but he quickly planted a horrible fear over "man's best friend." I truly hated him and felt like he did me too.

Today I am in love with Wyatt and he is with me. I can pet him any place on his body and he loves it, especially Ttouch between the eyes. I can freely enter my mom's and dad's room without him pushing me out. He listens to simply commends (still working on the come here outside) and is eager to please. Of curse some days he can drive me a little crazy, he is still a puppy after all, but I really care for him and enjoy his friendship

We all have been mistreated by someone. Had our heart broken and a seed of pain planted deep within us. We all have sadly done this to others too in our lifetime.

My turnaround with Wyatt wasn't an overnight thing. It took time, work, and dedication. I decided to try to bond with him. Reach out, which slowly developed a friendship. I swallowed my anger, pride, and fear.

Wyatt is just a stupid animal and didn't necessarily mean the things I perceived it to be. Sometimes us humans are the same way. We all have our own story... we all have a different vision on our own self hurt. And we are too sensitive when it comes to our own heart's.

If we get mistreated by someone we quickly assume them to be a bad person and stay away. We avoid on trying to have a friendship, because of our own hurt. Perhaps that person never meant to treat you that way. Perhaps they didn't know it would hurt you. Perhaps they were having a really bad day and weren’t thinking like they normally would. Perhaps they have been mistreated so much, they don't bother reaching out, because they fear being hurt again.

My challenge to you, is to instead of seeing the way you think it is, see it as the opposite person may see it. Perhaps you may see things in a very different light if you “put on their shoes” so to speak.  No harm comes to reaching out and better yet, you might make a friendship of blessings. What would you rather have?

Good sense makes a man restrain his anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression or an offense. ~Proverbs 19:11

Some New Favorite Quotes... Ones That Touched Me Today...

 God has a wonderful plan for each person He has chosen. He knew even before He created this World what beauty He would bring forth from our lives. ~Louis B. Wyly

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble.
~ Helen Keller

It is God to whom and with whom we travel and while He is the End of our journey, He is also at every stopping place.
~Elisabeth Elliot

If God calls you to do something God empowers you to do it.
~ Suzanne Farnham

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 70: Follow Your Heart...

Yesterday, I did something kinda stupid. I signed a paper for something to go into voting on, that I normally wouldn't have, because at the time it sounded pretty good. The people were nice and explained it in a way that well sounded like a good thing. When I came home and studied into it I found out it would be something I would be more against, then for. This wasn't something final, so I can take it back, if it makes it in. The lesson in it for me was just say no until you know the full picture.

At times Satan temps us into thinking his ways are good. In the back of your mind something fires in us to not follow this urge of wonder, yet at times we ignore it and follow that urge that always leads us to harm. We become stupid.

I'm not saying what I signed was evil, far from it, just stupid. What I'm saying is Satan makes his ways look good and we humans fall to it at times. This goes for little things and big things.

I listened to my mind, not my heart which usually leads me to the right path.

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.
 ~Proverbs 3:5-6

I hope my post for today made some kind of sense for you and wasn't too much of a ramble :-)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Day 69: Let me lead you to...

I'm really too tired to write out the post that I had planned out for today. So I'm am going to lead you over to a dear friend of mine's blog who recently wrote a touching post, Time, Stress & Breaking it down contemporary style. Check it out and feel free to leave a comment ;-)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 68: Evil Becoming Good? The New News On Pepsi...

When did evil become good and good become evil? Today I read an article about Pepsi using aborted fetal cells in testings of their products. I did some deeper research on it and found out that other big name companies are perhaps doing the same thing. I honestly don't know if this is completely true, but I'm going to be on my guard until I find out.

I know we all have different opinions on things like abortion, religion, politics. We defer from what is okay and what is wrong. I feel with all my heart that eating aborted children is morally wrong and I can't comprehend why anyone wouldn't think the same, yet a few comments I read on another article today on this, proved me wrong.

What have we become? Have we lost too many morals to even see new evil such as this? Are we too dumb and blind to really think that eating the beginning of ourselves is okay? We are humans not animals. Cannibalism is a barbaric thing... isn't it?

We need to be more aware. We need to stand against evil things. We need to do it, before it becomes too late. Don't hide in the shadows over this. Do your own research and wake up.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day 67: STOP Joseph Kony... Stand Firm For The Invisible Children...

(I am no longer supporting the Joseph Kony movement! There is something very sinister behind it all. So very sad :( I will always pray for the people of Africa and the children that have been affected, but as for the STOP Kony thing... NO! PLEASE also be aware of this... my heart right away thought of this being good. I was happy to see the world be more aware about this horrible war. When I dug deeper into to the Stop Kony movement, I found out it wasn't so great, especially the recent news. Thanks to a few friends telling me this and making me look more into it.)
PLEASE watch this video and share with others. This has gone on for far too long... longer than my lifetime. To often we do nothing. I know this video is long, but you must watch the full 30 minutes... truly that is not too much of your time for what is at stake. This is the year we desperately need to stand together for the Invisible Children of Uganda. STOP Joseph Kony!

KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice

Who is Joseph Kony?
Joseph Kony is the world’s worst war criminal. In 1987 he took over leadership of an existing rebel group and renamed it the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
The LRA has earned a reputation for its cruel and brutal tactics. When Joseph Kony found himself running out of fighters, he started abducting children to be soldiers in his army or “wives” for his officers. The LRA is encouraged to rape, mutilate, and kill civilians–often with blunt weapons.
The LRA is no longer active in northern Uganda (where it originated) but it continues its campaign of violence in Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and South Sudan. In its 26-year history, the LRA has abducted more than 30,000 children and displaced at least 2.1 million people.
  (Remember to pause my purple music box on the right sidebar. The bottom middle button will pause it)


A history of Africa's longest-running armed conflict

In 1986, Yoweri Museveni gained the presidency of Uganda. Alice Lakwena, a woman from the Acholi tribe in northern Uganda started the Holy Spirit Movement (HSM) in opposition. The group recruited followers and forged alliances with rebel militias with the intent of entering Uganda’s capital city, Kampala, and freeing the north from government oppression. The Holy Spirit Movement had regional support, but regional support only. When Alice Lakwena was exiled, there was no obvious person to take over leadership of the Holy Spirit Movement.

Joseph Kony

Joseph Kony claimed to be a distant cousin of Alice Lakwena’s and the natural successor to lead the Holy Spirit Movement. Soon after Joseph Kony assumed management of the group, he changed the name to the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA. Joseph Kony wasn’t able to maintain the group's number or regional support, so he started stealing food and abducting children to fill the ranks of his army. Subsequently, he lost any remaining regional support. What had started out as a rebel movement to end the oppression of the north became an oppression of the north in itself.
Joseph Kony’s tactics were—and remain—brutal. He often forced children to kill their parents or siblings with machetes or blunt tools. He abducted girls to be sex slaves for his officers. He brainwashed and indoctrinated the children with his lies and manipulated them with his claim of spiritual powers.
At the height of the conflict in Uganda, children “night commuted.” That is, every evening they would walk miles from their homes to the city centers. There, hundreds of children would sleep in school houses, churches, or bus depots to avoid abduction by the LRA.
Kony and the LRA abducted more than 30,000 children in northern Uganda.

IDP camps

Starting in 1996, the Ugandan government, unable to stop the LRA, required the people of northern Uganda to leave their villages and enter government-run camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs). These camps were supposedly created for the safety of the people, but the camps were rife with disease and violence. At the height of the conflict, 1.7 million people lived in these camps across the region. The conditions were squalid and there was no way to make a living. Thus a generation of Acholi people was born and raised in these camps.

The ICC indicts five LRA commanders

In 2005 the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Joseph Kony and four of his top commanders: Dominic Ongwen, Raska Lukwiya, Okot Odhiambo, and Vincent Otti. Of those, only Kony, Ongwen, and Odhiambo remain at large. Raska Lukwiya was killed in combat with the UPDF in August 2006 and Vincent Otti was killed by Kony in November 2007—reportedly for wanting Kony to sign the peace agreement, a stance that Kony considered a betrayal.

Juba Peace Talks

In 2006 the LRA indicated an interest in peace negotiations. They were held in Juba, Sudan (now South Sudan), and dubbed the Juba Peace Talks. Meanwhile the LRA set up camp in Garamba National Park in northeastern Congo. In August of 2006 a Cessation of Hostilities agreement was signed by the LRA and the government of Uganda.
The talks took place over the course of two years. Joseph Kony sent a delegation to negotiate on his behalf, but when the Final Peace Agreement was ready to be signed, Joseph Kony failed to show up—five times.
Throughout the peace talks, and in retrospect, it is suspected that Joseph Kony never intended to sign the Final Peace Agreement. Instead, he possibly entered peace talks as a means of resting and regrouping. The entire time that the LRA was involved in peace talks they were provided with food, clothing, and medicine as a gesture of good faith. It now seems that the LRA was gathering its strength and stockpiling food.
There is also significant evidence that Kony ordered his fighters to attack villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during the Peace Talks.

Operation Lightning Thunder and the Christmas Massacres

In December 2008, when it became clear that Kony wasn’t going to sign the agreement, Operation Lightning Thunder was launched. It was the coordinated effort of Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, and Sudan, with intelligence and logistical support from the United States.
The operation failed. Joseph Kony somehow learned of the attack in the hours before the air-raid and so he was able to escape. In retribution for the attempted attack, the LRA, led by ICC-indictee Dominic Ongwen, attacked villages in the DRC on December 24, 2008, killing 865 civilians and abducting 160 more over the course of 2 weeks. The LRA fighters were reportedly instructed to target churches, where people would be gathered with their families for Christmas Eve services.
A year later the LRA reprised the Christmas massacres in the Makombo region in northeastern Congo as a reminder of its powers of destruction. These attacks took place over 5 days, from December 14-18, 2009. This time they killed 321 people and abducted 250.
Because of the remote region of the Makombo massacres in December 2009, the outside world knew nothing about the attacks until 3 months later. Human Rights Watch broke the news on March 28, 2010.

The LRA today

The LRA left Uganda for good once the Juba Peace Talks began in 2006. Since 2008, they have carried out their attacks in the border regions of northeastern Congo, South Sudan, and Central African Republic.