Thought for the Day – Taking Action

This world is filled with a terrible disease, that destroys people, countries, and more. It is called apathy. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, apathy is: lack of feeling or emotion(impassiveness) OR a lack of interest or concern(indifference). We live in a society full of people who have ceased to care. For example, we have all heard by now about the shooting in California, by a man who hated women. We should be grieving with the families of the victims, praying for the people in the hospital. But what happens? The feminists turn it into a cute hashtag and make it about them. Now, I am not saying that they do not care, but it seems that they care more about their cause, and very little about the actual victims.

As a Christian who has attended several churches during my lifetime, I can honestly say that I have witnessed firsthand the apathy that runs rampant in our churches, especially among teens. Christian teens care more about having fun than learning about God, and more about summer camps that are “more about them” (I quote what a teen I know said) than about camps that center on serving God. What has happened to our culture? When will teens wake up and realize that their future is at stake? If we don’t start taking action, the church will fail. Already we have a generation of teens that believes in the “it’s all about me” gospel. It is time for teens to rise up and fight against the apathy in our culture, and fight for Christ.

“Get up sleeper, and rise up from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:14b

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Book Review – For Such a Time (Kate Breslin)

FSAT

In 1944, blond and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric’s secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz.
Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric’s compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy.
Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp’s prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself?

For such a time was an excellently written book, with a depth that drew me into the story immediately. The plight of a Jewish woman during World War II was a compelling story. The book was written well, with excellent characterization. I loved the character of Hadassah, and found myself crying with her at several points in the story. Her struggle was so poignant. Aric’s character was intriguing, and I truly loved reading about his growth and change throughout the story. Joseph was the other character that I LOVED, though it hurt so much to read about the horrors that children during the time endured.

One of my favorite things about the story was the parallel to the story of Esther. Hermann, the main villain, was a good take on Haman. The message of faith and redemption came through loud and clear in the book, without being overbearing.

I did have a few complaints however. I felt that the romance moved a bit too quickly, to the point where I did not feel interested in the romantic aspect. I felt like that part of the book could have been a bit meatier, though I appreciate the overall innocence of the romance. There was also a bit of violence, but nothing too terrible. My biggest complaint however, were the historical inaccuracies. The author herself said that it was not entirely true to history, but some of the errors could have been avoided. I did not mind the fact that the biggest event in the book never really happened. It was really the little things. Dates, objects, minor events, that bothered me.

My rating: 4 out of 5

Thought For The Day – Letting Go

Hey everyone! Sorry for the long delay in posting! My sister and I went on a brief road trip, and I had no internet access.

Anyway, today’s thought came about as I was thinking of the song “Let it Go” today. You know, that song from Frozen that everybody keeps talking about? Yup. That one. Anyway, I realized that the song really applies to people in more ways than one. In this instance, in some ways it reminds us to let go of the things that weigh us down and worry us. Elsa sings “turn away and slam the door”. Sometimes when someone hurts us, offends us, or generally bothers us, we can’t seem to let go of it. We keep looking to the past and carrying the weight of it instead of letting go. When you “turn away and slam the door”, you are choosing not to let your past rule you. As Christians, you can turn away from guilt or sin, and choose to let God take it. Like Elsa, you can find freedom and joy in letting go. As a Christian, we cannot truly life for Christ unless we have given everything to him. EVERYTHING. Every fear, every sin, every bit of guilt and shame. As the old saying goes, “let go, and let God”.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1

The Touch of the Master’s Hand

Violin

This morning in Sunday School, my teacher shared this beautiful poem with us. Something about it just resounds with the soul, and I hope that it might inspire you today!

The Touch of the Master’s Hand

‘Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.

“What am I bid, good people”, he cried,
“Who starts the bidding for me?”
“One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?”
“Two dollars, who makes it three?”
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,”

But, No,
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?”
As he held it aloft with its’ bow.

“One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?”
“Two thousand, Who makes it three?”
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone”, said he.

The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
“We just don’t understand.”
“What changed its’ worth?”
Swift came the reply.
“The Touch of the Masters Hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune
All battered with bourbon and gin
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin

A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.

But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters’ Hand.

Myra Brooks Welch

Thought for The Day – God’s Plan

In the light of graduation season, I have been thinking about this a great deal. I am a junior, but I often find myself thinking, what does God have in mind for me? For graduates, it is an even more important question. They are moving into a new phase of their lives, many moving out of the house and leaving their families, heading off into the “great unknown” so to speak. Many older teens often wonder what God has in store, and many think that He has no plan or direction in their life.

Well, I can say without a doubt that He does. Remember the verse from the other day that said “all of my days were written in your book before a single on of them began.”? Well, that says it. God has our days planned out, knowing each and every step we will take, before we are ever born. He has known about you since before the world existed. So you can bet He has something planned for you. What does He have planned? Well, that is a question each person must ask God themselves. We should seek His will for our lives, and ask: What do You have planned for me God? What path should I take? And He will give you an answer, sometimes in the way you least expect it. God has a purpose and a plan for everyone. The only question is: Are you going to follow that plan?

“”For I know the plans I have for you,” Says the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.”” Jeremiah 29:11

Great Film and TV Quotes to Use Every Day

So I have made a habit of using Movie/TV quotes in everyday conversation, and it is tons of fun! So I decided to compile a list of the best nerdy quotes to use in conversation.

When someone keeps misusing a word:

When your friend/parent/sibling/acquaintance makes a reference to something: I understand that reference

When your parents say “We have plenty of time to get ready…”: Time? What time do you think we have? - Time? What time do you think we have?  Saruman the White

When someone wants you to do something and you don’t want to do it:SH Tags: dull/sherlock is not amused/bored/sherlock</p>
<p>Looking for a particular Sherlock reaction gif? This blog organizes them so you don’t have to deduce them out.

When someone is in a hurry: DON'T BE  HASTY - DON'T BE  HASTY  treebeard

When you are ready to go(it means “let’s go” in French): Allons-Y! (Doctor Who)And finally, when someone won’t quit bugging you(we all know what this one says): frozen animated GIF

Thought for the Day – Being You

In the society we live in, there are so many people around us who tell us to be ourselves, while in the same breath saying that we should also do our best to fit in. We are told to have the coolest clothes, watch only the most popular movies, and listen to only the neatest music. It seems that individuality has gone out the window, even among Christians. A question that I have asked myself many times through the years is this: Who am I? Where does my identity come from? I never wanted to conform to what everyone else was doing, but I also wanted to belong. It was a dilemma I dealt with for a long time until I suddenly came to a startling realization. My identity comes not from what I wear, watch, or listen to. Not from my outward appearance or if guys like me. My identity comes from the One who made me, God. The Bible speaks so many times of a Christian’s identity in Christ, the fact that we are set apart with a purpose and a plan. When we come to the place in our lives where we can be happy with that, we can truly begin to seek God’s purpose for us. So as you go through the everyday grind of life, never forget that you are who you are, and that God created you that way for a purpose. You should never change yourself in order to conform to the world’s way of thinking.

“For it was you who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.” Psalm 139:13-16

BBC’s Sherlock – My Thoughts

sherlock

So I finally (tried) to jump on the Sherlock bandwagon, after being nagged by my sister, my friends at church, and pretty much everyone I follow on Pinterest. I was initially a bit wary, but I was impressed. So what did I think?

Well, I will start with the pros. The show was definitely engaging, and I loved that the episodes were so long. It made it feel more like watching a series of movies! The characters were really well thought out for the most part as well. As much as I really dislike Benedict Cumberbatch, his performance of Sherlock was flawless. He really did a great job of playing the calculating, detached man who deep down inside wants to have friends and family. I actually found that I related to Sherlock on a certain level. His mind works differently than that of the average person, and for that he is often regarded as weird or crazy by his peers. John was also a great character, though I had to keep telling myself NOT to think of Bilbo Baggins the entire time! John was such a likable character, despite his flaws, and Martin Freeman really did a great job of bringing him to life. The villains were always AMAZING… and creepy. Moriarty especially. More on that later. As for side characters, I loved Lestrade. He obviously cares a lot about Sherlock, but also gets VERY annoyed with him. Mrs. Hudson was a great character too, a mother figure to Sherlock and John. Molly was a nice character too, though I feel she was really underused, more on that later.

Now for the cons, and sadly this list is long. The language was EXTREME. Up to this point, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the edgiest thing that I have watched in terms of language, but it seems benign to Sherlock. They use God’s name in vain often, as well as the D and H words. They also have a habit of using the B words and occasionally saying the S and F words, though these are usually cut off. The sexual content was a bit much as well. I actually skipped the entire first episode of season two because I had been warned about the content. I did read a summary though. There were a lot of relationships that seemed inappropriate, mainly people having sex outside of marriage. It was also frustrating to see so many people assuming that Sherlock and John were homosexual, but I appreciated that both the characters were quick to correct people on that point. There was a fair amount of violence, though I have seen some worse in other shows. This is a murder mystery after all. The villains were usually pretty freaky, Moriarty being a standout. He might give the very sensitive people nightmares, because he is definitely NOT a guy you would want to invite over for dinner.

My other complaint about the show is the fact that two characters were underused, both of whom had GREAT potential. Anderson, who I assumed from the start would be a great “anti hero” type of person, turned out to be a character who only popped up every few episodes to make a sarcastic comment. And the whole thing with his going crazy in season 3 really ruined the character for me. The other character is Molly. She has so much potential to be a great love interest and friend to Sherlock, but she only appears briefly in the episodes she is in, and Sherlock usually just says something rude to her. I feel like Moffat could do so much more with her, and it would be nice to capitalize on that next season.

With all this in mind, my general thought is that while Sherlock is a good show, with great characters and a good plot, the content is enough to keep me from recommending it. I will await the next season, but not with the giddy anticipation I feel for Doctor Who currently. My rating? I give the show 2 stars out of five. If it weren’t for the content, I would gladly give this show a five star rating, but unfortunately, Moffat has failed to win me over.

Tauriel Costume – Mockup

So I FINALLY have begun working on a Tauriel costume, which I hope to wear to go see the midnight premiere of “The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies”. With some help from my awesome friend, who has made a costume before, I will be creating this costume without a pattern.

So the first step in this process is a mock-up, which I am making out of lots of random material. According to my friend, it is good to make more than one mock up, so I will be making more than one. I started today with cutting out the material, and discovered that making the bodice is going to be WAY harder than I thought. I have the skirt started, and I think the sleeves will be pretty easy, but I am going to need some serious help with the bodice. Anyone out there who has done something like this before, I would love some suggestions! I will post pictures soon!

 

My Thoughts on the “Once Upon a Time” Season Finale – Part One

So last night, the final episode of the third season of Once Upon a Time aired, sending the fandom into a frenzy. This was the first two hour episode to be aired, but I believe it was a good movie to make the finale a bit longer. The entire thing was an emotional roller coaster; joy, sadness, true love’s feels, and a myriad of other emotions took a huge toll on me! So here are my thoughts on the episode, and some questions I am left with.

I loved every minute of the first hour, from the touching scenes of the Charmings together, to the sweet moments of Rumbelle, to the party at Granny’s. But it was overshadowed by Emma’s desire to return to New York, which Henry and Regina were finally made aware of. When Emma runs out of Granny’s, obviously upset, I loved that it was Hook who went to talk to her, without any argument from the Charmings. The following conversation was touching and revealed just how scarred Emma is by her past.

When Emma was pulled into the time portal, I gave a loud cheer as Hook willingly went in after her, and laughed aloud as he said, “Someday I am going to stop running after this woman!” When it is revealed that they ended up in the Enchanted Forest right before Snow and Charming’s first meeting, I began to grow very nervous. Hook and Emma are both very concerned about accidentally messing up the future… a few minutes later they have ruined her parent’s first meeting, essentially ruining the future. The story becomes very “wibbley-wobbly and timey-wimey” as Emma and Hook race against time to fix what they have messed up, which requires help from a certain Rumplestiltskin.

I freaked out for the greater part of the first hour, unsure of what was going to happen to Emma if her parents did not meet each other. And then there was the question of who this young woman that Regina held captive was. I felt like I had seen her before, but could not place who she was, but more on that in part two.

Several familiar characters returned, including Red, Abigail, and Blue. I was especially excited to see Red return! I was howling with laughter as Hook and Emma worked out their plan to get Snow and Charming to meet, as Emma met Hook from the past. The best part was Hook knocking himself out. The way the episode “ended” was a cliffhanger, as Emma was captured by the Evil Queen and Hook decides to go after her.

Part two will be coming, as well as some pictures!

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