Friday, November 30, 2007
No real comments on warming up, apart from Mitch broke another guitar string, Eli forgot his guitar strap, my volume was being touchy... better than last week, though, and it was a lot quieter than usual (huzzah! Thank you Mitch for turning down your guitar!). I'm learning that when I'm playing with Submerge I need to bring extra pens, straps, picks... anything others could use.
Since Lisa/Mrs. W is going to have Baby Luke any day now, we have a guest speaker doing a series called Jesus of Nazereth, based on parts from John Stott's Basic Christianity. Notes up soon.
Friday: I read for a while after Church, there's a new book series in the library (yay, finally, something other than romance or kiddie books, this is a teen fantasy series!)... it's called The Door Within... parts already have been kinda cheesy, but it's not too bad. Volleyball went pretty well today. My thumb has been hurting for some unidentifiable reason (now I'm wearing one of Cait's wrist braces, the one that has support for the thumb), so that was a pain (haha) to play with, but I got quite a few good serves and some good hits. Afterwards all the Submergeites up for December had to leave for practice, but those of us left (Elisabeth, Kenneth, Isaac, Hannah, Cait, Steph, Daniel and I) walked down to the beach and talked there about school, paintball, and anything else that came to mind. We wanted to go to the Haunted House (abandoned house people have vandalized... it's fun to play in, albeit creepy), but we didn't know when we were leaving so we were talking in the courtyard of the C.'s neighborhood for a while before we left.
Saturday: In the morning I caught up on a lot of things, then got the swords out for going to the desert... but it got canceled cuz not enough people were available to come. Instead, we Christmas decorated and went out to eat with the H's. We went to a Chinese restaurant and had Hot Pot - they bring in all sorts of food and you cook/boil it yourself in a big pot in the middle of the table. We kids ate in a separate room, and Philip and Sarah helped us know what to do (The H's are Chinese-American). It was very yummy, and very fun... although I got rather frustrated trying to figure out "Click Click Bang Bang" (still not there yet, almost, though!).
Sunday: PAINTBALLLLLLL!!!!!!!! I had to do some school in the morning, but then we left for the Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club. It took a while to get organized and into gear, then we had an overview of rules and got out onto the field. Becky and I teamed up with Mike and Karl for the first game, hiding behind a car and shooting from there. All three got out so I was left alone, and Mr. S. was yelling at me to move around and shoot more, so for the last few minutes I moved out to another place to hide behind. Second game was getting one person across to the other base (first was elimination - get everyone on the other team out). I hid behind a pile of tires, and Becky was behind a big spool-like thing. Mr. T was shooting at us, shot Becky in the knee, then suddenly came out and surrendered. The third came was capture the flag, and again, I stayed on defense and didn't get hit. The fourth game Becky and I were hiding behind the big spool again and this other guy on the other team was on the other side and stuck his gun around and made me surrender. Becky ran off and shot him from a ways away.
At this point I STILL hadn't gotten hit and was really wondering what it felt like... the final game was a Ramble, though, basically a free for all. I didn't get hit for the first 5 minutes, then suddenly I got hit on my thigh followed by my thumb. I went back to base, then came back out and joined Karl behind a thing and shot from there for a while. Someone was in a bunker and was a really good shot and got my arm and almost simultaneously, someone else got my back... then Mitch shot my head, and I went to the base to get cleaned up, then went back out and shot Mitch and Steph.
It was fun, albeit a little painful, not as bad as I thought though. I have a headache now, and 2 bruises, the other hits didn't really develop anything... and none of my bruises are the really cool ring kind (pity, I wanted one).
I read an article on blogging by Agent Tim this week. It was called "A Young Man Among Sharks" and you can find it here. I also read Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis. I didn't really get how the ending worked, it kinda confused me and made me not like it.
And I finished The Door Within. Apart from having 2-3 (or a few more) rather cheesy parts, it was a good book... kind of an allegory, and a really neat allegory at that - basically the people in The Realm are the souls of the people on earth... kinda... so when a person on earth believes in the Realm, their person in the Realm is basically saved. Interesting idea, I didn't explain it very well, though.
I recorded some of my oboe playing... it would have been better to record it up here, but the microphone wasn't working, so I went to the downstairs computer to do it, thus getting an AWFUL echo. So it's a really bad recording, and I know I talk REALLY quietly on camera or on recordings, so you might want to turn it up a little at first. Ignore the fuzziness and the echo, try to focus on the louder sound... You can listen to it here. I apologize for the fact that you have to download it, i don't know where else to upload it. Oh, and on the last one, forgive the squeakyness and octave switches... if you play a reed instrument you probably know how hard it is to get those high notes...
Other notes: I updated my Writing/Photography/Graphics/Art Blog
My shins are basically better from shin splints! I'll just have to be careful where I dance from now on.
Quotes of the week:
Shehan: Ooow, my knee!!!
Pastor W.: Hey, I got some old rusty scissors that are blunt in the house, we could amputate it for you!
Sarah: Stephen can look at the car door handle and say what kind of car that is.
Me: I can't even tell anything past the maker by looking at the whole car...
Hannah: *points at car going by* I know! That's a Toyota Land Cruiser make 55334959!
Mrs. H: So you put it in the pot and cook it, then you can take a bite and see if you like it.
Philip: Hey mom, can we cook it, take a bite, and put it back?
Cait: What... is that?
Philip: It's the cross section of the vertebrae of a cow.
Cait: eew. And what's that?
Philip: The eyeball of a gullible.
You are Loved,
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
That's the main thing I have to say. I am sooo looking forward to the end of the school week tomorrow and then a fun weekend (especially because we're going painballing and out to the desert - wawhoo! It's been 8 months since we were last out in the desert, and I can't wait to be back... plus we'll be bringing our swords... hurrah!).
We watched Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope again this week, followed by Fly Away Home. *sigh* They only made my longing to fly even worse.
Apart from that, my week has been filled with studying, frustration, stress, and cheering on people who have fallen behind in NaNoWriMo.
Today I decided to catch up on a lot of things, so I'm blogging, reading, writing... Oboe today was a blast, I'm starting to love that thing more than ever, and I've been figuring out my favorite Les Miserables instrumental on Oboe-Wan Kenobi (hehe).
And, we get my notes from Oasis... we had a guest speaker, and he tied a lot of things in with Facebook (thankfully he explained them a lot for non-Facebook users like myself. I'll try to do my best to explain things for y'all).
God's Facebook - Ben JonesOver'n'out
On Facebook, there are these little battle things between Pirates and Ninjas, Jedi and Sith, things like that. Within the battles, you have rankings. Life is a battle, in which Jesus must rank number one. Not five. Not even two. NUMBER ONE!
(Jonah's Prayer - Jonah 2)
Ninevah clung to worthless idols and needed change. Jonah was sent to tell them to repent, but he didn't care about the world. (Do we?) We've been told too. Too often, we cling to idols - like Facebook - as well.
We are supposed to be compassionate to the world. How can we do this when we have idols? By getting rid of the idols, and putting God first! If we don't, God will be like someone on Facebook who really wants to be your friend - and keeps sending you request after request... God will persist! He wants you for a friend!
What's our aim in life? To collect the most friends? Is that a worthy aim? Or is our aim to see the faces of those friends in heaven? People on Facebook sometimes have over 200 friends. But many don't have the friend that counts.
Jesus is the one friend that really counts.
Don't feel like you have to be like your friends.
Yes, it may be hard. But we can as HIM and HE will help us, HE will be the friend we will be like. Don't be a sheep to the shepherd of worldly things. Be Jesus' sheep.
Do you see God's face? Are you a friend in HIS Facebook? (God's Facebook- The Bible).
Has Jesus sent you a friendship request?
Have you accepted it?
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, nad among the rest their greatest king, Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.This year for Thanksgiving we didn't celebrate - give thanks - on the actual date "set" for Thanksgiving because of where we live and school and things. We didn't get the day off of school, so all we had to do was Literature and History. I did Chemistry and French as well, but took Geometry, Logic, and Arabic off. So on Thursday we did some school and had dance, sewing, and Oasis, the usual Thursday stuff.~Edward Winslow, Mourt's Relation: D.B. Heath, ed. Applewood Books. Cambridge, 1986.
Dance went pretty well, we finished the first step of the primary reel. It's fun.
Oasis... was pretty good. Things with Submerge went wacko... Mitch broke 2 guitar strings, we were having trouble getting my guitar into the sound system (to the point in which I was getting really annoyed and even a bit scared, Mitch, Donny, and Mr. Glen were all trying to figure it out... eventually Mr. Glen pushed a few buttons and it worked. Playing was okay, everyone had their messups, and probably more than usual... I'll get my notes up some time soon.
They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwelling against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs, abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (bud afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.Friday after Church we came home and after lunch we watched Legally Blonde 2 with Caylen... (it was edited, not that I'd recommend it anyway, it's rather pointless, I only watched it becasue I didn't have anything else to do and she's so blonde it's a good comedy.) Volleyball was alright, nothing amazing to report or anything. Afterwards we played Sardines and talked. In the evening, I made pie crust (what I'd made last week was all used already, one for a pie from International Night, the other for a deep-dish apple pie that we're eating tomorrow).
~William Bradford, Of Plimoth Plantation; S.E. Morison, ed. Knopf. N.Y., 1952.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God... ...No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.- Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Speech
Saturday we spent the morning baking and cutting and peeling and getting ready... I peeled 11 pounds of potatoes, cut up tons of vegetables, made more pies, helped set the table, made name cards, helped start the mashed potatoes and the yams (which are nasty, they're not the normal sweet potatoes I love)... soon everyone came, and we talked for a while and read about Thanksgiving before we ate... yummy food... we had turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, bread, rolls, corn, and a lot of food I can't remember. I was stuffed after eating just a little over one plate, even though I'd barely eaten anything all day. :P After dinner Sarah H. and I went upstairs and were talking for a while. After dessert (2 pumpkin pies, a deep dish apple pie - yummy -, cookies, and whipped cream), we went upstairs and I was playing around on Flight Simulator while Philip and Sarah were watching. I said something like, "I'm not too bad at it, 'cept for take off and landings..." Philip said, "Better not tell your passengers that..." Then I managed to crash. Twice. Really three times, only because Philip dared me to fly the helicopter.
Sarah and I were about to play ping-pong when they had to leave.
My I'm Thankfuls for this year:
- I am thankful for life.
- I am thankful for Jesus' amazing love and sacrifice.
- I am thankful for freedom.
- I am thankful for the ability to think - and to think and speak freely.
- I am thankful for a wonderful family who loves me.
- I am thankful for caring friends and aquaintances all over the world.
- I am thankful for my dad's job that provides for our family.
- I am thankful for electricity and electronics.
- I am thankful for the talents I have and am developing... even though they can be frustrating at times.
- I am thankful for smiles, laughter, and joy.
- I am thankful for rain, sand, fog, water, air, stone, wood...
- I am thankful for my parent's choice to homeschool me and my siblings.
- I am thankful for love.
Now we have a right to cut out paper snowflakes and listen to Christmas music. Hurrah!
And... I think we get to go paintballing on Saturday, the youth group is going and I think we get to go... double yay!
I read the Hunchback of Notre Dame this week. Not recommended. I hated it. It could have had a good ending, but no (possible spoiler), Hugo had to kill everyone off. Again. Talk about depressing. This week I'm reading Till We Have Faces.
I'm ready to hit the sack, I've been running around the house all day, my thumbs are sore from cutting and peeling, and eating a lot made me tired. *yawn*
his mercy ever is the same;
- Psalm 100 - Puritan Style
Er, that is, I arrived at 50,000 words at exactly 5:01 this very lovely Wednesday afternoon... however I don't know how lovely it is since I haven't been outside.
I have a lot to do tonight, so I'd better over'n'out already.
Tomorrow is Oasis, Sewing, and Dance.
It's also Thanksgiving, but we're not celebrating until Saturday for multiple reasons.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Often when someone thinks of chivalry, knights in shining armor immediately come to mind – up until a week or so ago, the same was true for me. However, chivalry need not be tied to a certain time. It only defines how you treat people – anywhere at any time. The people in the medieval age came up with the Chivalric code because they struggled with how to act when. They wanted to show the worth of others and have respect for authority. Thus came chivalry.
What made up the Code of Chivalry? There were twelve virtues of a godly knight.
First, there was integritas, trustworthiness. The word of a knight would be his bond; his yes would be yes and his no, no. Whatever he said he would do – whether he said “I promise,” or just, “I will.”
Second came fidelitas, or, loyalty. The Medievals were rooted in covenantal relationships that did not change. This is partly what made the villages so strong and together – they wanted to build strong relationships that would last.
Succurrere means helpful. But it does not just mean helping others when they come to you for help. Succurrere means that you will go out and seek out ways to serve. Seek out maidens in distress, someone needing help with homework or carrying their groceries home.
Benevolus. Going out of your way to make others feel welcome. I fail at benevolus at least once a week. (I fail at all of these all the time…) For me it is so easy to come up with an excuse that I should not make someone feel welcome. However, I know how much I like – no, how much I love to feel welcome.
Urbanus – courtesy to everyone. Not just to your friends, not just courtesy to a few people here and there apart from your circle of daily life. People respect someone who is courteous much more than they respect someone who is rude. I know, I respect people a lot more when they don’t burp in front of me or when they keep their trousers up.
Sixth, benignus is being kind and showing forth goodness. Really, it is celebrating others, being happy for them being in your life. It’s not kind because you have to abide by the Chivalric code. I’d say Chivalry is actually more of a heart thing – your heart has to be in the right place to accomplish these twelve virtues. I’m not going to offer someone my seat out of a grudging “here, you can have my seat, it’s the right thing to do when someone doesn’t have a chair.” No, it should be out of love. “Here, you can sit in my seat because I love you and I want the best for you.”
Referrere, obedience. Referrere does not just refer to obedience in doing what someone tells you to do… eventually… it means obedience right now. Right when someone tells you to do something. Not finish up what you’re doing online then go set the table for dinner. No, it’s go set the table, then finish up online. This chivalric virtue engages obedience outside of me, myself, and I. This obedience refers to God’s standards of obedience, not man’s.
Hilaris, my favorite, is being cheerful. God is working everything out in any circumstance, so we can be happy about anything whatever the problem might be (even if there isn’t a problem… that’s all the more reason to be happy!). I think that if we nail hilaris down, the rest of them will be easier. How can we be kind when we are angry? How about truly obedient when we are obeying grudgingly? Life doesn’t quite work that way.
Frugalis is being thrifty. In the Medieval age, they knew that God had given them what they had. And they knew they should not squander it. Advancing ahead a little in time, the Native Americans used every part of a buffalo. They knew they had to protect the buffalo so they wouldn’t run out of food eventually. And although they needed the buffalo to live, they used it well, unlike the American settlers who only took meat.
Fortitudis. For me, this is the hardest. Fortitudis means courage. Some people think courage is showing no fear. But you know what? Showing no fear is stupidity. Courage is not having no fear. Courage is going forward even when we fear. The famed Lightning Brigade from Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade had courage. “Cannon to right of them/ Cannon to left of them / Cannon behind them/Volley'd and thunder'd / Storm'd at with shot and shell, / While horse and hero fell / They that had fought so well / Came thro' the jaws of Death / Back from the mouth of Hell / All that was left of them /Left of six hundred.” Courage. Going forward when fear is staring you right in the face, saying, “There are cannons all around you, ready to kill you. Turn back, turn back.” Our reply? Onward, Christian Soldiers!
Abulere. Abulere means cleanliness. One way to show respect for others is by being clean and making it so others will not see you and go, “ugh, there’s so-and-so who smells so bad and never washes their hands…” Cleanliness will make others like you more and want to be around you.
Finally, sanctus, reverence. This is not just reverence for the things around us and respect for them. This is reverence for the holiness of God and giving Him the glory He deserves.
So whatever happened to chivalry? It’s a very good thing, I wish it hadn’t disappeared from our culture (however, it hasn’t completely vanished, there are still traces of it… in very few places). Chivalry seems to have vanished because of the works-righteousness it led to. It made it seem like if a knight did all of those things, they would be righteous and not have to do anything else to gain righteousness. It became the right thing, the wrong way. The reason we have crude culture now, the reason people laugh at crude jokes instead of the pure, clean, truly funny things, is because chivalry is gone. It defined how you treated people anywhere, it wanted respect for authority. When that disappeared, we end up with what we have today – a world full of disrespect for others and for elders. A world where the moment of crisis shows the bad that’s inside – not the good. A place where warfare is no longer just among those who are fighting – there is no longer the Peace of God, which meant that the moment someone surrenders (or if they were never fighting, i.e., a woman, child, craftsman…) it was considered murder to kill them.
I see people without sanctus, without fortitudis, without urbanus, benevolus, hilaris, frugalis, abulere, referrere, benignus, succerrere, fidelitas, and integritas every single day. I know it’s not possible to be perfect at all of these (we all sin in one way or another, many times by not following one of these virtues), but I see no one striving to seek out respect for others. Chivalry has all but vanished from the world today.
What can we do about this?
We are “knights” for Jesus.
Should we not try to put into action these twelve virtues of a Christian knight?
Should we not return to the honor and courtesy that abounded in the Medieval age?
And I've come up with some goals to accomplish before November is out...
- Finish reading The Hunchback of Notre Dame (won't have any trouble with that, I started it Sunday and I'm about halfway).
- Write 50,000 words. (almost there!)
- Finish my Anakin, d'Arque (done!), and Orion drawings.
- Find an oboe teacher... it's getting harder and harder to teach myself. *sigh* This will be the hardest to accomplish within November.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I had to babysit Nate and Candace 3 times this week, so I got to write a lot, word count is now 40,000 and I decided to take the weekend off of writing.
I read a lot, first Between the Forest and the Hills, which was a good book but not a must-read. But yesterday I read The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson. I had one thought the whole time I was reading it: "Wow. God is amazing..."
I drew some. Finished the d'Arque drawing, got one of Anakin's eyes done. :) I also worked on his neck a bit. Soon as Ani is done I'll post them over on my writing blog.
My Story Night went better than I thought it would. Once I got up there, I wasn't quite so scared anymore, but Sarah H. said it sounded like I was really scared and that I was about to cry... both are true. I basically just shared the story I wrote, To Dance Again, (which can be found here and here) but with more after it, just of how my life changed in Dubai because of the influence of different things or different people.
Thursday Irish dance was canceled, but we went to the C's to work on the candle dance (which is almost done!) and for sewing. We stayed there and they drove us to Oasis.
Friday we had Church, came home, and took some friends out to tea. In the evening we went to a local family's house. They had a girl my age... we got on okay. Not the best, but it wasn't too bad.
I was challenged in my Bible reading this week... I was reading 1 Corinthians 13 on Wednesday, and my day was going really badly due to a couple of different things. I knew that if I were going to be up with Submerge and be speaking the next night at Oasis, things definitely had to change before then, so I got out my Bible, journal, and prayer journal, this is what I came up with:
Love.Things seem to be going better now, though... at least for now.
Learning how to love can be so tough sometimes... love is patient... love is not envious.... it does not insist on its own way.
Today started out beautifully.
Then I messed up big time in Chemistry.
Forgot to do my proofs in Geometry.
Didn't get my chores done.
Then I was impatient with Nate.
I had a disagreement with mommy.
I wanted to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it.
And then there was a bit of jealousy for something I won't specify.
What is it?
This week I hope to get a post on chivalry up. I had a lecture on it this week and enjoyed it.
Learning to love,
Monday, November 12, 2007
The greatest commandment in all the world is given in these terms:You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. -- Matthew 22:37-39 (ESV)
If people loved God and loved other people with all their heart, abortion would not exist. At its most basic level, abortion is a heart problem. Laws can fix behavior (to a point), but they cannot fix the heart. Laws can be effective at preventing murder, but they can do nothing to prevent hate. Laws can help eliminate rape, but there is no law that can eliminate lust. All moral problems are ultimately problems of the heart. This does not mean that laws have no value. Laws have huge value, society could not function without them. What it does mean is that we can't stop at just passing laws. We (as Christians) must pursue the truer, deeper solution. We must address the heart.
If we go all the way back to the outset of human history, we read this:The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. -- Genesis 6: 5, 6
The moral deficiency of the human heart is not a contemporary phenomenon. It took very little time for human beings, perfectly created in the image of God, to descend into an existence which God describes as "only evil [all the time]". How did we get there? 2 Chronicles 12:14 tells us that evil naturally pours forth from the heart that doesn't seek God, and what is human history but a long series of people and cultures who don't seek God? The tragic irony is that, in turning away from God, believing we can better secure happiness on our own terms, we have turned our back on the only source that can legitimately satisfy the human soul. The prophet Jeremiah, speaking on God's behalf, helps establish this point by defining evil this way:My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. -- Jeremiah 2:13 (ESV)
What is evil? It is turning our back on God, the fountain of living waters, and turning towards broken wells that can't hold any water. It is like a thirsty man who forsakes a pure mountain spring so he can suck on the putrid runoff of a broken spigot. Why would anyone do this? Because the spigot is much easier to get to, and it's runoff still provides a measure of relief (despite the fact that it carries a lethal disease).
C.S. Lewis says that people don't reject God because their desire for pleasure is too strong. They reject God because their desire is too weak. They settle for cheap, easily accessible pleasures because they don't have the resolve to pursue the pleasures which are infinitely better. It is no wonder, then, that eighty-two percent of all abortions in the
are performed on single women. These are pregnancies conceived to couples who reject God's explicit command that sex be reserved for marriage. The only reason people reject this command is because they erroneously believe their happiness will be better served by making their own rules (rather than by following the prescription of the One who made them). The result? More than one million innocent human beings are violently killed every year in United States because men and women sell out for the lesser pleasure of fornication rather than waiting for the greater joys of sexual intimacy in marriage. Why do they do this? Here are some culprits to consider: America
It's too hard to have a good marriage.
I can't wait that long.
I'm too undisciplined to curb my appetite for immediate gratification.
I'm incapable of thinking beyond my own self-absorbed desires, and I have no capacity to actually love another person as much as I love myself.
My boyfriend will dump me if I don't.
Consequences be damned, people want to be satisfied right now, on their own terms, or not at all. But here's the question. Are any of them really satisfied? Are you satisfied? Does a long string of shallow sexual encounters, bitter break-ups, emotional scarring, aborted children and sexually transmitted diseases really place someone on the pathway of happiness? Returning to C.S. Lewis we read, "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."1 Look around you, look at yourself. Does a godless existence of worldly pleasure-seeking honestly yield genuine happiness, or does it merely yield frustration and cynicism?
If people waited until they got married to have sex, more than one million abortions would just go away, even if the law never changed. That's the good news. Abortion could all but be eliminated if people simply obeyed God and preserved sex for marriage. Here's the bad news. Even if we do wait for marriage to have sex, even if we never have an abortion, and even if we spend our whole life actively opposing abortion, the deeper problem of the heart may still be unresolved. There is a way to fix the heart, but it is not through "doing" right things. The solution is much deeper, much simpler and much more staggering.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. -- 1 Corinthians 15:3-5® (ESV)
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. -- Romans 10:9 (ESV)
Yes, there is an educational component to the problem of abortion, yes, there is a legislative component to the problem of abortion, but most fundamentally, there is a spiritual component to the problem of abortion. If we only address the first two, without addressing the third, the results for ourselves, and for the people all around us, will be eternally tragic.
Abort73 has many, many more good articles, but that was my favorite... and I felt like sharing. :)
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Thursday was good.
At Irish dance we moved up to the Primary level (yay!), and moved at least a little bit ahead on the Candle Dance. But I also found out I have shin splints. Not fun.
Oasis was a Nooma night, basically meaning we watched a short video instead of Pastor W. talking. We had one more worship song than usual, but playing wasn't too bad, they plugged me into the system so I was a lot clearer, but it made it so I couldn't touch my volume (bad because right before then I had turned it off because it was a song I didn't know too well and needed more practice before I actually played it).
The Nooma was about kickballs. Sounds weird, I know. To sum it up, it was about how we want stuff that will just come back and hit us in the face. God knows that that will happen, and has something much better in store... maybe just right across the street.
Friday we had Church and then I came home and wrote for a while. My shin was killing me, so I iced it while I wrote, then wrapped it when we left for volleyball, which went well, I hit quite a few balls, not necessarily the best hits, but it wasn't bad. After snacks, Alicia, Hannah, Sarah, Daniel, Tom, and a bunch of others and I went outside in the back yard and played Sardines for a while before we left.
Today I went to Walk Thru The Old Testament at DECC. It was challenging, but a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it. If you don't know what it is, basically you walk through the OT by learning different hand motions to remember everything. It's hard to remember everything, especially seeing as you learn it all in one day, but it was really good.
My Nanowrimo is going okay. I'm going to get to 30,000 tonight. After the first 25000, I decided I was far enough ahead just to do 2,000 a day rather than as much as I could.
Drawing is going well, I'm working on two heads right now, one is the Anakin one I've been working on since May (ouch), and the other is a newer one started Thursday of Johnny as d'Arque. So far, though, I only have his head and hair, no facial features or anything. I hope to finish it this week, it's more of a fun project than the Anakin one, which is (obviously) more long-term and harder.
And I'm finally getting around to putting my notes from our Pause conclusion up (I know, it's been a while, 'my bad...)
Pause Week Four
Text: Luke 4:1-13.
Why is this relevant to me? Or, what has God been teaching me?
We all face temptation. Every moemnt of our life is a battle being fought between us and the world, God and the devil. There is only one way to overcome temptation: Jesus - the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6).
He is God, we are not God. We might think (we can be) (are) God, but we're not. Our first thought is always of ourselves. Let it be of God and of others. When God does something, it shouldn't be, "How dare He!," rather, "Your will, not ours, be done, Lord."
What does it do for us to see God the way He really is?
When we see God the way He really is, we see ourselves for who we truly are - selfish, sinful people. We are weak, small, tired... we are failures, we are wrong.
The world is home to death. Where temporary things live and where we'll always be wanting more. People who want more and more will be fearful in the end.
A world full of death is not tempting. See God as he truly is and we will see this... but also God's awesomeness. Nobody can encounter a truck and walk away unchanged. If they do, they're lying or they're crazy. How much bigger is God than a truck? We cannot see God's awesomeness and still want to be of the world.
We need a different focus.
How do we change?
God gives us truth. He shows us who He is in creation and by His word. Look at it and you go there. It's like driving a car, you look at the tree, you hit it. You look away from it, you don't hit it. What's our focus?
God takes care of our sin problem. Our sin shut a door, Christ blew it open.
God transforms us. (2 Corinthians 5:17) He gives us new hearts, so we will love what He loves and hate what He heats. Temptation then melts away and God makes us holy.
Holiness - fruit from a true child of God. What is growing from our lives? What can we do about it?
And that concludes Pause.
This week I won't be posting nearly as much, I don't know what I went through there.
Your blood speaks a better word
Than all the empty claims I’ve heard upon this earth
Speaks righteousness for me
And stands in my defense
Jesus it’s Your blood
What can wash away our sins?
What can make us whole again?
Nothing but the blood
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can wash us pure as snow?
Welcomed as the friends of God
Nothing but Your blood
Nothing but Your blood King Jesus
Your cross testifies in grace
Tells of the Father’s heart to make a way for us
Now boldly we approach
Not by earthly confidence
It’s only Your blood
- Nothing but the Blood ~ Matt Redman
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Sounds like the mission was completed well and safely...
Last night the musical was amazing. 'Nuff said.
Everyone we know was great, especially Hannah - playing Mrs. Potts - and Johnny - playing Mr. D'Arque.
I'm halfway through Nanowrimo.
I may extend this post later, I just wanted to share all of my joy with you right now before we embark on yet another busy Thursday.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Zach Hunter was featured on the Rebelution back in February. To sum up what he's doing, Zach is basically working to end modern slavery. Yes, modern slavery. To quote from The Amazing Change,
"Whether it's bonded slavery with men, women and children toiling on plantations, in rice mills, brick kilns and many other industries; or, the deplorable and prevalent trade in humans to serve as sex slaves, slavery is flourishing in many parts of the world. It is still every bit as ugly as it was 200 years ago and it must end."Zach is being featured on CNN Heroes in the young wonder category with four other teens. People have been asked to vote for which teen you think should appear on prime time.
You can read the entire article here
Apart from that, not much has been going on. Nanowrimo today was slow, last night I was at 22,044, today I'm only at 23,245. We had eye appointments this morning, I still need my glasses. (I was hoping to get rid of them... I hate having glasses... contacts would be worse, though). They were going to do some sort of drops to look at something more closely, but the room ended up spinning around me and basically the optometrist decided it would probably be best not to do them.
Tomorrow night we're going to see ASD's production of Beauty and the Beast. Johnny is playing the guy in charge of the insane asylum, that's what I'm looking forward to most, he'll be great at that.
If things start slowing down soon I'll have my notes up from the conclusion of Pause.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
My word count is somewhere around 13,500.
So far I've done it with no coffee, no late nights... and only one stressful day, that was today, cuz of school, music, practicing dance, and trying to get my HSLDA paper fit to be sent in, filling out the form, yadayadayada...
I've been writing furiously, and trying to allow myself to go take a break.
So I'm going to go play cricket with the neighbors (why can't we stick to hockey? Cricket is so boring), and be back in later to write write write write write and you get the point.
Edit: Make that the first five days.
It feels like it should be Christmas soon, I've been listening to my Christmas harp CDs because they help me write. Well, only a little over a month... and I still need Christmas presents for Candace, mom and dad... at least.
Still no coffee and no late nights. Tonight I'll be drinking tea, though, and doing a one hour word war. Yikes. Could get pretty hard, but I think I'm at a good spot to do a word war.
Last night I went over to the C's instead of writing, Cait had well group but mine was canceled. I decided to give myself a break, after a stressful day I thought it was best.
Today I've been sitting at the computer since 3 PM, when I was completely done with everything I needed to do.
Daddy brought new oboe reeds from Australia. They're absolutely wonderful, the medium soft feels so great, so much softer than my old medium soft (I accidentally pinched it, and then it cracked, I still use it to build stamina with, but don't play that much on it).
Word count at 5:56 PM on November 5: 18,424 words. The goal for tonight is 20,000, and the end of week is 25,000. Yeah, I know it's crazy, getting 25,000 in the first week, but it means I can slow down for the end and not spend the whole of November worrying about nano.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Nothing much exciting happened during the week, I had a lot of schoolwork and not much time for much else.
Wednesday night, though, was when other people went trick-or-treating, and we made an effort to get out of the compound. The C's invited us, the H's, and the F's over for Reformation Night, so we went to that. We were all supposed to dress up as either a Bible character or a famous Christian. I went as Perpetua. Hannah was Jael (props helped us... tent peg and hammer... ouch), Sarah was... I can't remember who, I think it was Jonathan Edward's wife, Candace was Esther, Esther was Lydia, Nate was Gideon, Rachel was a missionary doctor in India... again the name slips my mind, Andrew was Luke Skywalker (Jesus is the force!), and Ruthie was Lady Jane Grey. I forget who Chloe was.
We guessed who everyone was, ate dinner, had a donut eating race (I'm working on a little silent film of that, it got pretty funny), and had a Bible scavenger hunt (we get a Bible reference as a clue and look it up, if it say something about a "chair," we go look for the next clue on all the chairs, etc...).
Thursday was a usual Thursday - get up, do school, eat breakfast, leave for Irish dance, go to sewing. At sewing I finished my koala quilt piece for my Australian animals wall hanging. We had Oasis in the evening, and left almost right after we got back from sewing because Cait and I were both up for Submerge. It went well. Sarah H turned me up so people could actually hear me, and they didn't think I sounded too bad.
Friday we had Church, then came back home and I wrote, then we left for First Friday Prayer and Praise... now it's another relaxing Saturday morning.
Thursday started Nanowrimo. I'm already 10,000 words into it, and at the moment I am feeling a bit stuck, but I have been writing all morning. :)
We watched Time Changer on Tuesday night. It's about a man who writes a book and there's another man who doesn't agree with something he said, so he sends him ahead in time to 2000, where he sees what happens when people leave God out of morals... at first I thought some of it was extreme, but then I was like, "No, it's not. It IS a big deal if someone uses God's name in vain, He's commanded us not to."
I recommend you watch Time Changer if you can get your hands on it.
I know this was a boring post, but my mind is focused on nanowrimo at the moment...
PS - it rained this morning! Hurrah!