Friday, November 17, 2017

Favorite Song: Amazing Grace A Capella

I love the hymn Amazing Grace. John Newton was a former slave trader who had his life turned
Photo by Olivia Snow on Unsplash
around by God. He experienced God's grace and then wrote a song about that grace. This is on my list of top 5 favorite hymns.
Anyway, a friend passed this arrangement on and it is absolutely beautiful.
Amazing Grace (A Capella)
by Peter Hollens and Home Free

Like I already said, I love this hymn, and this is by far my favorite arrangement of this song. Have
Photo by David Beale on Unsplash
you ever had something make you feel so happy that you wanted to cry? That's what I felt like when I first heard this song. I had a lump in my throat by the third verse. :) I can't tell you how many times I've watched this video over the last few weeks.
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Bible verse for this song...
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." -Ephesians 2:8-9

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Favorite Song: Death Was Arrested

Photo by Dori Drabek on Unsplash
Ah! I missed a day. :(
Oh well, I'll just pick up where I left off. Today's song is

Death Was Arrested 
By NorthPoint Inside Out 

This goes along with the song I shared on Monday, Chain Breaker. God has broken our chains and also arrested death. Death has no power over us. Jesus is victorious over sin, so we don't need to fear it...we are FREE!
Photo by Marcus Cramer on Unsplash

Bible verse for this song:
"'Death is swallowed up in victory.'
'O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?'
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
--1 Corinthians 15:54-57

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Favorite Song: Hello My Name Is

Another Favorite Song of mine is
from Pixabay

Hello My Name Is
by Matthew West

Sometimes, especially for teenagers, its hard to remember that our identity does not lie in what other people think of us. Instead, our value and identity lies in Christ. God is our Father, and we are his children, brothers (and sisters) of Jesus Christ.
Photo by Sabine van Straaten on Unsplash

Bible verse for this song:
"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure."
--1 John 3:1-3

Monday, November 13, 2017

Favorite Song: Chain Breaker

Hello, I'm back! :)
Photo by on Unsplash
Just like I promised yesterday, I'm posting another favorite song.
Chain Breaker
Zach Williams 

Okay, so there are several things that this song reminds me of. First, the story of Paul and Silas in prison, when there was an earthquake, and the jail doors opened and their chains fell off (for the whole story, see Acts 16). For me personally, this song reminds me that the chains of death no longer have any hold over me.
Photo by Kaley Dykstra on Unsplash

A verse that goes with this song:
"Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
prisoners in affliction and in irons,
for they had rebelled against the words of God,
and spurned the counsel of the Most High.
So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor;
they fell down, with none to help.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
and burst their bonds apart.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he shatters the doors of bronze
and cuts in two the bars of iron."
--Psalm 107:10-16

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Favorite Song: Blessings

Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash
Hello Friends (and Family)!

I've been listening to a lot of music this semester. This week I'm going to share one favorite song each day with you.

Today, I'm sharing
by Laura Story

I've listened to this song over and over...and over. I love the words to this song. And I'm bummed that this video does not have the here is a link to the lyrics.

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash
Photo by Axel Antas-Bergkvist on Unsplash

I like the encouragement to trust God no matter what. And I also like the truth that God works in and through the hard things in our lives, and that these hard things are actually part of his plan.

Bible verse to go with this song:
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." --James 1:2-4

Friday, November 10, 2017

Ninja Dad Frog

Put me down! Put me down! I insist, put me down!

glass frog 1
Picture Source

Sorry if I scared you. I know, you didn't see me there. But I must stay on my leaf! 

glass frog 2
Picture source
Let's start this the right way. My name is Aristotle. I'm a glass frog. I live in the jungles of the earth. No, I'm not made out of glass. I just look like it. It actually is great defense. You see, other critters look right through me. Consider yourself, for example. You didn't see me there and picked me up. But there is another reason that I look like I'm made out of glass. And that's why I insisted that you put me on my leaf. See, I'm a father.

Picture source

Those are my tadpoles. These are some of the ones that are almost ready to hatch. If a predator comes to eat them, they can fend for themselves and get out of the situation alive...most of the time. But if the predator, let's say a wasp, for example, comes for one of the newest tadpoles...They meet my wrath.
See, I trick them into thinking that I am the newest batch of eggs. 

glass frog 3
Picture source
The wasp wants dinner, and the newest eggs are most vulnerable. So, thinking that I am the newest batch of eggs, he comes at me to feast on the tadpoles. Bet he didn't see this coming!

(Turn off the sound for the video. The song accompanying is weird. It's cooler to watch it without sound). 

Whew! Safe for another day. Ninja dad to the rescue!

glass frog 4
Picture source

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

God's Not Dead-- Movie Review

Warning: Spoilers ahead. If you have not seen the movie God's Not Dead and are planning to see it, do not read any further! 

Image result for god's not dead

Movie Summary:
Josh Wheaton
Josh Wheaton is a first semester freshman at a big university. He signs up to take a philosophy class. In the first class, Professor Radisson tells the students that they can skip one-third of the class and get an A on that section if they will only sign a paper saying that God is Dead. Students quickly do just that...except for Josh. He is a Christian and he can't sign the paper. Professor Radisson agrees to a debate. Josh gets the last 20 minutes of the next three classes to present his case that God is in fact ALIVE. His girlfriend Kara tells him that it is not worth it and tells him to give up. But Josh continues with the debate...and Kara breaks up with him.

Meanwhile, Amy is a young news reporter. She has a boyfriend and life is mostly great...but she is searching for more in her life. Then she finds out that she has cancer and it is spreading rapidly...and she is dying. When she tells her boyfriend, he ends the relationship.

AyishaAyisha is a Muslim girl at the University. Her father is very traditional, and makes her wear a headdress in public. She has been hiding her faith for a year. One day, her father finds out about her faith, beats her, and throws her out of the house. (This scene is a real tear jerker).

Mina is a Christian. She is the young and beautiful wife of Professor Radisson. Radisson is fine until the topic of Mina's faith comes up. Then he gets verbally abusive. Mina feels that she is unequally yoked and doesn't know what to do.

Dave and JudeReverend Dave is feeling like he is stuck in a rut...his job is just drudgery. He has a missionary friend (Reverend Jude) who is in town. The two of them are going to take a vacation together...but their car won't start and their departure gets delayed. Rev. Dave doesn't understand why this is happening and is frustrated with Rev. Jude's absolute faith no matter the circumstances.

Josh begins presenting his case in front of Professor Radisson and his fellow classmates. Professor Radisson tries to his hardest to poke holes in Josh's arguments, and apparently is succeeding. At the end of the last session, they leave it up to the class to decide...IS GOD DEAD? One by one, the class members stand up and say: "God is not dead."
God's not dead
Following being humiliated in front of his students, Professor Radisson is at the end of his rope. He knows his deceased mom would want him to turn to God. He sees an advertisement for a Newsboys God's Not Dead concert, and decides to go.

This is the same concert where Amy has gone to interview the Newsboys, where they share the gospel with her and lead her to Christ. This is also the same concert that Mina, Ayisha, Josh, and Martin (the Chinese student in his class), are attending.

On the way to the concert, Radisson is hit by a car. Though he is not killed instantly, it is obvious that he is going to die lying in the middle of the road. Because of their late start, Rev. Dave and Rev. Jude are at the scene of the accident. Rev. Dave gets the opportunity to share the gospel with this dying man and Radisson accepts it before he dies.

The movie ends with a challenge from Duck Dynasty Dad Willie Robertson to text everyone in your contacts with three simple words: GOD'S NOT DEAD.
text message

My Thoughts on the Movie: 

It was very thought provoking. It made me think about whether I would be able to stand up to a professor like Josh did. I absolutely believe that God is not Dead, but would I be able to stand up to it?

I thought that Josh's arguments at first were a little shaky and weak, but as the debates went on, his arguments got stronger and better. At the end, he touched on the topic of morality. If there is not a God, there is no reason to be moral. This was by far his strongest argument.

The thing I admire most about Josh is that he never gave up despite the opposition of his parents, his girlfriend, and threats from his professor. Professor Radisson told Josh that he would fail him if he kept up with the debate. Yet Josh still stood for his convictions. That is admirable.

The movie was a little fast paced. In all, the movie probably covered maybe two weeks. In that time, both Martin and Amy became believers. It was a little unrealistically fast.

Here is my favorite scene from God's Not Dead...and the climax of the movie.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Puppy Party!

My friend's dog had puppies last week, and my small group went to go see them. I took like 86 pictures...don't worry, I won't post them all!

Here is proud Mama Winnie. Way to go! Eleven puppies!

The puppies were absolutely adorable.
 This is Abed. He was the fourth puppy. 

Here is Eleven. Yup, that's her name. She was also puppy eleven.

Meet Kiki. Isn't he so cute??

My friend with the puppy named Gus Gus.

Abed again. 

Look! We lulled him to sleep! 

That's me with Troy. 

Keep Scrolling...There's lots more pictures!

Puppy Party!! 

That's Eleven with her tongue out!

This is Kevin. She's actually a girl. 

The one in the front is Sunny. Kevin is in the back

This is Sunny. Sound asleep. 

This is Darling. This is also one of my favorite photos.

This little guy is Dug.  

The puppies can't walk at this point. When they want to move, they kind of wiggle across the floor. I think that is what Dug is doing in the picture above. 

One of my friends with Kevin and Dug.

This is Boo.

Dog pile! This is Kevin, Kiki, Dug, Troy, and Sunny.

This is Troy. 

Last but not least, This is Blue. 

And you can't forget the picture of the puppy owner!!

In case you didn't catch it, their names are Kevin, Kiki, Blue, Abed, Sunny, Darling, Troy, Boo, Gus Gus, Dug, and Eleven. They are so small and soft! We were there for an hour and a half, I think, but we wanted to be there forever. :)
One more before you go...

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

What I Read- October 2017

Konnichiwa! (That's Hello in Japanese)

I can't say that I liked or enjoyed every book I read this month...but here they are anyway. I'll list them from least enjoyed to most enjoyed.

Foxes Book of Martyrs (John Foxe)

Foxes Book of Martyrs looked like a really interesting book. I love biographies, and I love stories of persecuted Christians. I was excited when I found it on Kindle for a dollar. But I was sorely disappointed when I began reading it and found out that it was not at all what I had expected.
I began reading this as a History assignment in September. My first disappointment was when I saw how long the chapters were. My second disappointment was that the book skipped around and tried to cover so many martyrs that I got lost in the process. It was hard to track with and understand. Even the chapter devoted entirely to Martin Luther was confusing. I only read half the book.

An Uncertain Choice (Jody Hedlund) 

This is the first book in the series by Jody Hedlund....I read the third book first...oops. :)
Rosemarie has been told that her parents made a vow before she was born that on the day of her eighteenth birthday she would go into a convent and become a nun. She has spent her whole life to this point preparing herself for this coming day. She has given up all hopes of falling in love and getting married. She is also a kind ruler over her people, thwarting the plans of the bailiff and making sure that true justice is carried out and torments and tortures are not used. You see, she had an encounter as a young child with some form of torture that still haunts her.
A month before her eighteenth birthday, a friend of her father's enters her kingdom and proclaims and exception to the vow...if she can find true love and get married before midnight on her birthday, she is free from the vow.
It takes Rosemarie a couple days to accept the fact that there may be a way to get out of being a nun. Before long, she is presented with three knights who will try to win her favor. When the contest turns foul, she begins to wonder if  she should just enter the convent. Especially since the man who has begun to win her heart is appearing to be the most guilty.
I read this at the beginning of the month, and I can't exactly remember how it ended, but I know it was happily ever after for Rosemarie and one of the knights, while the other two went home.

The Merchant's Daughter (Melanie Dickerson)

This is one of the Fairy tale Romance books I have written about a few times before. Although, I've never written about this one before.
This is the second book in what I call the "Hagenheim Books". Each book parallels a fairytale story. The first time I read this book, I didn't understand or like it. A beautiful girl, a mean, disfigured man, a desire for books, a rose, falling in love?
That is, until I watched the old Disney Beauty and the Beast.
I fell in love with the story of Beauty and the Beast, and just had to read this book again.
All that to say, the girl in the book, named Annabel, is in trouble because her family has refused to do the wok required of them and pay their tax instead. The city leaders pronounce their judgement on them-either one of them has to go to work for their new Lord (who is rumored to be mean and nasty) or they have to pay the tax.
Annabel volunteers to go and work for the Lord. She tries to remain unnoticed, but through a variety of circumstances, keeps being put front and center before her Lord. In the process, she finds out that he is kind and gentle beneath his scarred face, shriveled hand, and hardened manner. When he lets her read the Bible (her one greatest desire), she feels indebted to him. As she reads it aloud to him, they have conversations about what the passages mean. This leads to questions about the past of both of them...and gradually, Annabel finds herself falling in love with her Lord. Through some other circumstances, the two of them do end up together and live happily ever after. And they appear in a later book or two, although right now I can't for the life of me remember which books they are! Oh well, I suppose I shall have to read the rest of the series again! :)

Imprisoned in Iran (Dan Baumann) 
Image result for imprisoned in iran
In this book, Dan tells his story of being imprisoned in Iran. He had dual-citizenship in the U.S. and Switzerland, so he used his Swiss passport to get into Iran. On the way out, he and his South African friend Glenn got detained. Their passports were taken, and they were put in prison where they were interrogated. After a while, they were moved to Evan Prison…the most notorious prison in Iran. Glenn wasn’t held in solitary, but Dan was. Glenn was also released sooner than Dan. Dan shares the important lessons about love, faith, fear, and sufferings that he learned while in Evan Prison.
Jellybean even liked this book, and it wasn’t too scary for her (she is six), so that would be an extra couple of points in favor of this book! 😉

In closing....
Image result for reading quote