Wednesday, October 26, 2011

At Romantique Photography - A Wedding!

Melissa and I, as some of you may already know, are pursuing photography. We started a blog sometime back and have been posting often on it ever since!

Anyway, we recently shot our first wedding, which was both stressful and exciting - a great experience! The photos from the wedding are finally up on the blog! Please check it out and tell us your thoughts. :-)


Sincerely,
Jessica

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gossip and the Sinner


‎"For such is the weakness of human nature, alas, that evil is often more readily believed and spoken of another than good. But perfect men do not easily believe every tale that is told them, for they know that man's nature is prone to evil, and his words to deception." (Thomas a Kempis)


Gossip is so destructive. It can destroy reputations, friendships, families, churches, and unity in the Body of Christ. Think before you speak about another person; stop the conversation when someone gossips to you about another person, realizing that you should "never trust your tongue when your heart is bitter" (Samuel Hurwitt). Stop before you speak and consider whether or not your words bring glory to the Lord.


Before passing on or discussing negative information about another person ask yourself these questions:


  • Is what I'm saying completely true?
  • Is what I’m saying colored by any anger or bitterness
  • Am I seeking for someone to agree with my position?
  • Am I assuming false motives?
  • Is what I'm saying kind?
  • Is what I'm saying God-honoring?
  • Is the person I’m speaking to part of the solution (a pastor, parent, or other person in authority)?
  • What are my motives in passing on this information?



Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure. (Psalm 101:5)


With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape... A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret. (Proverbs 11: 9;13)


He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. (Proverbs 17:9)


A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much. (Proverbs 20:19)




This isn't something I've mastered. Unfortunately, it's something that I struggle with on a regular basis. But near the beginning of this year (and since then) the Lord has really been revealing to me the destructive nature of slander and gossip, and the importance of being trustworthy. I've also realized that listening to gossip is just as sinful as speaking gossip. It can change your opinion of someone, and the information you're hearing might not even be true. You don't know circumstances, perspectives, motives or reasons.


The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. (Proverbs 18:17)


We can also be sure that someone who gossips to us, will also gossip about us. It’s tempting to listen, but remember it affects your very soul.


The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body. (Proverbs 18:8)


Please, please, avoid gossip; don’t speak it and don’t listen to it. As Christians, we must be trustworthy. Let us be like David when he said, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." (Psalm 19:14)



As the old saying goes, "If you have nothing nice to say, then don't say anything at all."



There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health. (Proverbs 12:18)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Romantique Photography

Introducing a new blog! My sister, Melissa, and I have our new photography blog up & running! Please go and check it out!! :-)





Link

Monday, August 22, 2011

So this is...love?


"So this is love. So this is what makes all of life divine. I’m all aglow, and now I know, the key to all heaven is mine..."

- Cinderella


It’s overwhelming. In fact, the air is thick with it. Everywhere I look, I am bombarded by illusions of “love.” It’s in the music, the movies, the marketing—it’s even in the food. I see young people who are attracted to one another merely for their looks, or for the ego boost they get from all the attention they receive (isn’t that what flirtation is all about?).

I see it in movies where the beautiful girl falls instantly in love with the Brad Pitt look-alike. The fact that he’s a “bad boy” who she needs to make “good” only adds power and romance to the story. Or what about the song where the man croons over the girl he saw for only a moment? Without any knowledge of her character, he knows instantly that she is the one for him! The fact that he doesn’t even know her name is supposed to be proof of some “magical spark” and convince us of his deep and profound love. Easy come, easy go.

Though stories like these might appeal to our sense of romance (or maybe an amused eye roll), we need to recognize that we are being wooed by a superficial, self-focused, unrealistic, and empty view of “love.” In fact, sometimes I feel like I’m being indoctrinated by an evil fake—by a false definition of love.

Dictionary.com defines love as “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.” I think that comes naturally as a result of real love, but it doesn’t start there. The Bible defines loves in this way:

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

If a man really loves a woman, he won’t risk her heart or her purity by pursuing her in a way that is outside of God’s will. He won’t play with her emotions or tempt her affections simply to satisfy some sort of fleshly desire inside himself. In fact, if he’s acting in love, he won’t attempt to stir her affections at all, outside of the bounds of a lawful commitment.

If a young woman is truly acting in love toward her brother (yes, he is her brother), she won’t risk his heart or his purity by seeking to be pursued in a way that is outside of God’s will. She won’t play with his emotions or (by her actions, words, or dress) tempt him to think of her in an inappropriate way simply to satisfy some sort of fleshly desire inside herself.

Love is all about dying to self and putting others first. I think self-gratification may be the very opposite of love. True love is all wrapped up in humility, gentleness, truth, and long suffering. True love resembled or mirrors the love we receive from Christ. Love isn’t focused on the self-satisfying ideal of what someone looks like or how good they make us feel about ourselves. Love isn’t deceived by flattery.

Love is not a noun; it is a verb—an action. I think that Paul Tripp words it well in his book What Did you Expect? He says:

Love calls you to be silent when you want to speak, and to speak when would like to be silent. Love calls you to act when you would really like to wait and to wait when you would really like to act. Love calls you to stop when you really want to continue and it calls you to continue when you feel like stopping. Love requires you to lead when you really would like to follow and to follow when you really want to lead. Love again and again calls you away from your instincts and your comfort. Love always requires personal sacrifice. Love calls you to give up your life.

I recall a time when a young man showed me a lot of attention. A lot. And I don’t mean that he simply talked to me or spent a bit of time with me. I mean that he openly and constantly flirted with me—to the point where others noticed and I was strangely uncomfortable.

Still, deep down, I was flattered when he singled me out above all the other girls. He said all the right words and made me feel really good about myself—it was an exhilarating feeling. When he complimented me, I felt beautiful; when he picked me out of a crowd I felt special; when he showered me with constant attention I felt like I mattered. Though I wasn’t at all interested in him in a romantic way, the attention he gave me made me feel good about myself. In a way, I was using him.

In my soul, in my very being, I felt the desperate need to love and be loved. That longing for romance was in my heart. I wanted to matter to someone. Though I have an amazing relationship with my father, I still desired the love of a man – a man who would love only me, who would cherish and desire only me…and me alone. Don’t most of us have that desire?

But, like a sugar or caffeine high, the drug of false love causes a hard crash—and depending upon how long and to what extent we’ve entertained our flesh this way, it can be a long fall to the ground.

You see, just like I wasn’t interested in him, this young man didn’t care about me. He didn’t love me (or the other girls he treated this way) as Christ loves me. He wasn’t striving to protect my heart or my mind. No, he was casually using me to make himself feel good—to build his ego and to satisfy his fleshly, prideful desire for attention. That’s what flirtation is—a self-gratifying game of “boost the ego.”

In a surreal sort of way, it hurt to watch him suddenly lose interest and almost immediately go on to another girl. This is not because I’d given away my heart, or that I had hoped he would ask to court me. I was hurt because I felt…well, used. Like he had been leading me on for his own amusement and then dropped me when he found someone more attractive and more interesting. By not being on guard to my own flesh, I had set myself up for rejection. In my heart, even if for a moment, I had allowed a person to define my worth.

When I realized how foolish I had been, I have to admit, I cried. Not over a broken heart, because I hadn’t given my heart away in the least, but because I was insulted by the way I had been treated. I was irritated that I hadn’t recognized it right away! And I was mad at myself for stupidly (and selfishly) enjoying the attention of a fake.

You see, I think I can safely say that all of us long to be loved for who we are. We want to be loved in spite of our awkward tendencies, our imperfect body shape, or the silly things we sometimes say. We long to be cherished and desired for who we are—to be loved, protected, and valued.

There have been times in my life when I’ve wondered if there is a man out there who could ever truly love me in spite of my imperfectness. Have you ever had those thoughts? It is not like I’ve ever been desperate to be married. In fact, I love my life just as it is. It’s just that I sometimes wonder if anyone (outside my own family) will really want/love me after truly getting to know everything about me.

I think maybe, without even realizing it, this has been my secret fear for some time. Recently, after observing another group display of the idle “he likes, she likes” pattern, those melancholy thoughts of not being “good enough” somehow came upon me again.

But, at that moment, something amazing happened—in the middle of these thoughts, the Lord revealed something beautiful to me…something that spoke and ministered to me in a million different ways.

So, this is…God

It was late evening. The sky was already dark and sprinkled with numberless beautiful stars. The radio was playing softly in the background. I hadn’t really been paying attention to the music, mostly because I was too self-absorbed in discouraging thoughts—thoughts of not being “good enough,” lovable enough, pretty enough, or clever enough.

It was while these thoughts were whirling through my head that my ears perked up. The song, I Love You This Big, was being played on the radio. The song itself was sweet, but nothing all that profound. However, as usual, God took some ordinary thing and made it spectacular. As I listened to the chorus, my eyes stayed fixed on the brilliant stars that highlighted the blanket of darkness above me.

I love you this big
Eyes have never seen this big
No-one’s ever dreamed this big
And I’ll spend the rest of my life
Explaining what words cannot describe…

I realize this is written from one person to another, but as I listened, it was like God was speaking words of love to me. Here I was hurting because I felt unlovable, unattractive, and sometimes used by others, then God allowed this song to come on the radio.

I sat back and let a few tears run down my cheeks. I knew that the Lord was speaking to me. He was reminding me of what I’d already been told a million times – that man can never fill that void in us that is reserved for God alone. My God is a jealous God. I don’t need the attention of a created man to make me feel complete or loved – I am loved by the One who created them all—and who created and chose me! And, as I gazed upon the stars which He made, I felt a sudden peace. It was just so, so overwhelming, and so beautiful. I wish you could have been there. I wish that I could share that beautiful moment with each of you – because in that moment I felt more loved and more wanted then I’ve ever felt before. El Roi loves me!

“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26)

My worth is not measured by whether or not an earthly man loves or admires me. I have been pursued by the Lover of my soul—the One in whose image I am made. The One who created me, who knows everything about me, who watches me stumble and fall – and still loves me! He loves me!

We love Him because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

The powerful, beautiful, wonderful Creator of all things loves me! He holds me, comforts me, showers me with blessings. In my clouded thinking, I seemed to almost forget. I have Someone who not only loves me, but who proved it by dying for me, in all my unloveliness!

I’m talking to all my friends here: I beg you – don’t fall for superficial love! Don’t fall into the worldly and immature “he likes her” and “she likes him” silliness. Don’t be deceived by flirtatious fickleness, or by men or women who are paying attention to you just to feed their own egos ( Romans 8:1, 12:3, 1 Thessalonians 4:6).

Does that young man actively love you (by love’s true definition), or is he flattering his own ego—appealing to your flesh? Will he make a faithful, godly husband? Will he be a good father and example to your children? Ask yourself what it is about him (really) that you find attractive?

Guys ask yourself the same thing about that girl who makes your heart skip a beat. What is it (really) that attracts you to her? Be honest with yourself. What is it that makes you think she might make a good wife or mother to your children?

Don’t let popular music, Hollywood, or pop culture deceive or define you (Romans 12:2). If you are lonely and empty, if you feel unlovable and unwanted, remember we’re all unworthy. Remember Christ’s sacrifice for you on the cross…the very picture of true love (John 15:13).

Turn to Jesus. He will fill that void—that hole in your heart that is shaped only for Him. His love never fails – and it’s not based on how cute you are, how smart you are, or how “good” you are. In fact, Jesus Himself is the one who transforms our unloveliness into something beautiful indeed. Yes…this is love.


I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! —and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, in Sonnets from the Portuguese, No. LXIII.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

I've had an...interesting experience this week. I though I would recount it to y'all so you can each share in a bit of my terror.


The Night Terror: A Horror Story with a Slightly Satisfying Ending


So there I am, reading at midnight. It had been a loooong day & I was really into the book I was reading. Somebody must have been dying, or fighting...or something interesting was happening. I'm so engrossed in it that I barely hear the gentle "Plop" beside my ear. But, it being a plop (and "Plops" being shortly followed by my viewing of bugs...) I, of course, must turn to look.

Now everyone knows that I don't care for bugs. Okay, I REALLY don't care for bugs, but usually I can (mostly) keep my cool. There are a few select creatures, though, that really, really, really, really freak me out. Also, seeing ANY bug at midnight tends to freak me out more then it would if I saw it at noon. Does that make sense?

*cough*

Anyway, so I turn to my left and what do I see? WHAT. DO. I. SEE??? A BIG FAT DISGUSTINGLY GREEN AND DISGUSTINGLY FREAKISH LEAF BUG BESIDE ME. Right there. Beside me. At midnight. Waiting - JUST WAITING to plop on my head while I'm sleeping. I could see the malicious intent in it's green face...well, for as long as I looked at it (which was probably for 1/100th of a second.).

I leaped from my bed, through my book on Melissa's bed and ran screaming from the room. I called first for Dad, but seeing as all the lights were off, I decided that he was already in bed. Who is the next closest? CALEB. So I go into his room, flash the lights (while still yelling) and he jumps out of bed. He tries to put on his shirt, which I refused to let him do (I grabbed it and threw it in the air) seeing as it would take WAY too long and by then the bug would be IN MY BED (one of my worst fears). I shoved a shoe into his hands and led him to my room and pointed out the bug.

Caleb, being the sweet, kind, brother that he is killed it right there. But then...(HORROR OR HORRORS) HE REFUSED TO WIPE IT UP. So there, beside my head, on the wall, would be a big, fat, disgustingly green and disgustingly freakish SQUASHED leaf bug. That's almost as bad as an ALIVE big, fat, disgustingly green and disgustingly freakish leaf bug (emphasis on "almost".). He leaves the room, I'm practically in tears even though I am VERY grateful that it's at least DEAD. Mean green trespasser. As I struggle to decide who to ask to pick it up (I just CANNOT pick it up myself.) who do I see as I leave my room once more?

Dad. He's half-smiling and clutching a shoe in his hand. I thought I was going to die of joy. MY HERO. HE would pick up the bug for me! I would never have to see that big fat disgustingly green and disgustingly freakish leaf bug ANYMORE.

"Where is it?" My hero asks, ready to do battle on my behalf.

"Well, Caleb killed it, but............could you please pick it up for me?"

He is amazing and he did it.

Thus, my terrifying night was concluded.



Well...ALMOST concluded. I moved my bed AWAY from where the bug had been and I slept at the farthest end of my bed (just in case that leaf bug had any friends, cousins or enemies.) and I laid in bed for about 10 hours (praying there were no more in the room.) before finally falling asleep.



Now where can I find some Leaf Bug Killer?????



P.S. I was going to add a picture of the horrid thing (I found one on the internet.) But it was TOO terrifying. I just couldn't. So if you want to see what a leaf bug looks like, then go look it up yourself. *shivers*

Thursday, July 07, 2011

"It's Independence Day..."

Independence Day is always a big deal over here in our neck of the woods. Actually, I can hardly remember an Independence Day in my life that WASN'T celebrated. We love to get together with friends, enjoy the heat (*cough*), munch on watermelon & grilled meat, laugh, play and of course - FIREWORKS. We Americans sure do know how to put on a party, if I do say so myself. :-)

So anyway, without further ado, here are some photos of our 4th of July. :-)












































































Thursday, June 30, 2011

Anti-Legalists?


Do you ever read something or repeatedly hear something that makes no sense and just drives you crazy? An idea? A point of view? An opinion? There's been talk in Christian circles lately that’s been driving me up a wall. No, I'm not talking about youth groups or hard rock; I'm talking about judgmental attitudes.

Now, before you start pulling your hair out, please hear me. I'm actually coming from a
different side of the picture than most. Usually, when I hear people talking about "legalists" and "judgers," I'm hearing it from “liberal” Christians who are calling more "conservative" Christians "legalists". Why? Now that is the question.

I recently participated in a discussion on Google Buzz about "hyper-conservatives". First of all, let me say that I really, really hate that term. I mean, it's so relative! Who is to say what “hyper- conservative” even means? Or even "conservative?” I know people I would definitely consider liberal who call themselves conservative, but, I also know strict Mennonites who call themselves conservative! They look and act like they’re from different planets, but they both own the term. In fact, some non-Christians use the term “conservative” to describe their political position. There is no clear line. It's all relative.

Anyway, I noticed that one of the people in the conversation pointed out that a certain secular pop star (Katy Perry) "used to be" a Christian, but ran from the faith of her childhood (into a completely anti-Christian behavior and lifestyle) because of her parent's alleged "hyper- conservative" lifestyle. He added that he wasn’t surprised and the she obviously, “ran from the prison of religion as soon as she could.”

This is a total sore spot with me. First, I really, really, really hate it when people blame their "hyper-conservative" families for their own rebellion—“running from Christianity.” What caused Katy Perry to run from "the prison of religion" – a term I think is just an excuse to do whatever we want, as if "free in Christ" means free to do whatever—was her own sinful heart. It was not her parents fault, or her family's fault, or her church's fault. We get so caught up in blame shifting that it gets ridiculous. We are responsible for our own sin - we can't blame it on those around us.

I don’t think a conservative (or even a hyper conservative) lifestyle is what causes young people to run from Christianity (and even if it is, it is still not the family's “fault”). I think what causes a young person to run (outside of his/her lack of faith in Christ) is perhaps not knowing why they believe what they believe.

Some young people haven't embraced a true faith, or their own convictions; instead, they have simply been going through the motions, adopting the convictions of others who, in their opinion, have it all together. They don't know why they do what they do.

When they're child says "Why do we __?" or “Why don’t we ___?” the parent doesn't have an
answer—or doesn’t take the time to give one. This is a problem! We have to know why we do what we do - otherwise we are living a works-based religion. But a family who has convictions from the Bible (perhaps they are considered "ultra-conservative", but they're still based on a thoughtful interpretation of Scripture) is doing nothing wrong. If your parents decide (from their reading of Scripture.) that head-coverings are to be worn constantly in their household, that does not mean that the child has an excuse to abandon their faith and blame their rebellion on their hatred for head coverings, complaining, "Oh, they were just sooo (hyper) conservative."

Being “ultra-conservative" (whatever that really means) is not a bad thing if the Holy Spirit has
convicted the family and this is how they choose to work out their understanding of Scripture.

And what does it say about the child who rejects Christianity for such superficial things? It's a
love for the things of the world that causes a child to run from Christianity (or authority.), not whether or not the parents are "ultra-conservative". And what does "ultra” or “hyper” conservative" mean anyway? Can we be "too godly"? True, if our heart is in the wrong place then it is sin - but anything that isn't done in faith is sin.

Remember, Jesus came to fulfill the law, not to destroy it (Matt. 5:17). He said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15, 21). Love isn't a warm fuzzy - it's more than simple human affection. Like my mom said today, “Loving God means we honor and obey Him with abandon because of who He is and what He’s done for us.” Loving our neighbor is treating others the way we want to be treated, sacrificing for them, and putting them first (John 15:13). Isn’t it interesting that these things happen when we keep his commandments?

Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37–39)

In other words, all the commandments of God have to do with these two commands. If we can
obey these, we will have obeyed the others. Think about it. Be careful of judging others as “ultra-conservative” or “legalistic.” Be careful of being a legalistic anti-legalist.

For more on this subject, read Sally “Used to be” a Legalist by my wonderful Mother. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


“Her heart was torn between love and the future of Hawaii.”


Well, I watched Princess Kaiulani with Melissa last night.

The movie is basically about Princess Victoria Kaiulani Kalaninuiahilapalapa Kawekiui Lunalilo's journey from a little girl growing up in the rugged, tropical beauty of Hawaii in the 1800's to a young woman standing up for her Country and fighting for the right's of her people. It was slow moving and quiet, but interesting. This will give you a bit more into the basic story before I go into my thoughts on the film...




Okay, soooo...the basic premise of the movie was good but a few things really started to irritate me (and caused me to become irritated with the movie itself.) one was the kissing scenes. They eventually got...um...kind of ridiculous? Not really scandalous - just super awkward. The other thing that bothered me was the fact that everything went waaaay too fast. I mean, we were just introduced to the guy 5 minutes ago and already it's two years later and they're kissing each other like there's no tomorrow??!!! What??? I'm not talking about once or twice but like, 8 times - never-ending-ly awkward kissing scenes. :P Pleaaaase, people - get on with the story.

(Also, Princess Kaiulani giggles constantly. ANNOYING.)

Just to clarify - it's not like I'm unromantic or unfeeling or anything, but this was NOT romance. This was the director not helping you get to know the characters but deciding to make up for that by passionate kissing and giggles over and over and over again. Sorry, but that doesn't fly with me. I want to FEEL for the characters! I want to know them and care about what happens to them. I want to feel like these people are my friends and their fate is something that I actually feel something about.

Now for the positive things I found in the movie (yes, there are some! :))

I thought that the actor who played for the Princess' aunt was wonderful. She didn't have many lines, but the ones that she did have were delivered powerfully and with much emotion.

Another thing that I really loved was the cinematography...I thought that the sweeping views of Hawaii (a Hawaii that's not swarming with tourists. ;)) were breathtaking and Melissa and I both agreed that we wished we could've visited Hawaii before the 1900's.

I have not read very much about Princess Kaiulani, or her story, so I'm not sure how much of the movie was true, but I talked with my Dad a bit afterward, and told him some of the facts that the movie had communicated to me and he informed me that many of them were true to history. Which brings me to the one thing that I found extremely interesting and thought-provoking about the movie...

I am most assuredly NOT Anti-American (I love my Country!) but it really, really annoys me when I hear of us Americans sticking our noses where we have no business. :P Yes, we are called to take dominion (as Christians.) - but Hawaii was a Christian country - we're not to take dominion of each other. :P

We invaded Hawaii and claimed it as our own. This was NOT our right and not something that we should have done. Of course, we take that a step further and only landowners in Hawaii could vote. Now I think that would be a fine decision here in the States, but in Hawaii, 90% of the population were Hawaiian - and none of them owned land. Kind of ridiculous - agreed?

Anyway, before this film I had known very little of the history of Hawaii and how it came to be an American state, so I really appreciated the learning experience that it afforded me.

Morally, the movie was acceptable and there were several moments where I saw examples of Christ-like love and sacrifice. One part that particularly stood out to me was Kaiulani showing kindness and mercy to the teacher who had been so cruel towards her in the beginning. A true picture of Christ and an example we would all do well to follow.

In closing, I wish I could say "Go see this movie!" and "It was amazing!", but really, I can't and it wasn't. But if you have an evening with nothing else to do, and you want to watch a relatively clean and quiet documentary-style film - I'd say to give it a go.
My life is a little overwhelming at the moment, which is the reason I haven't had time to put up a longer post then the past three. But soon, one will be coming. For now, give this beautiful & encouraging song a listen.







Stronger
by Mandisa

Hey, heard you were up all night
Thinking about how your world ain't right
And you wonder if things will ever get better
And you're asking why is it always raining on you
When all you want is just a little good news
Instead of standing there stuck out in the weather

Oh, don't hang your head
It's gonna end
God's right there
Even if it's hard to see Him
I promise you that He still cares

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain't gonna last forever
And things can only get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger
Gonna make you stronger, stronger, stronger
Believe me, this is gonna make you ...

Try and do the best you can
Hold on and let Him hold your hand
And go on and fall into the arms of Jesus
Oh, lift your head it's gonna end
God's right there
Even when you just can't feel Him
I promise you that He still cares

'Cause if He started this work in your life
He will be faithful to complete it
If only you believe it
He knows how much it hurts
And I'm sure that He's gonna help you get through this

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain't gonna last forever
In time it's gonna get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I have the best father in the world and everyone should know that. :-)

So, Happy Father's Day to my amazing, talented, patient, wonderful, loving father.

I love you so very, very much, Dad. Thank you for everything you done for me and everything that you continue to do. Thank you for being my Knight in shining armor - my defender, my encourager, my challenger and my daddy. I wish for you the best father's day of all time. :-)

I'm so blessed to have the privilege of you being MY father. <3


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Do you ever hear a song that moves you and really speaks to your heart? I had one of those moments. I heard this one on the radio on the way home from Church today and nearly cried. It's beautiful.







Blessings
by Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

Friday, June 10, 2011

Turkey Fest 2011

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
- Proverbs 17:22


Last night was the annual Turkey Festival in Tremont! Let me tell you, nothing is quite like a small-town carnival!! We were joined by many good friends and we spent the evening riding the rides, eating a few snacks and laughing...a lot. :)

They had a new ride that I have a bunch of pictures of in this post - it was called Nemesis 360°...terrifying, exhilarating and a TON of fun. It went extremely fast and went upside down several times. It was VERY popular with our group. :D

So anyway, without further ado, here are a few snapshots of our amazing evening. :)



Amusement... *grin*



Melissa got this "up high" view of the carnival grounds from the Ferris Wheel!



Big smiles were everywhere...


Emma and Hannah were having a fabulous time. :)



Abigail and Hannah try out the "Orbiter"...


I think the Boat ride freaked them out a bit. ;)



Mom and William take a spin...


Moosh took some amazing pictures while at the carnival!
(all these pictures are courtesy of her...except the self-portrait ones that I took.)



Lenna, Kasey and I right before Kasey and I went for a CRAZY ride on the Zipper!! :D



"Eyzma! Put your hands in the air!"
Lenna and I brave "Nemesis"!


We stayed upside down for a couple seconds before being dropped and spun around....


We decided it would be more epic if we stuck our legs out. :D


Coming back down...


Look closely...I'm screaming. :P


Caleb and Corey...being calm and collected. :D



The Ferris Wheel at night is beautiful. :)




Melissa and I...exhausted and messy, but we had a fabulous time. :)



After much arguing we made Sam get in the picture with us. :D


Moosh and Sierra. :D


Suzanne and Sierra! :D



I think Steven and Sam were talking about throwing up in this picture. :P


A small portion of our group!



And it was a wonderful night. :)



Ciao!