Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Rainy Day Praise

Yes, it is early for most of you but, Happy Thanksgiving! (My family is celebrating it tomorrow. More on that in another post!) In this post I just want to lift a praise and remind you about a few things.

In the currently very dry state of California, it has been such a blessing to receive some rain over the past few weeks. It has been wonderful for me to watch the rain coming down and think about the predicted "El NiƱo" that is due this winter. I have so enjoyed watching the green grass poking up from the dry earth, and our yard, pasture, hills, and the surrounding area turning green this early in the season. It is so rare in this area to have a green Thanksgiving! Thank you, Lord for this wonderful rain! Thank you, readers, for your prayers. Keep it up!

As for the reminders:
1) The quilt raffle is December 6.
2) The writing challenge due date is November 28. (This Saturday!)
3) Have a great night!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Veterans Day—Answers!

Here are the answers to the Veterans Day "quiz." Answers are in italics.

1) What is Veterans Day?
Veterans Day is a day set aside to celebrate and remember everyone who has served America as a soldier, marine, etc.
2) What was its original name?
Armistice Day.
3) What year did it start?
Armistice Day began on the one year anniversary of the end of World War I, November 11, 1919.
4) What was its original celebration?
To celebrate the end of the "war to end all wars" and to remember the Veterans from the war. 
5) Who changed its name to Veterans Day and when?
It got changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day on June 1, 1954 by Eisenhower.
6) What does the word "veteran" mean?
From the nomenclature of the old English language, "veteran" means "old, experienced soldier."
7) Which state has the most veterans?
8) At some time, Veterans Day was moved to another day. When was it moved? What day was it moved to?
In 1971, it was moved to the fourth Monday in October.
9) When was it moved back to November 11? 
10) What is the common mistake made by people who write this holiday's name?
It is not supposed to be spelled with an apostrophe,(Vetrans) yet many people spell it with one (Veteran's, or Veterans').

What did you think? Did you have fun? Thank you to everyone who participated and I hope that you enjoyed yourself and learned something!

Note: Information has been taken off various internet sites. A few are mentioned below:
history.com, softschools.com, workingmoms.about.com

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Horsey Photo Shoot

Here is my promised post of the horse photo shoot! The other day I went out to the horses with my Fujifilm and decided to take a few pictures. . . . :-) More like, A LOT of pictures! But I have managed to narrow them down to my eight best shots for you plus two of scenery. The Appaloosa (spotted horse) is Dream, and the bay (brown with a black mane and tail) is Baylie. Enjoy!

I love the look on Dream's face!

The view as I was photographing.

I love both their heads in the picture!

This reminds me of two things: the cover of Dark Storms Rising, and Jesus returning!
What did you think? I hope that you enjoyed it! A few things:
1) For those of who are considering helping out with the quilt raffle, the due date is December 6.
2) The Veterans Day answers will be postponed until the 17th. Please leave your answers by the 16th!
3) Don't forget the Writing Challenge! The due date is November 28th.

Thank you all for reading! Have a super day! God bless you.

Friday, November 13, 2015

From My Fujifilm

As promised, here is a sampling of photographs I have taken with my new camera. (See previous post.) Enjoy! The first set of pictures are from the trip that we took in September to eastern California. The first two were taken in Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park. The rest, except for the setting sun shots, were taken in the Mammoth area and the Owen's River Valley. The setting sun pictures were taken over the Pacific Ocean on the Monterey Peninsula.

These last pictures are all ones that I took back at my house. The two after the moon shot are of a Red-tailed hawk in an Oak near my house. Then a honey bee, hummingbird, another local bird, and my sister's chicken, Teeters.
The day after a full moon.
Taking off.

Soaring! (Like I sometimes wish I could do!)

Teeters, my sister's chicken.

Thanks for staying tuned to my blog! Soon I will post more pictures, these ones will be of a horse photo-shoot! Also, please don't forget to at least consider purchasing a custom quilt raffle ticket! All information is included in another post. To view it, please click HERE. Note: the well will no longer be purchased through Gospel For Asia, but it will still go to a village in need of water and the love of Jesus!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

My Camera

I would have liked to write this post earlier, but I know that you won't mind that I'm doing it now! I simply have to share with you! So, without further ado . . .

At the end of last school year, I had a graduation party from eighth grade. Many people from my church came, and all gave me generous gifts and beautiful cards. For some time previous to that, I had been saving to purchase a nice camera. I spent some time researching and finally used the graduation money to buy a Fujifilm camera. It is BEAUTIFUL! It takes stunning photographs! For those of you who also enjoy photography, you'll know what I mean when I say that it has a 50x zoom as well as takes 16 megapixel pictures. I am so pleased with it! I now have the nicest camera in the family! ;-P

Anyways, that is a just a highlight from my semi-recent life that I thought that you would enjoy! I hope to post a few pictures that I have taken with it tomorrow or the day after to show you a sample of what it can do. Thanks for reading! Pictures of my previous camera and my new camera are below.
My previous camera.

My upgrade!!!


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day Q&A

Hey, that kinda rhymes! I thought that it would be fun to test your knowledge of Veterans Day! In this post, I will ask questions about Veterans Day, and you will comment with your answers! Some questions will be easier than others. I only ask that you do not look up the answers until after you leave your comment. I won't publish the comments with your answers in them until I do the answer post. That post will be published on November 15. Please leave your answers by November 14. Here are the questions:

1) What is Veterans Day?
2) What was its original name?
3) What year did it start?
4) What was its original celebration?
5) Who changed its name to Veterans Day and when?
6) What does the word "veteran" mean?
7) Which state has the most veterans?
8) At some time, Veterans Day was moved to another day. When was it moved? What day was it moved to?
9) When was it moved back to November 11?
10) What is the common mistake made by people who write this holiday's name?

Just copy the questions into your comment and below each question write your answer. I hope that you have fun! Remember to show your gratitude to any veteran that you meet! Each one was willing to give their very lives so that we could be free. Because there have been men and women such as these, we have the important freedom of religion. Imagine if we couldn't worship God freely like so many other people are faced with. What if whenever we prayed or went to church there was a danger of being caught and thrown in jail or martyred? I am so thankful to the many soldiers who have given their lives and were willing to give their lives for us! Most of all, thank you to the veterans in my community. Especially to my dad. Dad, thank you so much for serving America and helping to preserve our freedom!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Writing Challenge #3!

Time for another writing challenge! The rules are:

1) I give you a moral of sorts.
2) You write a 500-600 word story with that moral.
3) Then you send it to me via the "Send Me an Email" gadget on the right sidebar of my blog. (Or just through my email if you have my address.) Please include your name or an alias. Thanks!
4) The due-date is November 28. (That way you have your Thanksgiving break to polish it up.) Shortly thereafter I will post the winners.

Please have fun. That is the most important part of this contest! And, like I said before, don't be afraid to come up with something totally strange! Just enjoy writing! Now for the moral:

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Bonus points to whoever tells me what the verse reference for that moral is!

I'm eager to see what you send! Have fun!

Note: Please consider purchasing a custom quilt raffle ticket! All proceeds go toward buying a well for a village in Asia as a sign of Jesus being the Living Water. Every dollar helps! The drawing date is December 6. Ticket prices are as follows:
     $1 for 1 ticket
     $5 for 6 tickets
     $20 for 25 tickets
For the other details, please click HERE.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

First Time in History. . .

October 31, 2015 is a day that has made equine history! It has happened! For the first time in history we have a Grand Slam Winner! The Grand Slam is the title given to the winner of the Triple Crown, as well as the prestigious Breeders Cup Classic. This feat has never been accomplished. . . until now. Moments ago, eight horses settled into the starting gate, jockeys poised for action. The bell rang. The horses leapt forward as one. American Pharaoh, first winner of the Triple Crown in 37 years, took an early lead. He held that lead through the end of the 1 1/4 mile race on the Keeneland Racetrack just outside of Lexington, Kentucky. Not once did he waver. Never did he struggle. He kept his lead throughout the entire race and crossed the finish line 6 1/2 lengths ahead of the rest of the field. All viewers, including my family from our living room, were ecstatic! We had witnessed history once more! Three-year-old American Pharaoh with jockey Victor Espinoza, trainer Bob Baffert, and owner Ahmed Zayat took him to victory! American Pharaoh ran his race with seemingly no competition in 2:00.07.

Now, the famous horse has retired to become a stud and will be living in a lovely breeding farm near Keeneland, not far from where he was raised. He has finished his racing career with ease, class, and style. He is one of the best. Never will there be a horse like American Pharaoh.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Autumn to Me

This post was inspired by another blogger friend, Faith P. Thanks, Faith! To read her post, click here.

What does autumn mean to you? To me, it is:

  • Cleaning our woodstove chimney
  • Short days and chilly nights
  • Getting up while it is still dark
  • Long shadows
  • Unpacking winter clothes
  • Shivering until we light the fireplace each morning
  • Watching leaves flit through the sky on their way to the ground
  • Being more careful when riding the horses because of breezes that might spook them
  • Starting to think about Thanksgiving
  • Harvesting the last of the garden
  • Pumpkin flavored everything! (pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin-flavored chips, pumpkin-flavored cream cheese, pumpkin pie, pumpkin-flavored marshmallows, pumpkin-flavored cereal, pumpkin ice cream, and even pumpkin-flavored pumpkin seeds!)
  • Eating more homemade soups and breads
  • Baking
  • Shopping for Christmas
  • Leaves crunching beneath my feet
  • Doing more blog posts and novel writing
  • The Circle C Short Story contest ;-)
  • Both my parents' birthdays
  • Looking forward to my birthday (aka. making a wish list) 
  • Reading a good novel in front of the fireplace
  • Rain and wind
  • Changing my blog layout to give it an Autumn look (For those of you who read my posts in your email, check it out! I think that it looks pretty cool!)

This is all what makes autumn be autumn to me! What about for you? Do you identify with any of the things that I mentioned? Thanks for tuning in!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October: Pastor Appreciation Month

Before October is over, I want to bring to your attention that this month is Pastor Appreciation Month. Traditionally, members of a congregation show their gratitude to their pastor by doing something special. It could be bringing the family a meal, writing a note, or just making a point to say "thank you." Because my Dad is a pastor, I know firsthand how much work goes into preparing Sunday morning teachings, in addition to all the other in between meetings. Aside from teaching on Sunday, during the week pastors are preparing their hearts and messages for services or other activities like (as in my Dad's case) youth group, a men's meeting, and visiting those in the hospital or jail, or those who are facing difficult times. Pastoring is a full-time job. So much goes on behind the scenes that many people never find out about. They pick up the phone whenever it rings, and are constantly studying and preparing. Things come up spur of the moment that they have to attend to and in addition to having a full-time job, they are also on call. Many people assume that pastoring means simply getting up on Sunday and delivering a message, but it is SO MUCH MORE!

Next time that you see your pastor, youth leader, worship leaders, and other ministers, I encourage you to tell them "thank you." Show your gratitude by taking them a meal or sending a card. Over the years members of our congregation have done this for us, and it has truly been a blessing! Remember that it doesn't just have to be in October. So, to all the pastors out there, thank you!

Especially to you, Dad. . .
Thank you for taking your job seriously and remaining so dedicated. Thanks for being my pastor. . . even at home. I love you and want you to know that I am grateful to have you as my pastor, father, and youth leader. Thank you!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Writing Challenge #2 Winners!

Well, I am quite pleased with the entries I received for the writing challenge with the moral "honesty is always the best choice." It seems like you all really enjoyed it! I had such a difficult time judging them since each one had its own strength, but alas, I have managed to choose the top three. Thank you one and all for entering! May you enjoy reading all the entries. Please comment and let me know if you are interested in more of this sort of writing challenge, and your thoughts on how this one compared to my other one. Note, all the entries are in purple so that you can easily tell them apart from my comments. The results are as follows:

1st place: my sister, Abigail R.
2nd place: Kaitlyn K.
3nd place: Faith P.

Super job, Abigail! What a great example of the importance of honesty! Not to mention that I love old west sort of stuff! She dubbed her's Should have Told the Truth.

Slipping through the night shadows a masked man crept up to the livery of the rowdy gold town. Pulling out a piece of wire, he stuck it in the lock and expertly began jabbing it around. Finally the lock came loose and fell off. He slipped inside, closing the door behind him. The horses stirred at the odd sent of the stranger as the man walked past each stall, examining all the horses. After passing a palomino he decided that if anyone saw the mare, it would be very hard to recognize her from other palominos. "It's alright beauty, I won't hurt you. All I need is a mount to get me out of this town that's held me behind bars fer so long." He spoke soothingly to her as he haltered her, tacked up, and then slipped out of the barn. Sticking to the shadows, he made his way out of town where he disappeared into the night. By day-break the whole town was up early, due to the spreading word of the robbery. By then the criminal and the horse were miles out of town and resting in an old abandoned barn where the culprit and his companions hid out. They enjoyed stealing palominos since it was hard to tell them apart. The new horse got acquainted smoothly with the other twelve palominos. "While I was in town I stole some farmers outfits for a disguise," Mark, the bandit who had stolen the palomino, remarked later in the evening as they sat around a small fire. That night, all five bandits changed into disguises in case any "visitors" came by. The next morning, the culprits were awakened to the clip-clop of horses' hooves. They looked up to see the sheriff and five of his posse riding toward them.
"Howdy," the sheriff called, "You wouldn't happen to be able to brew some coffee for me and my men, would you?"
"I believe we have the supplies," Mark replied, trying to hide his worry. "Bring out the supplies, would you John. Please, sit down." Mark moved his hand showing a row of chairs. "You can release your horses into the corral. My horses would enjoy the company." After the horses were released and the coffee poured, Mark asked, "So, what brings you out here?"
"Two days ago a prisoner broke out of jail and also stole a horse—a palomino." The sheriff looked at Mark. "It seems mighty curious that you have a corral full of palominos."
"Are you saying that I stole that horse!"Mark furiously replied.
"Well, did you? Tell the truth," the sheriff asked.
"No, that's utterly ridiculous to think that I, a farmer with a love for palominos, stole a horse." Mark stood. "Now you probably need to be going so I won't keep you. Would you like me to ready your horses for you?"
"No thank you, we will take a look at the horses while we are there. Now the owner said that the mare's name was Sunshine," the sheriff said to himself."Sunshine!" he called.
"Neigh!" Sunshine trotted through the corral toward the sheriff who glanced toward Mark.
"Line up." Worriedly Mark stood in a line next to his companions. The sheriff haltered the horse began walking her past the men. When they reached Mark, Sunshine stopped and nickered to him. "Sir," the sheriff remarked toward Mark, you will be hung. The rest of you will be put in jail." That day the sheriffs words were carried out. The bandits were put in jail and Mark was hung for his crime. The sheriff's last words to him were, "Son, if only you had told the truth, we might not have been so hard."

Second place is awarded to Kaitlyn K. This was a wonderful way to put an example of this moral into everyday life. This is just like how God works. Great job!

    Ashley stood up straight and wiped her forehead.  “I had forgotten that  hoeing a garden could be so hard!” she said to her friend Hannah, who was  sitting on a patio chair, sipping a glass of lemonade.
    Hannah grinned.  “Just do it my way,” she replied.  “Take as many breaks  as you can, get plenty of lemonade from the pitcher Mrs. Jenkins set out  for us, and get just as much money as everyone else.  I’ve hardly broken  out in a sweat!”
    Ashley frowned.  “Hannah, that’s dishonest.  I mean, you’re trying to  deceive Mrs. Jenkins into giving you just as much money as any hardworking  kid that she hires.  That isn’t right.”
    Hannah rolled her eyes.  “Come on, Ash, it’s not like it’s that big of a  deal;  I’ve been working... some.”
    Ashley sighed and shook her head.  “Hannah, that’s just not right.  Your  thinking is way wrong.”
    “And what makes you so sure that I’m wrong?”
    “Because the Bible says so!”
    Hannah rolled her eyes.  “Ash, you know I don’t believe in that stuff.”
    Ashley went back to her hoeing.  “Why don’t you just come help me?”
    “Oh, in a little while.”
    Ashley threw down her hoe.  “Hannah, so help me, if you don’t get back to  work, I’ll go tell Mrs. Jenkins what you’ve been doing!”
    Hannah raised her hands in surrender.  “Alright, alright!  Settle down!”   she picked up her hoe and began to chop weeds while Ashley went to get  herself a drink.
    Ahhh, that tastes so good!  Ashley thought as she drained a glass of  lemonade.  Turning, she picked up her hoe and was about to re-enter the  garden when she saw Hannah gently chopping off the tops of the weeds,  leaving the roots in the ground.  She’s at it again, huh?  Still doing the  least amount of work that she can?  Ashley rolled her eyes and went back to  work, finishing off the weeds that Hannah had “hoed”.
    When the two girls were done, they walked to the house to collect their  money.
    “My, done already!”  Mrs. Jenkins exclaimed.  She reached into her purse.   “Here you go, Ashley, Hannah.  Thank you for working so hard!”
    Ashley smiled and received her pay, annoyed on the inside.  She wondered  how Hannah could get away with a thing like this.
    As the girls started for home, Hannah counted her money.  “What?  She  didn’t give me nearly as much as last time!”
    Ashley, counting hers as well, said with surprise, “Huh!  She gave me more  than usual!  I wonder...” but she kept her thoughts to herself.
    Later that night, Ashley lay awake in bed, thinking about Hannah.  That  girl is going to get into a lot of trouble one of these times,  she thought.
    The next morning, Ashley was eating breakfast when the phone rang.
    She picked up the phone.  “Hello?”
    “Ashley, it’s Hannah.  You’ll never guess what’s happened!”
    “What?”  Ashley waited, bracing herself for another one of Hannah’s  shenanigans.
    “Mrs. Jenkins called Mom, and told her what I was doing yesterday.   Apparently she was watching out the window.  And now I’m grounded!  Can you  believe it?”
    Ashley smiled.  “Well, I suppose you learned your lesson.”

Third place was very difficult to choose, but in the end, Faith P.'s entry won. This one was great in that it is such a real struggle that many people have, and I love what a great reward Trent's honesty earned him! Thanks for entering!

 The judge banged his gavel. "Trent Porter, will you please stand?" 
 Trent shakily stood knowing his punishment would soon be meted out. 
 "There have been many charges brought against you by the state of Nevada," the judge began. "Among them are larceny, aiding in a child-napping, and an assault case nearly becoming murder. There is more than enough evidence and witnesses to convict you and send you straight to San Quentin penitentiary." 
 The judge sighed. "I have one question for you and one question only. How do you plead?" 
 Trent clenched his jaw. He knew what was true and he knew what would happen if he pleaded innocent. He also knew what awaited him if he told the truth. 
 Trent slowly turned his head and looked over his shoulder to the first row of chairs, where his wife and their two children sat. 
 Tabitha and Colin sat close to their mother, watching the court preceedings with wide and frightened eyes. Lila met his gaze and, though no tears showed on her face, he knew she was crying on the inside. 
 She mouthed something to him. Trent didn't need to read her lips, he knew exactly what she'd silently said. 
 God wants honesty... 
 Those were the same words she'd spoken to him last night. Another glance at Colin and Tabitha, and his decision was reached. He may serve time, but it was the only way his heart, mind and conscience would be clear. 
 He faced the judge and answered the life-changing question in a strong voice. "I'm guilty, your honor." 
 "Well, that's not the response I expected," the judge admitted. He banged his gavel again.
 "There will be a fifteen minute recess. After that time the verdict will be stated." 
 "Trent Porter, you have been found guilty of all of the multitude of charges on your record. I hereby sentence you to eighteen months of prison confinement." 
 One last pound of the gavel. "Case dismissed. This court is closed." 
 Trent sank back into the chair. Only eighteen months? He could have easily gotten five to ten years for his crimes. 
 Thank you, God. I don't know what I ever did to deserve this. 
 He looked behind him and Lila gazed back. This time the tears showed on her face and she was smiling. Again she mouthed a few words to him. 
 Thank you, Trent. I love you... 

To my final two entrants: know that I thought that your pieces were outstanding and worthy of recognition! Excellent jobs!

This entry is from an adult friend who goes to my church. Sharon, your entry made me laugh unto tears, especially because I can see you doing this! Thank you so much for entering!

It was a dark and stormy night. The wind was howling fiercely and the  thunder was clamorous- oh wait, that's just my husband snoring! I lay awake  thinking about how good God is, and how He cares about every detail of my  life. I ponder His majesty in the fierceness of the storm, and how I am  always safe from harm because He shelters me. I love the....ughh! My  thoughts are interrupted by the LOUDEST snore EVER! Sounds as though a  motorcycle is revving right beside me; in my frustration, I slowly reach  over into the velvety blackness, fumbling around to hone in on my target- a  perfectly fine nose making decidedly unacceptable noises! My hand finds its  target, grasps the nose firmly, and begins to squeeze- not so tight (at  first) but with more and more veracity I attempt to destroy my enemy, that  pesky, unrelenting nose! All reasonable thought gives way as I battle this  opponent, and I will not be defeated! Oops! I perceive eyes peering at me  through the darkness- "are you squeezing my nose?" The disembodied voice  inquiries. My mind races desperately as I struggle with the urge to deny  the fact. I want to say "why of course not; why would I do such a thing?".  But a still small voice reminds me that lying is a sin, a breaking of one  of the Ten Commandments, and decidedly rude to boot! Yes, I confessed , I  did try to strangle the life out of your schnozzola, as it was  being most  offensive. I lay there with a smile on my face, even as the nose began to  rattle anew. I was content, and with contentment comes great gain; I was  content because I was honest-and honesty is always the best choice!

Jesseca Dawn: your entry is super! I love the "on the record" and "off the record" parts. Isn't that how we all feel oftentimes? Thanks for entering!

Joyanna stood quietly against the wall, waiting for the footsteps she knew would come. Sure enough, the trademark clip-clip-clip of his boots neared the door.
He sounds like a horse, she thought, doing her best not to laugh. The reason he was coming came back to her and she immediately sobered.
The door opened and Lieutenant Erich walked in.  He took a seat at the desk and turned to face her.
"So, Joyanna. I have a question for you." He tapped his riding whip on the desk.
One-two-one-two. Joyanna's eyes followed the tapping. Why does he carry that anyway? I've never seen him ride.
"Joyanna, are you listening to me?"
The harsh tone of his voice interrupted her thoughts. She quickly raised her eyes to meet his, "yes, sir."
His eyes bore into her, "Did you or did you not purposely spill the gravy on Sergeant Steiner?"
"Sergeant Steiner?" her voice was quiet and her she glanced away.
"Yes, the man who was teasing you this morning."
"Nadetta said to be very careful not to spill it."
"Joyanna, look at me!" His voice commanded obedience. At once she raised her eyes to his face. His cold, blue eyes bore into her.
She shivered. His eyes scare me.
"I've asked you a question. I want the answer and I want the truth."
She knew that tone of voice. It was one that sent fear through her entire body. If I tell him the truth, will he hurt me? The question pounded through her brain.
"I won't hurt you. Just tell me the truth." He leaned back and rested his shiny black boots on the top of the desk.
How does he always know what I'm thinking? She wondered, studying his boots. And how does he always keep the boots so clean all day?
"How do you keep your boots so clean?" she blurted out. A feeling of fear swept over her when she realized she had asked the question out loud.
"I asked you a question first. Answer it!"
"Yes," she whispered.
He leaned forward till he was eye level with her. "Yes what?"
"Yes, I did it on purpose." What will he do to me? She could feel her heart beating in her chest as he stared at her.
She glanced down as silence filled the room. Then, to her surprise, he chuckled.
She risked a glance up at him, startled by the twinkle in his eye. Is he actually smiling?
"You know, I've always wanted to do something to that guy. He gets on my nerves."
"So. . .you're not mad at me?"
"Just for the record, what you did is wrong. Off the record, he deserved it. So," he sat back and took his his feet off the desk. "we'll let it go." His eyes turned cold, "but don't let me ever catch you doing it again."
She swallowed and nodded.
"Okay,, let's go. It's time for you to get started on your new responsibilities."
Joyanna nodded and stood, following him to the door. Her eyes fell on the swastika that hung above the entrance, proof that the Germans had in fact taken over France.
"Come on," Erich called impatiently, holding the door open.
Joyanna hurried out into the bright sunlight, then squinted up at him as he put his hat back on his head. "Can you answer my question now?"
He glanced at her, puzzled. "Your question?'
"How do you keep your boots so clean? 

Thank you everyone who entered! Don't forget to please give me your input as far as future writing contests! Also, please seek God and see if he desires you to help my church in buying a well for a village in Asia by purchasing raffle tickets. Remember, your dollar will help to further God's kingdom work!

Have a great evening! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Little Colt

I have asked several of you if you would be interested in reading essays and other things that I write in school. So far, everyone has said yes. Thus, today I wrote a (very) short story. (It's only 380 words) However, I thought that you might enjoy reading it.

My assignment was to write a very short story based upon a picture. I chose a picture of two chestnut horses, a mother and a foal and came up with this. Enjoy!

In a lovely green pasture behind a perfectly kept-up red barn on an immaculate racehorse farm lived a little colt. For awhile, the little foal was content to remain beside his mother, enjoying the grooming that he received daily from the grooms, but slowly grew discontent, for though all would say he was pure Thoroughbred, far back in his blood was the heart of an Arabian. When he was nearly three-years-old, the young horse received his first trophy in a race.

As he grew into a fine racehorse, he was treated handsomely and given a pasture to himself. Yet, he did not desire to be alone. Over time, he felt his wild desire to be free grow within him until he could not hold it inside any longer. He was tired of the constant training and racing. He was weary of the grain to keep him energized.

Finally, he decided to flee from this organized life into that of a wild stallion. During the night, he nickered a goodbye to his mother and friends over the fence, and lit out toward the far end of his pasture. As he neared the fence, he let out a shrill neigh and lifted his front legs over it. He landed solidly on the other side and shook his mane. He was free! Nothing could stop him now!
He used his wild Arabian instincts and his Thoroughbred speed to carry himself far from the farm where he had been held prisoner his whole life and sped off into the crisp cool night. For days he traveled, enjoying this newfound life. Those instincts led him safely to water each day and eventually to the company of a herd of lost horses. This little band of mares the stallion took over and led them away from all civilization.

Though his master searched for him for weeks, they never found his carefully picked trail that led him to freedom. And it is free that he lives even today, with no fences to contain him; no grain to fatten him; no training on a track to work his steely muscles. His fence was the horizon; his grain the sweet grass; his training on the rugged countryside with his herd of mares. It was here that he was content.

Reminder: My writing challenge due date is TOMORROW! Shortly thereafter I will post the winners!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Win a Custom Quilt!

Good morning! Have you ever heard of Gospel For Asia and their Christmas Catalog? In their catalog you can purchase gifts such as sewing machines, water buffaloes, rabbits, bicycles, and other items to be given to someone in need somewhere in Asia all in the name of Jesus! My church supports this organization and is having a raffle for a custom quilt! Whatever size, pattern, and colors you want! All money raised for the raffle goes toward buying a well for a village in Asia.

In many places, the Christians in a village are driven away from the closer water source by non-believers, who may be forced to walk miles each day to draw water from a filthy stream. When a well is purchased, the Christians share the water with everyone in the village. This clean water blesses the entire village and is an open door to show Jesus's love to all the villagers. Many come to Christ through this blessing.

This year marks the 5th or 6th year that my church has raised money to buy one of these wells. You can live anywhere in the United States in order to participate. For specific details, view the flyer above. Ticket prices run as follows:
$1 for 1 ticket
$5 for 6 tickets
$20 for 25 tickets
To purchase a ticket, please send me an email through the gadget on the right sidebar with your name, email, phone number, and number of tickets desired. I will then send you my mailing address and your total, and fill in your tickets for you. Once you have received my mailing address, you can send me the money for the tickets. The drawing is December 6, 2015. If you win, you will be contacted by phone first.

I really encourage you to help this cause! Remember, all money goes toward buying a well for a village in Asia to share the gospel. Please consider helping out. Thank you!

Note: My Writing Challenge due date was Saturday but I will be extending it until this Thursday. Thus, if you would like, I would love for you to enter!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Writing Challenge #2!

Okay. So, this one will be quite a bit different from the last one in that, you have a different mission. Instead of giving you a story to rewrite, I am going to give you a moral, and you write a story demonstrating that moral! You have until October 10th to send in your entries. Please send them in via the "Contact Me" email gadget on the right sidebar. (Please, try to keep your entry about 500 words max but not more than 600. Thanks!) Have fun and please get your entries in as quickly as possible. If you want to, you can title it, but if you don't that's okay too! When you send it in, please include your name (or an alias if you don't want your name public.) Thank you!

Your moral is...Honesty is always the best choice.

Don't be afraid to make up something totally wacky! (After all, most of Aesop's Fables are written from the point of view of animals!) Most of all, enjoy yourself and remember that you don't have to be a great writer to enter! I am really eager to see what you all come up with!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Caption #12!

I left this one open for a really long time, sorry about that! So anyways, the winner is. . .Kaitlyn K.! Good job Kaitlyn! Cute one! (And a big "thank you" to all my other participants!)
"This is a flask of highly flammable, top-secret formula. Nobody touch it!!" 
Stay tuned for more posts coming soon! Sorry about my irregular posting! (I plan on doing another writing challenge soon! Do you have any preferences for what story you can rewrite? It has to be a pretty common one that many will know. Give me your suggestions!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

May We be His Feet . . .

Earlier today, I was thinking about my boots. As I cleaned and waterproofed them, the idea for this post sparked in my head. However, before I get into it, I just want to mention a few things: 
1. The Rough fire passed Hume Lake by without causing any damage but it is still raging. 
2. That "update" post is still coming but currently, school has been keeping me too busy. 
3. There won't be any posts for the next week. Hopefully, after that I will start becoming more active.
Thank you so much for your patience! Now, on with the post . . . !

So, I was thinking about my boots, and began thinking how they house my feet, which do whatever I tell them to do. (Within reason, of course!) Now I was thinking about this relationship between my feet, and my brain. I began to think in the spiritual world. God, is like my brain. We, as Christ-followers, are like the hands and feet of the body of Christ. The brain commands the hands and feet. The hands and feet obey. In the Bible, it talks about how the Earth is God's footstool and we are His hands and feet. As these hands and feet, we should be doing whatever our master commands us to do.

The Church is not a building where believers come to worship God. It is the believers. The believers are the Church, the body of Christ. The brain (God) commands the body (believers) to move, and it moves. Or at least it should. When Christians ignore the voice of God or simply do not listen for it, we are a malfunctioning body. A malfunctioning body will eventually lead to destruction. Each Christian has a specific function. Some may be hands, others feet, and others eyes or ears. However, sometimes, Christians who are an eye wish to be more, and begin to attempt to function as a foot. But God has placed each of His members in a specific spot, with a specific purpose, fit for that person. When the eye tries to become a foot, he is stepping outside of God's plan for him. If God had wanted the eye to be a foot, He would have made the eye a foot! What if all Christians who each had a different gift, talent, purpose, or function chose to become a teacher. If they all were teachers, who would they teach?

Christians should heed the voice of God and remain in His will for them. We should not try to become someone else or do something that God hasn't asked/planned for us to do. We must remain in God's plan for us, doing what he commands. That is not to say that we should not grow in what we are. We should constantly be growing in Him. We need to be rooted in Him, our brain. He is what holds us together. (Literally!) To be a foot cut off from the body and thus brain, we are dead. We need to remain in God's will for us and be His feet. Doing whatever He asks.

Romans 12:5 "so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another."

1 Corinthians 12:12 "For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ."

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wildfire: Rough!

Hello, Faithful Readers! I apologize for not being super regular on my blogs lately but life has been crazy! I will try to give you an “update” on my life but for now I have an urgent prayer request.

Many of you may remember my posts about the winter camp that I attend with my youth group, Hume Lake. I recently was made aware of the wildfire Rough that is haunting the Sierra Nevada's in this area. The last that I heard, it was about 2-3 miles away from Hume Lake and still raging onward directly toward the camp.
It has burned over 30,000 acres, and the camp has been evacuated!
Please join me in praying that God does a wonder to protect this special place from this fire. This camp has changed many lives and is filled with God's presence. I know that He can do a miracle and that is what I urge you to pray for. Pray that God keeps everyone safe and that he gives the firefighters wisdom what to do. Pray for God's presence in the midst of this disaster! Thank you all so much and stay tuned for an update on my life and other posts!

The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. - See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Fire#sthash.A73e9t4a.dpuf
Daniel 3:25 "He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods."

Exodus 3:2 "And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed."
The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. - See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Fire#sthash.A73e9t4a.dpuf
The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. - See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Fire#sthash.A73e9t4a.dpuf

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Caption This #12!

Well, due to not having time to write up the next post about my trip, I figured that I would give you another Caption This picture since it has been a while. I am eager to hear your responses! The dog is Riley, who I did a post about years ago when we decided to get him but shortly after had to return him due to some difficulties with him and our other animals. Have fun coming up with what Riley is saying!

Monday, July 20, 2015

4th of July trip: Day 3!

The Wave Maker
This is post number two in a series of posts that I will be sharing with you about my trip to Pacific Grove to visit with my grandparents for the fourth of July! The trip began on June 28, and went through July 5. I wrote a little about each day to share with you complete with MANY pictures! The posts will be tentatively broken up into groups of two days per post. To visit the first post, click HERE. Enjoy the next day!

Note: Some of the pictures may not be in perfect order, or have a caption, or have another issue due to blogger malfunctions.

Day 3: 6/30/15
The Kelp Fish
After another walk with Grandpa, I returned home in time to say good-bye my parents who were headed home. After they left, I relaxed while watching my sister watch cartoons. However, I was not still for long as Grandma, my sister, and I soon were on the road to the Monterey Bay Aquarium where my grandparents are members. I love visiting the Aquarium—it never grows boring and you can never see it all! One of our first stops was to check out the touch pools. Of the Aquarium's three touch pools, my favorite is by far the bay ray tank where you get rather wet stretching your arms into the water with hopes of a brush of a ray's smooth back along your fingertips. Once we dried off, we made sure to visit the wave maker, where a glass is curved over the top of you and every so often, a wave goes over you and falls down where you can watch it while staying dry!

The Albatross getting trained
A Leopard Shark in the Kelp Forest
An eel and a lobster
Another of our favorite exhibits is the penguins! We arrived at their tank in time to get a good seat for the feeding where employees discuss their different penguins, their food, and their habitat. I enjoyed snapping photos of the penguins ducking under the water and jumping on land reaching up for a bit of fish! When the feeding finished, we moved onward to another exhibit but passed by the Kelp forest where they were training an Albatross that they had rescued! When that finished, we visited a few other spots and then headed home for a good night's rest after a long but exciting day.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

LIFE Camp Verse Memorization

In August my sister and I are going to LIFE Camp again (you can read the previous two years posts about my time at camp by clicking here and here). LIFE Camp stands for Living in Faith Effectively, and rather than being an evangelistic camp it is a camp for youth who have given their lives to Christ and who want to grow in discipleship.

My sister and I are working toward raising money to pay for it by memorizing a given list of verses. We are asking our friends to sponsor us per verse we learn up to a certain amount, or just a set amount. Some have sponsored each of us at 10 cents a verse and others for more. Please feel no pressure to sponsor one or both of us but if God leads you, and if you are able, it would be greatly appreciated! All money goes to the camp, and any that we make over and above our total will go toward helping other kids go to camp next year.

If sponsoring interests you, please leave a comment containing which/both of us you wish to sponsor, the amount per verse (or a flat amount), a maximum amount (cap) if you want to specify that, and your name with email address. I will not publish the comment if it contains any of the above information. Another alternative would be to send me an email with the same information via the contact gadget on the right sidebar just below my blog header. You can use either method if you have any questions as well.

On August 8th, I will send out an email to those of you who choose to sponsor. It will contain the amount of verses memorized, your total, and my address to mail it to. You will make checks out directly to LIFE Camp, but mail them to me. Again, please do not feel obligated to sponsor me, but if you choose to, thank you!

The list of verses for us to memorize are as follows. So far I have memorized 15 verses. We will most likely not finish them all but are just working down the list.

Isaiah 57:15
Isaiah 44:6
Romans 6:6
Romans 4:5
Psalm 34:8
2 Timothy 2 (the whole chapter)
Philippians (the whole book, if we can . . .)

Thank you, Everyone!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

4th of July Trip: Day 1-2

Hello, faithful readers! Thank you to continuing to stay tuned to my blog even when I do not post regularly. But now I have a series of posts that I will be sharing with you about my trip to Pacific Grove to visit with my grandparents for the fourth of July! The trip began on June 28, and went through July 5! I wrote a little about each day to share with you complete with MANY pictures! The posts will be tentatively broken up into groups of two days per post. Enjoy!

Note: Some of the pictures may not be in perfect order, or have a caption, or have another issue due to blogger malfunctions.

Day 1: 6/28/15
Day 1: Digging Sand Caves!

Day 1: Sunset over the Pacific Ocean
After church, the whole family drove up to Pacific Grove for a visit with my grandparents. Once there, the six of us gave hugs all around and brought in all the luggage while lunch was made. Then we all sat around and chatted. However, my little sister and I soon migrated down the sand dune to do our own chatting and to play in the sand. We stayed in the sand for a good while digging under the sand building deep tunnels. When we tired of that, we returned to the house and discussed plans for the week. After that we enjoyed dinner and more conversation. After photographing a beautiful sunset, we all fell into bed happy and ready for the next day.

Day 2: 6/29/15
Day 2: Walking along the beach and through Asilomar

This morning I had requested that I be woken up at 6:15 to go on Grandpa's daily walk—our tradition for whenever I am up there from the time I was little. On our walk, we saw ten deer—three of them being little fawns! We strolled along the ocean and then through the Asilomar Conference Grounds. Shortly after we returned to the house, Mom and Dad left to attend to some business so Grandma, my sister, and I left to go to Dennis the Menace Park in Monterey. By the time Mom and Dad finished,  it was lunchtime so we all gathered at a Chinese restaurant. (Mmm! Don't you love Chinese food!) When we finished, the five of us rented two paddle boats and went out on Lake El Estero for an hour. We had races and fed the geese, ducks, and sea gulls. (Sssh, don't tell!) When our hour had expired, we returned to shore wobble-legged and sore but happy with quite the crowd of flying critters trailing! Our last stop of the day was at a thrift store. . . no surprise if you know my family! After a gorgeous sunset later that evening, we lit the fire and enjoyed each other until bedtime.
Day 2: At the Park!

Day 2: Chinese Food!