Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Perceiving that Illusions are Not Truths (Perspectives)


"It's all in the perspective." Is another way of saying "Truth is relative."

"There is no objective truth."

"Facts are up to the beholder."

"I see what I see, you see what you see." (I might take this one with physical things, as for the most part we both would see the same thing, just with our own attitudes backing up the vision.)

"Can't be helped. In fact, we just need to learn to accept the fact that our minds are ruled by illusions."

"Nothing is real. Nothing is true. Let's just loooove each other and live in happy unity, you doing your thing, I mine." (some contradictions there, don't ya think?)

Wait.

Hold up a second. 

You are going to use illusions as fact!?

(Apparently some people on facebook try to)





Um... I don't care what you think you see here, it's obvious that this illusion is just an illusion. No matter how hard you argue that it looks like this guys head is off, it's not. At least not physically. If the guy is as wacky as some, I may concede the point that his head isn't on tightly. But that's all.




Uh... stupid. It's either a nine or a six. Just because you are upside down, doesn't mean the rest of the world is, too. Now, as this is an illusion, it can be argued what that number is here. But, in real life, it's an either/or.




First let me emphasis that this is an illusion. Illusions are not real. They are figments of the imagination. Things distorted to make your eyes go crazy and your mind, "What!"

Illusions are not fact.

Because in real life, the men could have just rolled the logs apart and counted the correct amount.

In real life, if there had been an illusion, it wouldn't have lasted long, because truth would have settled the matter, and one man would have been right, one wrong.

Simple as that: Illusions can never support facts, nor prove points. 

Except here, where I am using them to prove the point that they can't prove points. ;D




Now. I actually kind of like this illusion... I'll explain more with my own drawings...




Hopefully you can read these ;D

Sometimes we have to see past our own perspective in order to see the whole picture. It's not enough to say, "That's just my way of seeing it, so there, accept me for who I am."

As you can see, some paths appear to lead to the same place. But in reality, they end up going quite opposite directions.

And in the political illusion, I'd like to add, that first off there aren't only two paths to choose from. And that, yes, at times they may seem to just end in the same place for all of us. But who cares?

It's better to do right than risk the chance of dealing with the consequences a wrong choice will most surely bring.

Not saying good choices will promise easy lives. But that's not the point of this post.

The point is that there are two separate ways.

And I don't care how many illusions you try to show me, my mind won't be fazed by the fact that truth doesn't lie. 



But there is such a thing as perspective, that has nothing to do with illusions.

You know the kind that has to do with attitudes.




"The glass is half empty!"

"No, you idiot, it's half full."


And then one could say this goes to prove that truth isn't absolute. Is the glass half full or half empty? Which comes first, the chicken or egg?

Real life illusions, ready to stare you down and make you lose faith.

But... um... it's all in the perspective. ;D

It doesn't matter what you think about that cup, either way it has water in it.

The facts: It is a glass and it has water in it.

Saying both people are right is not admitting truth is negotiable. It's just saying, these people have different attitudes about the same thing. 





One person choosing to be gloomy, and another joyful doesn't alter the facts.

It doesn't make the water vanish. The glass become a bowl. 

And it doesn't mean that one of those two are no longer human. 

It just means that they are choosing to show different faces ;D


Smile. The big, blue world needs your joy.



So, facts, you see, can not be changed. Attitudes can affect your perspective, but the truth of the matter is that nothing outside of that truly changes.


So, why not believe in truth, and be that one happy person who knows that the path they are taking is the right one? Sure, you may face hardships along with the rest of mankind... but you have the right attitude. 

And you can know, despite the circumstances of life, that the place you are destined for is much better than what others perceive as the end goal.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Lost Girl Of Astor Street (Book review)

I recently won a pre-copy of Stephanie Morrill's book, The Lost Girl of Astor Street! I was excited for several reasons:

1. I love this author ;)
2. I love mystery.
3. I love unique historical fiction.
4. And the main characters name, Piper (female), intrigued me for a long while!




The Lost Girl Of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill


Rating: 5 stars (If  I like a book, why give it less, ;b)

Age: 14+. It deals with some themes parents may not like: girls being kidnapped, human trafficking, mild romance (some kissing), scenes in clubs. Nothing is overly graphic, though.

Amazon:
When her best friend vanishes without so much as a good-bye, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail takes on the role of amateur sleuth in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. Given that Piper’s tendency has always been to butt heads with high-society’s expectations of her, it’s no surprise that she doesn’t give a second thought to searching for answers to Lydia’s abduction from their privileged neighborhood.
As Piper discovers that those answers might stem from the corruption strangling 1924 Chicago—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.
Perfect for fans of Libba Bray and Anna Godbersen, Stephanie Morrill’s atmospheric jazz-age mystery will take readers from the glitzy homes of the elite to the dark underbelly of 1920s Chicago.



My thoughts:
I wasn't sure what to expect. I had been following what Stephanie put out as she wrote this book... but, really, I knew little beyond the fact it was a mystery set in Chicago, and that the main girl was named Piper.

I started out enjoying the book, and enjoying the character.
But once the mystery really started, I was like "Where is this going...?"
I could see all sorts of possible outcomes. And quite honestly, I expected a few different things to happen than really did. 

But it proved that Stephanie Morrill had both an imaginative and unique mind, and although I don't think the book would be considered christian, I was pleased that she did a good job keeping it clean. If you read the book, you'll see what I mean. Mrs Morrill dealt with some very touchy issues, and she did it with art.

On top of that, what did I think?

I thought it was a beautiful story, of a young girl trying to deal with grief in a touching way: by taking matters into her own hands, and not allowing herself a moment to think. 

I loved all the characters.

I loved the relationships Piper developed.
And I loved the final twists.

It was an exciting mystery, that touched both on ones' desire for a creative plot, and the need for deep connections, emotionally and intellectually, with the people of the book.

Final thoughts:
If you want a good read, if you love mystery... if you aren't afraid of an plot that takes some turns... Then you'll love this book.

The only sad thing?

It isn't released until February 7, 2017. :(

Yep... that's right... ;/ a long wait... but it is soooo worth it!! I would totally worth pre-ordering it!



Have you heard of this book yet, or wanted to read it? Have you read any others of Mrs Morrill's books? Would you be interested in reading The Lost Girl of Astor Street? And isn't Piper a neat name!!!????

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Beautiful Books (THAT'S MINE FOR SURE!) - The Fur Slipper


It has been sooooo long since I did a link-up with these lovely people (to think I used to do it almost every month!) But I had so many of my own posts to share... and, well... you, know... writing is like life, it is constantly changing and growing.

But, guys, for the first time I'm doing NaNo!!! And I thought that this would be a fun way to share about it all!!! - Don't worry... I'll do a better update on my novel later ;D



Go here to join the fun!!


First off, this novel has been in my mind since I was 14... that means the plot has had lots of time to "ferment" and become perfected... even though I did no writing on it. It started out with me discovering that the first Cinderella story was most likely set in ancient Egypt, and about a girl named Rhodopis... her slipper was Fur. 
It wasn't until a later mistranslation was the slipper made glass. 
Anyways, I got this brilliant idea of a twist of the original story, the Biblical Esther story, and lots of my imagination. 
And it has a moral... one  that goes against the whole theme of the modern day "Cinderella's True Love is the Way."



1. Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?
Mental state? I barely even feel like I'm doing anything different. I get up early (5am) to run and write my 1600 words. Then I go to work. My life feels great right now... balanced and perfect.

And my novel? It's going so splendid! I made out a simple chapter outline in October, and a word graph to follow. And the words are just flowing so smoothly! I'm loving everything! Of course, it's only a first draft... but it's still a pretty good first draft.

And words are coming out just as I need them... I have an hour and a half to get them all, and get them I do :)


My NaNo Cover



2. What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
A petite girl walked towards the naked children, splashing in the waters of the Nile. She smiled at them all, keeping up a sweet melody. She carried the water skin as if it were a baby, one that she loved taking care of.

It needs some (A LOT) of work, I know. In fact, when I actually rewrite this thing, this won't be even close to what the finished project looks like... but hey, it's NaNo. It's about word count and finishing right now... not beautiful flowing words.

And the first bit always takes a while for me to perfect. But I'll get it after November is over. :D




3. Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?
That's pretty hard... I love a few of them. I mean all of them, haha.

Um... but my fairy god-mother figure, Horus is pretty awesome. He is a priest for the Egyptian Falcon god, and takes a special fancy to my MC, Estella. He has some wise things to say, and really makes her feel at home when she has to *do something really hard*.

He also has some growing to do, though. In some drastic ways. Remember, he's a priest for a false god. I'm a Believer in the One True God... so of course, if any of my characters believe in something false, they'd have some growing to do!!! :D




4. What do you love about your novel so far?
That's it's ancient Egypt. That it is a fairy tale, yet has a new twist on romance. That I have some unique characters. And that I was able to add a thread of mystery!!!

Yes, mystery - The Fur Slipper, my inspiration, my title, my mystery.




5. Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?
Not really... Even though I'm not to paranoid about getting the words out perfect, I don't let too many typos set... and also, I'm a half way decent typer... so, I don't make to many mistakes, lol.

Though, the other day, when I was doing this thing with Go Teen Writer's on facebook called a fifty headed hydra - meaning we tried to write 500 words in 5 minutes. First off, don't ask me why it was called that. And secondly, not I did not get 500 words.. only 188.

But I wrote "I am, dead." instead of  "I am, dear". So that was sort of funny... a little, I guess.




6. What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?
I love writing ends... they used to be so hard for me... but now they feel like the part that holds the most feeling... the part that has all the beauty wrapped up into it.

I also enjoy the beginnings of my later drafts.

Middles take the write mindset, and can be enjoyable if you know where you're going. And if you don't - well, they can still be enjoyable... you never know what adventure you might stumble along ;) (I'm a Pantser ;b)



7. What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!
Writing habits??? Um... I write... Lol. Seriously... I used to write by hand. Then I got a phone. So then I typed my stories on this neat app with my thumbs. And then I got a laptop. Anyways, I just write... haha.

I don't eat... that would be too distracting. Besides, I prefer to have my food at meal times. Also, as a writer... we tend to things that are less active... so it's wise to not snack too much ;D

If I happen to have to write in the afternoon or evening, I do take my meals with me, sometimes, to double up on time ;)

And of course I listen to music!! Owl City is a main. Movie soundtracks. Christian. And a huge mix of songs that have gorgeous melodies and touching words. I'm sort of addicted to my ear buds.

write best in the early mornings, when my mind is just fresh. I have found that I do better getting some fresh air and exercise and water first.

My writing space is my room and bed, so yeah, you aren't getting a picture of that. Lol. Private ;D




8. How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like, ahem, Batman)?
Neither. Or mixture.

No-one reads my stuff until it is done. And when done, I mean a couple drafts done.

But I have like three friends that I talk to all the time about my writing, and I get a lot of encouragement from them. So, my work isn't a secret... though I haven't told them any of the spoilers :D

And Batman is awesome :D




9. What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?
Pride.

I have this push... I don't know if it is good or bad... but I have to finish something once I start it. I don't give up on anything, least of all my writing. Once I've set my mind to something I do it.

That's why I'm careful about accepting challenges. It's also why I'm extremely busy and over committed. I think I can do everything, and all at once.

And besides paying for it all with lack of sleep, I usually fail in little. ;/ Not a bragging matter though... it's draining, haha.




10. What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?
Let's just go cliche for the first one: WRITE. I'm serious though... the best advice for writing is to just do it people. Don't let excuses rule. I don't care if you write best by hand or by typing - use what you have and write. Put up with what you don't like. Sometimes the process will be slow... but who cares? Discipline yourself. Put up with those little irritations of starting out... because if you want ot get any where in the writing world, the discipline and determination skills of just writing will end up being very, VERY, essential.

Second: Prioritize. Make use of your time. When I houseclean, I don't just listen to music or let my mind wander where ever it wants. I make my self focus on my story and characters and think. For hours I brainstorm, energized by the quick work I'm doing. When prioritizing I figure out what I have to do, what I want to do, and line it up with my time. I put thing in order of what has to be done. I look for ways to double up. I discover what can be done when, and which things can all be done at once - this might be hard if you aren't a multi-tasker. But, still... prioritizing, even if you can't shove things together, is a good habit, that leads to more accomplishments.




Third: Remember to live. Yeah, we are writers. But life isn't all about are fictional people. There are real people out there, too. And adventures waiting to happen. Sometimes it's so easy for writers to get stuck in their own world. We have to remember that writing is a beautiful art, but it's not our god. And it should not be an escape route to hiding from everything real. Breath. Live. Do things for others. Love. And find good reasons to keep writing so it is not just for you, but others' too.


And that's all folks... for now ;) I hope you enjoyed this... let me know what you thought! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Love at First Sight: A Myth

This is going to be a strange post. And honestly, I'm not sure why I'm sharing these ideas of mine with the world - besides the partial fact, that I think they are very important. And a couple of my friends said I should 😀Some of these friends are married... and agree with my points. So, I'd have to say that's something ;) 

I'm just hoping what I say all makes sense when I put it down into words. Lol. Enjoy a new *unique* thought ;)







I love fairy tales. They are some of the best stories ever. But some of the ideas in modern fairy tales are sort of twisted up.

 Love at first sight. 
Finding your one and only match. 
Love makes all good, and lasts forever. 
And once you have had that first kiss you shall live forever and ever, happily ever after.

Now, I'm not trying to depress you, but love at first sight is silly and unreal. It doesn't happen. One can argue for infatuation at first sight. That I'll go for. But not love.

Why?

First off, we need to understand what love really is.

Love isn't this magical thing that makes two people have to be together forever.

Love is the outcome of doing. Love can be performed to people we don't know or even like. Because love is giving, even when there's no receiving involved.

Some things about true love:

It is sacrificial.
It is unselfish.
It isn't ruled by feelings.
It is stronger than passion.
It is rational.
It always does what is right for the other person.
It affects more than just a couple individuals.


So, on that note, can you see why I don't think it's possible to find true love at first sight?

Not that I don't think people can't say, "Yeah, that's the person I'll end up marrying" and that it won't happen.

Many people have done it, and were married.

But many people have also said that, and then the feelings passed, and they didn't marry that person they were certain they would. So, the rare example of it happening isn't a proof for love at first sight.

And I would still argue that the person saying those words wasn't actually in love. 

Why? (I love this word... it leads to much intellectualism)

Because it was just infatuation. Not love. There was nothing real there. Nothing to make them stay committed.

100% attraction and infatuation. Nothing more.

The misconception of love and infatuation, I believe is the cause of so many divorces and unhappy marriages. Two people who are "clearly in love" marry. But then the passion fades. Life hits

And oh, my, what happened to that feeling of love? 

"I must have married the wrong person!?"


Which brings up my next point.


There isn't a right person for you. 
(I'm just a mean person today ;D)

If there was just one perfect match for every one, then of course divorce would be more excusable.

But there isn't.

Also, if there were just one person meant for each individual, marriage after the death of a spouse would be very wrong.

Magic couples, meant to be together forever just isn't a thing.

If so, why are there so many unmarried(singles)? Did God just decided not to make them someone special?

No. Marriage is a higher thing than just "It's all about you and me."

Marriage has a purpose. It's about two people coming together to honor God and each other, and raising a family *to take over the world for God*. HAHA. Disregard that last part, if you like. 😉

It wasn't until recently that culture has changed the true meaning of love, marriage, and such.

Just look at history. It is full of women being "forced" or sold into marriages, arranged marriages, betrothals, and matchmaking.

And despite what our media tries to say, I think most of those girls (and definitely, guys ;b) were happy with their practices. It was what they were accustomed to. It was their life. They expected to not choose their partner. 

And most were happy.

Few girls felt like they were prisoners trapped in a life they had no control over. (I don't care what fiction tries to depict, they didn't). Most wanted this life that their culture held up as the ideal.

In fact, in Bloody Mary of England(1500's) begged her father(King Henry, the VIII) to arrange a marriage for her.

Anna Komnene( Byzantine princess, historian, 1083-1153) grew up always expecting an arranged marriage of some sort. And when she did marry she had a very (too) successful marriage.

If love is what should initiate the thing, if there are only two people meant for each other, how did so many people survive before it was acceptable to find your own spouse?

*let me just add that I'm not for my parents arranging a marriage for me. I'm too caught up in this culture to just go for that, lol. I'm just addressing the mindset - not the formula.*

The thing is mindset.

It's all about that.

They weren't looking for the one, they just wanted some one.

They knew what their expected roles in marriage were, and most people had the sense to follow them.

They understood marriage had a purpose, and embraced that purpose.

I mean, I'm sure people still had to deal with sin, but the difference is most people actually dealt with their problems - or just lived with them.

And so, can you see why I don't believe in love at first sight, or finding the one?

I'm sure this is all strange... but honestly, in this day and age, could things get stranger? Lol.



I'd also like to share this quote that my married friend, Esther, believes captures the idea of love extremely well:


Colleen North: [Helen is about to have a baby] I know this is a terrible time to talk about it, but Larry says...
Frank Beardsley: I've got a message for Larry. You tell him this is what it's all about. This is the real happening. If you want to know what love really is, take a look around you.
Helen North: What are you two talking about?
Frank Beardsley: Take a good look at your mother.
Helen North: Not now!
Frank Beardsley: Yes, now.
[to Colleen]
Frank Beardsley: It's giving life that counts. Until you're ready for it, all the rest is just a big fraud. All the crazy haircuts in the world won't keep it turning. Life isn't a love in, it's the dishes and the orthodontist and the shoe repairman and... ground round instead of roast beef. And I'll tell you something else: it isn't going to a bed with a man that proves you're in love with him; it's getting up in the morning and facing the drab, miserable, wonderful everyday world with him that counts.
[Leaving the house, they say good-bye to the little kids]
Frank Beardsley: I suppose having 19 kids is carrying it a bit too far, but if we had it to do over who would we skip... you?
Helen North: [getting into the car] Thank you, Frank. I never quite knew how to explain it to her.
Frank Beardsley: If we don't get you to the hospital fast, the rest of it's going to be explained right here!


If you think about it, the ideas expressed in this quote are quite unique. And the movie is very cute, too :)  Though this post wasn't meant to review a movie, lol! 




We need to think about some of these things and apply them to our thought lives... we need to influence our minds towards thinking about things in perspective. Because, believe it or not, these are some very important aspects in all of our lives today.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Fate of Empires: History is About Changing, Not Inspiration

I recently was directed towards this essay by Sir John Glubb. It was a long read, but also a worth while one. And very interesting, too. I believe it was written (or at least published) in the late 1970's. Nevertheless, the information in it seemed to apply to this very day and age.

Now, the article is long (26 pages to be exact), but it's worth setting the time aside to read. In fact I think YOU should read it. Lol. I mean, it wasn't 100% good... but it was pretty good ;)




'The only thing we learn from history,' it has been said, ‘is that men never learn from history’ - Fate of an Empires by Sir John Glubb.



But for your convenience, and just in case you decide not to go read it, I will share with you some excerpts and some of my thoughts.


The first thing Glubb does is to explain what an empire is, according to his essay. This is vital for understanding the context of his whole message.


The word ‘empire’, by association with the British Empire, is visualized by some people as an organisation consisting of a home country in Europe and ‘colonies’ in other continents. In this essay, the term ‘empire’ is used to signify a great power, often called today a superpower. Most of the empires in history have been large land blocks, almost without overseas possessions.


The summary is very neat, as it basically gives you all the hot spots of what he touched on. In fact, this summary alone is almost enough ;) The summary, according to the last part of the article, was as follows;


(a) We do not learn from history because our studies are brief and prejudiced.
(b) In a surprising manner, 250 years emerges as the average length of national greatness.
(c) This average has not varied for 3,000 years. Does it represent ten generations?
(d) The stages of the rise and fall of great nations seem to be:

The Age of Pioneers (outburst)
The Age of Conquests
The Age of Commerce
The Age of Affluence
The Age of Intellect
The Age of Decadence.

(e) Decadence is marked by: Defensiveness Pessimism Materialism Frivolity An influx of foreigners The Welfare State A weakening of religion.
(f) Decadence is due to: Too long a period of wealth and power Selfishness Love of money The loss of a sense of duty.
(g) The life histories of great states are amazingly similar, and are due to internal factors.
(h) Their falls are diverse, because they are largely the result of external causes.
(i) History should be taught as the history of the human race, though of course with emphasis on the history of the student’s own country.


There are a couple things in this summary I'd like to touch on. The first being point (a).
I love what he said about us not learning from history due to bias.

How many of us truly know what happened in the past... or even today? There are always so many prejudices that we have to put into the picture, so many ideals that have warped histories. And we have to remember that most histories were written by the person that won or survived the conflict in question.

Of course, the victor always makes himself look good.

And then those that choose what is to be taught... their agendas and beliefs largely affect what is being taught. So, it's safe to say it's hard to know what you know is really what you should be knowing :) Basically all your facts you've been taught may very well be lies... or truths mixes with lies, which can be even worse. 

He also made a good point in the essay about how people are taught history from the perspective of what they deem important. We don't cover all of the world's history. We don't explain both sides. We don't try to know what's happened or happening elsewhere in the world unless we think it directly involves our well fare.

And his points on how most "empires" have followed the same pattern of stages, all lasting for about 200-250 years was extremely interesting to me.


Perhaps the most dangerous by-product of the Age of Intellect is the unconscious growth of the idea that the human brain can solve the problems of the world…. The impression that the situation can be saved by mental cleverness, without unselfishness or human self-dedication, can only lead to collapse. - John Glubb.



Again, focusing on one of his stages, this struck me as interesting. We are all for education. It seems good and wise... but many things take more than mere brains to solve. There's more to life-sustaining empires than ourselves, basically.


When we read the history of our own nation, we find the actions of our ancestors described as glorious, while those of other peoples are depicted as mean, tyrannical or cowardly. Thus our history is (intentionally) not based on facts. We are emotionally unwilling to accept that our forbears might have been mean or cowardly. Alternatively, there are ‘political’ schools of history, slanted to discredit the actions of our past leaders, in order to support modern political movements. In all these cases, history is not an attempt to ascertain the truth, but a system of propaganda, devoted to the furtherance of modern projects, or the gratification of national vanity.


Of course, though, we would want to think ourselves best. That our country does the most good and was always in the right. That we are the "Land of the Free", "Home of the Brave", but the sad truth is that it's just all lies for vanity's sake.

Are we really free?

How many of us our truly brave? Willing to stand up for truth? Neighbor? God?

That's right... God is a part of the past...

It's all about what we need for our own comfort... who really cares that we live by lies... especially when those lies feel good...


Perhaps, in fact, we may reach the conclusion that the successive rise and fall of great nations is inevitable and, indeed, a system divinely ordained. But even this would be an immense gain. For we should know where we stand in relation to our human brothers and sisters. In our present state of mental chaos on the subject, we divide ourselves into nations, parties or communities and fight, hate and vilify one another over developments which may perhaps be divinely ordained and which seem to us, if we take a broader view, completely uncontrollable and inevitable. If we could accept these great movements as beyond our control, there would be no excuse for our hating one another because of them. However varied, confusing and contradictory the religious history of the world may appear, the noblest and most spiritual of the devotees of all religions seem to reach the conclusion that love is the key to human life. Any expansion of our knowledge which may lead to a reduction in our unjustified hates is therefore surely well worth while. 



Of course, the only thing we want to know after reading this essay is can we escape this pending fall of our country? Or are all doomed at the end of 250 years?

John Glubb doesn't give a straight answer. He suggests that maybe this is all arranged by the hand of divinity - I think he had more leniences towards Islam than God, but we can still take this to mean God doesn't want us becoming too powerful, so he only allows nations to thrive for 250 years.

But then Glubb goes on to say, either way, despite it being set by the hand of God or not, shouldn't this give us more reason to love our neighbors rather than hate?

Lol, the classical final answer boils down to love.

And sometimes, I'm like, "Enough of love, let's do something."

But really, is it such a wrong idea? Didn't Jesus come because of love?

Aren't we to love all?

Maybe this classic answer is the correct one.

As long as we are showing love in the correct way.

Because love isn't necessarily tolerant. Or says what people want to hear. Or makes one feel good.

Love can still be hard. 

Because real love is giving, not receiving.

And if a few more of us could learn to give more... maybe then our country would really have a fighting chance to live.



Are we doomed? Is this just God's way of keeping us from "reaching heaven"?

Or is there a way out?

 Love. Maybe that is the answer after all. 

It's worth a try. :)






Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Blogging Community Tag (ENCOURAGE)

Thanks, so much Alexa, for tagging me in this post, and for your beautiful, encouraging words :)

And, for the rest of you - who doesn't think a tag is fun? Let's encourage some people!!!





Rules:
1. Answer the eight questions (easy enough)
2. Tag some peoples! (any number, but I'm doing one for each category)
3. Link back to Jo (she is the creator and it is good manners)
4. Include the globe picture (hey, it's easier than making one of your own. Thanks Jo!)


This is going to be just a little hard for me, as I don't follow many blogs. But we'll give it a go ;)


To The Dedicated Ones
To the dedicated ones: How do you do it? I have a hard enough time coming up with a good post once a week. But some of you do a COUPLE A WEEK! Man, you have talent ;) 

I tag Aidyl :) You are one awesome girl, with some great posts - and beautiful writing :) You have a message for this word - Share it!

To The Committed Community Members
All you people that comment, email, and just basically make sure to tell me that you are reading my stuff, and that it is *worth* reading... thank you so much for your encouragement. 

I really want to thank Esther Allison for being such an awesome proofreader... she doesn't have a blog, so I can't tag her... but guys, you can comment here and say, "Esther, you are awesome!"


To The Beautiful Blog Designs
The first blog I ever followed was Bethany and Becca's blog, Clever Bunnies.

Isn't there title just gorgeous???

And their blog is just as great. Love the vintage, beautiful look. And their blog post titles are to be envied ;) They don't post as much any more (all great people have crazy lives ;b), but all their old posts are still so worth looking at!



To The Remarkable Reviewers And Book Bloggers
I don't follow many book blogs, even though I love books. How ironic? Lol. But there is one... Sara's blog is always awesome... I think she must know about and read all the latest stuff. If I want to know about a book, her blog is usually a great place to visit.

And I love her honest reviews. I might not always want to read the books, but I love reading about the books from her blog. 

Thanks for the good work, Sara!


To The Deep And Thoughtful Bloggers
Another great writing-girl... Sarah's blog is full of all of her books (which are great reads, by the way), but what I really like about her blog, is the fun and inspirational posts she writes about anything in life.

Check out The Destiny Of One - you won't regret it :)


To The Ones Who Are Just Plain Enjoyable
I was so excited when my friend got her blog last year! It's so fun of all sorts of miscellaneous posts! And her blog design is gorgeous!

And she posts about LOTR!

Awesome, right? 

Oh, and her blog is called The Flowering Vales . How cute!!!


To The Ones With A Great Sense of Humor
A good laugh, especially when backed up by a distorted view of logic is always good, right?

I always enjoy Jake's posts - one of my favorites of his blogs is Teenage Writer. He has a nice mixture of posts... some with deep thoughts, news of great literature, and always quite a bit of humor.


To The Inspirational Ones
To the one that I would like to blog like: Libs' blog, If You Give a Girl a Pen.

When I first discovered her blog, I loved it so much, I stayed up late until I had read every post of hers :) 

Her writing style is awesome... she has a great style for her short stories. Her posts are each unique and worth reading in and of themselves, her blog is gorgeous, and I love how her personality just seems to radiate from all over her blog: catching, friendly, happy. 

She doesn't post as much any more, either... but her blog is just so great! ;)


And, to anyone of you all out there that didn't get a tag!!! You are so awesome. I'm not just saying this to say this... honestly, you are are great! And God loves you sooo much! So, smile! Show the joy of a blessed person :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Lady Dragon, Tela Du (Book release and author interview)


Join me for a blog tour with Kendra... and an interview!






Book Description:
Two girls with one face
Two girls with twisted fate
One in purple, one in red
One shall speak the other’s death
Who shall win their final war?
Lady Dragon or Tela Du?

Amber, the Lady Dragon, has been promised a fifty-year reign over Rizkaland and nothing can stop her from claiming it. But when you've lived six thousand years, fifty is such a pitiful number. Only one person can keep her from making this reign permanent - the Tela Du, a girl who shall share Amber's face.

The last thing Petra wants is a magical world interrupting her plans for a normal life, let alone an ultimate battle against the Lady Dragon with only one prophesied survivor. She has her childhood best friend, Reuben, at her side, but she's not sure if he's more of a help or a hindrance right now. Though she'd much prefer to just return home and forget about this whole crazy affair, things change when she discovers that the world has surprising connections to her own family - including her sister who disappeared without a trace two years before. Still, Rizkaland can't possibly expect her to risk her very life, can it?



Author Bio:
Kendra E. Ardnek is a home school graduate who picked up a pen at an early age and never put it down. The eldest of four, she makes her home in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her parents, younger siblings, giant herd of giraffes, and honor guard of nutcrackers.

Blog, Official Website, Add to Goodreads,

Buy the Book:
Kindle
Paperback 

Water Princess, Fire Prince will be free for the first five days of the tour (October 19-23).



Schedule for blog tour 

October 19
Me: Party Kick-off
Interviews:
Reviews:
Other:
Ketura's Korner - Review and Author Interview

October 20
Me: Book 3 Title Reveal
Interviews:
Reviews:

October 21
Me: Inspirations for LDTD
Interviews:
The Rambling Rose - Noraeto
Reviews:
Other - Facebook Party!

October 22
Me: Cut Plot Elements
Interviews:
Written Rest - Granite
Reviews:

October 23
Me: Petra and Clara
Interviews:
Reviews:
Other:
Lianne Taimenlore - Colors of LDTD Guest Post


October 24
Me: Ships I Ship Because of Reutra
Interviews:
Morgan Huneke - Reuben
Reviews:

October 25
Interviews:
Reviews:

Other:

Tyrean Martinson - 5 Reasons to Write with Pinterest Guest post





The First chapter

Interview


1. Welcome, Kendra!
Hi! Thank you for having me

I can't believe the second book is already out! It seems like we were just doing an interview for Water Princess, Fire Prince. What are your thoughts on this?
My thoughts - I'm insane. It's been a little over a year since WPFP's release, and, honestly, it's been a wild year, and it wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't already written LDTD five times. Even so, writing and editing the final draft got intense at times. I pulled an all-nighter.

Man... but the writing life :)
Tell us what makes this second book special?
Without this book, the series itself probably wouldn't exist and I quite probably wouldn't be the author I am today, since this is the book that taught me how to write, and as such it holds a very special place in my heart.
As for what sets it apart from other books? I'm afraid you'll have to read it and judge for yourself.

Which I plan to do very soon :)
How has writing affected your life this last year?
Given that writing is my life, I really can't put my finger on any specific changes - though I have acquired a very close-knit group of friends who were my beta readers. And I started drinking coffee a few weeks ago. I'm not sure whether I have to blame that on my writing or on the fact that we were given a Keurig machine. You be the judge.

Haha, that's great :)
What are some things in your life that have changed, and made it harder/easier to write?
Well, in the last year, we started homeschooling two more kids for a family friend, so that's been interesting. I'm not sure if it's really influenced my writing, though. The bigger influence was my fluctuating schedule at work which made me want to tear out my hair at times, but I quit my job at the end of September so I can have some more time to focus on writing. I plan to get another job elsewhere at the end of November, though.

Writers tend to like busy lives ;)
What message do you hope your readers will get from LDTD?
There are many messages, some of which would be a bit spoilery if I were to share them. One of the biggest, though, is the message that God is in control, that He knows what He's doing, and that if we'll just surrender our lives to Him, it'll go a whole lot better for us in the long run.

That's awesome! 
Is this the last book? Or can we expect another in this series?
You can expect five more books after this one, plus a few novellas and some connected novels set in other worlds, and then my sister and I are working on a sci-fi series that has connected characters.

Oh, wow! How exciting... I must say I love this world :) 
Is there anything else you'd like to say?
If you value your sanity, avoid the writing life. If you already lost it years ago... you probably already are a writer.

Haha!!! That's great :) I'm afraid (glad to say, actually) that I lost my sanity before I knew the word ;) Thanks for joining me today!!!!
Thank you for having me!

This book is going to be awesome :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"Thy Will Be Done"... Even if God Says No



I recently came across this book titled Christ the Healer by F. F Bosworth. It was very… interesting, I must say.

Now I don't normally tear books apart, but this topic has been on my mind for several months now ever since I met this guy who believed it was his calling to preach divine healing and that, if you had enough faith, God never said 'No'.

Don't get me wrong, I still think God can and will do miracles. But I think this whole belief of God healing us unconditionally has some flaws. And I think this belief is a very dangerous belief for the Christian person's relationship with God.


Here is a poem from the book;

Death comes, and then we blame our God.
And weakly say, “Thy will be done”;
But never underneath the sod
Has God imprisoned any one.
God does not send disease, or crime,
Or carelessness, of fighting clans;
And when we die before our time
The fault is man's

He is God of life, not death;
He is one that gives us birth;
He has not shortened by a breath
The life of any on earth;
And He would have us dwell within
The world our full allotted years.
So blame not God-for our own sin
Makes our own tears.


Beautiful poem, yes. But let me point out the problems.


And weakly say, “Thy will be done - When is it ever weak to say, “Thy will be done?” Even in the midst of facing death, Yeshua(Jesus) did not say, “Father I demand my way!” but, “Thy will be done.”
Submitting to God is never NEVER weak.

But never underneath the sod, Has God imprisoned any one. - God has sentenced many to death – all, in fact. It was He that said, “If you eat of the tree you will die.”

God does not send disease, or crime, - read 2 Samuel 24 and Exodus 7-12. When David angered God God gave him three choices, all involving hurt, and in the end it was chosen to have a pestilence (plague, disease…) and many died at the hand of God.
And in Exodus when Pharaoh would not let the Israelites free, many plagues were sent, and at the end, even the children's lives were taken.
Of course you could argue this last part that God only punished those that did wrong, or were evil  (which is true). Still, even the truth of that argument contradicts the line of that poem.

And when we die before our time, The fault is man's – if the writer meant the fault being man's as in when the fruit was taken and eaten, then yes, he is correct. But if he means that we only die now because of not being holy enough then he is wrong. And before our time? I must argue that we each die in the right time that God has appointed for us to die. Job 14:5 and Psalm 31:15

He has not shortened by a breath, The life of any on earth - Again not true. He has shortened the breath of many. He even set the time of our deaths.

And He would have us dwell within, The world our full allotted years. - But more than this He would have us to be with Him.

So blame not God-for our own sin, Makes our own tears. - This is very true. WE are responsible for our own tears, our own sin… though we are sometimes the victims of other's consequences. But that's another topic. Despite this, despite us being the guilty one, we can't fix our problems by trying to force God to do our will, or refusing to say, “Thy Will be done.” And most of all, even if we are truly believers of God we aren't exempt us from the casualties of sin.

For this world is full of sin… it's around every corner, in every space.


Some other things I'd like to point out with the belief of Divine Healing:

1. We must pray more and more. Once is not enough. God hears our prayers if they are continued, but if they stop, this is the Devil's opportunity to do his work.
First off, yes, we need to continue praying. But despite our prayers we can't bribe God by making him think we are so Holy. And in the end, whatever we pray for it is ultimately God's will. We can't even start to understand what His perfect plan may be. Sure, to our mortal minds, long life and abundant health seem ideal. But God's way is utmost.
And I'm not saying stop praying. I'm saying keep saying, “Your will be done, Father.”

2. If you are sick, if a loved one is dying, or if you are dying this is a sign of lack of faith.
Not true. Where in the Bible does it say this?
Sickness is a part of life. Death is a part of life. They are both the results of the original sin, but not necessarily of a sin you or someone else has committed.
And think about this for a second. According to this logic, I can die because of your lack of faith. Sure, I may have perfect Faith in God, but yours was not enough to keep the Devil from taking me.
Comforting?
Wow, no. That does not seem like a very strong and almighty God to me… only able to save from the Devil if enough of us send up the correct quota of prayers and have the right amount of Faith.

3. Don't listen to the Devil. Facts are lies from him. Doubting is a lie. If you say, “God heal my cold, but your will be done.” You are giving in to the doubtful spirit of the Devil. Don't be double minded – but ask and believe that what you ask for will happen.
And if it doesn't happen, what then? You must have not believed hard enough.



The book was full of “biblical examples” of all sorts of people doing things or not doing things, using proof that I believe was totally construed. And I'd write about each one in detail if it wouldn't make this post too long ;b Honestly, when reading through the book I was getting riled up.

Why?


Because man was trying to put God into a box and control others at the same time. As the back of the book read:

"The truths discussed in this book, together with the “prayer of faith” have brought healing within the grasp of many thousands of sufferes who could not have recovered with out the direct action of the Holy Spirit. To God be all the glory."

Yes, to God be all the Glory, and may the Holy Spirit take action in all of our lives with out this book, or belief. How can a book hold truths separate from the Bible? Show true healing?

Yes, I believe God loves us, wants us whole, and wants us to be living.

But if He expected us to live only by faith, praying with out a doubt that He'd grant our every plea, then why would He have created labor, herbs, not to mention bodies?

If we are to trust He'll do whatever we ask, never saying no then why do we work for our money? We should just expect Him to give us our every need and want… after all wasn't it Jesus that said do not worry for tomorrow? (disregard the sarcasm, please.)

And He would not have created herbs, for if He heals unconditionally, it would be wrong to use those herbs, as they would be giving in to the lies of the devil.

It would be wrong to try and protect our children from running into the road - “Trust God. His will is never to harm us.” 


Or to wash our hands - “He cleanses us and keeps us from all disease.”


And to try and upkeep our bodies and eat healthy? All stupidity, for God would not make us fat for eating sugars and processed foods if we prayed enough.

But, besides of these sarcastic arguments, what is the real reason I believe this belief is so dangerous?

I believe it is dangerous for this purpose: When God does not do what you want, when He says that dreaded word 'No', how will you react and respond?

For the few people I know of that have held this belief, it has torn their families apart, caused anger and bitterness, and made many doubt God's existence.





Believing in God isn't about what we can get out of Him, but having a relationship with Him, trusting Him to do what's best for you all the while loving Him more than you would your best friends.

It's about trusting and loving unconditionally, not getting "my way".

We need to love God for who He is, not for what He might do for us.