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!!!

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:

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
Ketura's Korner - Review and Author Interview

October 20
Me: Book 3 Title Reveal

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

October 22
Me: Cut Plot Elements
Written Rest - Granite

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

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

October 25


Tyrean Martinson - 5 Reasons to Write with Pinterest Guest post

The First chapter


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.
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.


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.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

I'm Not Into Politics, But...

“Hey, did you hear what's happening with those guys in Oregon from Malheur Refuge?”

“No. Tell me about it!”

“A bunch of guys felt that their rights as US citizens were being violated, so they decided to take back a bit of land for the “people” as a sign to the federal government to back off, and now they are all facing years to life in prison for 'terrorism' and-” My words slow down as I see the person's face slowly becomes void of emotion. Bored? Or do they not like what I'm saying…? Have I just lost a friend? What did I say????

“Oh. Yeah.. I'm not really into politics.” They say.

“Oh, OK.” I say. But inside something feels wrong. Not into politics???

Hey, I hate politics. I despise them. So much stress, and fighting, and corruption. But… it's a part of life. Or is it???

What if I told you Fred's barn just burned down and we were going to go do some things to encourage him and help him out. Get some guys to rebuild it. Make him some meals. You, know, practical deeds of encouragement, a long with some words.

“Yeah… I'm not really into encouraging, and I don't like working much.”

It sounds like you are saying, “I don't like Fred much. He's not that important to me.”


I wonder if any one ever thinks of it like that… Of course there are the few individuals that are just plain selfish and uncaring, but for the most part, wouldn't most of us Christians help out those that are in need? Whether they be strangers or friends?

What makes it different once the government gets involved?

Fear? Or true selfishness finally showing through? Or maybe both...

Guys, America is in a bad place right now. And it does no good hiding in our own corner, worrying about only the things we have to worry about. Sooner or later these things are going to affect all of us.

No matter how much we try to hide or do “good” politics are going to find us and affect us.

And if we don't show that we care about people now, when trials come to us, how can we expect others to care about us? We can't. In fact we don't deserve any such kindness.

I don't care if you don't like politics. That isn't the point. As Christians we need to be aware of what is happening around us, in our nation, and in this world. And we must not hide – but do the things that we can do. Sometimes those things may be big, sometimes they may be small. From leading  (BTW, this is my Dad. He organized and lead the Jericho March) a protest to just writing letters to some of these people in jail, who feel no one cares about them.

Do stuff.
Spread the word.

Don't be fine with what the majority may do. Make decisions based on what is right and holy.

And don't say “I'm not into politics.”

Because that's just stupid.

And sorry for the bluntness of this post. Sometimes we need a bit of a shaking to wake up. But remember, no matter how much shaking we get – we still have to DECIDE to open our eyes.  

Philippians 2:4 "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."

Galatians 6:2 "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

One of the first things you can do is start by keeping yourself informed with what's happening outside of your door. This guy has some good things to say. There's also a few different trust worthy Christian media sites you can subscribe to. Start with knowing. After that, God will show you what to do.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

FAITH IS THE VICTORY: Blog Tour, Review and Interview

Today I have the pleasure of introducing another author and a bit of her writing :) Enjoy!!!!

Have  you ever felt like too much was going on and you just couldn't handle anything more? Or maybe someone has bothered you so much that you avoid them as much as you can, but they still keep coming back. David felt that way in Faith Blum's short story, Faith is the Victory, and she's here today to tell us more about her book.

About the Book

Winning story in Perry
Elisabeth Design’s short story contest.

I don’t like change. I know most people get used to it, but I have never been able to. When Dad announced their move and I couldn’t go with them, I didn’t handle it well. Would I ever find the faith to be victorious?

Content warning: A character does attempt suicide, so please
read with caution.

Available on Amazon and other platforms such as Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Scribd.
 Paperback coming soon!

About the Author

Faith Blum started writing at an early age. She started even before she could read! She even thought she could write better than Dr. Seuss. (The picture doesn’t show it well, but there are scribblings on the page of Green Eggs and Ham). Now that she has grown up a little more, she knows she will probably never reach the success of Dr. Seuss, but that doesn’t stop her from trying.
When she isn’t writing, Faith enjoys doing many right-brained activities such as reading, crafting, playing piano, and playing games with her family. One of her dreams is to visit Castle City, Montana. She currently lives on a hobby farm with her family in Wisconsin.
There are many ways to connect with Faith online. All of them can be found in one convenient place: http://FaithBlum.com. On her website you can find links to her various social media sites and both of her blogs.


This book doesn’t have much to do with Faith is the Victory, but if you like Westerns or stories about mail order brides, you might just like this novella. And it’s written by Faith Blum.

Interview with Author Faith Blum:

Hello! Welcome to my blog!!! Can you start out by introducing yourself?
Hi, Keturah! Thanks for having me! My name is Faith Blum (pronounced like plum, but with a B). I am a 20-something home school graduate who loves writing. Besides writing, I also like to play piano, crochet, knit, sew, read, and play games with my family. I live with my family on a small family farm in Wisconsin.

Tell us a bit about your life outside of writing!
Oops. I guess I should have read this before answering the first question. I basically said up there, but one thing I didn’t mention is that I am a children’s leader in my Bible Study group. This year I am teaching children who are all 2 years old or a little bit older. I also help with the Good News Club at our church.

Ah, fun! I also do a lot with small children as I have a mostly full time nanny job :) What (Who) gave you the desire to write?
I hope you don’t mind me changing the question slightly. God is the One who gave me the desire to write. Without His guidance, I would not be writing, and I definitely would have never made it this far.

I like this answer ;). Why do you write?
I write to encourage Christians to live their faith and hopefully to also reach the unsaved with the Gospel.

Can you tell us about you writing? Published and non-published.
There’s a lot of it. Oh, wait. Did you want more than that? Okay, I’ll try. I have seven, almost eight, paperback books published with a ninth coming out in November. Ebooks are a little more plentiful since I combined six of my novellas into two paperbacks. I have thirteen eBooks published. All of those books are Christian Westerns except for the book I just published, Faith is the Victory, and Heaven’s Jubilee. FITV is a contemporary Christian short story and Heaven’s Jubilee is a collection of six futuristic short stories.

As for unpublished writings, I have rough drafts, snippets, and ideas all over in my computer files. Some are historical, some are contemporary, I even have a couple of fantasy wandering around somewhere.

How do you hope your writing will affect others?
As I mentioned in question four, I hope that there will be at least one person impacted by the message I have in each book, whether it’s for Spiritual growth or salvation.

What do you do when words won't come?
Panic. Just kidding. I find something else to do that is productive or skip ahead to a different scene.

Thank you so much for joining me today! Have an awesome writing journey!! :)
Thanks for having me!

Review of her short story, Faith is the Victory:

David has a good, decent life. Raised in a solid, loving, Christian home, sheltered and protected, and even gifted with talents he should be happy. Or so it would seem.

But facing the outside world and some of the people in it is more of a challenge then he bargained for. And college only escalates his problem. With unwanted change and no-one to lean on for comfort he slowly starts sinking into despair.

Will he be able to accept Jesus' love before it's too late? Or is he truly as worthless as he feels?

A beautiful short story of a man that learns his family's faith is not enough - he must accept it also. I enjoyed reading about David, even though it wasn't exactly the first story I may have picked up. Still, if some one were dealing with feelings of despair, this little story might just cheer them up :)

Tour Schedule

September 26
-Tour Introduction
-Author Interview
Karan Eleni-Excerpt

September 27
In the
-Book Review

September 28
-Book Review and Author Interview
Ramblings, and Reflections
-Why this story and theme?

September 29
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour

Faith and her friend, Amanda Tero, are hosting a Facebook party on September 30 to celebrate their new releases! There will be giveaways, games, fun times, and a grand prize. They are also giving away a set of 4 eBooks to the person who invites the most guests. So head on over, invite some friends and then ask them to vote for you in the poll. The Party link is here and the link to the poll can be found here. They are also doing some fun pre-party posts and on September 26 and 27, they are taking questions from the guests.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Wedding (And A Week In TN)

First off: Sorry that I didn't post last Wednesday. I sort of have a good excuse. Well, not really. I should have prepared a post still. But anyways, here's my excuse!!! Enjoy!!!

This last week found me in my other life - TN!!! Once I got there, it almost seemed I had never left! It was a week full of fun, excitement, friends, and more. Too much happened - it almost felt like a month of fun!!!!!

Here are some of my favorite pictures while there - spotlights of fantastic memories!

I can rarely get Cherish (the girl on the far right) to take pictures.. but on my last day she decided to be nice :) and she put a lot of energy into those photo's. LOL We three girls went on an early morning hike/ walk and really got to catch up, laugh, sing, and just have fun :)

Meeting friends at the airport! Some were old friends, some new :) I was so excited to see the little girl on the right!

One of my best friends and secret-keepers. I got to spend a day at her house. It was so great to see the wonderful person again.

I had never met Aliisa before, but I spent a lot of my time with her while there. Partly because we shared a bunk, but also because she was so sweet and nice :)

All the ruby girls that attended Meadow's wedding!!!! Plus Serene's husband, Sam, in the background, lol. Three of the girls are married now (two have kids), two of the girls are pretty much engaged, and a handful of the rest were looking promising ;)

Another of my best friends with her adorable baby! On several occasions we were seen sneaking into a one person restroom so she could feed Ezzy and we could still talk. Might have looked awkward - but it was fun ;)

Last time I stayed in TN the older girl and her mom lived next-room to me. My I missed them!!! And they had another little girl while I was gone! It was sooooo nice to see them :)

Some of my all time favorite little girls :)

Back to the times when I'd steal his hat and he'd make faces... this guy is hilarious.

And of course, I had to get a selfie with the bride! Oh, she was gorgeous! You could tell Meadow was a model :)

The wedding was fantastic - it rained half way through the service. so we all had to run inside and finish the ceremony there. But it was great (though no-one had great hair or make-up anymore ;b).
There were so many people to see! So much laughing. So much fun! And a lot of dancing, too!!!!

And the groom's men did this dance for Meadow - Oh, my! It was so well-done... and funny! If you really want to see the dance I posted the video on my facebook.

And the rest of the week? It was awesome! I got to spend so much time with friends, help hem the flower girls' dresses, help Aliisa "coordinate" the rehearsal and we had a couple things to do on the wedding day also, and stay up way too late!!!!!!

It was great ;)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Struggles are Real

I hate planes.

It's not that I hate the flying part, or that I'm scared of being s high above the ground. I actually rather enjoy that part.

But I hate all the security, and how rude everyone can be. And one time in particular I had a bad experience because they didn't like my skirt or my ID.

Of course this wasn't exactly the worst thing in the world. Many people have had many much more terrible experiences, to the point that they were truly violated or their lives in danger.

And one person made sure to tell me this when I told them why I didn't like flying.


That's all I can think when someone says your fears or struggles are unbiased because of others' real struggles.

You scrunch up and feel guilty. It's like someone is saying, “You don't know what real pain and fear is, because you have been too sheltered. You don't even know how to truly love God, because you have never really been tested.”

Or maybe they outright say this.

You're like, “So all this stuff going on in my mind has been dramatized? I don't actually have struggles?”

In that case you are can be like... “Well, let's just smile then. And enjoy life.”

Just kidding...

And if that were the extent of your trial it may be easy. But normally it's not.

I was talking to a friend recently who is going through a very hard time, emotionally and with close people in her life. Sometimes I get so riled up for her (and others) when I think great people are so blindly “persecuting” someone as dear as her with their words and actions. And it's as if they are blind.. yet think their eyes are wide open!

“I know the feeling,” I told her. “ 'God why me? Why now? Why can I not have just this one thing?' His tests are pretty hard sometimes. Too hard, to bear, it feels. We are told we have it easy compared to others. But do we? Or is this just man's way of saying 'I don't care about you.'?

“ 'What you are going through is just a lie from the devil.' We are told. But is it? Sure God heals, but one of the realities of sin is that life is horrible. Even great men in the Bible screamed and yelled at God, questioning the pain in their lives.

“Rough times exist.

“No matter the level humans set trials at, our trials, our emotional stress, our struggles, all we go through is the same. It's all hardest for each individual.

“It's wrong for people to say, 'Look how good you have it compared to so and so.' You know what? That's all compared to human standards! People don't need a, 'You're okay, just look at Africa.' They need a hug, some comfort, a few words of encouragement.”

“If any thing is a lie from the devil, it's the belief that what we go through doesn't matter.”

It's all great and good to think nothing but certain catastrophes matter and are worthy of depression, but the words, “Get over yourself. Remember the kids in Africa – the ones that are dying because of lack of clothes and food. You have it good. No one in America truly suffers.” are not a way to comfort someone.

Neither is the statement, “What you're going through is a lie from the devil.”

What does that accomplish? Nothing but unnecessary guilt on the victims part. And pent up emotions and trials that they don't know what to do with since they obliviously shouldn't have them.

My above first example wasn't very good But I think you got the point. Hopefully. Haha.

We all go through things – and sometimes those things aren't as big and ugly in appearance as starving children in Africa.

But to our minds, to the reality we know, they FEEL just as big and ugly.


Because this is the very REAL and UGLY struggle God has placed into our lives and minds.

And because of that, we need to remember one thing: Don't tear other people down farther by telling them what they go through is unreal.

Comfort them. Encourage them. Help them get over what they are going through with love, understanding, and when and if the times calls for, gentle admonition towards something better and more fulfilling.

Critical words don't kill fear and heal hurt. Love and kindness do.

Remember, fellow believers. We aren't called to bring ones trials down to exalt our own or others. We are called to love each and everyone. Not everyone is capable of handling the same pain. But we can still love them. Nor are we to judge trials by man's standard.

Sure, starvation seems horrid. It is horrible. But so are all the other things we are burdened with. Each are equally important to the person going through it.

One of the realities of this sin-filled life is there will be many people going through hard times, and you will be faced with the choice: Tear them down or love them?

So, be a friend to people. Dry tears, don't cause them. Love people, don't look down at them. And instead of pushing them away, give them a big a hug or two.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My Baptism

This last Sunday, August 21, I was baptized along with one of my brothers and one of my sisters.

I had believed in Yeshua quite a few years ago, but was uncertain for a long time about what I believed about baptism. Was is necessary to do? Is it part of being saved? Must one be baptized to be saved? And what does baptism mean?

For a long while I thought baptism unnecessary, that we were now baptized through the Holy Spirit and Fire (Matt 3:12). But then I started a Bible correspondence study called Lamp and Light Bible. Some verses they brought up showed that this was totally true...

When Jesus gave the great commission, he included baptism. (Mark 16:15-16) He, Himself was baptized - though this could be argued that this was for the purpose of fulfilling the old law.

But what most convinced me was of the examples afterwards, of His followers baptizing people in His name. If it wasn't right and good why would they still be doing it? (Acts 2:38, Acts 22:11-16)

From these and many of verses and passages I came to the conclusion that baptism was not bad, but even good, and that full immersion baptism was probably the best, as it was what was used up until a certain time in early church history.

But still, is baptism necessary for salvation? Even though I'd come to believe that it was good and not done away with, I still needed to know if I needed to do it.

When Yeshua and other's preached they never actually said "In order to be saved you must be baptized." 

The only conditions to being saved are believing in and loving Jesus, accepting His death as your forgiveness, repenting of your sin. (Romans 10:9, Acts 16:31) All the other doctrines of the Bible are good, but not salvation issues (Not things that will find favor alone with God).

So why get baptized then? Why did others baptize in the Bible... but for a sign.

"Believe and be baptized." (Romans 6:3-5, Mark 16:16)

As a  testimony and public declaration, baptism shows everyone the choice you have made, using symbolism.

And, so that is why I decided to be baptized - to show that I believed in Yeshua, and accept His death as forgiveness for any and all my sins.

One of my best friends was able to be there - her dad was the one that baptized me ;)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Siblings, Drinking Cowboys, and Flying Dust

Siblings sometimes have weird, random conversations. A lot of the times they can be very hilarious. So funny that you have got to share them ;)

So, that is just what I'm going to do.

The other night we were on our way youth group when the following occurred: – by the way, our youth group is one of the few good youth groups lol ;b, as most of the kids going are home-schooled.

Jonathan (18)
Jerushah (17)
Jesse (15)
Beckah Jo (14)
Josiah (13)
And other little ones….

Jonathan: I'm going to make this bumper sticker that says, “Tough cowboys don't drink. They say no.”
Everyone: *chattering about what we think about it, changing the wording, thinking of better ways to word it. We tell mom to turn the radio down, and tell her of Jonathan's 'brilliant' idea.*
Me: But it's actually not true.
Mom: Yes. It's not tough to drink.
Jerushah and Beckah Jo: *knowing what I'm going to say some how* They drink milk, mom!
Me: Exactly! What else do you think cowboys have cows for?
Me: So the sticker should read, “Tough cowboys drink milk. Why else do they have cows?”

Of, course the boys disagreed thinking their original idea was best. Haha. So for awhile longer we discussed this before branching off to other weird things :) Just before this, we had all been discussing some really mean pranks we wanted to play on a few friends (pranks we will never do, because those people wouldn't think them as funny as we did).

And another funny conversation:

My 7-year old brother and I are walking home. The ground is dry and dusty, so he is dragging his shoes in it, kicking dirt in my sandals and distracting me from my (very interesting and important :b) thoughts.

Me: Jonah, stop kicking the dirt.
Jonah: Why?
Me: Because, it's getting in my shoes.
Jonah: Then what's it for?
Me: *sarcastic* Not kicking.
Jonah: But it's like rocks, and that's what people do to those.
Me: Jonah, rocks and dirt aren't for kicking.
Jonah: Then why do I always see people kick them?

Oh, my. It was only then that I forgot what ever I was thinking about and started laughing. He is really quite silly - though I think he was being serious :0

What sort of conversations do you have with your siblings?