Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Light Burden

When we're depressed and sad and we feel lonely and like we have no place to turn, why is it that we don't ask God to take our load from us and help us to walk in His paths.  In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your soul.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."  So why don't we come unto Him?  His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

It's because we're stubborn and sinful creatures.  Maybe we want to, but just can't  bring ourselves to do it right now; we'll do it later when we're not doing anything else.  Or maybe we feel like we've been away from Him for so long that we're not worthy of His love. 

Jesus is pleading with us, "Come unto me...".  He wants us to come to Him so that He can bear our burden for us.  He wants us to rest in Him!  Isn't that amazing?!  Why can't we just give up our stubborn hearts and ask Him for a pure heart, a "heart of flesh"? 

Jesus is also commanding us, "Come unto me...".  If we don't obey that command we will have our just reward -- in Hell.  But if we do obey, what peace we shall have! 

The Saviour is calling "Come".  And He's calling now.  The time to call on Him is now, while there is still time.

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."   --Psalm 42:11

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Songwriting Seminar

Yesterday, I went to a songwriting seminar.  The instructor was Dave Clark, a lyricist, and the guest instructor was Mark Harris, the lead singer for the band 4HIM.  The seminar was Friday night and Saturday, but I actually didn't get to go to Friday nights class.  Well, it turns out that everyone who went Friday, was supposed to come back Saturday with the lyrics to a song that they had made up.  So everyone in the class except me had a brand new song that they either read or sang aloud to the rest of the class.  Well, I felt a little bad that I didn't have one, so I wrote one down during the lunch hour and sang it for everyone.  It's not the greatest, and it doesn't rhyme, but I'd say it wasn't bad for my first time and only having an hour to do it.  However, it's hard to see how all the words flow together without hearing it sung, so I'm not going to post it. 

After lunch the class was going to break up into 5 groups, so Ashley and I went and asked the instructor and another leading man if the 4 teenage girls could all be on the same team.  The man Ashley asked said that that was ok, but the man I asked wasn't so quick to answer that way.  He said that the reason that we were doing the exercise was so that we could get different perspectives.  That caught me off-guard and the first thing that came to my head was what I said.  "Well, we are different, I wear skirts all the time and they don't.  And since we're younger than the rest, the others might not like our ideas."  "So, you're saying I'm old," he said.  "Um," I was caught off-guard again, "no, just more adult...ish."  So anyway, in the end we 4 girls got to be on the same team, but the instructor kept bringing it up to the class that I had called him old.  He was joking of course, and it was funny, but every time he mentioned it everyone would look back at me and smile/laugh.

Anyway, the 5 teams were each supposed to come up with an idea that was "song worthy".  So, at first we a did typical teenager idea: the pressure that teenage girls who are Christians feel.  But that one was discarded.  The one we decided on was True Happiness: the difference between, say, the happiness a Christian man has living on the streets and a rich man from Hollywood who doesn't know the Lord.  However, our idea wasn't picked.  The idea chosen was: Find the Silence/Cutting Through the Noise.  So then everyone had to write a chorus for that idea and we would vote on the best chorus.  So, the chorus we girls came up with was:
                                            Turn off the TV, turn off the radio.
                                            I just wanna hear your voice,
                                            It's hard to hear it through the noise.
                                            Though it's soft as a whisper it touches my soul.
                                            Just tell me where to go.
                                            You lead and I will follow.

And that's got a really pretty melody to it, but again, ours wasn't picked.  The instructor said that if he were brought that, then he would fold it up and save it for another time, because it wasn't really on subject.  The one that was picked went like this:

                                             It's hard to fine the silence
                                            When the noise is all around.
                                            The world is screaming at us,
                                            And our thoughts won't settle down.
                                           So take me to your quiet place,
                                           To hear you still, small voice.
                                           Calming my random thoughts and
                                           Cutting through the noise.

And that was shortened to the last 4 lines.  And then we played around with the melody for that one, changing it to fit whoever was writing or singing it.

The whole thing was a huge blast!  They even had donuts and banana bread and cookies and brownies and juice!

I can't wait for Monday.  There's a Master Class for music and I'm excited to see what I'll learn in that.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mom's Blog

Hey everybody!  My mom just got a blog, too.  Here's the link!


Thursday, March 24, 2011


I recently watched this on a friend's blog, and it really just seemed to touch me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sunday Hiking

This is the same place we went last Sunday, but different pictures.  Anna did a sort of photo shoot with me and Abigail, and I managed to get one good one of Anna.  I wish there were a few of all three of us gals.  The shirt I'm wearing I bought at a thrift store for $3; I was very excited about it.  Anna used to say that when I wrote letters I would go "sticker crazy" because I would put so many stickers on one letter.  Well, I probably went "picture crazy" with this blog post, but I couldn't choose just a few pictures. I liked them all!  Well, I'll just stand back and let the pictures do the talking for themselves.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sunday Hiking

As some of you know, after the service on Sundays, our family heads out to the mountains, woods, parks, or somewhere to have lunch and hike around a little.  Here are some pictures from last Sunday.

                                          Lady, I love pictures of our dogs in the snow

                                                  Prince with Lady in the background

            Prince.  Prince and Lady were named after Almonzo's horses in Little House on the Prairie.

                                               Dad, enjoying the fire after having built it.

       Me.  I had to jump on the wood that i couldn't break with my knee or one foot.

It doesn't show me breaking through it, but I did.

                                       Abigail, probably getting rocks for the fire pit.

Nathan.  A little later in the day, he went "tree-jumping" where he jumped to the top of a tree from a cliff an swung like a monkey from tree to tree!  It looked really fun; I almost wanted to do it.  I wish we had some pictures of it.  He had us take videos of it with his ipod.

                                                      Zach with his dog looking cool.

Some of us went rock climbing for our hike.  It was so fun!  When we got back, we pulled out the twinkies and the chocolate cupcakes and chips and dug in.

       Zach eating a twinkie.  Look at how Prince it eyeing that yummy snack!  

  Zach again.  This one is just hilariously funny!!!  It's so cool how Mom got a flame from the fire in this one!

Well, I guess that's it.  Every time we go for our Sunday hikes, I'm reminded of the awesome wonders that God can do.  Even with just a landscape!  When we climbed to the top of the rocks, we could see everything around us.  We were surrounded by mountains close to us, valleys, dirt roads, and snow-topped mountain peaks far off.  It was amazing!

I'll probably be posting a few more Sunday Hiking posts in the future.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Skirts? Or Pants? Or Does it Matter?

A short while ago, Dad asked all of his children if there was anything that we did not agree with him on.  There was one thing in my mind, but I actually wasn't going to mention it because I think I was scared.  As far as I can remember I've always agreed with my dad on every issue that was considered important.  So, naturally, I didn't want to have to disagree with him on anything.  But the issue that's been circulating in my head has to do with women wearing pants. 

The Bible says, "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man..." -Deuteronomy 22:5.  So, I suppose the question would be: What pertains to a man?

I think if any of us were asked what it is that a man wears we would say "pants".  Or probably "jeans".  So, if that's what a man wears, should women be wearing jeans?  Or should we always wear skirts or dresses; this type of clothing definitely does not pertain a man.  So, in light of that should women be definitely on the safe side and just not wear jeans?  Or is there a big difference between men's and women's jeans?

The only argument I've heard about the difference between the two is that women's jeans are tighter.  And of course, what man in his right mind would wear a pair of tight pants?  But then we're confronted with question: Is it modest for women to wear tight jeans that show off their legs?

When approached with the argument a girl who wears pants might say that for the woman to wear pants today is no unusual thing.  And that's true.  It is very common to see ladies wearing that kind of clothing, and it's becoming more and more uncommon to see a woman in skirts or dresses in our culture.  But it wasn't always like that.  Of the 6,000 years our planet has existed women have worn dresses (or so it is assumed), and men wore the pants--up until the last 150 years.  Even then it was very unusual to see a woman wearing pants. 

Someone else might say that well, our culture has changed a lot since those days.  And, again, I'd have to agree.  The Lord's name is blasphemed more than ever, people are using corrupt versions of the Holy Scriptures, and women wear pants on a regular basis.  So, since the first two examples are definitely not good changes and the last is tied in with them in the same time table, is that a sign?  Or am I totally off here?

Lets switch courses for a bit and look at what a woman wears.  If you or I were asked, "What type of clothing does a woman wear?", what would we think?  I am almost certain that "skirts" or "dresses" would pop into our minds.  If not the first idea, then most likely it would be one of the first.  [If anyone agrees or disagrees with anything I say, please post a comment.  I'd like to know your opinion and what you have to say.] 

Now what if we were asked, "What's the difference between what men wear and what women wear?", what would we say?  Can we really say there's any difference today?  And if not then does Deuteronomy 22:5 tell us that women should not be wearing pants?  And if we can't say that, then we're implying that it doesn't apply to us in our day and age.  And how could we say that that passage doesn't apply to our generation?  If we said that, then we'd have to say that none of God's Holy Word applies to us today. 

I've been struggling with the idea of wanting to wear jeans.  I feel a little awkward sometimes because I know I "stick out" wearing my coulottes and skirts.  But as Christians, aren't we supposed to stick out from the world?  Or can we still be different from the world by wearing jeans?

I think that now I'd have to say that it's a matter of the heart.  Do we wish to glorify the Lord in everything?  Even in what we wear?  And if we do and the Lord really does only want us to wear skirts, then I suppose He could change our hearts.