Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Myth Claus

One issue seems to arise year around December. Well, it’s one of many. First, different organizations try to impose the word “holiday” over “Christmas”. Simply put, we wouldn’t have a holiday without Christmas, and around 91% of the nation celebrates Christmas specifically, according to one study, so worries that someone who celebrates Hanukkah or any other holiday would become offended is an unfounded fear. Second, a lot of Christian people become offended over the spelling of Christmas as Xmas because they feel someone is “x-ing” out Christ. In Greek Christ’s name is spelled with a character that looks like an “X”, so the spelling of Christmas as Xmas is correct and does not warrant concern. Finally, the issue I would like to discuss concerns the debate about Santa vs. Christ. As a Christian I do not understand why such a debate needs to take place. God warns us in the Bible that liars have their part in the lake of fire, in other words, do not lie, there are consequences. With this commandment realized one would think the debate would not be there, but I started to find that some Christians actually help their children foster belief in Santa Claus. I heard recently from an individual—a Christian—that she felt that belief in Santa was a good thing because it caused children to behave better. I thought, “Has Christianity become so far removed from Christ that children would behave to honor Santa instead of honoring Christ with good behavior.” Some also don’t warrant telling other people’s children that Santa is a myth. Personally, I would not go about telling children that Santa isn’t real because that would be mean and vindictive, but if a child asked me about Santa Claus or said something concerning him and expected me to respond, I would not “play the game” and spin some type of falsehood about Santa. This child's parents took the risk, like any other liar, and told their child that Santa Claus and his whimsical lifestyle existed, therefore eventually they pay the price and sadly the child gets caught in it too.

Furthermore, Saint Nicholas, the man from which Santa Claus originates, would probably become very upset with what society has done to his character. He lived a life devoted to God, and did works for the good of the people in secret so God would receive the glory. People have assigned glory to Santa Claus in his supposed ability to bring happiness and joy to children by letting him become the center of giving when the truth is he cannot offer anything to anyone. In this post I would like to tell other Christians, parents particularly, to follow God’s word, do not lie to your children to add “magic” to Christmas, and refocus the source of you ability to give presents to your children. Without Christ the Christians of bygone centuries would not have had a reason to establish a holiday, and without Christ no one would be able to experience the generosity and grace of God in sending his son to die as a man, both fully human and fully divine, to save the world from sin. That is something Santa can never offer and never will offer no matter how “nice” a person acts.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Response to Greg Lukianoff On Campus Censorship

As Greg Lukianoff pointed out in his video about the statistics of speech censorship, a person can easily see a threat to the communication of ideas. Not giving others a venue to express their thoughts, excluding the type, means not giving a venue to thought. People must learn not to become offended and learn to listen to an idea and rebut it truthfully or otherwise concede if logic does not permit rebuttal. I personally have experienced the products of the lack of proper discussion in two ways: the fear to speak and the fear of defeat. Being a college student allows me to interact with other individuals, and in one class this opportunity is most prominent; however, some students are unwilling to speak. Many occasions have arisen to speak on subjects such as race and religion that could have made for great conversation, debate, or basic discussions, but everyone, except maybe two people, were not inclined to speak. Even when discussion was mediated by an instructor about a controversial book only four out of 23 students participated in the discussions (of which I had to initiate).  I believe this is due to the public education system and its failure to properly educate by allowing freedom to fail and the risk of learning. Being a home schooled individual from 5th grade through high school, I've found this to be an issue when I interact with public schooled individuals. Along with this inability to facilitate a proper discussion in the class room, they proceed to make faulty arguments in their public lives. Though both of the situations that brought me to this realization were on-line, the point still stands that young people taught in the public school system appear more likely to fail to construct intelligent and credible arguments. They also seem to have difficulty removing emotional or personal ideas from their argument since they find their argument will be defeated if they do not interject emotion. Given all these problems, I believe that the censorship in college that Lukianoff speaks about  has risen as a result of the two prong effort of the government to filter out individual thought in high school and suppress it even further in the universities. With the sad state that most people know our public school system is in, to break the chokehold on taking the risk of learning, the freedom to fail, and the freedom of thought needs to start in the schools. Further than that, it needs to start in the home. Parents need to take responsibility and truly raise their children instead of letting the government raise them with uncontested ideas and barely there ethics. The basis of any nation is the family, and if free thought, and discussion of those thoughts, are not nurtured and taught in the home, then the schools, universities, and further on in our nation could become a “zombie land” of individuals who don’t know how to think and are not given a reason to do so.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Alternative to Truth

Since Halloween is upon us, I felt the need to comment on this "holiday". During this time of year the Church in America tends to want to water down this celebration that has very pagan roots. They have "Harvest Festivals" or "Trunk or Treat", supposedly trying to offer an alternative to the unrighteous connotations that Halloween has. Some churches even say the purpose of the celebration is to reach the community for Christ.

I take issue with this position.

Christ, in my readings and observations, never used deception to tell others about the truth of their sinfulness and His ability to save and cleanse people of this sinfulness. For the Church to say to the public, "Come! We have candy and games and a safe environment!" and in private say, "Oh, we'll capture them with the love of God once we have them absorbed in our candy and games!" is contrary to the Church's purpose. If the Church feels they need to do anything at all on Halloween other than pray for those that practice the satanic rituals associated with Halloween, they should be truthful about their purpose. Instead of displaying signs that convey, "Free Candy and Games!" they should considering displaying the message of, "Do You Want Something More Satisfying Than Candy?" Tricking people into Christianity or salvation seems childish and under-handed. If the Church is believing  in the Holy Spirit to convict people, why do they feel they need coerce them into hearing about Christianity? Why do we not invite them in and tell them we're all sinners in the eyes of God? Why we do we not tell them this same God offered an opportunity for salvation? Why do we not let the truth of the Gospel draw them in instead of candy and games? If Christians are offering Jesus as an alternative, what does that say about the truth? Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life..."(John 14:6) So if Jesus is the truth, everything else is the alternative. Halloween and it's focus on death is the alternative to life, addiction and dependence on carnal items is the alternative to dependence on God. The Church must show people that Christ is truth. He is what we're meant to have while everything else is the sad and unsatisfactory alternative.

Strive to be better.

Carmen

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Black Recession

First, I apologize for my irregularity of posts. Assuming anyone  out there is still reading of course. I've been busy with school, and nothing really worthy of the content which I would like to present on this site came to mind for me to write. However, my father recently asked me to write my recollections of my experience of going to my university's annual step show. I recieved a good response from my father's friends and colleagues, so I felt that it was appropriate to post here. Enjoy, and feel free to comment.

As my mother drove past the Siegel Center my mother, sister, and I observed a line of people that stretched down the sidewalk that led up to the door of the building. What was significant about this sight was the manner in which the females were dressed. If there were men in the line, they were barely noticeable behind the glistening, brown legs that were numerous and various in number and size. Needless to say, the women were wearing dresses with high hemlines (if hemlines existed at all) and low necklines, high heels, and their hair was either fake, colored, or both. If they did have real hair they wore it in an unruly bush (please note that some did look rather nice with their natural hair in a modest style). As the reader may have assumed, the majority of the women standing outside were black (excuse the lack of the use of the politically correct term “African-American”).




After having observed this sight from outside the building, my mother parked the car and we proceeded to head over to the building. As we trekked to the doors we saw more thighs and calves and various amounts of bare skin. When we finally arrived in the arena more of the same prevailed among the scantily clad women. Once the MC finally stepped on stage (they were at least 10 minutes late), he proceeded to tell jokes and expressed how much he loved ladies and soon mentioned, “It’s 2010 man, I hope yall are practicin’ safe sex. I hope yall are practicin’ safe sex.” The crowd proceeded to whoop and holler in agreement, then he went on to ask if the audience had gotten their HIV testing and continued to joke about going to the “cootie clinic” and the awkwardness that accompanied it. My sister later commented that if he did not love the ladies so much he would not have to worry about going to get HIV testing. In conjunction with talk of HIV testing he mentioned how going to “cootie clinic” can make someone “real religious” and said something to the effect, “You start prayin’ like ‘God, oh please, God, let it come back negative,’ and you start prayin’ in tongues like…” and he proceeded to mimic a prayer language. Of course the audience laughed, and after some comments on underage drinking and the after party, the show finally started.



Some of the step teams were very good, and the night seemed to go well until one of the step teams many people in the audience were excited about took the stage. After some mediocre stepping compared to the other teams, they disappeared off the stage as the lights went dark and sensual music started to play (some older individuals would refer to it as “sex music”) and some of the men came out with chairs. At this point I looked into the crowd since I could guess what was about to happen next, and according the volume of the crowd I guessed correctly. Soon I had to look into my lap instead of the crowd since a lesbian couple in front of my family started to engage each other in a less than appropriate way. Once the music and the crowd started to lower their volume I found the bulk of the members of the step team in a human pyramid while the others were finishing off their sensuous dances in their chairs.



Most of the events mentioned above ended up repeating in some fashion, but something caught my attention: about 87% of the people attending or working there were black. Excuse me while I continue to be politically incorrect, but blacks tend to be the first to yell “racism!” yet they segregate themselves into a immoral, tacky, and distasteful culture. As the music played in the arena they all knew the songs and sang along as I remained completely clueless at times. They stood up for The Negro National Anthem of which I had never heard of before and I’m still clueless as to its purpose. Their degradation of language, their dress, their hairstyles, their music, even their immorality they made exclusive to their race. They claim not to want to suffer racism, but they simply give the public no choice.



On a side note, since I’m a bit of music addict, the presence of melodies caused me to take great interest in the tunes being played. As I listened to organized noise that entered my auditory canals I noticed something that I did not expect. I realized some individuals who are strong advocates for solely “Christian music” and claim that rappers or R&B artists with a Christian flavor “just sound like the world” are wrong. Given I listen to or have listened to copious amounts of Christian rap over the years, I noticed while listening to the “world” that there’s a great difference between it and the Christian music sphere of the same genre. Not only is the lyrical content different, but the quality of the music has a whole different “spirit”, if I may use the term, about it. Taking note that describing something as abstract as music is difficult, I can say the feelings that the secular music offers causes the listener to perceive the sound differently which gives the music a different sound altogether.



All in all, it was an interesting cultural experience, but in the words of my sister, it was also “disgraceful.” There was a time when black people wanted to be seen with the greatest respect since for so long they were judged by their skin instead of their true worth. It seems they want to return that time since they make sure the color of their skin is indicative of who they are far as their worth is concerned. When a large majority of women in one area look like prostitutes and the few men that are present look like delinquents, then the recession of black culture as gone farther back than Donald Trump’s hairline.
 That's all for now.

Strive to be better.

Carmen

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wanting Them To Know

A few days ago I was listening to a lecture as part of the course I'm taking at BBN's Bible Institute. (http://www.bbnbi.org/) This particular course covered evangelism, and the minister told a story of a man he knew that he loved so much and wanted so badly to get saved that it made him feel as if he was going to die. I thought he was exaggerating a bit, and didn't quite understand how someone could feel that way.

Then the next day I found that one of my friends in an online art community is an atheist. Of course I was saddened by this news, but not until I tried to sleep that night did I understand what the minister was talking about. I felt as if someone had taken a knife and stuck it in my chest, and I thought I would soon perish from the pain of the blow. I had never felt so passionately or wanted so badly for someone to know Christ and come to salvation, and it hurt so much. I kept tossing and turning and praying for said individual, so I didn't get much sleep that night. Later the next day I read one of his messages since I had asked him a question about his beliefs, and he mentioned how he used to attend Christian school and the people there tended to violently make people accept the beliefs they presented. He said there were other reasons why he decided to become and atheist, but he did not feel it was necessary to mention since we did not have the same mindset.

This saddened me further to find that Christians that have the oppurtunity to share the Gospel would dare conceive the notion they would have to force the individual to do so. Christ has given us free will, hence the reason we need salvation in the first place, and the reason we can choose Christ as our saviour. Despite feeling utterly disappointed in the Christian population, I listened to my next lecture, and I found great comfort in it. The minister had experienced a situation similar to mine and explained how he still prayed and showed love to the individual that he wished to win for Christ. I feel I shall do the same. Because even though I've never met this person in the tangible world, he's terribly precious to me, and to think he would have to potential of facing eternal damnation because of something I didn't do makes me agitated.

Strive to be better.

Carmen

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Don't Forget to Slow Dance

This is a poem I recieved in a forwarded email. I usually can't stand forwarded emails because they tend to be cheesy and/or a waste of my time. This is a lovely poem; however, that was supposedly written by a young girl with cancer. I corrected some punctuation errors, and changed the format haphazardly, but you should still be able to read it and enjoy it's message. Again, this is not something written by me. I would very rarely if at all write on such a subject.

Have you ever

watched kids on a merry-go-round?

Or listened to
the rain slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?

Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down.

Don't dance so fast.

Time is short.

The music won't last.

Do you run through each day
On the fly?

When you ask "How are you?"
Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You'd better slow down.

Don't dance so fast.

Time is short.

The music won't last.

Ever told your child,
"We'll do it tomorrow"?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,
And let a good friendship die?

Cause you never had time
To call and say,"Hi"

You'd better slow down.

Don't dance so fast.

Time is short.

The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift;
Thrown away.

Life is not a race.

Do take it slower.

Hear the music
Before the song is over.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Faint Not

I wrote and delivered this sermon at the last Youth Sunday my church had. I was so glad when it came together so seamlessly as God guided me through my studies. I hope you gather from it as much as I did.



In our Christian walk it can get very difficult to actually be a Christian. This is expected; nowhere in God’s word does He say anything like “Serving Me will be easy.” In fact, many followers of Christ endured many hardships. Paul, for example gives a sort of synopsis in II Corinthians 11:23-33 of all of his sufferings:



Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labour more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent in deaths oft. . .




I won’t read the entire passage, but he goes on to describe the hunger, the beatings, the stoning, he went through. Today many Christians around the world suffer these same trials and I believe they make it through each one with constant encouragement from the Lord. He didn’t just put in his Word how to become his child and then say, “Well, good luck, see you in Heaven.” No, he gave us many words of encouragement and comfort and reasons to keep contending for the faith. II Corinthians 7:5, 6 says:



For, when we were come into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus.



That tells me that God is there to comfort us even when everything inside and outside of us is in chaos. Also, God knows it’s hard, and in his wisdom he gives us these words through Paul from I Corinthians 15:58:



Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.




You don’t work in vain church. Even during these trying times when America is falling away from the righteous principles that made it great in the first place, God is still working. According to a recent The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, an estimated 100 million unregistered Christians are living in China. What’s even more awesome about this is the fact they outnumber the 73 million members on the Communist Party in that same country. This brings me to Galatians 6:9 where Paul writes:



And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.



Judging from the article I read recently, the Christians in China are definitely laboring in well-doing. Despite their oppression in a country that considers them criminals, they still work to bring the good news of salvation to others. This verse also reminds me of a saying my mother would tell me that her father told her. “You can’t get tired.” If I complained about being sick of school and tired of this, that, and the other thing she’d say, “You can’t get tired.” As I was writing this message to bring to you all I realized how much that can apply to our Christian walk. We can’t get tired church, not when a dying world needs to hear about the liberating, infinite, true God. II Chronicles 5:7 says:



Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.



Again, you can’t get tired. You can’t let weakness over take you and whether you actually get to see it while you’re living on earth or not, you will be rewarded. In the Christian fight the end certainly justifies the means. The means being the persecution, suffering, and trials we have to go through. One last verse I would like to speak on that I believe has some very fundamental, but profound truth and encouragement. Actually, it’s my favorite verse, Romans 12:21:



Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.



I find this verse most encouraging because it basically tells me that evil can be overcome. It’s not an invincible enemy despite its prominence. Sometimes I think we forget that. In closing, church, don’t faint; don’t get tired, because you do not work in vain. Evil is not an indestructible enemy as long as you stay in prayer and stay in God’s Word.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

No Longer Silent

I cried today. My church did a medley of a puppet show and human videos. They chose the song Letters From War by Mark Schultz, and that song has always made me tear. Then they moved on to a song by Carman, of which I cannot recall the title, which caused me to bury my face in my hands and sob. This particular song was spoken word, and if you have ever heard Carman you know he has a very stirring voice when given the right background music. In this song he spoke about America and it’s fallen state, the violation of the ideals of our forefathers, and the destruction of the our country by the corrupt government and the people who support it. What I believe made me gush water from my portals of vision, because I did not know at first, was the timing of this song. This song was written and recorded somewhere in the early to mid ‘90s, yet what goes on in today’s society still echoes the reality of the evil our country is drenched in. This also caused me to realize there had been no change, and we grew worse instead of better. As I heard recently on a Christian radio talk show, “Christians are ‘wusses’.” The speaker was addressing the issue that only three percent of Americans were homosexuals, yet they have a very prominent voice in society. A caller asked how this could be, and he responded with above mentioned phrase. He continued to explain how we as Christians have become tolerant of the evil around us and take little action to fight against it. I want to change that. I do not want to be a silent Christian. I want to do as Carman’s song said and bring God back into America. He is our only hope in midst of all this turmoil. And even if things do not change, He is still “the God who is there” as Francis Schaffer has said. “Jesus gave me more than ever could’ve been expected,” as KJ-52 once wrote. And I urge you, reader, if you claim to be a child of God, to live that out. Don’t be afraid to “bow before God, stand against the evil of man, and stand in the gap.”


Strive to be heard.

><>Carmen<><

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Fear

I’m afraid. Though I feel I should not fear anything. I love art, I enjoy how drawing, photo manipulating, and singing makes me feel. Yet, when I have an opportunity to learn and to grow, I become frightened. I’m not sure why, the instructors are there to teach me so I can defeat my fear and succeed, but yet I still fear. I guess I’m so afraid of failure, so afraid of not being good enough I do not want to try at all. Sometimes I wish I did not excel anywhere so I would have nothing but greatness to reach for. I wish I had some constant supporting hand to push me forward. Then I realize I do. I have Jesus, the Lord, and the Holy Spirit. I know that sorrow lasts for a night, but joy comes in the morning. I know that I do not have a spirit of fear but one of power, of love, and of a sound mind.


Retro Satana!

Strive to be better and to defeat fear.

><>Carmen<><

Friday, May 28, 2010

And You Speak With Thunder...

When I was thinking of a title for this post, a song came to mind, the chorus specifically, for the song Fragile Breath by Todd Agnew.

And you speak with thunder and lightning
Your voice shakes the mountains; the foundations of the earth
And all I can offer is this fragile breath
And with each one I'll praise you
With each one I'll praise you more.

Oh, how I wish I could make that true, but at least I can try. Excuse the use of present tense in this post since I wrote it around 1:30 AM.

There’s a thunderstorm going on outside. Now and then the lights would flicker as the thunder clashed or the lightning flashed. I prayed, “Lord, please don’t let the lights go out.” Since I was doing something I felt was important and didn’t want to lose power. Then I began to think, what if what I’m doing right now isn’t very important? What if God sent this thunderstorm just to remind me to think of Him, and spare him a few seconds in my busy and distracted mind? Well, it worked. Looking at all the news regarding my country, the people in it, and the people I know, I can easily lose hope. I wonder where all the good has gone, and why we fail to treat evil as we once did. This thunderstorm reminds me of God’s overwhelming power, his inability to be controlled or predicted, and His overall sovereignty in every place and situation. This rampage of water, light, and sound remind me that my God still lives, he still loves, and he still judges. He has been merciful enough to open my eyes to the truth, and the ability to pray for the boldness to open others’ eyes. I thank him for that, and for keeping the lights on.


Switching gears for a moment, depending on who you are, you may or may not know that I will graduate from high school soon, and if you have read my past posts you know that I ask for your support in my various endeavors to gain funds for my journey through college. Well, my new venture is online surveys. I’ve always disliked them, but even though I’m hunting/applying for scholarships and contests, I still feel like I’m not doing enough. Therefore, I’ve starting taking surveys and have successfully earned $7.20 across two different sites. I’m currently registered to four sites. This information is being provided to ask you to check out one of the survey sites I belong to. I earn money from the site when someone joins after they click on my referral link. It costs you absolutely nothing but your time and you will lend me a hand in gaining funds to put toward college. Enough of my rambling, here’s the link:

http://www.tryvindale.com/V4gb6DEN

Well, I think that’s it for now.

Strive to be better.

><>Carmen<><

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Insert Interesting Title About Grace Here

I’m not one that commonly writes about grace, more specifically the grace of God or His mercy if you will. Seeing as I have not been blogging my thoughts very long, I can say I’ve never written exclusively about grace or mercy. I find that authors that do write about grace have gone through some amazing, life-altering experience where the grace of God and the vastness of His mercy made themselves evident in whatever situation he or she went through. I could say that has never happened to me, but then I recall the day I accepted Christ as my Saviour and His grace gave me a second life and his mercies appear new every morning when I “mess up” again. Once I grasped that concept my mind wandered to a conversation my family had during dinner (yes, I will think of something profound then simple, I’m rather mentally disorganized that way) when my father had read on the internet about teenagers participating in some sort of sex act in class while others recorded it. This review of my father’s information led me to ponder some lyrics of a song by a Christian rapper, Lecrae, that read as follows:


But then some say "How can God exist when

All this evil stuff in the world keep persistin'?

Wrong question. Ask again.

"How come God ain't' let you feel the wrath from sin? "

What you thought last night deserved a first class flight

To Hell where God doesn't dwell. You got that right

But He bought back life, on a cross that night

Christ died, you ain't know that he crossed that price?

I then began to think that maybe those adolescents are not being, excuse my hyperbole, struck down with lightning because of God’s grace and patience in waiting for people like me or people like you, who may proclaim to be a Christian, to reach these young individuals for Christ. My thoughts wander to my friend who left this world by the hands of a murderer. I had never met her in person on account she lived in Canada, but her precious, sweet spirit could have even be felt across the internet. She had knowledge beyond her years, talent, determination, and a zeal for God. She once described herself as a goofball, a follower of Christ, and a bad listener who tries. One has to wonder how people like her have to die so unpleasantly, not that any physical death is pleasant, but for her to leave this world does not quite make sense. Then I remember grace, I remember her mother being comforted by a song lyric that reads, “it is not death to die…” I remember mercy, I remember my other friend saying that our dear, departed companion could look down from Heaven and say “Hah! I got here first!” I remember Krystal Meyers singing, “Baby, that’s the beauty of grace…”

Strive to be better.


Carmen

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Do "Good"

Sometimes I find myself trying to understand evil. I supposed it’s because I see it as a problem and like any problem one must first understand it in order to solve it. Yet with evil there is another problem, for it is nearly incomprehensible. I am aware I live in a fallen world, yet I am surprised by how depraved man is, or was, or will become. I am aware that the state the Earth is not what was originally planned by the great Creator. Still I ponder, and tinker, and turn over the concept of “evil” in my mind. Evil exists, but for me there is no clear reason “why”, yet I know the reason. Why do we feel drawn to darkness? Why do I still feel the need understand why it is dark? It seems like an endless cycle my mind refuses to let me rupture. No matter how much I know Adam and Eve introduced the aspect of “sin” into the world, or how much I know that my life could be worse without the grace of God, I still wonder why evil “is”. I still wonder why it seems so prevalent, yet I know the answer to that too. One apostle wrote, “Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” Now the Bible is inspired by God, so essentially God said that, and He wouldn’t tell us mere mortals to do something we have the incapability of doing. Maybe I should stop wondering and just overcome. Maybe I could wonder how good could be more prevalent. Maybe I could just start doing “good”.


Speaking of doing “good”, my friend has entered an essay contest. Please read her short essay as it is very good, and vote for her to win here:

http://www.ecoteachcontest.com/inadequate-or-catalystic.html

Thank you for voting, and reading.

Strive to be better. Do “good”.

><>Carmen<><

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Are You Moved?

Recently a missionary came to the church I attend. He and his rather pregnant wife spoke to us about the work they do in Laos and how much they believe in their calling to do work there for the Lord. Eventually they showed us a short film on the area, the people there, and how the Lord is working there. After watching the film the missionary said, “Wow, I just get choked up every time I see that.” When someone like him says something like that I try to decide whether to feel guilty or not. When I watched the video and saw the country I thought, “Wow, that’s a beautiful setting.” Then I saw the people and where they lived and I thought, “I wonder what they’re life is like.” “What are their daily activities?” Buddhist children were shown in their traditional garments and participating in some sort of ritual and I proceeded to think, “I wonder what that symbolizes.” “What’s the significance of the color of their garments and the way they’re wrapped?” “Oh boy, are those little children adorable.” That thought process commonly takes place for me when I see such scenes. I do not cry or choke. I’m not “moved” Small bodies and malnourished children do not stir up a fire of a raging evangelistic spirit. I do not know why. I wish I could feel that way, but I do not. Though when I see the wealthy woman who believes her life revolves around her appearance, or a man of high standing who believes his stock holdings will hold his future, I choke. That moves me. Seeing such successful people without Christ, and depending on “things” to make them happy, comfort them, protect them, and further them in the world makes me want to cry. I am pained to think of these people who have everything and nothing at the same time will live and die a pointless life. Worst of all, they stand out of my reach. At least it seems that way.

Strive to be better.

Carmen

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Something Different

Hello readers that may or may not exist. I'm in a rather whimsical mood right now, so I felt the need to post something comical and personal. As you know I don't often enter blog entries too directly related to my life, but my friend suggested I blog this:

Me:You know, I use the 'E" key so much on my keyboard, that it's almost comepletely gone now.


John: hahaha

John: what do you type that has "E" in it so much?

Me: I have no idea. All I know is it's the only letter that's nearest to being worn away.

John: lol

John: that's funny

Me: Hehe, I should write an ode. "Oh "E" how have I typed thee? Why hast thy form worn thin? Why hast thy lettering grown thin? What abuse hast thou endured to be so removed from my keyboard? Oh "E" I wish too say sorry, for you missing from my keyboard would make me worry."
'Tis a small excerpt from one of our conversations. For having come up with that rhyme so suddenly, I surprised myself. Though I do rather enjoy writing. Writing poems is a wonderful past time, though you may never see them here, I'm rather protective of my writings.

That's it for now I guess. Something short, sweet, and light should do.

Strive to be better.

><>Carmen<><

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dire Times

Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt - The Pray In Jesus Name Project / Homepage

Whom ever reads this, I ask you to go to this link. Please pay to fax the petition to our Congress members and Senators to not pass the mislabeled "Employment Non-Discrimination Act". Even if you're not a Christian, or belong to any particular religion, think of the innocent children of this nation. This bill would allow men to enter women's bathrooms (and I believe vice versa), that opens up the possibility for rape, abuse, and all kinds of sexually deviant behaviour. Children could be physically, emotionally, and spiritually scarred for life. This is what our action now determines. If you have children, or know others who have children, think of them, this is for their sakes. Please don't submit them to this. Preserve their innocence.

Strive to be better.

Carmen

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Joy In Rejection

I said practically at the beginning of this blog that I wasn’t going to talk about my life much. I’m not one to ramble about myself, but this bit has purpose. Yesterday I received a letter from the art school I applied to some months back. I really feel the call on my life to be a fashion designer, and promote modesty in women’s clothing. If that turns out not being my direction, I want to find some way to glorify God through my art and let others see his glory too. Needless to say, I did not get accepted into the school. I knew I probably would not be accepted since copious numbers of students apply every year, and many of them are far more talented than I am. My family and I had been praying a very long time for me to be accepted and go to college, but as I was thinking on my rejection, I started to realize it must be in God’s plan too. My application was very rushed, almost forced. I was scrambling to complete my portfolio and gather all the materials I needed to apply. If I had been accepted, then I would be rushing to acquire my driving license (I’m 18, but I still have my Learners’ Permit), and rushing to prepare for college right out of high school. All this time I was operating on my time schedule. When I found out I had not been accepted it was like God telling me, “Wait, this is what I want to do; you operate on My schedule.” I found comfort in knowing an almighty God has my life set up already for me, but what saddened me was I totally forgot that. I took for granted that he would provide what I wanted when I wanted it instead of waiting for Him to give me what I need when I need it. At this point I’m practically thankful I was not accepted. Now I have close to a year to practice, grow, and improve my academics and artistry for the next window of opportunity the Lord provides me with. He also knew that this would be the perfect moment to teach me this lesson, since I would never forget how happy I was to be rejected from a school.


As always, strive to be better.

Carmen

Saturday, March 27, 2010

In Light of Things...

Hello. Sometimes I wonder why I keep writing, since now I know no one's reading. I guess I'm kind of hoping that someone will stumble upon this humble blog and be. . . inspired? I'm not sure, anyways. This particular post is meant mainly for promoting anyways, but I do urge you to continue reading.

The link I'm about to post is to a wonderful article concerning God and the recent bill passed by our government. I found it very uplifting and, at the time, very good guide for me personally. I suggest you read it.
http://www.russellmoore.com/2010/03/22/dont-be-afraid/

Also, I recently aquired a book I pre-ordered from Amazon.com that I'm currently reading that I rather enjoy. It's called Stuff Christians Like by a blogger named Jonathan Acuff, or Jon Acuff if you will. He's a wonderful Christian satire writer, and I really think you'll enjoy the book. Feel free to look into it.

Also, he has a blog that started his endeavor to write and sell a book. You can go to stuffchristianslike.net and read if you will.

I think that's it.

Strive to be better.

Carmen

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tell Someone

Hello readers, assuming I have any, I hope you're having a lovely day. If not, I hope to brighten it a little.

Last Sunday my youth leader asked us to speak to at least one person about Jesus. I said I'd try, keeping in mind that I rarely see anyone other than my family seeing as I'm homeschooled and all the people I speak to most frequently are Christians. So since, as I suspected, I wouldn't see anyone I could really talk to about Jesus really needed to hear, I thought I'd tell you.

So, to whom ever reads this, I want you to know that there is a man named Jesus, the son of God, that loves you. He died so that you would not have to pay for your wrong doings, your sin, in this life, and He came back to life to give you a chance of salvation and eternal life with Him. He doesn't care what you've done in the past, all He wants is for you to accept Him as your Savior and serve him with righteous living and spreading the message of His perfect and impartial love. Motivation? Eternal life. What some people will neglect to tell you though is that the moment you give your life to Him, the harder it gets, but I assure you, it's worth it. To know you have an everlasting friend, Savior, and life-line, far exceeds the chance of ridicule, persecution, or hardships.

He outlines how to live and more in a book inspired by Him called the Bible, it's practically the instruction book for life and is more applicable than any book ever written as far as I'm concerned.

Feel free to consult it, or send me a comment I'll be more than happy to help you learn more about my Saviour, and how he can be yours too.

Strive to be better.

Carmen

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sitting Rocks and Hand Holders

Well, here I am again, entering text into the infinite space of the internet. I still have no idea if anyone reads these words, but if you do, I thank you.

Recently, I had flipped open my Bible after my regular devotions and randomly thumbed through the books. I suggest doing so now and again. You never know what you’ll land on or how applicable it could be. Sometimes I secretly hope I’ll get a life-changing revelation from just opening it up and reading the chapter I first lay eyes on. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything life-changing or supernaturally applicable to my life right now, but it was life-affirming. I opened up to Exodus, chapter 17, in which Moses follows the Lord’s instruction to strike a rock to provide his people with water, also they enter into a battle with Amalek. During this battle Moses held up his hand and the people of Israel prevailed against Amalek, but when he lowered his hand the people of the Amalek prevailed. Naturally, he kept Moses kept his hands in the air and eventually Moses’ arms got tired (he was human you know) but what got me was Aaron and Hur brought him a rock to sit on and held up his arms until the end of the battle. After thinking about that for awhile, it started to look like an illustration of what God will do for us when we serve Him. It gave me confidence that as long as I live in his will, he will send an “Aaron” or a “Hur” or both, to come and hold up my arms and give me a place to sit, so righteousness can prevail.

Strive to be better.

Carmen

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Important

Even though I’m sure not many people have decided to spare their time to read this small blog, I am here to enter another post. To be honest I don’t have much to say. Instead of rambling about my life I would like to put something thoughtful into what I write, but I’m not—well, now that I think of it, here’s something. I met a girl recently through one of the social networking sites used by my online school. One of my other friends told me I should talk to her, so I did. I introduced myself, then she replied and introduced herself and asked, “What are the three most important things about you?” That caught me off guard. I’m important? Someone I don’t know instantly assumed there was something important about me for me to tell them? It didn’t make any sense, and at first I wasn’t sure how to respond. I came up with this:

Three most important things about me? Wow, I've never thought anything about
myself was particular important. *thinks* I might have to sleep on that. Heh,
from right off the top of my head I'll say I love to love people, I like making
people happy, and I like how I can show people how I see the world through my
art. Do those count?


After I replying to her I couldn’t help thinking why would anyone assume there was something important about me? I’m not the smartest, the most talented, and certainly not the most attractive person, so how was that a relevant question? Well, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. There has to be something important about me since God put me on this Earth. Something worthwhile must be in store since one of my parents’ friends prophesied the birth of my sister and me. But when someone else asks you that, someone human, it surprises you. It surprised me. I guess I came face to face with the belief that I don’t really believe I’m special. Even though I have all these plans, I don’t really think they’ll come about. And most of the time I really think that my being here doesn’t make a difference. Oh well, I guess I just have more things to sort out.

Strive to be better.

Carmen

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Small Promotion

Sorry I haven't posted recently, assuming that someone is upset about that. Sadly, I can't write much right now, but I would like to point out a few things and do a little promoting.

First, I really enjoy reading a blog by a man named Jon Acuff. Go to http://www.stuffchristianslike.net and read his entries. He's hilarious and very insightful. I urge you to preorder the book he recently wrote from Amazon.com called Stuff Christians Like. *hint* Feel free to use the widget on the side bare *hint*

I would also ask that you would vote for his brother in one of Pepsi's contests. He is trying to win the $5,000 dollars to clean up East Nashville and promote a better and stronger community through it's restoration. Please vote for him and help him win the money here: http://www.refresheverything.com/cleaneast

Um, that's alot less than recall planning to write, but that's really all I have to say. I hope the write something a little more substantial later.

Thanks for reading!

Strive to be better.

Carmen

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Day of What Color?

Well, as many know, today or yesterday (I really should write during the day so I don’t have my times confused) is/was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. To be completely honest I wasn’t aware of this fact until someone told me on Sunday, since he was asking me if I were to get out of school on that day of which I did not. With this fact in mind, some other acquaintances and friends of mine were discussing the significance of the day and the hardships America had to overcome in the fight against racism. In the conversation someone mentioned the Holocaust and the prejudice against the Jews. Then others chimed in with the racism against Romas (gypsies) in Europe. At one point one of the students I know for a fact is a sort of freedom fighter for everyone bond by anything stepped up on her soap box about the issue. This particular person I’m sure would have been a conductor on the Underground Railroad, marched on Washington, and helped every Jew possible escape the tyranny of Hitler. Though this discussion was all well and good I realized that someone could tell me the dirtiest racial joke, make the most obvious racial slurs, or apply the worst of stereotypes to me or anyone else and I would really not give it a second thought. But when people try to lecture or take a strong stand against racism and proclaim their views, that’s what makes me upset. That emotion that overcomes a person right before they burst with anger seeps into me and builds and I’m not completely sure why. I’m not racist, in fact I agreed with most of what my friends said. After a discussion with my mother I thought that maybe I felt those emotions because I didn’t think they could speak as they did after not going through or experiencing major bouts of racism for themselves. On my own I discovered that I probably got upset because I disagreed with their statement that America has overcome a lot of racism. I feel the most prominent indicator that America is still very racist is the election of President Obama. A lot of black individuals voted for him simply because of the color of his skin, not his character, which goes against the very idea that Martin Luther King Jr. held so dearly. On the other hand some white individuals voted for him because of the “guilt” they supposedly felt for what happened to the black population in America years ago. Though they should have understood that it was not them that enslaved black people but those that were in the past. All is new now, and race should be the last thing people are focused on when assigning the President to office or even hiring a janitor. Who will do the best work? Who is trustworthy? What have other people said about this man or woman’s actions or traits? Those are the questions people should be asking and what we should be judging people on.

Again, just my thoughts.

Strive to be better.

><>Carmen<><

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Post of Purpose

Bonjour! I have actually decided to use this site for blogging. I will occasionally use it to promote any projects I’m doing, but otherwise, my thoughts and ramblings will occupy this site on a rather regular basis. At least, I’ll try to keep it up regularly.


If you’re reading this and you don’t know me, this is your chance to learn of my existence. I won’t bore you with the details of my life, but rather let my life as I tell it introduce you to who I am.So, here it is, my first blog post of much more meaning that its predecessors. Since it is Saturday (well it was Saturday) I observe the Sabbath (no, I’m not Jewish), and on this day I find myself thinking in great quantities, thought I do that on a regular basis also. In my thoughts, I analyzed a situation I recently experienced on a forum I am part of. I won’t get into the details for they are too many and too upsetting to cover, but I learned that no matter what you do, no matter what you say, someone will always be offended. Now, the offense isn’t what necessarily made this situation unpleasant, but rather the way it was handled. In many situations such as this, the person offended often wants everyone to believe his or her viewpoint is the only correct one and if you don’t have this viewpoint you should be verbally murdered or converted. Also, in these cases the offender also believes his ideas are correct, and unless he didn’t mean any harm and was stating his opinion, he is ready to go to the proverbial slaughter for his ideas.

Instead of trying to slit each others’ throats in attempt to make the other believe what he or sheis saying is the right idea, I would love see them state their opinion in a calm manner and leave it open for discussion. I’ve always held to the idea that if you present an idea with facts, and in a calm, but confident, manner, others will be willing to accept it as your idea and either further discuss it to find out more about it, or leave it be. For example, I am a vegetarian, more specifically, a lacto-ovo pescetarian . Such title simply means I am a vegetarian that will it fish and milk or egg products. When I tell people such, I tell them why I do it and what prompted me to do so. After such explanation, the listener can either inquire further or change the subject. Some other vegetarians will do the same, but add “Because I can’t stand to kill a poor innocent chicken, how could you do so?” Many variations exist to statements such as the one previously mentioned, but doesn’t it irk you? Does it make you feel and think about all the people whose livelihood depends on the production of meat? This is where the offense enters and starts a riot. Soon an argument may break out. But this brings us to another point: Don’t get offended. I know that sounds impossible, but think about it. If you simply replied with, “Well, I have no problem eating meat, but if that’s the lifestyle you’ve chosen, I’m glad you’re happy with that.” Then smile. They’ll never see it coming, and they’ll never know what to say. If you did want to alter their thinking, do so in a calm matter by simply asking more questions about what they believe and truly understanding them before making assumptions and starting arguments. I truly believe if more people applied this method we could live a little more peaceably with others. But those are my thoughts.

If you’ve made it this far, I commend you for reading my inner meditations and taking them to heart. I hope you’ll be willing to read more of my mental dealings in the future. I may regularly update this blog on Fridays, but that can be subject to change. On a different note, assuming you’re still reading, I very much enjoy creating various kinds of art. If that interests you, I suggest you check my online gallery on Deviant Art here: http://missvirginia.deviantart.com/

All the other links that I have promoted are still accessible on this blog, such as my store, so feel free to go to those places too.


I hope you’ll return to “read my mind”, but I will say farewell. Ou au revoir!

Live to Die.


><>Carmen<><