Do Not Merely Exist BLESSED SINGLENESS + FORSAKING IT ALL SAIL THE HIGH SEAS + BIBLE MAN ARMOR

17 Again

March 29, 2010

You could call me unconventional, a late bloomer, a tight-wad, or whatever you want for just now watching this movie, but the only thing I can say is that I don't go to movie theaters.

They've become way too expensive, and what are we truly paying for? A possibly lame movie that looked awesome in the previews? The gobs of butter on the pop corn? The amount of filth we sit and stand in? Yuck!

Not that I have anything against that experience...the gum on the bottom of my shoe, the slimy, greasy arm rests, the crumb infested chairs and dirty floors.... It's all fun, but if I really wanted to sit down, relax and watch a movie, I'd do it in the comfort of my own home. So,  that's why I wait until the movie has come out on DVD to watch it. Less expensive that way.

I had my doubts about 17 Again. I wasn't particularly thrilled that Zac Efron was in the movie (not that I don't like him...because I do!). I was just afraid that he would be singing and prancing around like he does in the High school Musical series. And I wasn't in the mood to hear another high-pitched serenade from a happy-go-lucky guy formerly known as Troy Bolton.

Yeah, I am not a fan of the High School Musical movies. Musicals get on my nerves, with the exception of The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, and State Fair.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there was absolutely no singing in this movie. Because it's Zac Efron's 1st non-singing performance. OK, OK, I'll stop being mean and opinionated and skip to the facts. Got a little carried away, sorry. :)

:::Cast & Crew:::
Starring: Zac Efron, Leslie Mann, Matthew Perry, Thomas Lennon, Michelle Trachtenberg, Tyler Steelman, Sterling Knight
Director: Burr Steers
Producer: Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot
Screenwriter: Jason Filardi

:::Details:::
Moral Rating: (4 starts)
Movie making Quality: Average, though the acting was great!
Primary Audience: Teens, Adult
Genre: Comedy
Length: 1 hr. 42 min.
Year of Release: 2009
USA Release: April 17, 2009
DVD: August 11, 2009
Violence: Mild
Profanity: Moderate
Sex/Nudity: Mild


:::Review:::

17 Again is truly a heart warming movie to watch. It reminded me of the movie What a Wonderful Life  to a certain extent. At the beginning of the movie, the Adult Mike O’Donnell (played by Matthew Perry) is a typical looser. His kids don't like him and he really messed up his marriage. His boss has overlooked him for a long overdue promotion, and he knows life could have been better for him if he had gone to college with a basketball scholarship, instead of marrying his pregnant girlfriend.

20 years down the road Mike O’Donnell is living with his friend Ned (who's a real geek), as Mike goes through a divorce. When he returns to the high school of his glory days, a janitor asks him if he wishes he could be "17 again". Mike strongly wishes he could. That night after meeting the janitor, Mike falls through a vortex and finds himself seventeen all over again.

The beginning of the movie does start out rather week, and I was afraid it was going to be a dud, but as the movie progressed, the momentum eventually picked up into a funny, charming movie! I was hooked. Zac Efron delivers an excellent and most convincing performance as a father trapped in a teen’s body. The chemistry between him and Leslie Mann was wonderful (though a little odd), but it worked since their scenes together were vital, and since they had to display a connection between the younger Mike and his wife.

The movie is rated PG-13 because it does contain some offensive content, such as the Lord's name is profaned occasionally throughout the film, some low-cut attire, discussions about sex, and at the end of the film, there is a unmarried couple shown in bed together. Also, Mike’s daughter Maggie is always kissing her slime-ball of a boyfriend, who eventually dumps her because she said no to having sex with him. The daughter didn't seems to think her decision was the best, but it does provide a good ice breaker for parents who want to discuss this issue with their own teens.

I have two favorite scene in the movie. One was during the sexual education class. The teacher defies the abstinence policy by passing out condoms saying that seniors are very unlikely to remain abstinent. Mike makes an impassioned speech about "waiting until marriage". After the speech, some students even begin returning the condoms except for, of course, Maggie’s slimy boyfriend who practically takes the whole basket. And another scene was when Mike Gold (played by Zac Efron) talks to his "daughter" about how valuable she is and that her decision to refrain from sex was a very good thing. He goes on to tell her how one day she will find the perfect guy who will treat her the way she deserves to be treated. The sincerity in this scene was phenomenal!

Even though Mike blamed his wife for his current life. He eventually realizes that his decisions and his life were not that bad; it was his negative perception that prohibited him from seeing the good in his life. It goes to show that "Whenever something seemingly bad happens perhaps we should change our own perception and view those times as a training ground to become better soldiers for Christ" (Christian Answers.net).



Photobucket

The Lost get Found...Synopsis

March 28, 2010

Ever feel that you were here on earth for a purpose, that you had a mission to accomplish, but didn't know what that purpose or mission was? Have you ever felt so passionate about the Lord and felt the urge to share His word and everlasting Love? Did you ever do it? Did you share his love? Or was something holding you back? Pride? Fear? Shame? Did you feel less than qualified?

Did you ever get the feeling that you were meant to make a difference, whether it was in the lives of millions or just one? Is it possible that God would gives us only one person to love, lead and protect, but at the same time, use our ministry as a way to not only effect the life of one, but change the lives of the people around us we never meant to reach?

Life is like a box of chocolates, it's impossible to predict which one you will get. Meaning, life isn't the same for everyone. No one has the same experiences, the same joy, love and desires as the person next to them. Some have more ambition than others, more determination and happiness. But that's what makes us unique and special to God.

In the Lost Get Found, a freshman in high-school and a member of the Cheer Squad, Natalie Steel, learns that it's not always easy going against the flow. She discovers the importance of standing up for what she believes in, the importance of friendship, and her identity as she goes through the journey of a lifetime-- an experience she, as a 15 year old, would have thought impossible for her age. Her journey, mission, and purpose was to befriend a smart, yet lonely, emotional and self-conscious Rachel Raymond--a girl that lived with her Grandmother, because her father was in jail and her other was a Meth addict.

Through this journey, Natalie learns that anything is possible if you put your trust and faith in God. Even if it seems impossible, nothing is ever impossible with God. Even thought Natalie was scorned, ridiculed and had become a social outcast because of her views and what she stood for, she realized that it was so easy to get caught up in the lime-light, the popularity, and the keeping up with the latest fashion of the social crowd at school, that it becomes all-to-easy to loose sight of what's truly important-- not only that, but it prohibits people from being a light in a dark world. People have a purpose, a contagious energy that flows through them and if they let their fire burn out, how effective can they be to a person who so desperately wants to be saved, wants to be found and wants to know the way, but can't seem to do it without help?

Natalie discovers that everyone needs a reason to believe, not just Christians, it's what keeps them motivated, alive and determined to make a difference, a change and live their life to the fullest. During her journey, Natalie often asks herself, "why don't more people rise up? Why are people so afraid to stand out?"

In the end, Natalie finds out that taking a leap of faith and persevering when things seem hopeless, is exactly how the lost get found and it's up to us, the Body of Christ to show them the way. To be a light in the dark world, when all the lights fade.

Natalie Grant

March 26, 2010

Natalie Grant is one of my all-time favorite female artists. She's exceptionally beautiful, has a melodious voice and real zeal for the Lord. She's most definitely an inspiration to all young girls who are looking for upbeat and encouraging music that helps to spark that connection and desire to grow closer to the Lord! Some of my utmost favorite and loved songs are from this amazing woman, like I Will Not Be Moved, The Real Me, and Our Hope Endures.


"I have dreamed in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind." ~ Emily Bronte, British Novelist and Poet 1818-1848.


Natalie Grant hasn't always been the famous Christian starlet we know and love, in fact, she used to be a 17 year old girl who composed music for the youth choir at her church in Seattle, WA. She felt the desire to create music that was relevant to her generation, something everyone could relate to. Natalie Grant was just like the rest of the girls-- a normal and average teen trying to serve her God faithfully and wholeheartedly.


However, she had a dream, and the way God decided to use Natalie Grant was anything but normal— it was a beautiful destiny, a lifelong pursuit and challenge to live out her faith. When she heard the group The Truth perform, she felt motivated and lead to audition. She landed a spot in the group and performed and toured with the group for two years. Then she made her way to Nashville, TN, in pursuit of a solo career.


Over the years Natalie Grant has worked hard to attain and maintain her singing career and gained prominence, including four consecutive Dove Awards for best female artist with her signature song, "Held". She currently lives in Nashville, TN with her husband Bernie Herms and two beautiful daughters: Grace Ana and Isabella Noelle.


From the beginning of her career to the present, Grant has produced seven wonderful records: Natalie Grant (1999), Stronger (2001), Deeper Life (2003), Worship with Natalie Grant and Friends (2004), Awaken (2005), Believe (2005), and Relentless (2008).

As stated on her site, Natalie Grant is, indeed, "A powerhouse vocalist, heart-gripping songwriter and charismatic performer". she’s eager to push boundaries—sonically, lyrically and otherwise—and she more than proves her intentions with Relentless, her seventh album and first studio recording in nearly three years.

The music Natalie Grant produces isn't just something an ordinary person could write on the whim. She possesses real talent and is an inspiration to a generation that need motivation to persevere in a world blinded by darkness. What an amazing woman, a beautiful sister in Christ!






















Photobucket

The Change of Traditional American Culture

March 25, 2010


American culture and tradition had, indeed, changed remarkably since the birth of the nation. The result of the Revolutionary was freedom, an independent country, a place where people were able to make their own law and live their life by their own rules. The Industrial Revolution transformed American society, politics and the economy.


With the Civil War and the threat of a divided country looming over the nation, men died for a cause dear to them. Through this war came the freedom of African Americans, the promise of a better future for the oppressed and a stronger, more unified nation. With the arrival of immigrants from all over the world, American traditions were infused with the ethnicity, as well as racial prejudice, of a multitude of racial backgrounds, such as Slovakians, Irish, German, Polish and Italian.


All of these periods of American history have served a purpose in developing a unique society and culture. A land where individuals represent an independent, free, and determined nation, a nation that represents power, strength and hope.


These documents show the changes for women, as changes that were most unpleasant to the male society. In the Lynd’s article, they mention that large illustrated advertisements wrote lines, such as—“Girls! You will learn how to handle ‘em!!”, and “Is it true that marriage kills love? If you want to know what love really means, its exquisite torture, its overwhelming raptures…”—boasting that love is not something women want to submerse themselves in (6640-A).


In a sense, those advertisement lines probably discouraged many women from falling in love and marring. It disfigures their romantic notions of love, happiness, and being married. Instead of presenting young unmarried women with the positive aspects of marriage, those advertisements snippets depict marriage as if women were bound in bondage for the rest of their lives. It poses the question to many women as to what reason were there to give up their freedom to be some man’s bondservant?


The two documents, Middletown: A Study in American Culture and Woman and the New Race, depicts women as rebels; going against everything they had been taught as little girls— that woman was supposed to be devoted to her husbands, to be faithful to their womanly duties, to be submissive and to always obey. However, times were changing, women were becoming more independent, and this in turn caused problems. People were skeptical as to whether or not a woman was fit to be her own ruler, make her own decisions and be her own person. Sanger states that it was a “revolt of women against sex servitude” (664-A). Women were tired of being suppressed. They wanted freedom as much as any white or black man did.


However, this new breed of woman was unlike past generations where women were content to stay at home and take care of the household. Women who wanted the same rights and equality as men slowly upset the social balance that had been set in place since the beginning of America. The progression of the social stature in American culture throttled women’s progress. Womanhood, motherhood, the very essence of being a moral and supportive structure in the home had slowly declined and had become a generation with no morals or sense of respect or decency. Woman and the New Race states that women had unknowingly created “slums, filling asylums with insane”, replenished “the ranks of the prostitutes”, “planned deliberately to achieve this tragic total of human waste and misery”, and “could hardly have done it more effectively” (644-A).


In the 1920s, the American Birth Control League (ABCL), today known as Planned Parenthood was founded by Margaret Sanger. In a time when women had no control over their bodies, organizations, such as the ABCL allowed women to experience a small taste of what it was like to be their own person and control their own bodies. The Equal Rights Amendment was introduced to Congress in 1923 and stated that, “Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction”. This amendment made all forms of discrimination based on sex, however, the Amendment never passed in Congress. The Equal Rights Amendment was an attempt to make way for women’s equality, as well as give them the ability to control their persons. During WWI, while the men were at war over seas, “Pink Collared” jobs were given to women. It gave them a taste of hard labor offered at low wages, because minimum wage for a woman was considered unconstitutional, it violated the right to freedom of contract.


Similar to the 1920s, the 1960s was the second wave of activism. Women in the 1960s were, just like the woman in the 1920s, fighting for quality. They were fighting for their rights as citizens of American, to be able to have their own personal freedom. This second wave of activism was also caused by the sexual revolution, which had been sparked by the development of the birth-control pill. In 1966, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded with the goal of bringing equality for all women, much like the Equal Rights Amendment.


Elaborating on what Margaret Sanger and the Equal Rights Amendment had originally started in the early 1920s, NOW worked on eliminating prejudice and persecution towards women in the workplace, schools, and the justice system. The organization fought to secure abortion, birth control and reproductive rights for all women. It also strived to end all forms of violence against women, and wanted to abolish racism, sexism and homophobia. The National Organization for Women also supported equality and justice in the American society.


In addition to the fact that the National Organization for Women supported women’s rights, in1963 the Equal Pay Act was introduced to Congress as the first federal law eliminating sexual inequity by abolishing wage differences based on sex. Women were ready to spread their wings, they were ready for equality, and as stated by Betty Friedan, “The problem that has no name–which is simply the fact that American women are kept from growing to their full human capacities–[was and] is taking a far greater toll on the physical and mental health of our country than any known disease”.


Before the right to vote in 1919, married women did not exist in the eyes of the law, they were not allowed to vote, they were required to submit to laws and had absolutely no voice in their development. Married women also had no property rights; their husbands had legal power over their wives, as well as being responsible for their wives to the extent that they controlled every aspect of their lives. In a divorce, the child custody laws were in favor of the husband because he was financially stable, giving no rights to the mother of the child. In addition, women were not permitted to partake in the affairs of the church and were constantly discouraged, and robbed of their confidence and sense of worth, and were made totally dependent on men.


Women wanted change and not just in the political arena, but in family life, in religion, in employment, and in education. The wanted to partake in the development of their country and play a part in the grander scheme of things instead of staying at home cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids and catering to their husbands. Women wanted to feel like they were contributing to the family. They wanted the freedom to express their individuality without fearing what their husbands might do or society might think.


During a time when woman had won the right to vote and were struggling to gain equality in a man’s world, consumerism dominated the 1920s. In the Sunday Traffic Jam cars are lined up for miles behind each other, and not because they were out or a Sunday drive. It is clear to see that there was an abundance of cars driven by a multitude of consumers who owned Model T Fords, “Automobile ownership was within the reach of all but the very poor in the mid-1920s” (656). Because they could buy now, pay later, many people put their large purchases on credit and would pay off their dept weekly. In the RCA ad for the “finest radio receiver design”, it becomes evident that advertising was more than just a means of putting the product out there for others to simply see. It was a way of letting consumers know, in a condensed, easy to read, sincere and repetitive way that a certain business provided the best product on the market! Both images present viewers with the sense that buying had become more of a “pleasurable” past time, than a necessity.


People began buying for the sake of buying and were living beyond their means, “During the 1920’s, Americans began to borrow for a new purpose—so they could live more pleasantly. They went into debt neither to increase their income nor to provide their families a home, but to consume” (Conlin, 656). And that’s exactly what they were doing. People were no longer buying out of necessity, but going into dept in order to live a life bought on credit, for sheer pleasure.


In the 1920s, the country experienced a surprising economic boom. With this enormous economic boom, the outlook of America shifted and people began receiving higher wages. The result of the higher wages was a sudden increase of spending. This was a one hundred and eighty degree turn around from where American workers had been only a few years before. People were experiencing a major flow in cash and people were buying products left and right.


However, the rural southern states did not get to enjoy in the riches with the rest of the country. Coal miners and textile workers with “their dependants suffered depressed conditions and wages…”, these members of society were unable to buy the luxury items, such as cars, vacuum cleaners, and canned food (658). Many were still without electricity and “lagged far behind the rest of the country in income and standard of living” (658).


There are many ways that advertising preyed on people’s fears and insecurities. In an advertisement for Listerine Antiseptic mouth wash in the 1920s, an elderly woman was depicted as attractive, yet expressively sad as she sat “in a darkened parlor poring over old letters and a photograph album” (657). The ad stated that when she was young the woman was in love and was being courted by a Nashville boy. However, she never married and Listerine made note that her “‘halitosis’—bad breath—was the source of the woman’s life-destroying tragedy” (657). This Listerine ad played on the fears of youthful women. If they didn’t want to lose their bow, then they had to freshen their breath with mouthwash, if not, then they would end up a lonely old-maid, “You never know” (657).


Advertisements still preys on people today. Car insurance, house insurance, and life insurance prey on the people who have no control over what happens in life. They “have” to be prepared, so insurance makes sure that they are ready for whatever comes along. There are natural cleaning product advertisements that prey on people who are partial to nature, telling them that going green saves the earth and that if they clean with harmful chemicals, the contribute to the destruction of the earth, making views feel guilty. The number of ways advertisements prey on consumers is endless. They usually have a very good plot and emotional appeal, and have the ability to get their point across while snagging the viewers and getting them to listen.


The 1920s was a different breed of Americans. Women were beginning to realize their potential, the desire to attain rights equal to men, and the desire to contribute more to the family than just doing normal household duties. Along with women attaining the right to vote and still struggling to gain equality, consumerism reached an all time high in the 1920s, an incredible feat considering that only a few years prior to the 1920s, people were struggling to make ends meat. Since the beginning of America to the “Roaring twenties” many things had changed: social, governmental and economic development had been achieved, new technological advancements had played a remarkable role in the progression of the nation’s power, and women had begun to make their mark upon the fertile American soil.


This was an essay I wrote for History class on Women's Sufferage/rights and Consumerism in the 1920s. If anything seemed a little confusing, it's probably due the fact that each paragraph is an answer to a question that I had to put into an essay format.  


Conlin, Joseph R. The American Past. Thomas Wadsworth Edu. 2009. Mar 28, 2010.

Every Girl Should Embroider

March 15, 2010

I think every girl should learn to embroider. Embroidery is an art done by hand, needle and thread, to produce a picture of perfection and beauty. Girls in the 18th century Colonial America and Europe did their embroidery on samplers in order to show their stitching, work that took young girls in the colonial era years to complete.

When they were finished with their samplers, they were satisfied and very pleased with their accomplishments. Girls today can experience the same satisfaction. Creating a piece of art by hand with a needle and thread is very rewarding. Embroidery allows you to be creative and express yourself freely.

Your embroidered sampler is a work of art that expresses you and you individuality. The purpose of girls learning embroidery today is to keep this dying art alive, for girls to have a part in something beautiful, giving them something to do and of which to be proud.

Every girl needs to experience making something with their hands and in return experience the feeling of accomplishment and self-gratification. If you are interested in the study of history, pocket embroidery and creating a sampler is a great way to use your new-found talent.

Historic sites and re-enactors are always looking for hand-crafted reproductions. The embroidery adds a touch of authenticity to the re-enactors clothing. Embroidering clothes, quilts and other things such as hats and bags also open a world of possibilities.

People are always looking for was to personalize their quilts with creative designs by hand. It makes the quilt more personal that way. Clothing embroidered by hand gives clothes that Modern-Victorian look and adds a lot of style to your once-boring, outdated outfit.

Girls should learn to embroider because embroidery is way to express yourself and to allow your creativity to shine. You don’t have to be a proper, sophisticated girl to learn this skill. You just have to have the initiative, the determination, and the patience to begin embroidering. Girls should learn embroidery from their moms, grandmas and people who teach embroidery so that they may be able to pass on this dying pastime to future generations.

Journals: More than Dreams

March 11, 2010

Throughout the years girls have kept a journal; filling the pages with inspiration, creativity and support. Their purpose for keeping a journal was to record daily happenings, deep desires and convictions that they couldn't vocally express, and hopes and dreams. Did you ever think about keeping a journal worth reading again--not only by you, but by others after you?

Your Weapon of Choice

First, you need to decide where you are going to write. In a notebook? Steno pad? Blank pad? Will your paper be lined, blank, colored or a grid? Or maybe you want to use the computer.

When choosing a journal, be sure you are going to be comfortable with it--there is nothing worse than having unlined paper, especially if you are persnickety about neatness. However, if you are OK with crossing out a word here-and-there and aren't afraid of a little scribbling, then a blank pad works just fine! There are other things to consider besides neatness like: easy storage and portability. A steno pad may be easier to tote around than a notepad, plus you can choose from a wide variety of colors. But whatever type of journal you decide to use, remember this, it's the words that you put on the paper that are the real prize, not the paper itself.

A quote from Jennifer Moon (1999: 14-5):

A journal is a friend that is always there and is always a comfort. In bad moments I write, and usually end up feeling better. It reflects back to me things that I can learn about my world and myself. It represents a private space in my life, a beautiful solitude, the moments before I go to sleep just to stop and note what 'there' is about the day or about my life at the time. I think that it has enabled me to feel deeper and more established as a person, more in control and more trusting of life. On a less introverted note, I think that it contributes to my ability to write in general, and it underlies an interest in poetry and creative writing which awaits a quieter time in my life for fulfillment. In addition, I consider that journal writing is closely associated with the extensive counseling and hypnotherapy work that I have been doing over the years. It has been a support and a resource and a means of exploration, though I cannot say whether journal writing led to counselling or whether they both emerged as a result of particular traits in my personality.

Now to Begin

Staring at a blank page can be frustrating and at times discouraging when you want to say the "right" thing the "right" way. Hey, journaling doesn't have to be a routine thing and you don't have to feel like a captive while doing it either. Here are somethings you can do to make journaling a little more fun and interesting!
  • Always put the date and time on your entry page, where you are and a brief summary of your day.
  • Write about the weather and news headlines (really!)
  • Throw in how you feel physically
  • Copy down a bible verse ( one that meant something to you or one that you're puzzling over)
  • You may want to share your thoughts with God, or ask him a question ( this way your journal becomes a truly personal document and dialog. Write down a memory ( describe how you felt then, and how you feel about it now)
  • You may consider emails or letters as you write
Any of these ideas will get you started. When writing, we usually write about the things that we have an interest in, but the things that seem boring and of little recognition may, to others, be out of the ordinary. Go for it! Begin here.


Use Creativity
Keeping a journal doesn't have to be a chore. In fact, it can be rather fun if you allow yourself to be open and creative. You don't have to live with a bland journal because you think that's the way you should do it. No! You can doodle, draw and even scribble as much as you want to. A journal is personal and doesn't need to make you feel closed in and overly confidential. Spruce up your journal with some fun!

Reasons to Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal allows us to vent about friends and frustrating situations, write about daily activities, and make plans and record our dreams. You may not use a journal to write in like a diary, and that’s OK. Some girls use a journal to doodle in, write fictional stories, poems and songs, or all of the above!
Here are some reasons to write:

  • When you feel sad or unhappy and don’t feel comfortable talking to your parents about it— you can write it in your journal.
  • When you’re feeling happy—maybe you can’t find the words to verbally express your excitement.
  • When you are frustrated about something that happened earlier that day but can’t say what you’re feeling out loud
  • When you’ve experienced something memorable and want to keep that memory forever.
  • To record a dream you’ve had.
  • To state your ideas and views.
  • To express yourself through visual art
  • To write songs that were inspired by a situation you’ve been through
  • And to write fictional or nonfictional stories that may have been influenced by something good or bad in your life.

There are more reasons to write in a journal than the ones that have been listed. So don't stop there! You are your own person, you have ideas, thoughts, dreams and stories of your own that are just waiting to be written down. If you have an something to write about—even if it is silly or small in comparison—write it down! There is no wrong or right way to journal!

{tobyMac and Third Day}

March 9, 2010



{Toby Mac}




Toby McKeehan, or tobyMac is probably the most well-known Christian Artist in the history of mankind. Okay, that might be stretching it, but you have to admit, he’s got it going on. We all love him. Know every song by heart. And when we hear Diverse City, we know its Toby Mac. Then we start dancing and we can’t fight the music!


Toby Mac started his career with dcTalk. While attending Liberty University at Lynchburg, VA, in the mid-'80s,  Toby Mac met Michael Tait and Kevin Max Smith (aka Kevin Max). These three "hip" friends formed the highly influential Christian pop group dc Talk, where they mixed elements of gospel, grunge, and hip-hop into an immensely successful hybrid. However, Toby Mac then went solo when the group disbanded in 2000. He has still continued to be a successful artists and has released 5 albums: Momentum (2001), Welcome to Diverse City (2004), Portable Sounds (2007), and Tonight (2010).  He's been around for quite some time, but he has managed to keep his fans captivated with his contemporary music and authentic vibe!


Toby Mac is my favorite Christian artist along side Steven Curtis Chapman. But one reason why I like Toby Mac so much is that in every song, his energy and enthusiasm seems to rub off on you, open up your heart and let the love of God in. All of his songs are sung with passion and true love for the Lord: “It’s the truth,” he says. “I still believe that a song can penetrate a heart. I believe God can use a song to open someone’s mind and heart. Other songs can just drop what I call, ‘the joy bomb’ on somebody. I fight really hard to remain unjaded—to keep believing that you can actually walk into a studio and write a song that breathes life. That’s the hardest fight for a guy who’s been doing this for a while; it’s easy to fall into the trap of just making it your job. But I still believe that songs matter.” Amen! You can definitely feel his hope, love and passion throughout every song he sings. It's truly amazing what God does through him. To visit his web site go here.

My favorite songs from Toby Mac are: "Gone", "Made to Love", "City on our Knees", and "Atmosphere". I love the way he raps the words, so fast and trilling! But then, when you least expect it, there are soft songs. I have yet to find an artists that can song songs that you can dance to and songs that praise to all in one CD. Toby Mac has such magical songs, and the best one I've heard to date is "Atmosphere", because, has been a comfort to me. God is always there...

There are so many Christian artists who have fallen into the trap of just doing it because it's a job and not something they enjoy or something they can use to change people's lives. In an interview, Toby Mac states that: “I’ve worked very hard not to fall into the trap of making this just a gig,” he says. “If it is a labor, it’s a labor of love. I know music can’t change the world, but who says God can’t speak through a song.”



Right here, right now. TONIGHT.

.....................................

{Third Day}

Third Day, another fabulous Christian band with spectacular music and a pure sound and meaning!

Third Day is a Contemporary Christian Music and Christian rock band formed in Marietta, Georgia during the 1990s. The band was founded by lead singer Mac Powell, Mark Lee (guitarist) and former member Billy Wilkins. Other members of the band include: Tai Anderson (bassist) and David Carr (drummer). The band's name refers to the rising of Jesus Christ from the dead on the third day following his Crucifixion. To visit their web site click here.

Since Third Day's first taste of fame in 1996, the band has released a total of 14 albums: Third Day, Conspiracy No. 5, Time, Offerings: A Worship Album, Come Together, Offerings II: All I Have to Give, Wire, Live Wire, Wherever You Are, Christmas Offerings, Chronology Volume 1, Chronology Volume 2, Revelations, and Live Revelations. 


All of their CDs have a wonderful sound and an inspiring and uplifting message to them. I really like the tone of voice, it's relaxed, smooth and easy to listen to. I always get chills when they sing really high! I like most of Third Days songs, but there are 3 that I really like: "Call My Name", "This Is Who I Am", and "Slow Down". And just like Toby Mac, Third Day doesn't want to be another generic artists with no enthusiasm for their work or their Lord:

 “ You don’t want to lose that initial garage band excitement that made it fun to begin with,” Carr reflects. “We don’t want to do this if it’s just about business and some level of success that will all go by the wayside someday. We want it to be fun. It’s always about connecting with fans. That’s why popular music is what it is—because the artist is presenting something and there are people going, ‘Man, we like that,’ and there’s a connection. That’s what it’s all about, and if that’s not happening, it’s better to go do something else."

Pregnancy Pact

March 5, 2010



I was watching this really crazy show/movie on Lifetime called The Pregnancy Pact.

Yep, the name says is all...

The movie was inspired by a true story that supposedly happened at a school in Massachusetts. It was about a group of girls (5), all in their teens, who promised each other to get pregnant.

 Whew! Awkward.

Every girl wants to have a baby, that's how God made us. To want to have a baby (with your husband), to take care of it, to love it unconditionally is what girls (I mean married women) are supposed to do, be maternal. But not at a time in life when it could effect teen girls greatly: emotionally and physically.


Its obvious they were living in their own "little world". They thought that they were going to have babies, dress them up in cute little outfits, still go to school, go to the park, hang out and pretend like nothing every happened, that everything was "normal".
 
Well, if you ask me...which you didn't....but I'm going to tell you anyway because I believe that teens having sex and getting pregnant at such a ripe, young age is anything but "normal".

I mean, girls who choose to commit themselves to a pact that holds them to their promise to get pregnant is not the type of group I would want to associate with. Even if they were a group of people I've known all my life. Hello and good-by. I'll be praying for you, I still love you...you're my friend. But, I have to stay steadfast in my morals, my beliefs and in my God. Therefore, cannot submerse myself in sins of sexual immorality. I cannot submerse myself in anything, or hang out with anybody that could potentially persuade me to do something stupid!

Let's be Logical!!!!!

After a while, the girls in the movie were having second thoughts about being pregnant. They wished they had never had sex!

Amazing.

Those girls had sex thinking they were living out their ultimate goal in life--to have a baby. Instead of a bed of roses, they got a bed of thorns...they finally woke up from their fairytale dream and begin to realize...."Um, that wasn't such a good idea. It sounded good at the time, but I didn't think about the consequences!!"

That is pure evidence at the deceitful liar Satan is! He got those girls to thinking it was okay to have sex before marriage. And if they did it together nothing could go wrong. But, in the end everything did. They lost their friends, boyfriends, and their parents trust. Out of their whole shebang came tougher sex education, teaching of birth control (which is a 50-50 chance of getting pregnant) and a baby (babies are precious gifts, don't get me wrong. But they are they type of gift that should be saved for marriage, just like sex).

Choosing to get pregnant and tricking a guy to have sex with you so you can have a baby (and how is that even possible--don't ask me!) is morally wrong on so many levels.Getting pregnant has changed the lives of so many girls and guys. Some may argue that it was for the best. But those emotions are only skin deep, there are deeper, more painful emotions deep down. God knows their hearts.  

NOTE: I am not condemning any teen mother on the choices she had made. I am not trying to make them feel less than perfect, worthless and the scum of the earth. Because they aren't! If that was the case, we'd all be scum of the earth! People make mistakes, get lost, but they can be found! God is forgiving. And he can wipe the slate clean. All they need is to believe that Jesus was the son of God! It's just appalling that girls would promise to get pregnant together. Why they choose to do that is beyond me. All we can do is pray for teen mothers and love them minus the sin.

The Twilight Obsession: Fans vs. Critics

March 1, 2010

Twilight haters are becoming just as bad as Twilight fans! I don’t like Twilight (I’ve never seen it, but I am fed up with its popularity and the crazy fans), however I am no Twilight hater; I do respect people’s opinions and am not trying to insult any Twilight fan.


The Army of Anti-Twilighters vs. the crazy obsessed Twilight fans has gone out of control. In my opinion, both of these groups need to grow up and stop bashing each other—do they not have anything better to do? I mean, common, it’s just a book!


If they think Twilight is a good book, then they might want to read a well written book that doesn’t overuses adjectives, take words completely out of context and actually develops the characters to their utmost potential, then they might want to try reading a book that will get them thinking like intellectuals and back into reality such as Last of the Mohicans, The Scarlet Letter, 1984, and Grapes of Wrath—instead of fictional vampires that “sparkle” like Edward Cullen in Twilight.


People need to wake up and smell the coffee—there is more to life than a romance between a mortal and a vampire.


From my experience with some of my friends (who are die-hard Twilight fans) I have noticed that it turns young girls into drooling robots bent on finding a vampire that will control them and smother them into having utterly no life and no friends. Twilight is a move with periods of gradual decline followed by full development, achievement, glory, etc. I have to say, it honestly does not allure me.

Twilight is a movie with forbidden love as the main theme. From a Christian point of view, this movie is not one that I would want to see. And the book is not one that I would want to read either. I can’t understand peoples' reasoning when they rant and rave that Twilight is the “best book ever!”


Or that the movie was completely amazing..."Edwards was "like" so Hot!" It seems to me that fans are so obsessed with Twilight that human decency flies out the window, as they go around cursing and slapping people who do not like the movie, haven’t read the book, etc.


The problem is that people have become obsessed with this unrealistic standard presented by a fictional character who defies the laws of what vampires are: blood sucking demons serving Satan—the father of deceit.


People who are overly obsessed with this whole series need to lighten up and understand that Twilight is just a movie and a book. The problem with this is that people have their minds so wrapped up in this crazy fiction, they can’t even see reality.


People against Twilight need to get a grip and stop pestering the Twilight fans as well as the countless others, who do not like Twilight, but have the decency to respect the people who do. I am tired of hearing the hatred towards this group and well as the other way around.


 If they [Anti-Twilighters] want to get the point across that Twilight is a bad book (and I agree that it is), they should do it in a more civilized manner without verbal abuse— which is immature—without insulting and cursing, or physical abuse by slapping, hitting, etc (this goes for Twilight fans as well).


If people do not agree with the message that Twilight presents to their children, then  they shouldn't let them read it!


If they are sick of hearing their obsessed friends chatter about how “hot” Edward is, then they should switch the conversation or walk away! If their tired of watching the commercials that present Twilight as the best movie of all-times, then they should change the channel! It’s that simple!


Why can’t people see that Twilight is just a book littered with fictional characters that struggle with the desire to drink human blood, have social issues in school and get super hairy at times?


This just goes to show that there is a major decline in the value of a good, educational book. And the fact that people's desire to read and educate themselves with real literature is becoming less obvious and less important.


Books that have meaning, promote intellectual conversation, thinking and reasoning have gone out the door and have been replaced with books, like Twilight, that turn youth into drooling zombies mumbling the words EDWARD CULLEN IS HOT.


People who actually value a good book are too far in between, and that’s just sad.

So, in closing, Twilight fans and non-fans need to understand that fighting over something so dumb isn’t worth the time or the energy.
Leviticus 19:17 says this “Do not hate your neighbor [or any other person] in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt.” 
Sooner or later this whole crazy, meaningless quarrel over Twilight is going to come back and bite them in the rear—what goes around comes around. This is the reason I choose not to stand on either side of this disagreement—but with God, whom I look to when I need discernment and help. He is my wise counsel. There is none greater.

P.S. I am entitled to my views. If you disagree with me, I am totally fine with it as long as you present your views in a respectable way. That means NO foul language. Express your thoughts in a mature, Christian like way! I hope to hear from you all on this issue!