Midweek Music: Willows Waltz

I very much enjoy listening to folksy, Irish-y and fiddle music. Lately I’ve been listening to this song and other Irish-y inspired songs while I am working on homework and it helps soothe my mind, ease stress, and sometimes even work faster.  :) 

What kind of music do you listen to when you work? 

I like this quote I found on Pinterest one day: 

Art is how we decorate space. Music is how we decorate silence. 

Paradoxes in American Society

I’ve noticed some paradoxes in American society and in the popular culture around the world. There are catch phrases that are used ad nauseam like “be yourself”, which are employed by psychologists, fashion experts, business advisers, sociologists and all the rest, to encourage people to have a “positive self image” and to find their “niche”. But these concepts/slogans are increasingly used in many churches today. Christians are not supposed to follow the trends or “wise words” of the world. 

I will address some of these slogans and explain why/when I find them paradoxical, and how we should look at them in a Biblical way. 

“Be Yourself”

It basically means someone can wear, act or do whatever they feel comfortable with, or what fits their style, even if it looks ugly, weird or eccentric- because that defines who they are. This is especially applied to fashion. People are encouraged to act however they want and not be inhibited by other people.

The paradox: 

  • Most people actually do their best to fit into the crowd- even in church! They feel embarrassed to stand out. 
  • They say “be yourself” but most people actually go along with the trends in clothing, fashion, diets, shopping choices.
  • And if someone is actually “being his/herself” in a positive way- like a Christian girl who wants to dress modestly or wears skirts most of the time, she is frowned upon or given quizzical stares because she is not dressing or acting like the crowd. 
  • Anyone who wants to live a godly lifestyle, listen to godly music instead of mainstream Christian rock, doesn’t watch certain movies, doesn’t read certain books, or does certain activities like everyone else, will immediately be labeled as odd.
  • What happened to the great concept of “being yourself”? Only certain people can “be themselves”? Only those who are approved by society or by a certain church?

    What the Bible says:
     Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. (Eph. 5:1-2). Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Cor 6:19-20).

“Speak Your Mind”

This usually means telling people straight to their face what you think. It’s especially used to encourage individuals to express themselves, and to challenge someone when that person is wrong or mistaken.

The paradox:

  • Most people never challenge a person who is in authority even if what that person is saying is false or wrong. People get intimidated and they overlook bad mistakes or lies done by famous, rich, educated or powerful men, instead of confronting those men. 
  • Even if the professor, or scientist, or the man with a PhD or the pastor in church says something that is biased or wrong, most people swallow what they say and no one confronts their sin or wrong. Why? What happened to being free to speak your mind without regard to status? What happened to speaking truth?
  • Yet on the other hand, when a brother or sister in church confronts someone about a problem or sin, that Christian is “being judgmental” and that Christian is not allowed to “speak their mind”.

What the Bible says: Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ (Ephesians 4:15).
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)

“Get out of Your Comfort Zone”

This usually implies being flexible to schedule changes, new places, uncomfortable accommodations. It also implies being friendly with new people, taking the initiative to welcome others, etc. In other instances, it means to step up to the challenge and work in difficult circumstances or do something you’ve never done before. 

The paradox:

  • Many people quote this catch phrase get out of your comfort zone only when it is convenient for them in reference to something “adventurous” and exciting they would enjoy doing. But when it comes to really getting out of their comfort zone most people prefer to stay in their comfortable bubble, stay in their clique of friends, never make an effort to find out details about a new person in church, or the lonely old lady, or busy mother with children who never really get to talk to anybody.
  • Most people do not want to be made uncomfortable.
  • Most people get upset when plans change.
  • Most people don’t like initiating conversations with someone who looks lonely, do not enjoy serving others unless it brings them some recognition or benefit.
  • Most people do not enjoy digging deeper in Scripture to be challenged by God’s Word, instead they prefer devotionals. 
  • And yet, all of these things in this list are ways to “get out of your comfort zone”, which most people avoid 

What the Bible says: Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity (1 Timothy 4:12).
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24).

 

Have you noticed any of these things in churches today? Or among your peers? 

Update: Bodnariu family case in Norway + Global Protest!

Then Hannah prayed and said:
“My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.” (1 Samuel 2:1)

This picture is one of the happiest sights in a long time! It swells my heart with great joy and makes my eyes water! What a mighty deliverance the Lord has done- He answered so many prayers of this heartbroken family and hundreds of thousands of supporters!

The Bodnariu family who lives in Norway had their five children (ages 11 years to 4 months) literally abducted from them with no legitimate reason by the “Child Protective Services” in November 2015. If you are not familiar with the story you can read the previous post: In Norway it is a Crime to Sing! 

After many, many months, the CPS has finally relented slightly, and allowed the youngest baby to return to his parents, the Bodnarius. You can tell the traumatized parents are simply radiating with joy to have their baby returned! 

Norwegian Couple Whose Children were seized over Christian upbringing reunited with infant 

But the battle is not done! This small act by the CPS is just the beginning of what they have to continue-    to give the rest of the 4 children back to their parents where they belong. And the thousands of supporters will not stop until justice is fully done! Continue to pray. Also, there will be a global protest held on April 16th, 2016

USA

1. Chicago, Illinois – 11:00 AM
Location: Daily Plaza Downtown, 50 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/495218790678729/

2. Atlanta, Georgia – 10:00 AM
Location: 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain, GA
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/246876708994324/

3. Boise, Idaho – 2:00 PM
Location: Idaho State Capital Building, 700 W Jefferson Street Boise, Idaho 83720

4. Charlotte, North Carolina(waiting for approval)

5. Detroit, Michigan – 2:00 PM
Location: Hart Plaza, 1 Nelson Mandela Dr, Detroit, MI 48226

6. Hollywood, Florida – 10:00 PM (waiting for approval)
Location: Circle Plaza, Hollywood, FL

7. Honolulu, Hawaiiwill follow

8. Houston, Texaswill follow

9. Los Angeles, California – 10:00 AM
Location: Federal Building West, 11000 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles 90024

10. New York, NY – 11:00 AM
Location: Norwegian Consulate, 825 3rd Ave, New York

11. Phoenix, Arizona – 10:00 AM
Location: Cesar Chavez Plaza, 201 W. Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85003

12. Portland, Oregon – 10:00 AM
Location: Director Park, 815 SW Park Ave., Portland, OR 97205
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1668298920101621/

13. Sacramento, California – 11:00 AM
Location: Capitol Building- West Side, 1315 10th St, Sacramento, CA 95814

14. Seattle, Washington – 9:00 AM
Location: 401 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101

15. Saint Louis, Missouri – 1:00 PM
Location: Poelker Park, 1200 Chestnut Street, Saint Louis, MO 63103

16. Hot Springs, Arkansas – (waiting for approval)

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CANADA

1. Calgary, Canada – 1:00 PM
Location: Husky Bulding, 707 8 Ave SW, Calgary

2. Ottawa, Canada – 1:00 PM
Location: Norwegian Embassy, 150 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, ONTARIO, K2P 1P1
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1708091726135132/

3. Toronto, Canada – 11:30 AM
Location: Legislative Assembly of Ontario, 111 Wellesley St W, Toronto, ON M7A 1A2
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1599438677045594/

4. Vancouver, Canada – 11:00 AM
Location: 1188 West Goergia, Vancouver
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/500840236767849/

————

AUSTRALIA

1. Adelaide – 1:00 PM
Location: Parliament House, North Tce, Adelaide, South Australia 5000
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/580357222127072/

2. Brisbane – 2:00 PM
Location: Queens Park. Brisbane City, Qld
Event: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1833096826917512&id=100006516361424

3. Melbourne – 9:50 AM
Location: Melbourne, Parliament, Spring Street, Melbourne, Australia 3000
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1697133673908378/

————

NEW ZEALAND

1. Hamilton – 10:00 AM
Location: Civic Square, Worley Place, Hamilton

————

ROMANIA

1. Bucharest, Romania – 11:00 AM
Location: Protest in Piata Victoriei – Mars spre Palatul Parlamentului
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1678350429086281/

2. Arad, Romania – will follow

3. Alba Iulia, Romania – will follow

4. Brasov, Romania – 1:00 PM
Location: Piata Sfatului, Brasov

5. Cluj-Napoca, Romania – 11:00 AM
Location: Piata Unirii, Cluj-Napoca

6. Hunedoara, Romania – 3:00 PM
Location: Casa de Cultura, Hunedoara
Event: http://hunedoaraevanghelica.ro/2016/03/14/hunedoara-intalnire-publica-pentru-sustinerea-familiei-bodnariu-16-aprilie-2016/

7. Petrosani, Romania – 10:00 AM
Location: Piata Victoriei, Petrosani

8. Tirgu Mures, Romania – 12:00 PM
Location: Piata Teatrului, Tirgu Mures

9. Suceava, Romania – 12:00 PM
Location: Prefectura jud. Suceava, Stefan cel Mare 36, Suceava
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/870689629719741/

10. Zalau, Romnania – 1:00 PM
Location: Platoul de Marmura, Zalau
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/795038030600898/

————

AUSTRIA

1. Vienna, Austria – 11:00 AM
Location: Österreichisches Parlament, Dr. Karl Renner-Ring 3, A-1017 Wien
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1086797474714338/permalink/1086801578047261/

2. Graz, Austria – 1:00 PM
Location: Norwegisches Konsulat, Amundsengasse 9a, 8010 Graz
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/200594893665062/

————

BELGIUM

1. Brussel, Belgium – 2:00 PM
Location: Norwegian Embassy, 000 Brussels, Belgium

————

GERMANY

1. Berlin, Germany – 4:00 PM
Location: Siegessäule – Großer Stern, Berlin
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1721199908124530/

————

HOLLAND

1. Hague, Holland – 11:00 AM
Location: Centraal Station Den Haag, Koningin Julianaplein
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1083678298370940/

————

HUNGARY

1. Budapest, Hungary – 2:00 PM
Location: 1015 Budapest Ostrom u. 13
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/471850073008730/

————

ITALY

1. Roma, Italy – 10:00 AM
Location: Piazza di Santa Prisca, Circo Massimo

2. Milano, Italy – 10:00 AM
Location: Norwegian Consulate, Via Cappucini 2, Milano
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/570366789808167/

3. Bologna, Italy – 2:00 PM
Location: Norwegian Consulate, Via del Care, Bologna
Event: https://www.facebook.com/Protest-familia-Bodnariu-1542169862749230/?ref=ts&fref=ts&__mref=message_bubble

————

IRELAND

1. Dublin, Ireland – 2:00 PM
Location: GPO, O’Connell St Lower, Dublin 1
Event: https://www.facebook.com/irelandforbodnariufamily/photos/a.1135716049773275.1073741828.1135694479775432/1171768059501407/?type=3&theater

————

NORWAY

1. Oslo, Norway – 3:00 PM
Location: Eidsvolls plass, Oslo
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/557995737703333/

2. Bergen, Norway – 1:00 PM
Location: Fishingmarked to Tårnplassen, Bergen
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1048104598568709/

3. Haugesund, Norway – 1:00 PM
Location: Haugesund, Norway
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1009314869127750/

4. Stryn, Norway – 1:00 PM
Location: Per Bolstad Plass, Stryn, Norway
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/569510503214972/

5. Vennesla, Norway – 1:00 PM
Location: Vennesla Sentrum, Norway
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1722463541305012/

————

POLAND

1. Warsaw, Poland – 11 AM
Location: Norwegian Embassy, Warszawa ul Chopina 2
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1700953840153799/

————

SCOTLAND

1. Glasgow, Scotland – 11:00 AM
Location: Royal Norwegian Consulate, 18 Woodside Cres, Glasgow G3 7UL
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1523216054640886/

————

SPAIN

1. Arganda del Rey, Spain – 1:00 PM
Location: Plaza Constitución 1, Arganda Del Rey
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1264530870231358/

2. Barcelona, Spain – 11:00 AM
Location: Plaça Catalunya, Barcelona
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/216746998681085/

3. Malaga, Spain – will follow

————

SWITZERLAND

1. Geneva, Switzerland – 3:00 PM
Location: ONU, Place Des Nations, Rue de Varembé, 2, 1202 Geneva
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1700303716908881/

————

SWEDEN

1. Stockholm, Sweden – 11:00 AM
Location: Mynttorget, 111 29 Stockholm
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1690736877809826/

————

UNITED KINGDOM

1. London, UK – 11 AM
Location: Downing Street SW1 City of Westminster
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1720079131566637/

source: bodnariufamily.org

Do Arguments Help with Ministry?

We often think of an argument as an angry disagreement, but in logic “argument” refers simply to presenting statements or reasons to support a conclusion. Some say arguments have little place in gospel ministry. They insist that we merely need to present the gospel,1 and then we should rejoice over those who accept it and depart from those who reject it. But gracious arguments have a place in advancing the Kingdom of God.2 Every dedicated Christian should practice skillful argumentation for two reasons.

The first reason is that…(Continue Reading)

Attribution to Institute for Creation Research

Resurrection Sunday

“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime”  ~Martin Luther (Reformer) 

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid;
for I know that you are looking for Jesus
who has been crucified.
He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.
Come, see the place where He was lying.”
(Matthew 28:5-6)

Oh Sweet the joy this sentence gives, I know that my Redeemer Lives!
(Hymn: Samuel Medley) 

I know that my Redeemer lives
What comfort this sweet sentence gives
He lives, He lives, who once was dead
He lives, my ever living Head.

He lives to bless me with His love
He lives to plead for me above
He lives my hungry soul to feed
He lives to help in time of need

He lives to grant me rich supply
He lives to guide me with His eye
He lives to comfort me when faint
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint

He lives to silence all my fears
He lives to wipe away my tears
He lives to calm my troubled heart
He lives all blessings to impart

He lives, my kind, wise, Heavenly Friend
He lives and loves me ’til the end
He lives, and while He lives, I’ll sing
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King

He lives and grants me daily breath
He lives, and I shall conquer death
He lives my mansion to prepare
He lives to bring me safely there

He lives, all glory to His Name
He lives, my Savior, still the same
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives
I know that my Redeemer lives

 

 

3 Enjoyable Things About Being an Older Sister + 3 Challenging Things

 

Today we have a guest post from my friend Kelly-Anne from South Africa! She is the oldest of six girls and is expecting a baby brother soon. 

—-

I love being the eldest in my family of six girls, but this role is not without its challenges…

I pray that what I have to share will be a blessing to your heart and encourage you to pursue a deeper, lasting relationship with your siblings, whether they are older or younger than you, and ultimately bring glory to God by loving and esteeming those He has placed in your life.

 

Always Time for Love…

When I think of the many young ladies in this world so desperate for love, I am humbled that the Lord would see fit to give me a life of true love…
I have gained the love and devotion of five special girls, and not a day goes by without one, two or all my sisters coming to give me a hug or to tell me they love and appreciate me…this is something I’m especially thankful for!

 

A Special Place…

As the eldest, I have a definite place within our family.  This is a grave responsibility, but it is incredibly special too.  I know I’m needed, just as I need my sisters. My sisters accept me for who I am, pray that God would continue to work in my heart, and love me unconditionally.  I can’t describe the immense joy this gives me…

 

Always a Friend…

Could I ask for anything more wonderful than a friend around me each moment of the day? True, it isn’t always all sunshine and happiness, but despite the fact that my sisters are all younger than I am, we all get along very well and enjoy being around one another…  We are always striving to draw closer together.

 

Of course, there will always be challenges in every situation we find ourselves in during our lives.  But I firmly believe that when we stop and count our many blessings and shift our focus, we will realise that the things we struggle with are only temporary – relationships last much longer…

 

Responsibility…

The responsibility that comes with being an older sibling can be overwhelming at times. My sisters look up to and admire me, and I realise what a weight I carry on my shoulders – I am their role model, and how I live my life will greatly influence them in the choices they make.  This is not something I take lightly.

 

Practice Makes Patience…

Having younger children around is a wonderful way to develop the virtues you lack in your character…  For me, it is patience, and what better way to develop a gentle and quiet spirit than on a daily basis when confronted with situations that require the utmost patience!

 

Lose the Selfishness!

Most days I am available for anyone who should need me and I love this part of my life…but often it can be frustrating when sitting down to write or sew and a younger sister runs in to ask me to help her with something or other. In life there will always be interruptions, and I know that the sooner I accept and embrace this, the happier and more contented I will be in my calling.

I learn a vast deal from my sisters by simply interacting with them.  These experiences will greatly aid us in our lives as adults, and hopefully stand us in good stead in our future relationships. 

I pray that we will continue to draw closer to one another, build each other up and love unconditionally …

The joys far outweigh the challenges, and I couldn’t think of a more lasting, meaningful role I would rather be in.

—-

About Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood Blog

My name is Kelly-Anne, and I am a eighteen year old daughter of the Most High King; saved by His grace and captured by His love.
It is my ambition to lead a life that would bring glory and honour to His wondrous name, and testify to His amazing goodness.

I am a big sister to six sweet girls, happily home-educated and enjoying my life as a homemaker-in training and stay-at-home daughter.
Every day brings about new challenges for me to conquer and new situations in which I may grow in my walk with the Lord… I believe He is preparing me, just as He is preparing every young woman determined to serving Him in her girlhood years, for something more beautiful than I could ever hope to imagine…

 

How would you complete it?

And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Oh, these days! It seems each of our lives are defined by one word: busy.  It’s a word that can rob us of true fellowship, of spending time in prayer, of meditating on the Word of God.  I find myself sighing at times, thinking of “the good old days” when I was little and had no concept of time, and everything seemed less stressful because busy was not something I had to deal with. It’s good to be busy in a good way- but we must never allow it to take away time from being in the presence of Christ, or spending quality time with believers. Nowadays I always make a conscious effort to pray on my prayer list, to memorize Scripture and keep in touch with sisters in Christ, because if I don’t other things will quickly replace that time. Reading the Word every day is my anchor. 

So in an attempt to stir up some fellowship with you, I would like each of you readers to share somehting-  like we did in the past. Comment and complete each sentence below with things from your own life. I hope this will build us all up in small but significant ways. 

I would define this season in my life as…

A verse that encourages me lately is…

Something special that has happened recently is…

One way I want to bless someone this week is…

I like it when I see…

An interesting book or article that I read recently is…

This year I hope to…

The best thing that happened to me this month is…

A person that inspires me is…

One person or lesson in Scripture I want to learn more about is…

This summer I hope to…

I get competitive when…

The best thing I like about this blog is…