The ordinary adventure

I was going traveling on an adventure! I packed my bags for the trip I was going to take. I took all the supplies I needed. I made sure to get my backpack, had all the books, and essentials such as water, lunch, pens, pencils, papers, my cell phone, some altoid mints, and other miscellaneous items.

I was running a little late, but I hurried to do my hair, pulled my shoes on and rushed to the car.

I looked at the gas level as I revved up the engine. Half full. That should be okay to get me to my destination.

After a quick prayer for protection I was on my way!

It was summer, a hot and a lazy day. People all going their merry little way. The miles sped under my tires, and the warm wind blew in my face through the open window.

I knew the way to this place quite well. I had been there many times before, but that didn’t stop me from going back. In fact, I had to go back.

After awhile, I saw it on the horizon. In a few minutes I would be there.

When I arrived, I joined many other adventurers like myself. We were all going to the same place, but we all had different reasons for going there. Despite our varied backgrounds, most of us had packed the same, lugging backpacks after us, because we would all need similar supplies on our journey.

The adventurers and I generally had an idea of what awaited us on this day, but some were probably more worried than others because sometimes there could be hurdles in the way…hurdles that required you to prepare in advance for them in order to keep going on your journey.

This place had several buildings. Some trees, benches, tables, restaurants, stairs… it was quite expansive.

I entered a building along with several other people who were on the same journey. There were leaders in front who had materials to give us and guide us along to reach our destination.

It was going to be quite a long journey…but I had already come such a long way, I would be there soon!

~The End~

Can you guess where my traveling adventure was?

My thoughts in little letters

Dear Independence Day:

I can’t wait to celebrate! You’re my favorite day in July and one of the best day of summer.
I love my country, I love showing my patriotism
and remembering the beginnings of the best nation on Earth!

Dear Summer:

I’m glad you’re here. You’re welcome to overstay your visit actually.
There are so many reasons why I like you:
longer days, fun outside activities, ice cream, more time to read new books…just to name a few.

Dear Fifa World Cup:

I’m not that much into soccer, but this time we kept up with who’s playing against who
(thanks to Google).
There’s something odd going on this year.
Lots of unlikely European countries are scoring wins,
and a lot of the soccer crazy Latin or South American countries are getting beat.
What’s going on? Did anyone else notice this?
But I’m proud of my USA for winning against Ghana! Woot! May you soundly beat Germany next!
(Sorry, I had to say that).

Dear publishing houses:

I would like a steady, free supply of my favorite books to write reviews on.
As a poor college student I can’t afford to buy all my favorite books,
so this is a great alternative to continue expanding my library.
I promise I do a good and enthusiastic job reviewing books I love. I’m a good investment. 😉

Dear ICR:

 I just got July’s edition of Acts & Facts in the mail!
When will ya’ll make some bumper stickers with the “Your Origins Matter” logo?
I want one for my car.

Dear blog friends:

Thanks for regularly visiting! You’re great.
I wish I could gather you up from all the corners of the world
and have a tea party  coffee & dessert party with you and chat away.

Young Ladies at Crossroads: Should You Stay at Home or Attend College?

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And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. 
Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 
Colossians 3:23-24

She was a young lady now, ready to launch out. Fresh out of highschool, capable, enthusiastic, and eager to live out her full potential in life- to fulfill her purpose. Her future was bright, there were so many opportunities, so many pathways that she could choose! Yet here she was, at a crucial point in her life and there were life-changing decisions to make…but which was the right one? What was God’s will for her life? Should she become a stay at home daughter and learn homemaking? Should she pursue further education and get a degree? Should she become a missionary? Which was her calling? Could it be a combination of two things? Should she go along with the trends and do what other girls her age were doing? How could she know what was God’s will without making a mistake? 

If you are a young lady, you probably can see yourself described in the little paragraph above. Many of us have been at this crossroads, and some of you are maybe at this point in your life right now. You’re young, and recently graduated from homeschooling or high school, or will graduate soon. It’s exciting and a little frightening too. Everyone’s asking you the big question:

“So, what are you going to do now? What do you plan to study or work?”

This topic has been discussed and debated on many blogs that I visit. It’s the major question:

Should a young lady stay at home? Or should she attend College? 

I’ve often thought about this question and discussed it with my family and siblings. But I thought I’d write a post and it would give us all food for thought.

Some people are of the opinion that all girls should stay at home after high school. They should learn to be a homemaker, and take care of a family, cultivate skills that she will use as a wife. Others say girls should go to school, get a degree or have a career no matter what. Others think the right thing to do is become a missionary. And pretty strong debates arise from these topics.

I say none of these convictions are bad. All have a valid reasoning behind them, but they must be put in perspective of God’s Word and our current real-life circumstances. Each family is different, each family has a unique calling, lifestyle, and different personalities, financial situation, and location area etc. So what works for one family might not work for another family.

I am not referring to certain Biblical standards and convictions that all Christian families should hold. Those are important and should be applied by everyone. We can all learn from other families who are a godly example, and we should strive to be well equipped (2 Timothy 2:15), to deal with many aspects in life, ranging from defending the faith, to learning theology, to being up to date on many contemporary issues in churches and families are dealing with.

So how do we know what to do? What choices to make? The bottom line we have to remember is this. It doesn’t matter where you are: whether at home or at college. What is important is to be in God’s will, to be where God wants you to be. If God wants you home, that’s where you should be. If God has a purpose for you in going to college, that’s exactly where you’re supposed to be. Don’t let others tell you what to do. When you are fulfilling God’s purpose for you, you are doing the right thing, whether it be going to school or staying at home. Neither makes you more righteous. God has different callings for different people. This applies both to young men and young ladies. Some are called to be doctors or nurses for example. Some people can do ministry on university campuses as a professor, others can minister to those in the military, to high officials and important people, while others are called to stay at home. We need godly people in all kinds of positions to spread the Gospel. 

Of course I am not arguing for the feminist concept of wives always working instead of the husband. But I am saying if the circumstances of some families requires the woman to work part time or get a degree before she is a mother, it is not un-Biblical or condemn-able.

There are many examples in the Bible of people who fulfilled the role God called them to in ways that probably were not expected by other people. Queen Esther was apparently an ordinary Jewish girl, but God then placed her in a position of Queen “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). Daniel was a young man in Israel but then served a king as a wise man, being “ten times wiser than the magicians and enchanters” (Daniel 1:20). Lydia was a businesswoman, “a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira” (Acts 16:14).

Whether you stay at home or go to college, or become a missionary, the most important thing is first to find out what ministry God wants you to do in your little corner of the world.

Maybe you want to be a missionary. You can’t wait for God to send you to an unreached people group. But have you thought of being a local missionary? Have you ever prayed for your neighbors? The cashiers at your local grocery store? The mailman? Have you ever prayed for the people in the cars all around you when you drive on the freeway? The families you meet at the park when you go for a walk? The fields are ripe all around you! We tend to think of mission work as that beyond our borders…but there are so many people right here, in your own neighborhood, in your own town and city who need the Gospel. Sometimes you can’t give Gospel tracts to everyone…but you can pray for the people you see and ask God to reveal Himself to them as they go about their life.

My main point is to live for the Lord wherever you are, and make sure you are in His will. For some people He will call them to get a degree before they become a stay at home mother. For others He may allow them to become missionaries first.  Whatever His calling is in your life- do it.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Share your comments below.

Part II Coming Soon with Related Topic: “How do you find out God’s will for your life? How to equip yourself to stand strong in your faith and counteract worldly influences whether you’re at home or in college.” 

Answering my own questions

After launching out the “Interview a Blogger” Challenge, many of the participants requested that I also answer my own challenge!
So here goes.

What is your favorite hymn?

This is a really hard question for me, because I have a lot of favorites. A few are:  I Sing the Mighty Power of God, And Can It Be, Come Christians Join to Sing, We’re Marching to Zion, Come Thou Almighty King… just to name a few.

What do you consider to be the most difficult book of the Bible? Why?

Ah, I think it would be Job because of the indescribable suffering, the book of Romans because of the heavy duty theological content that must be properly understood, and Revelation. These are very rich books that require a lot of diligent study, which is why they can be difficult for a lot of Christians, I think.

A character trait you most admire in people?

Another really hard question. Why did I even ask? There are a lot of traits that I think are important. A top one would be humbleness, being down-to-earth. Endurance. Courage. Another would be faithfulness/loyalty. Also joy, a sense of humor, and love. Sorry, that was more than one…but I just can’t pinpoint one single character trait I really value.

What do you like most about your family?

I like that we do almost everything together, we’re flexible, and we sing.

What do you wish you could do more of?

I wish I could have more time to draw, write more, sing more, play my instruments, and blog more…learn new things, learn more from God’s Word, and travel to new places. This summer is a very busy one, a lot of projects and jobs to complete. But hopefully I’ll get to do a few of these, pretty please dear Lord?

Favorite author and book?

Whew, this one is nearly impossible to answer. I can’t name a favorite author. Some favorite books would be “The Road to Unafraid” by Jeff Struecker, “Hostage Lands” by Douglas Bond, Little House on the Prairie Series, Caddie Woodlawn etc. etc. etc.

Do you prefer active/outdoor activities or creative/indoor activities?

Both. I like a lot of sports, one of which is running. I also like being creative.

Do you keep a journal/diary?

Yes, a journal. I write down events and days which were special to me or important. I write about the ways God works in my life. I love looking back and seeing how I changed, how God answered prayers, how He’s been faithful. I treasure those memories.

What is your favorite healthy food or recipe (ex: blueberries)?

I’ll have to limit myself to just one this time. Grapefruits.

Do you think music is neutral or does it have an influence on those who listen?

Music is not neutral. It can never be. Like one participant pointed out, just look at movies. The background music really sets the mood for the movie and influences people’s emotions. In sad scenes there are slow and melancholic melodies that make you cry, in action scenes you hear really upbeat music that keeps you on the edge of your seat, in dramatic scenes you have majestic music….I doubt you heard a rock or heavy metal song as a wedding march, or at a funeral. So yes, that is one simple argument that shows music is not neutral. There has been much research on the topic too. One authority on the topic is Tim Fisher who did much research and wrote many books on rock music, one of which is “Noise in the Camp“. There are many other resources out there that show rock and Christian rock music is just not neutral and have a bad influence on people. Hmm, maybe I should write a post on this.
Which historical person (besides Biblical characters) do you most admire?

Many righteous saints, missionaries, and hymn writers like Isaac Watts, George Washington, Martin Luther, a whole host of people that would be too many to name.

What do you like best about blogging?

Writing, sharing valuable information from God’s Word and other interests, connecting with like-minded people and making friends, discovering new ideas, having a ministry online.

 

Looking for something to Read? Part 2

Finally, you get to read Part 2 of books that I review! If you liked Part 1 of this series, you will enjoy this post too. I’m always on the lookout for new books, so share the love and don’t hesitate to let me know about some of your favorite titles in the comment section below, just like I’m sharing books that I enjoy with you!

looking for something to read

Compact Bible Handbook

To all my friends reading this post, if you don’t already have this book, earnestly plan on buying it! 🙂 This is a very handy book to have alongside your Bible as you do your devotions! It is a must have for all who are serious about their knowledge of the Bible and growing deeper in their understanding of the historical background of the Scriptures. The size of the book is really practical, easy to stow and carry along in your purse. For each book of the Bible you are given:

Key Words
Key Verses
Authorship and Date
Historical Setting
An organized Outline of the whole book with verse references

And my personal favorite…they include a chart that visually organizes each book and has a timeline that places the events of the book in perspective at a glance. Shh, here’s a little secret. You can take this book with you at church, and during the preaching, check if your pastor has the correct context and making the correct applications, connections from the chapter/book he is preaching on!
Just saying, it’s good to check, you know?

Snow Treasure

It’s a fictional story based on some events that probably took place in WWII. It is staged in Norway, and details the daring and patriotic risks that some children took to protect their country during those dark times. There’s some mystery to it, and detective work, and all in all it keeps you reading! Fun for all ages I would say! The lessons learned are those of sacrifice, integrity, patriotism, and making the right choices when it’s hard.

Genetic Roulette

The title really tells the gist of the book. For anyone who wants to be an informed consumer, interested in nutrition, healthy eating, who cares about their health and protecting themselves from scientific experiments…this book is for you! It tells you what you didn’t know about GMO foods. If you don’t have patience reading this type of book, there’s also a documentary with the same title that you can watch. You can check if your local library carries it.

A Father’s Promise

This is a historical fiction from Bob Jones University, the story of a young Polish Jew boy. I liked this book, the characters, and the plot. Adventurous, and even scary at times. I enjoy reading books that have a realistic plot to them- giving them a flavor of a biography instead of historical fiction. The lessons that can be learned in this book are about obedience, courage, hope, and trust. It’s a touching story. Boys and girls alike can enjoy it.

Bridge to America

This is such a well-written book! It really flows and has style to it. Have you ever watched the An American Tail the story of Fievel the mouse? Well, this is the real Fievel boy and a semi-fictionalized version (based on the true story) of how he came to America, the hardships he and his family endured, and the joy of getting the chance at a new life. This book brought tears to my eyes. A must read! I would give copies of this book to all my friends who like reading, had I the money to afford it. 🙂

Hostage Lands

If you enjoy reading about ancient Rome, or the Celts, you’ll surely love this book!  I read it and could hardly put it down. It is like watching a movie- really captivating, and very realistic characters and dialog. I felt immersed in the action, as if I were the main character or a shadow following the person in the story. I wish it were a whole series. The first chapter was a little bit “dry” and made me think the story would be boring, but if you follow it after the first chapter, and the story unfolds, you’ll not want to stop reading! It’s one of those books that makes you miss the characters when you’re done reading, because you feel like they were real people.

The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques 

If you like practical tips and natural, tested housekeeping techniques, you will enjoy this book. Teaches you how to make your own cleaning products and re-use stuff etc. If you like being frugal, this is also a plus. I would rate this book about 3 or 4 stars out of 5. This is because although it has some practical tips, a few of them I don’t find very useful for my own use since I”m not that “country”, some recipes I can find in other books too. But I it gives neat information on the sidelines and shows you how much you will save, and how you can protect yourself from bad chemicals, statistics etc. So, all the home-makers out there may want to check this out from the library or purchase it on Amazon of PaperBack Swap.

That’s the end of the list for now. Maybe I’ll make Part 3 of the series…would you like that?

Looking for something to Read?

You can never have enough books! and I completely agree with this quote.

books

Reading is to me like dessert…mmm, mmm, mmm! Both are things you can only indulge in your spare time or on special occasions. And both are things you can never have enough of- wouldn’t you agree? 😉

So, if you’re on the lookout to expand your library- or be more adventurous and read books on topics that are new to you- like trying out a new dessert (such as salted caramel buttercream cake)…. then you’re reading the right post!

Okay, by now you’re probably more interested in having a piece of cake than in reading books, but stick with me- you can bake the cake later. I still have some great titles to share with you!

I’ve collected titles for adults and children alike…just because I enjoy kids books too. Don’t ask me why. It’s a weakness that I have.

Introducing….

Organic Body Care Recipes: 175 Homemade herbal Formulas for Glowing Skin and a Vibrant Self

I’m planning on buying this book! A naturalist blogger was recommending it on her weblog, and I decided to check it out from the library. It’s such a neat book! Really easy to read. Has interesting facts on sidebars, like “what’s contained in a square inch of skin” or useful tips and facts that add to the whole book. The author does a good job of explaining things in terms that are not overly technical, and taking you step-by-step and talking about your skin, hair, nails, then teaching you about herbs and plants you can use, the tools that you will need to make your own beauty products, and finally listing recipes galore with easy to use ingredients to make body care products!

Here are some delicious titles of her recipes:

Honey fruit-flavored lip balm

Cocoa Butter Creamy Lotion

Lemony Whip Cleansing Cream

I know, makes you want to eat those things.

The Naturally Clean Home: 101 Safe & Easy Herbal Formulas for Nontoxic Cleaners

You may not be interested to make your own cleaning products. I wasn’t either for a time- especially since I thought it would be very time consuming, and it would be “one more thing to do”. But this book has given me a new perspective on that. Here are some facts that the book lists:

“Ninety percent of all accidental poisonings occur in the home. According to the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, more than seven million cases of poisonings are reported each year. That equates to 14,000 each day!… (p.2)

According to a five-year EPA study, the air in an average American home has chemical contamination levels 70 times greater than outdoor air. The EPA maintains that half of all illnesses occurring in the United States can be attributed to chemical contamination of indoor air. In fact, a 1985 EPA report states that household cleaners are three times more likely to cause cancer than outdoor air pollution.” (p. 2) 

Scary facts, huh? One more quote if you’re not convinced yet.

“The Consumer Product Safety Commission has determined that more than 150 chemicals found in ordinary household products are directly responsible for producing cancer, allergies, birth defects, and numerous psychological disorders.” (p. 3) 

 This book also has some easy-to-make and great recipes for producing safe cleaning products. It has neat instructions, and these things can even save you money- like making your own laundry detergent! I highly recommend it for reading!

Seal of God

This may look like a book that a guy would read. Well, now you know girls can enjoy reading stories like these too. *smile*
Chad Williams tells his life story, his journey into the U.S. Navy Seals, and how the Lord (miraculously) brought salvation into his life. Truly, it was only God’s hand that turned him around- I still can’t believe it happened- even after reading the story. It’s adventurous, interesting, and touching. I really, really appreciate that Williams had the integrity of writing his book for the glory of God, without adding the bad language common among soldiers, and used phrases to replace them in a few rare instances. There are so many authors out there who claim to be true Christians, and who mix curse words with Bible verses in the same book…, and I’m thinking ??? …it’s just shameful and revolting! I actually had bought a military book like that several years back, and when I saw the author had contaminated his book with thousands of curse words, and had the audacity to claim he was a believer and insert Bible verses at the beginning of chapters while he had foul words in the content- I simply threw it away.

But returning to our book. Seal of God is a book that shows how a true transformation worked out by God can radically change a person’s lifestyle. It’s a great book to give to non-believing friends or relatives too! Who knows how this book can influence them?

Adventures in the West: Stories for Young Readers

Don’t worry, just because it says “stories for young readers” doesn’t mean it’s actually for young readers.  These stories are collected from  The Youth’s Companion newspaper and St. Nicholas magazine circa 1820s. To me, the reading level of those short stories seemed to be for young adults. There are stories in this book which have nice lessons they teach, either about hard work, or generosity, or selfless giving and sacrifice. Two of the stories:  “A Life Like Maggy’s” and  “How the Parsonage Was Papered” brought tears to my eyes. And I was simply charmed by the cute and touching story in “Sister Anne & the Cowboy” or the somewhat amusing story of “Aunt Phroney’s Boy”. I don’t recommend all the stories in there, but you can pick and choose among which are good to read. They all have little introductions before the story, so it makes it easy to figure out what you will be reading.

The Courage of Sarah Noble

This is a short darling story of a young pioneer girl who went West with her father to prepare a place for the whole family. Most of you probably already know about it. It shows how the little girl overcame her fears along the journey and trusted her father until they could all be together again as a family. I could read books after books about the westward expansion! The courage those pioneers had is amazing. This book is a great read for the young ones in your family!

Chocolate by Hershey: A story about Milton S. Hershey

I really didn’t know the story behind the Hershey chocolate bar and company until I read this book. It’s quite impressive I must say! I was inspired by the determination and entrepreneurial spirit that the founder of Hershey exhibited.  One good lesson you can learn from this short booklet is to never give up- even when it seems you’ll never succeed if you know it’s meant to be (and of course as a Christian, if you know it’s God’s will)- then try, try again! And you never know how great the results will be!

Stay Tuned!

I have more book reviews coming up in later posts. So keep a lookout on my blog. (And I wouldn’t mind if you drop a note too *wink*).

Do you have any books you recently read that you can share with me?