Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Happenings of the Month: March 2016

Happenings of the Month March 2016

Entertainment of the Month:

  • Movies/TV

I have a great love for old movies, especially ones with Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra. High Society happens to have both actor/singers, as well as the lovely Grace Kelly, and it is fabulous. In this musical, C.K. Dexter Haven (Bing Crosby) is a jazz musician who was once married to the beautiful socialite Tracy Samantha Lord (Grace Kelly). But they’re divorced, and now she’s all set to marry a different, “safe” man. Dexter is determined to convince his “Sam” that she’s happier with him. Into that whole mess comes the reporter duo of Mike Connor (Frank Sinatra) and Liz Imbrie (Celeste Holm). Things are about to get even more complicated. This film also contains the humor and talents of Louis Armstrong and his band. It has a couple of really fun song and dance routines, and it’s nice and clean.

  • Books

To be perfectly honest, I’ve read almost nothing this month. Which is just about the most depressing thing I’ve ever said… I finished 1984 by George Orwell, which I was reading for my Political Science class. Trust me, that book is immensely depressing, and it took me an immensely long time to read. Strange for such a small book. At any rate, I got an excellent grade on the paper I wrote for it. So that was rewarding.

I also finished the last book of the Fate of the Jedi series, Apocalypse, the other night. After getting deeper into weirder and darker things, I was hoping for an exceptionally satisfying conclusion. I didn’t get it. Apocalypse is one long battle, which is exhausting on its own merit. But, though it did technically end in victory, the series left too many loose ends for my liking. It’s a happy ending, but it doesn’t feel particularly happy. Honestly, it makes me regret the three months of valuable and rather scarce reading time I sunk into this series. So, I’m quite annoyed on that account.

I’m actually in the middle of a couple different books, including the autobiography of the great evangelist Billy Graham, Just As I Am. This book is crazy thick, but I’m enjoying it. He’s hilarious and I love reading about how God worked in his ministry.

  • Music

"No" (Meghan Trainor) - Anthem Lights – I’m not really into most of Meghan Trainor’s stuff, but this song is actually pretty good. I haven’t heard the original, but I love everything Anthem Lights does, and this is no exception. The video may appeal mostly to people who know the band, but it’s hilarious. And this song is super catchy!

"The River" - Jordan Feliz – This is easily my favorite song on Christian radio right now, talking about the peace of Living Water and prayer.

My Life This Month:

vienna-1148435_640This month has been…weird, honestly. My play ended, which was both good and sad. The whole cast was exhausted and I was struggling to keep up on my schoolwork. Any longer than four weekends would been too much. Yet it was sad to have it be over. This was my first non-church play, and I had an absolute blast. Most of my humor is still linked to the play, two-and-a-half weeks later, which is rather unfortunate when I’m not with castmates… I’m so glad that that was my first community theater experience. It’s good to move on, though. I have plenty to keep me occupied without it.

It’s rather surreal to realize that I only have a little over a month left of school. I mean, goodness, what happened to the semester? Soon I’ll be nannying again, which is a great job, don’t get me wrong. I know I’ll probably miss school, though. But it will be a good break. Trying to plan next fall is a little overwhelming.

I’m trying to learn how to live in the moment. Admittedly, this isn’t an easy concept for me; I tend to overthink everything. But, you know, that’s exhausting; I’m tired of trapping myself in a constant state of worry. It’s counterproductive for me, certainly, but it also hampers my relationships with others. I don’t want to do that. Still, it’s a process.

I went to a Zumba class for the first time last night. A friend wanted me to come with her, so I did, and I had a lot of fun. I’m sore today, and there were parts that were certainly difficult. I’m glad that I went, though. A good step forward in the whole “living in the moment” plan.

Other Web Happenings:

5 Things to Do While You're Still Single | This Incandescent Life

Live Kindly | Kindred Grace – This post has really gotten me thinking about Fair Trade and the things we buy a Christians. I’m still trying to decide what to do with it, though.

How have all of your lives been this month? Busy? Happy? I haven’t gotten to interact with you much. Let me know what you’re up to in the comments. Read any good books, watched interesting movies, or discovered new music?

Friday, March 11, 2016

My Month in Proverbs, Part 5

I messed up so badly. I promised you all an edited version of my flash fiction last Friday, and I didn’t deliver. I am very sorry. Life has been a little crazy, so it’s going to have to wait a little longer, unfortunately.

Today, however, I do have a Proverbs post for you. You can catch up with Parts 1-4 by clicking here.

Month in Proverbs Part 5

Proverbs 21:13 “Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.”

God, I don’t know how you want me to touch the poor. I want to be wise, and I know that not all methods of “giving” actually help some people. But I don’t want to live with a closed-off heart, either. Give me an open, gentle heart, Lord, and direct me where that will serve your kingdom.

Proverbs 22:10 “Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.”

Though this passage speaks of a specific person, I was struck by the application to my own heart. “Drive out the mocker.” There is no place for a harsh, critical, mocking spirit in our lives. Satan is the source of all those things. We should have a gentle, uplifting spirit. That comes from God. The more we run after Him, the less room there is in our hearts for Satan and his lies. We need God to drive out the mocker in our own hearts and replace it with Himself.

Proverbs 23:4-5 “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wrings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”

Our culture values wealth so highly. And even those who hate the rich are still trying to get more and more. We want all the wrong things, and we sacrifice the right things in our “pursuit of happiness.” We’ve gone so mad that we push thankfulness out of the way in our crazy rush to get more stuff. During November, Verizon literally had a commercial that called the holiday “Thanksgetting.” It made me sick. People strive so hard for these things. Yet, in the end, it will all crumble into dust. I want to pursue the things that last: forming relationships, giving blessings, and sharing God’s love. After all, those are the real riches.

Proverbs 24:10 “If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!”

Strength is not strength when left untested. How do you know someone is physically strong unless they are tested under pressure? The same goes for inner strength. It’s easy to have the loudest faith in the room when everything’s going your way. But when things fall down around us, it’s the quiet ones who stay. It’s the ones whose strength comes from Someone else. True strength is revealed under fire, but it’s not our strength. Our strength can’t hold up under pressure. We crack. True strength comes from God and flows through our weakness.

Proverbs 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”

We rarely know things instantaneously. We have questions. Lots of them. Yet I wonder if God sometimes hides the answers on purpose. Jesus said to ask, seek, and knock. And here Solomon says to “search out a matter.” There are things we will never understand. It’s the very nature of God: He’s so much bigger than we can comprehend. But He doesn’t want us to sit around, passively accepting the first explanation we hear. He wants us to be truth-seekers. He wants us to active. After all, He has made us royalty.

So, what did you you think of these verses? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Happenings of the Month: February 2016

So I intended to have this up on Monday, but life kind of intervened. Anyway, here’s February for you.

Happenings of the Month Feb 2016

Entertainment of the Month:

  • Movies/TV

Based on an amazing true story, The Finest Hours tells the story of a horrific storm, a broken tanker ship, and a daring Coast Guard crew. Set in 1950’s New England, this movie follows Coast Guardman Bernie Webber (Chris Pine), his girlfriend Miriam (Holliday Granger), and the crew of the S.S. Pendleton, guided by Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck). When one of the worst storms in history hits the coast of New England, a huge tanker splits in half, dooming the crew to their deaths. But the Coast Guard “[has to] go out,” and Bernie Webber is in charge of the rescue attempt. This was one of the most intense theater experiences I have ever had, but it was also an amazing story of bravery and perseverance. I highly recommend it.

  • Books

Karen Kingsbury is known for deeply faith- based, contemporary fiction. Though I have my criticisms sometimes, I do tend to devour her books  when I have them. Her Angels Walking Series is exceptional, based on the concept of angels walking among us. Kingsbury takes the concept a little further, creating a story based on teams of angels sent to Earth on specific missions. In Chasing Sunsets, famous baseball player Marcus Dillinger is turning his life around, learning to find purpose in Christ. He is helped along by the magnetic, bigger-than-life Mary Catherine. Everything depends on keeping these two safe and bringing them together, but the powers of darkness seem determined to separate them forever.

During the month of February, I continued my journey through the Fate of the Jedi series and finished The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. The former has gotten a little weird, but not too bad. It’s still extremely interesting. As for the latter, it got darker than Cinder was. The next book, Scarlet, in particular, tickles at some really dark edges. Overall, the series kept me up way too late. Lots of adorable moments. A few horrible ones. I can’t help but feel that the many young couples is highly unrealistic, though, and that frustrated me a bit. For those of you who’ve finished The Lunar Chronicles, what did you think?

  • Music

"Disney Love Medley" - Voctave ft. Kirstie Maldonado and Jeremy Michael Lewis – This a cappella medley of love songs from Disney features the vocal talents of Pentatonix’ Kirstie Maldonado and her boyfriend, both of whom have heavenly voices. They’re adorable and the song itself is one of the most gorgeous things I have ever heard.

"Homeward Bound" - BYU Vocal Point ft. The All-American Boys ChorusBYU Vocal Point is an all-male a cappella group with some fabulous flair. Their arrangements are really neat, and this particular song is absolutely gorgeous, highlighted by the angelic voices of a boys’ choir.

Adam Young ScoresI’ve always liked Owl City, but this year Adam Young has started a really neat new project. Every month he’s releasing a new soundtrack inspired by many different things, entirely free. February’s album was inspired by the Apollo 13 space mission, and March’s is based on the RMS Titanic. Young’s soundtracks have a quirky, non-conventional edge, but they still have the emotional basis that all good soundtracks do. March’s is particularly gorgeous. I’m really loving this project, and you should definitely check them out.

My Life This Month:

I had a near breakdown this past week. Emotional breakdown, that is. Not entirely unusual for me, but nonetheless frustrating. Everything just overwhelmed me at once: my play, school, and relationships. One of my scenes went a little wrong on Saturday, and it kind of made everything seem terrible. After a little time and context, I thankfully felt a little better. Funny how often life is like that. Sometimes I get overloaded, and I have to take a step back.

Speaking of the play, I am having a blast. Such a large, young cast has its backstage drama, but I really love acting. And it’s fun to be a part of community theater. I highly recommend getting involved with your local theater in some capacity, either on-stage or off. It’s a blast.

Sometimes growing up feels so difficult. There are so many new waters to navigate. Friendships change and grow, new responsibilities crop up. So many things are unfamiliar, and I don’t always know how to handle them. But then, that’s life, isn’t it? Experiencing new things, learning to trust. I just wish it wasn’t so frustrating sometimes…

Other Web Happenings:

The Firewall Saga | Braden Russell – Blogger over at, Braden is an awesome writer. He’s started a web serial project, self-described as post-apocalyptic cyberpunk. I’m really excited to see where this project goes.

How to Read Flirting Signals | Studio C – Studio C is one of my absolute favorite Youtube groups, and this sketch is absolutely hilarious.

How was February for all of you?