Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12/12/12 aftermath

Libbey smiles and ponders this great event

Delaney helps me focus the camera (and does a little goofing off)

Faith and her Mrs. Potato Head glasses

Told you I danced in the rain

Barefoot too!!  (Did you do that, Emilie?)

HAPPY 12/12/12!!!!!!!!!

It's here.

It's a wonderful day today!!  Also a sad one--this is the last triple-repeating date until 2101--so we need to celebrate (cheers)!  I'll bet there are a lot of weddings happening today...and some lucky babies being born too.  It would be cool to say, "I was born on the last triple-repeating date of the century."

When you're done reading this, please note that I posted this at 12:12 pm.  On 12/12/12.  I'm so number happy today! :D

Today I am celebrating with music, school, work and normal daily life as I know it.  It's also raining (I laugh, Emilie will understand).  Tonight we might go to a logic class with some of the other families in our church, and if we do that than we should do something special during or after it...

Also, I danced in the rain in my front honor of my dancing-in-the-rain friends (Maddie and Emilie). <3

May you all enjoy this special day to the fullest!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Top 10 best books I read this year (Part 1)

 Canon Eos Rebel T2i/550D Digital Field Guide by Charlotte K. Lowrie
I don’t usually read manuals or directions when it comes to using something…I just like to figure it out.  But when I got my new camera, I eventually realized that my own “intelligence” wasn’t going to cut it when it came to all the manual settings, ins-and-outs and little features of my camera.  My friend Holly got this for my birthday this last summer, and boy, have I put it into use!  I have MUCH more to learn, but this guide has got it all.  From finding the “On-Off” button, to learning the A-DEP mode, to histograms, exposures and lighting, and getting good angles with portraits and landscapes, this book has been a lifesaver for my photography experience.  If you have a Canon Rebel T2i, this is a great book to have alongside it!

Song of the Nightingale by Helen Berhane, with Emma Newrick
This true story about the fight for faith amid persecution was a poignant reminder to me that Christian persecution is a very real thing for millions of people.  Helen Berhane was in prison for over two years in horrifying conditions and suffered brutal torture, all because she refused to deny Christ.  She was a zealous woman on a mission to help others to Jesus, and not even prison would stop her.  I was inspired to share my faith with others through her testimony, and her boldness made me ashamed of my timidity at ministry opportunities.  This nightingale has a truly beautiful life story that changed my view about living a life totally given to the Father.  This piece of literature is a real challenge for the Western Church.

“’Why,’ one of the guards asked, ‘are you just writing what is written in your Bible?  Why don’t you use a common language, rather than these complicated words?’  He ordered me to stop writing letters to other prisoners.  I said, ‘I was arrested because I preached and spread the Gospel, and even now I will not stop.  I will continue to write and speak about my faith.’  So they put me in solitary confinement.”  ~Helen Berhane 

Unveiling Islam by Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner
When I saw this book in a VOM magazine, it really intrigued me (not to mention that the lady’s eyes are incredible!!).  When I got to read it, I found it very interesting that the authors included strategies on how to have productive dialogue with Muslims and how to have a respectful friendship with them…which would make it easier to witness to them.  This book also sheds light on Muslim beliefs, the differences between the Bible and the Qur’an, and speaks of the history of Islam.  I thought it was an interesting read by and large, as well as educational and absorbing.  I would imagine that this would be a valuable resource to have for Christians in close contact with Muslims, and also missionaries serving in Islamic countries.  

Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter
I was so excited when I found this 1881 copy at the local “junk sale” for $4.  I’m always fascinated with European history, and Scotland was a particular favorite.  This was, of course, a very long read—652 pages—and it did begin to drag for me by the 400th page or so, but the plot was very good and the storyline was enthrallingly depicted.  I especially love that it was a factual story.  This would probably be ranked at least a high school level book, with a 19th-century text and long sentences that demand total concentration.  Any book lover would be pleased to own this classic book!!

“The men had seen their leader fall; they doubted not the words of his brother; and with a shout, exclaiming, ‘Wither you lead, we follow?’ all at once turned towards him.  ‘Seize the traitor’s artillery!’  At this command they mounted the hill; and the archers, little expecting an assault from their countrymen, were either instantly cut down, or hurried away prisoners by Athol and Buchan; who, now, at the head of the whole division of the Cummins, galloped towards the Southrons; and with loud cries of ‘Long live King Edward!’ threw themselves en masse into their arms.”  ~Scottish Chiefs

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
One of the most fascinating women in history not only overcame her deaf-blindness, but she went on to write books, including her autobiography.  I read this after I saw “The Miracle Worker”, and found it to be extremely well written and informative.  Helen Keller describes her life as a deaf-blind woman in a way that was intriguing and moving.  I felt as if I experienced her struggles, breakthroughs and joys with her.  As I read her book, I quickly forgot about her disability, especially since she wrote of the world in such detail that it sounded as if a seeing, hearing person was expressing it.  Over all, I would highly recommend “The Story of My Life” for all age.  It made me very thankful for the gift of all five senses, as well as the gift of life itself.

“My Teacher is so near to me that I scarcely think of myself apart from her.  How much of my delight in all beautiful things is innate, and how much is due to her influence, I can never tell.  I feel that her being is inseparable from my own, and that the footsteps of my life are in hers.  All the best of me belongs to her—there is not a talent, or an inspiration or a joy in me that has not awakened by her loving touch.”  ~Helen Keller

Part 2 coming soon!