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Monday, December 9, 2013

Antonyms

Packing: my least favorite thing about moving.

Decorating: my dad's least favorite part of Christmas.

All of this is happening this week.

My sixth graders have been studying antonyms this semester and I can definitely say that my life right now is a giant antonym. Everything is so opposite than what it is supposed to be. Instead of unpacking box after box and decorating the house, I am putting my entire life into boxes.

And if that wasn't enough, I will be having my surgery two days after we close on the house, meaning I will not get to move any of the boxes, furniture, or other items in our house. I have to rely on my family and friends to help.

Christmas in America is all about the stuff: how much more you have than your neighbor, and how much better the gifts and decorations are than last year. Every commercial, every TV show and movie all focus on this drive for being better. But as we all know, this isn't what Christmas is about.

While boxing things up today, I was able to take a brief inventory of all the material goods God has blessed my husband and I with. It was a very sobering experience.

This Christmas season, take inventory of your blessings and count the ways God has blessed you.

Decay (WARNING: CONTAINS OFFENSIVE MATERIAL)

For some reason, God is wanting me to write a novel. I told this to my husband yesterday as I was filling up yet another page of notes. Provoked by three messages I heard yesterday, this post comes with a warming label. It is offensive. It is cold. It will make most people mad, but then again so did Jesus. Why do you think they wanted to crucify him?

I do not apologize for what I am about to write, but don't say I didn't warn you about the hard truth you will find in this post.

Today's topic is the decay of a once moral society we call America.

50 years ago, it seemed like everyone went to church. Why? Because the Bible says to do so. Children respected their parents because God told them to in the Bible. Women were much more modest and respected the authority of their husbands because they wanted to please God. Everything in America was directed back to God.

"Well that's not what the TV says."

I asked my grandmother, who witnessed firsthand the respect Americans had for Jesus and His church. Yes this time period had their evils, but it was nothing compared to today.

"Where has all this so called evil come from and who gives you the right to call it that? After all, your life is defined by you and not what some old book says."

On the contrary, this book - the breathed and divinely inspired word of God - has clearly defined what is right and wrong according to God Himself. He was the one who told the recorders of His word what to write. He was the one who guided the canonization of the Bible.

In the beginning of the Bible is the story of Creation, and the Garden of Eden. This garden was magnificent. It was so perfect, in fact, that the name Eden has come to be a label in which we give to any place that is beautiful and perfect. Within this garden, Adam and Eve were free to do whatever they wanted except one thing: not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They had one job to do... and they failed. It was because of their desire to become equal to God, they each ate the fruit and condemned the entire world.

The consequences of that decision and the desire to be equal to God are forever ingrained in the DNA of humanity. Ever since The Fall, mankind strives for one thing and one thing alone: to feed their selfishness. We always want more. We always want to put ourselves over everyone else. We focus on on our failures and our needs and our wants before we would ever consider another person's. We are selfish human beings.

Why do you think babies cry? It certainly isn't because they are happy. We are brought into this world with selfish desires! How then could we ever say that a baby is innocent when it would choose its own happiness over yours. It wakes up in the middle of the night screaming because it wants its needs fulfilled. "Forget sleep, mom, come feed me!"

Can you imagine never making a bad decision? That would be great! Well, that is how Adam and Eve lived. They didn't know about bad choices so they never made any. They only knew good. I have always thought that the name of the tree in Eden was very fitting. The moment Adam and Eve ate of the tree, they knew of evil for the first time.

Because we have now obtained the knowledge of good and evil, we now have the ability to manipulate what is considered good and evil. We have perverted the definition of good so that we can yet again fulfill our selfish desires and hold no accountability for our actions. We have blurred the line between the two, and in doing so we have created three poisons to a moral society: relativism, humanism, and tolerance.

Relativism is one of the most prominent poisons of young adults. In college, I saw relativism at it's finest. Even on a Christian campus, I had so many people tell me that my beliefs may be fine for me, but it isn't something they choose to believe in. Like it would make a difference! Choosing not to believe something is a terrible choice to make. I could choose not to believe that if I drive 100 miles per hour through town in front of a police officer, I won't get pulled over. Whoever tries that, let me know how it turns out for you.

Choosing not to believe in what God's word says, especially if it has been read to you, is the same as saying you choose not to believe in the law of gravity or that the police won't pull you over for breaking the law. One of my favorite things to tell people who say they like to choose what you believe is this: God is not a buffet. You can't pick what you want and leave the rest.

Another poison to a moral society is humanism. The dictionary.com definition is:

an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems

Hmmm. This sounds familiar. Again, I would like to direct your attention to the story of Adam and Eve. What was it that the serpent said to Eve? Oh yeah! If you eat of the tree then you will be equal with God. The serpent not only appealed to Eve with the potential to be her own god, but also placed doubt about God and His rule. "Did God really say that?"

This right here, ladies and gentleman, is the start of Humanism.

You are your own god. You make your own decisions about what right and wrong is. After all, you now have the knowledge. Who needs some spiritual being telling you what to do?

Another point Humanism makes is the focus of the goodness and potential of humans. Remember that baby I mentioned? I'm pretty sure that selfishness is not a trait I would consider good.

When dealing with someone who thinks their goodness is enough, ask them have they ever hated someone. Have they stolen? Have they lied? Have they ever lusted? If they say yes to those then remind them that they are a hating, lusting, lying thief. How could that be considered good?

The last poison that I will discuss is tolerance. Tolerance is the acceptance of any lifestyle or belief that you do not always agree with, but you coexist with. I think of tolerance as being like a glass box. You can see what is going on in the life of the person, but because we are supposed to be tolerant, we cannot touch them.

Now aren't we supposed to be tolerant? I mean, not everyone is supposed to agree with everything. That may be true, but by saying that you are surrendering to that lifestyle of belief. The Bible says that we are constantly at war on a spiritual battlefield. Tolerance is the white flag. When Christians declare tolerance, they are surrendering to whatever they are fighting against.

If you have made it this far into the post, then I congratulate you and thank you for your time. All the points I have made are hard to swallow, but if you will open your heart to them, you will see that this society has injected moral poison and has now decayed into a self-loving, self-worshiping society. America is no longer the superpower it was due to relativism, humanism, and tolerance. It accepts anything that comes down the pipe.

Except for one thing.

Jesus.

If American Christians can repent of their selfish ways and come back to God, this country could see a revival that would change the course of history. But until that day comes, we will continue to deteriorate into the shadow of what we once were.

Wake up, America. Wake up, and pray.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Seasonal Color Analysis: True Summer (a correction to my first post)

If you read my first seasonal color analysis post, I would like to apologize because it was inaccurate. After researching, I am here to announce that I am NOT a dark winter as I previously stated. In fact, I am a cool (or true) summer. I have the high contrast between my skin and my eyes, however, I am not suited for the deep colors.

To see what I mean, click HERE to see examples of True Summers. Even though summers are typically thought of as blondes with fair skin. However, this is not so. You will see examples of so many women who do not fit within that stereotype.

The color palette of a True Summer is cool and muted. Here are two examples:



This is a more detailed palette including more of the colors.

Summer color chart Season Color Analysis - As the seasons change throughout the year your personal season will remain unwavering further enhancing your natural beauty. When you a summer color type, all clothing in colors of this chart will look great on you.


Discovering that I was a True Summer has been a very exciting experience. I can also see where I was confused on my season. Winter shades are very similar to the shades above, but have a greater depth to them. I often felt smothered with some of the colors from the Dark Winter palette, but with the Summer shades, I feel more natural.

Here are some shots of me (old and new) in True Summer colors. Note that the background colors in the last two images are also from the palette.








Some of my most worn colors from this palette are navy, dusty lavender, turquoise, and cool red.

Makeup for True Summers are seen on this chart, although cool red can be added for lips.
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The most prominent colors here are taupe, beige, raspberry, and dusty blue. These colors compliment your skin's coolness.

I am very pleased with finding my true colors and I encourage you to do the same. Finding what colors suit you best is the key to looking and feeling your best.

Christmas Joy

With life being so chaotic due to my upcoming surgery and buying a new house, I have somehow regained time to write.

On December 16th, Kevin and I will officially have a new home! I am so excited to be moving into a much larger abode than the tiny trailer we have now. Even though it is still a trailer, the +2,000 square footage makes up for it! I will be posting updates on moving as they happen (with pictures, of course).

Yesterday was my pre-operational exam, so I have a clear idea of what will be occurring during my 3 hour surgery. It isn't as simple as I thought it would be, but I know that when I wake up, everything will be fixed and I can finally gain my life back.

The only problem: it is two days after we close on the house, and exactly a week before Christmas.

God gives good gifts. We all know and believe this simple truth. What we don't understand is that it isn't always in the way we expect them. The picturesque example of this is the birth of Jesus.

Mary was a virgin, unwed and untouched. Back then, women were not allowed to be in the same room as men unless there was a good enough reason. Virgins were as common then as cell phones are now. Yet, the Bible still makes a big deal of detailing the fact that Mary was a virgin. Why? Because if it wasn't, the birth of Jesus could have been viewed as a scandalous affair that caused the conception. However, God performed a miracle by breathing life into the womb of an untouched woman.

Although my situation is nowhere near as great of a miracle as that of Jesus' birth, God has still given me a miraculous gift: the gift of hope. I have been bitter for so long as I have lived my life in pain. With this doctor, I have gained back the idea that one day I will be able to sit and exercise and travel without hurting. Soon I can say that the miracle was God healing me through the hands of my doctor.

The other miracle is that we have found a house large enough so that when I am healed, we can have children. We can also live in a home that is (in my opinion) beautiful and one I will be satisfied in for years.

This Christmas, reflect on the miracles in your life, reader. No matter how big or small they may seem, a miracle is still a miracle, and miracles should always be viewed as a joyful blessing.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Life lately

Now that life has returned to normal after being gone on Thanksgiving break, I have some wonderful news. My husband and I have been looking at houses and have not only found a gem, but we are closing in a week! I am so excited to be moving to a larger house that is not on a dirt road. We have already had to replace the struts on my car because of the road conditions.

With my surgery and Christmas on the horizon, things will not be normal for long. Thursday is my pre-op so that means traveling a couple hours to Augusta. Today I have a phone conference with my anesthesiologist so luckily that means one less trip!

I pray that you will stay with me, reader, even though I have not produced any interesting posts lately. Practice patience and understanding as my life goes through major changes.