Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

Last night, we went hunting. (Didn't expect that, did ya? :)

Gift hunting, that is. It was quite a hunt, full of conspiracy and secrecy and dodging and hiding and so forth. It is very interesting to shop in a large store (aka super Walmart) with your siblings while trying to buy presents for them. Have you ever noticed that when you want to find your family in Walmart, you never can, and when you don't want to see them, they are everywhere?? It is a very strange phenomenon.

At any rate, there Josiah and I were, shopping. Guess what we were looking at. I bet you can't guess. Hmm... I guess I'll just tell you. Wait. One more piece of information. We were shopping for Cheryl and Hannah. Now you probably have more ideas, and they are probably all wrong. hehe. Okay, that's enough. We were shopping for.... pocket knives. Yup, pocket knives. Was that your guess? Was it? Huh? Anyway, we were looking at knives.

The knife guy (as Josiah and I have dubbed him) was very friendly and happy, the type that doesn't really belong in Walmart, because they are too smiley. (I bet you didn't know that they have a rule that only the smiley stickers are allowed to smile.) (Okay, so that's not true. But it seems like it at times.) So anyway. He looked at us, and said, "neither of you are old enough to buy a knife." And we looked at him. And paused for a bit. And then I said it. "I'm nineteen." And, of course, he was rather shocked. People always are, whether they show it or not. At least he showed it in an interesting way. "You should buy a T-shirt that says, 'I'm nineteen.'" :)

As nineteen is apparently old enough to buy a knife, we told him which knives we wanted to see. (Or rather, which ones I wanted to see, since I was now buying the knives. With Josiah's money. So yeah.) We liked both of the ones we originally liked, which was nice, as it saves time. I also saw Hannah and Cheryl (of course! What did I tell you?) and waved at them. I hope they didn't notice that we were at the knife counter. :)

So, after I bought the knives, (Please remember, if anyone asks you, that I, Carissa, bought the knives. We don't want to get "the knife guy" fired. No matter what he thinks.) we turned to go. And he said, "Happy Holidays!" to which, I, being ever so not politically correct, said, "Merry Christmas!" To which he replied, "same to you, but I'm not supposed to say that." (I begin to wonder about this now, after having heard 4 other Walmart employees say the "forbidden" Merry Christmas. This is my theory: He works near the knives, guns, etc... right? So, they really don't want to offend people in this area. Apparently, Walmart does care a bit for their employees, despite what you may have heard. Or maybe they just don't want to get sued. That's probably it.) So, I said, (being in a merry mood, and also being Carissa) "Just say it!" And he said, "Merry Christma." (He put his hand over his mouth at the last part.) And then said, "you guys really do want to get me terminated!" With a large smile. Perhaps the knife guy wants to get fired. (we already wanted to get him fired, because of the whole Josiah/me buying the knives.)

So, there you have it, a small portion of our hunting trip. It was pretty exciting. I do like shopping with Josiah! He is a good cart pusher, by the way.

Oh, we also saw the knife guy again. Guess what he said about me (with Cheryl right next to me, of course) to another Walmart employee? "Watch out for her, she's got a knife!" (Actually, it was already in the van... and I had two. :)

And, I thought of a new "game" you all can try when you go shopping next. See how many people you can get to say, "thank you" to you in one shopping trip. I only got one last night, but if I was trying harder, I probably could've gotten more. And then post here and tell me how many you got.

Well, in the words of the knife guy, Merry Christma!!! I hope you all have a splendid one!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Woman's Role, as Told to Caddie Woodlawn

"It is the sisters and wives and mothers, you know, Caddie, who keep the world sweet and beautiful. What a rough world it would be if there were only men and boys in it, doing things in their rough way! A woman's task is to teach them gentleness and courtesy and love and kindness. It's a big task, too, Caddie---harder than cutting trees or building mills or damming rivers. It takes nerve and courage and patience, but good women have those things... A woman's work is something fine and noble to grow up to, and it is just as important as a man's."--Caddie Woodlawn

Friday, December 4, 2009

Faith, simplified

On pages 56-57, Piper wrote:
"You may ask, “What’s the key for linking up with this reality? How can this be mine? How can I be among the dead who are alive with Christ and who see and savor and spread the glory of the cross?” The answer is implied in the words about faith in Galatians 2:20. “The life I now live . . . I live by faith in the Son of God.” That is the link. God links you to his Son by faith. And when he does, there is a union with the Son of God so that his death becomes your death and his life becomes your life."

We were listening to a message by Mr. Harris, and he was talking about faith and how we are to have faith not only unto salvation, but also in His rules, in our everyday lives, etc... Faith means to have confidence, trust, believe in someone or something. Like you would trust in a parachute when getting ready to jump out of an airplane.

That really helped me to better understand what living by faith means in action: To live our lives trusting that God is good, that He does keep His promises, that He desires what is really best for us, that His ways are the best ways, and so on.

When we believe and trust that all those things are true, (which they are) it makes obeying God the obvious thing to do.

I hope that now that I understand that better, I will be able to live it out more fully in my daily life. That it will help me to be more willing to do what God would have me do.

(This is something that I wrote for the discussion on the Rebelution forums about the book "Don't Waste Your Life". It is very elementary, but still something that I think is helpful to remind ourselves of.)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Odd Things People Have Said to Us

(Trying to be slightly insulting and exaggerating) "There are hairs in this pool that are like... a foot long!" (meanwhile, I am laughing inwardly, saying to myself, "You have no idea. Some of those hairs are three feet long.")

"Are you from Little House on the Prairie?" (This was not said insultingly, merely smilingly. I hope they weren't actually wondering that.)

"Look at those walking Jews!" (um, okay, hi to you, too!)

"Are you Amish or something?" (I guess they've never seen Amish people before... we wear buttons, prints on our clothes, and so on, and we don't wear black aprons or caps.)

"How do you run in a dress?" (um, kind of like you run normally... you know, one foot, then the next foot, and repeat quickly)

Once, I was walking around our small block with my brother Matthew, and someone drove by and stuck their tongue out at us! I just waved and then laughed over it later. It was so random!

I'm sure there are more things, but that's all I have at present. I'll try to add more later.

Our Thanksgiving 2009

Early morning found the Mann girls up and about, tidying the house and preparing breakfast, which was pita bread split into two circles, buttered, toasted, and peanutbuttered. After we were all done eating, everyone except mama and I left for the "Turkey Bowl". This is a church gathering where we attempt to play softball. I say attempt because my family at least is not especially skilled at it. (seeing that the only real chance we have to play is once a year on Thanksgiving. :))

At home, after I got off the computer, mama and I started doing the last minute things to prepare for our company... getting tablecloths, platters, etc... I was just getting started on the dishes when I heard a loud knocking at the door. I was somewhat shocked, not knowing who would be coming this early. I went to the door (wiping my hands on the way) and opened it, to find my cousin Victoria standing there!! I was very happy, to say the least. After we had all hugged each other and said Hi and so on, I went back to finish the dishes. :)

After I was done, Victoria and Michaela and I looked at Josiah's legos and stuff in my hope chest. We had fun talking together and laughing about various things. It is so nice to have cousins! :)

Our moms then reminded us that we needed to help get ready for everyone to come, which we did. I also showered, and when I came out, the rest of my family was getting home. It then got much louder and busier, with every one running around doing things and showing our cousins various things. We cleaned up our yard, got the tables set up and scrubbed, helped with food, and so on.

Uncle Richie was the next person to show up. He was pretty excited about all the food. :) After he came, our friends the U. Family came. They have six children and are like cousins to us. The noise, of course, increased, but we didn't mind. They brought lots of yummy, interesting looking foods. By this time, everything was smelling really good. Once everything was brought in, the girls sat on the couch inside, talking and playing a game, and the boys played light sabers outside. (see, boys and girls really are different.)

The reason we did not begin eating was because our Grandma, in keeping with tradition, had not yet arrived. She came, with Grandpa, an hour late. As is usual. We must keep up the tradition, you know. :) We were all quite hungry by this time, having eaten an early and light breakfast, and it now being about two o 'clock in the afternoon.

We had turkey, salmon, roast, ham (and Auntie Kim's ham sauce!) stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, ratatouille, carrots and turnips, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, corn, peas and pearl onions, medieval salad, fruit and rolls. We also had apple cider, eggnog, and water to drink.

We all got our plates filled, and the children (under 20 :)) went outside to eat. I went back in to get a drink, and when I came back out, I got a small bug in my eye, which stayed in there the rest of the day, as it went beyond my reach when I attempted to get it out. Sad. Oh well, it didn't hurt much.

We ate and talked, mainly about strange things. Which, if you haven't noticed, is what tends to happen when you are with family and people you know extremely well.

After we were done eating, we played "Apples to Apples" for awhile, visited, and did random other things until it was time to head over to our other Aunt and Uncle's house for dessert. We had several kinds of pie, cookies, and more.

They had a football game on, and Josiah, Michaela and I had fun commenting on it. (I think people that actually like and watch football might have been slightly disturbed at our comments...) We took some pictures of us all mashed on their couch (I got a good spot, on papa's leg. :)) and then left.

The U. family came back to our house (they didn't go to our Aunt and Uncle's) and we talked and played card games with them. After they left, we set up the air mattress, and started talking with our cousins about plans for the next day. Which happened to include hot chocolate. And we didn't have enough hot chocolate. So, we asked if we could go to Walmart, as I can drive and am more prone to agree to drive to Walmart at elven at night than our moms.

They said we could go, so we went. On the way, we listened to "The Fox" by the Desert Skies band. We really like that song. Well, Josiah does. Anyway. We went to Walmart, picked out our hot chocolate (we got the most for the least money) and the various other things we were told to get, and headed home. We got a few rather odd looks, which is not really unusual for us. But I do think we looked a bit odd. Seven of us, most of the girls wearing dresses, going around talking and getting random things.

We came home, brought out our stuff, and started talking more. In the kitchen, us children went around and said what we were thankful for. We then remembered that we hadn't read "Old Man Rabbit's Thanksgiving Dinner" (Which is a tradition for us) so of course we had to read that before we went to bed. I was appointed by Josiah to read, since papa was in bed. I finished at 12:03. At which point, we said good night and went to bed. We talked surprisingly little.

And that, my friends, is how both the day and this tale end. Hope you (Andrea, since you asked for a post about Thanksgiving) (Okay and everyone else, too) enjoyed my extremely long post. Now you really know how our Thanksgiving was. :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

7 Random Things About Us

This is something from Joyfully Home that I decided to do...

1. We watched the movie Up last night at our church with a few other people.

2. On the way there, we (the five oldest children) quoted a bunch of short, silly poems in a row, sang several songs, including, "The Sea of Galilee", "The Fox" and "Bye, Bye Okeechobee"

3. Three of my younger siblings made up the last song. It is more like a chant type deal, since we basically say the same thing over and over....

4. This song came about while we were driving past Lake Okeechobee. Which really is huge. Though, you cannot actually see it while driving around it. It's sad. :( You can only see the banks of it. (They are very high.)

5. My siblings also made up another song. It is called, "Sister help me". They made it up while doing Math. Yet another reason why we wouldn't make it in public school. We make up strange songs during class... :)

6. Why else wouldn't it work? Well, because we talk to each other and laugh too much.

7. No, we're not afraid of getting made fun of. We are odd in the sense that we are extremely hard to insult. I mean, people have tried. But we just kind of smile and say "hi" or "Oh thank you!!" or "I never knew that" or something of the sort.. :) And then go home and laugh about it. I kind of feel bad for them... they took the time and energy to try to get us mad, but it won't work.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I've done it again!

Started a blog, that is. Yes, I decided to make the one I talked about in the last post. :) Here's the link for those interested: Quotes, Poems and Such Like.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I have a strange attraction... journals. I like looking at them, buying them, writing in them. I have...let me at present-- and at least two that have been retired. I have a nature journal, a journal about life in general, one about my goals, one about the Bible, a journal about manhood, (if you wish to know what that is about, read the book "Authentic Beauty") a journal for stories and testimonies, and a prayer journal.

We went to the bookstore last night, and I looked at some of the journals there. They had some neat small ones with pretty designs on them and words like "Rejoice" "Hope" and things like that. They also had some that looked like leather and had words (one had the first part of amazing grace on it) imprinted on them. If I had more money, I buy a journal. :) (I had another idea for a journal recently... one of quotes and verses and poems that I liked. Perhaps I could start a blog for that. Hmm...)

So, why journal? What is the point? Well, first of all, it's fun. And good practice for writing. Also, it will help you remember all those stories and feelings and events so you can tell your children and grandchildren about them. Also, should you ever become famous, then people will get your journals when you die and they will be published. :P Seriously, look what happened to Anne Frank's journals.

Jim Rohn says that there are a few things that you should leave behind when you depart from this earth, and one of them is your journals. So, if you don't already, start journaling! (No matter what the spell check says, "journaling" is a word! At least, if it isn't, it ought to be one.)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I've been thinking about sinning...

Hmm... interesting title, eh?

Well, a few days ago, I was riding home with my papa. And he was talking to me about something that he had been learning and that excited him. It was rather funny the way he opened the topic.

"I've been thinking about sinning..."

*Slight pause*

"No. Wait. That doesn't sound right." :)

Anyway, the jist of it was that he had been thinking about when he went to work in Pennsylvania. It was pretty close to our house, but he normally took the car. Occasionally, though, he would ride his bike. When he did that, he noticed so much more alongside the road. Things he didn't see when he was driving. And it was easier to get distracted. Every once in awhile, he would walk to work. When he walked, he noticed even more. He noticed the gopher tortoise holes, the interesting "weeds", the birds, and so on. Sometimes he would go off the path a bit, to get a closer look. The slower he went toward his destination, the more likely he would be to get distracted.

How, you ask, does this relate to sinning? Well, first, in life we need to have a clear destination or goal. Secondly, we need to move as quickly as possible towards that goal. The slower we go, the more prone we are to sin. "Idle hand are the devil's workshop".

Make sense? Hope so. If not, ask and I'll try to clarify. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Randomness... I think

Well, I have been working on the rebelution some... but I have some time now so I thought I'd do a quick post. About... my life.

Lately I have been doing lots of dishes. I am liking them more now. I kind of automatically do them. I walked over to the counter near the dishes, attempting to get...something, and I found out that I was starting to put the dishes away. Yes, I am somewhat absent minded at times. :D

I have also been reading a ton... of fantasy. It is strange. I don't normally read much fantasy. I read all of Lord of the Rings, another large fantasy book called, "Eye of the Oracle" and now I am reading the Chronicles of Narnia (again). Does it shock any one that I read over 500 pages in one day? Probably not. I don't know. It's fairly normal at our house, at any rate.

Now I am getting the urge to read all of the Anne of Green Gables books again. I think I shall read at least "Anne's House of Dreams" to make up for watching a movie that was supposed to be about the last books in the Anne series, but didn't have anything to do with the books. Practically the only thing that was in the books was that Anne married Gilbert. I'm grateful they didn't marry her to someone else. It's not that far fetched to think that they would do that. I mean, they totally, completely changed the story!! (As you can see, I don't do very good when people do that.)

We had a very odd conversation about that movie when we were discussing it afterwards. Very strange. A few lessons we got out of it were: 1) you should always be aware that someone may be following you. (at which point we all started creeping each other out. Josiah was saying, "Look, there's a crack in the blinds"(hinting that someone may be looking in at us) and Hannah was hinting about a spooky story that someone told us about a prowler looking in windows. At which point, mama said, "Let's stop talking about this" :D) 2) That Kegan guy was some kind of spy (papa kept asking if he was a German spy or what) 3) Always stay loyal even when you don't have any apparent reason to be. For instance, if it seems that your husband has been killed in battle but it's not confirmed, don't go being disloyal.

Okay, so the first two weren't exactly lessons. But they were part of our discussion. There was more, and it was even stranger. I think we were all a bit tired.

And I have been going outside often. It's been nice out--breezy and cooler. (for FL) I've climbed our tree a few times. Does that shock any one? I suppose it depends on how well you know me.

Speaking of going outside... one of the weirder things I have done this week is lay on the grass in the front yard in the dark with my head on the curbing around my flower garden next to Cheryl, Josiah and Emily. Don't ask why we were doing that. I don't really know.

I have been doing biology, too. It's very fascinating. It has answered so many questions I didn't even consciously realize I had. I am so baffled that people can study God's creation and know about the amazing complexity of it all--and still believe it happened by chance!! I know they just don't want to be accountable to God... but still! It is really so amazing how it all works together. It seems insane to believe it could have happened by chance!

Well, there's a few things that were in my mind. Which is very tired at the moment. So please keep that in mind as you read. :D

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rebelution Forum

Greetings to my followers, friends, and assorted others who are reading this!

I am just writing to let you know that I will be spending more time working on the Rebelution forums in the next week or so, and therefore may not be posting as often. We'll see.

The majority of the people on the Forum Team are extremely busy, so I am going to be trying to lighten the load, especially in the Attic.

If you aren't part of the forums yet, I suggest you join. :)

Have a blessed day!

For His glory,


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Is it Wrong?

Dear _____,

You said, "Is it wrong to want those high school memories..." I think I understand what you mean. But I want to encourage you to think about that a little more.

Is that really want you want? Do you really want those quick flashes of temporary pleasure... that may cause pain later on? Do you want to just do what is "Okay" or "not as bad as everyone else"? Do you want to simply go through life avoiding "bad things"?

Or do you want something completely different?

What if, instead of simply avoiding bad things, we lived a life sold-out for Christ? What if we longed for Him more than any other? What if our question was, "How can I best serve and glorify and love Christ?"

After all, can you think of anyone more deserving of our life, our all? He, the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth, the One Who was and Who is and Who is to come, the All-Powerful God of the universe, Who died a cruel and painful death --for us? For you! Who else has done that for you? Who else has laid down His very life for yours?

Read that again. Think about it. It should astonish you, overwhelm you, bring you great joy.

He did that for me? Me, who is a wretched sinner deserving of death? Amazing!

What if, instead of seeking those temporary pleasures here and now, we waited for God's timing and way? Oh, I know it is hard. It is very hard. I am only 19... but I know what it has been like for me thus far. I know the longing we have for that kind attention and for those sweet moments. I know the loneliness, the wondering if he [or she] will ever come, the dreaming and sighing. I know how it feels.

But I also know that God is faithful. He is always there, ready to comfort and help us. Oh, girls[and guys], I hope and pray that you will seek Him above all else! Only He will truly satisfy. Only He can fill that longing void in our hearts. When all else fails, He remains.

Imagine the joy and the long-term pleasure of knowing that you have saved everything for your husband [or wife]. Those little "firsts" that are so special... all for him [or her]! Can you imagine how amazing that would be?

Please, please, seriously consider what I have said. Think long and hard. The course of your life could be at stake!

For His glory and abiding in His love,


(This is a reply I wrote in the Rebelution... it sounded a bit like a blog post to me, so I am posting it here for y'all)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

On Blessings...

The more I hear people's stories, the more blessed I feel. When I read and hear about all the extremely difficult things people have gone through or are currently going through, I am just amazed that I can ever feel sorry for myself. My life has been so very blessed! Sure, I have problems and tough situations (most of them caused by, you guessed it--me) but compared to what others are dealing with... wow. There is always someone who has it worse...

How can I complain (in my mind or aloud) about such silly, insignificant things--like not getting to read when I want to, or having to do a chore when I'd rather do something that I want to do, or a sibling doing something annoying--when there are people who are hurting so badly?

People whose parents fight and hurt them and leave them-- when mine love each other so obviously? People who have to go without food or clean water--when I have an abundance of both? People who are desperately lonely-- when I have a houseful of friends? People who are hopeless--when I know God? People who hear horrible things said to them-- when people are kind to me the majority of the time?

Oh, God, forgive me! You have blessed me tremendously! Help me to always be thankful for the many, many blessings that you have given me, rather than focusing on what I don't have.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

True Nobility

By Edgar Guest

Who does his task from day to day
And meets whatever comes his way
Believing God has willed it so
Has found real greatness here below.

Who guards his post, no matter where
Believing God must need him there,
Although but lowly toil it be,
Has risen to nobility.

For great and low there's but one test:
'Tis that each man shall do his best.
Who works with all the strength he can,
Shall never die in debt to man.

We are learning this poem as a family, so I thought I'd share it with you all

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Of Ladies... and Gentlemen

I have often heard and read that there are no more gentlemen out there anymore, and that they don't open doors, give up seats, etc...

Oh really?

That hasn't been my experience. And it isn't because I am somehow so special that they do things like that for me. Instead, I believe it is because of the way I present myself. How's that? To sum it up, I would say, "Like a lady." That is to say, I wear feminine clothes, (think skirts) act like a girl, smile, and so on.

It's interesting how differently my sisters and mom and I are treated. It is very common for men to open doors for us. We've even had them give up seats on occasion!

Basically, if you act and look like a lady, and the chances of being treated like one increase dramatically!

Personally, I try to encourage this behavior whenever I see it. Whenever I am shown gentlemanly courtesy, I say thank you and smile. When I see a man being gentlemanly to other ladies, I do the same thing. This is something that I will go out of my way to encourage. :)

I don't really blame the men for hesitating to open doors for women nowadays... they never know if they'll be slapped or thanked! (not that that's a really a good excuse, though.)

Just my thoughts on the subject... anyone else have any?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

1 Peter Chapter One

Verse 13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; Rest your hope fully upon the grace of Christ.

Wow. If we did that perfectly, we would never have to worry again and we'd always be ready to do His will. He is the only one we can fully rest our hope on-- He is perfect, cannot lie, always fulfills His promises, never makes mistakes, is Holy, just, loving, merciful, all powerful, all knowing, and the list goes on. That who I want to trust fully and rest my hope on!!

Verse 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;

This verse is telling us to be obedient and to not do what our lustful flesh wants us to do. We need to learn what God wants and doesn't want us to do so that we will not remain ignorant.

Verses 15 and 16 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy."

He is holy-- and we are to be like Him. So we must be holy. What does it mean to be holy? It means to be set apart, called out, separate, pure, different, set apart, perfect.We are called to be like Christ, and therefore, different from the world. We should stand out-- in our words, our actions, how we treat our family, how we dress, and so on. As Christians, we must be holy, different from the world around us.

These are some thoughts I had on these verses in 1 Peter for a "study" I was doing with someone else. I haven't done any more yet, though. :( )

Saturday, October 3, 2009

10 Random Things About Me

1. When I lived in Colorado, there was this strange little boy that always said he wanted to marry me... I was like, "You are crazy. Go away." Or at least that is what I remember thinking. :)

2. The first color I learned was green. And my parents found out I knew it when I was pointing out all the green books in the store. Turns out I still like green and books 17 years later!

3. When I was twoish, I dropped spoons down the cracks in our porch in Pennsylvania for fun

4. I have lived through a minor earthquake, several tropical storms, a few hurricanes and a couple tornadoes (or at least tornado warnings)

5. I had a kid goat named Daisy when I was about 3 (maybe that is where Duchess Daisy really came from??)

6. I wrote and illustrated my first "book" at age seven (okay, so it was only like 10 pages long... but still)

7. I detest cockroaches, but do not scream about them, even when they happen to get on me. Though I must admit I feel like it.

8. I "jump" when I am startled... even when I am not really scared. It's very sad.

9. I really like colored pens. And I use them up quickly. I especially like green and orange pens.

10. I like painting... not pictures, but walls and doors. In fact, I am going to paint my parent's bathroom today. :)

And no, this is not a tag... I just felt like doing it. :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


My personal opinion about music is that it is very powerful and usually has quite an effect on your thoughts and feelings.

23 And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him. 1 Samuel 16:23

Therefore, for me, my guidelines are:

First and foremost, the lyrics must be words I’d feel comfortable having Jesus listen to with me. I don’t believe in the “I just like the music… I’m not listening to the words” thing. :P Often, when we subconsciously listen to something, it has a way of going deeper into our minds.

Secondly, I listen to music that has a positive effect on my moods and thoughts. If I listen to music and feel uplifted, joyful, thankful to God, ready to clean up :), etc… then I will listen to it again.

That’s pretty much it. I used to think that “loud music” was bad or something, but now, after reading the Psalms, I don’t think their music was very quiet.

3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! 4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! 5 Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! Psalm 150:3-5

Friday, September 18, 2009

Some Things God has Done for Me

Lately, He was showing me several areas that I need to work on, and helping me to change them.

He is teaching me to rely on Him and trust Him for my future.

He is the One Who keeps me kind and helpful and who gives me hope and joy.

When I am afraid or confused, I look to Him and He gives me peace.

He has brought me onto the straight and narrow path and has given me grace to stay on it.

He has brought many good friends and good books into my life.

He has blessed me with an amazing family and church family.

He led me to begin the bright lights group, as well as to join the rebelution forums.

He has helped me to appreciate nature and His power and how big He is.

He has given me life through my parents and new life in Him.

He has blessed me with a healthy body and mind.

He has shown great mercy and patience to me in spite of my many and repeated sins.

And so many, many other things.

He is my comforter, my strength, my all.

This was written in response to a question by another younger accountability parter (of sorts). What a great question! So, what has God done for you?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Having Purpose in Your Higher Education

So, why are you going to college? Uh, I don't know... because that's what everyone else does, I guess...

Well, what are course are you taking? Um, well, I don't know exactly yet... I think my mom is picking them... I don't really care.

Okay, well, what do you want to do after college? After college? I haven't even thought about that... it's, like, too far into the future. I mean, who knows? I don't really care what I do... as long as I'm making good money.

That's money... but what about like actually doing something worthwhile, for the kingdom of God? Wow, I really have no clue. I mean, I go to church and stuff, but other than that... uh, I don't know.

Yes, that conversation was from my imagination. But doesn't it sound familiar? That is the sort of response you are likely to get if you ask any young person out there today.

I don't know about you, but that is a pathetic excuse of a plan. Where is a life that is started like that going to lead? Nowhere. And fast, too.

As Christians, we must have purpose in these years of preparation for our future lives. We must know what we are learning, why we are learning it, Who we are doing this for, how we are learning, to what end we are learning.

It grieves me greatly to see countless young people going to college for no better reason than that it is the cultural norm. What a shame to see them spending thousands upon thousands of dollars, virtually wasting 2-6 of the most crucial years of their lives... all because that is what is expected of them. If you are going to just drift along aimlessly, why not drift along aimlessly without spending so much money? Or, much better yet, look to the word of God and wise counselors and figure out what you should do with your life.

College can be wonderfully useful. I don't deny that. And God can use even our foolish mistakes for our good and His glory.

But please, please, think long and hard about it before you just jump in because that is what is expected.

Some will be led to go to college to pursue a specific calling. Some will be lead to stay at home, and further their education there. Some will do online courses.

But whatever it is that you do, it is so important that you make that choice consciously, after much prayer and wise counsel, and with a definite purpose.

(This is from a post I did on:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Philippians Study

This is part of a study I am doing with a younger accountability partner on the Rebelution. Hope you all enjoy! Please feel free to answer my questions to her, add to my thoughts, or tell me that I have something wrong... I am interested to hear what others think.

Here are my thoughts on five of the verses in Philippians 1.

Verse 6

being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

This is a wonderful promise, isn't it? He will complete that good work in us. Even when things aren't' going so well, we can know that He will finish what He's begun. Have you felt that in your own life?

Verse 20

according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.

This relates to not wasting your life. That's how we should use our lives-- by magnifying Christ--isn't it? We need to pray for this kind of boldness so that Christ will be magnified in our lives. We have nothing to be ashamed of in Jesus Christ. We can live with boldness and confidence.

Verse 21

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

So either way, it is good if you are in Christ! That's pretty amazing! If we live-- we have Christ and we can do His work and grow closer to Him. Ad if we die-- we'll be with Him! How awesome is that?

Verse 27

Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,

"Let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ". What do you think that means? What kind of conduct is worthy of the gospel?

Verse 29

For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,

"It has been granted to you... also to suffer for His sake." Granted? That sounds like it is a privilege to suffer for Him-- as though He is allowing us to suffer for Him. That's an interesting thought. We are allowed to suffer for Him. Just like we're granted to believe in Him. What do you think? Am I thinking about this right?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


My family has a weird habit. We "adopt" people. As a few of you already know, having been adopted into our family. :)

I almost feel like I am lying now when I tell people I have 6 siblings. Because the number is actually somewhere around 20 or so if you include actual and adopted siblings.

Not only do we adopt siblings, but we also have some other weird relations. For example, I have a Mummy (an Australian mom) that is only months older than me. And Josiah is the grandpa of his friend-- who is also Josiah's grandpa. So yeah. Our family is very confusing!

It is a fun habit. Also one that makes people think we are really strange.


There is Someone Else Who has this habit-- only on a much larger and more incredible scale.

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." 1 John 3:1-2

I am so very, very grateful that He has adopted me as His daughter. What an amazing privilege it is to be called a child of God! And how incredible it is that we are told to address the God of the Universe as Father. It is only through Jesus' work on the cross that we can have these amazing privileges. Before His death and Resurrection, we could not come to Him in such a familiar way. Even the High Priest could only come into the Most Holy place at certain times-- lest he die. So this is not something to be taken lightly!

(I had a bunch of great verses about this, but unfortunately google and this browser worked together in some devious way to get rid of them. I hope to get at least some of them up later on.)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Flashes of Brilliance

When I was younger, I had several flashes of brilliance, as a friend of mine says.

I realized that I had some bad habits, and that I needed to change those into good habits.

One of those things was finishing things. My grandma has a habit of learning a craft, buying tons of craft stuff, and doing a bunch of projects half-way. And I did not like what I saw of that.

And then I realized that I was beginning to form that same habit! So I slowed down, stuck with the crafts I had, and became a finisher of projects. I am so glad I realized that when I did! It has been a tremendous blessing now, and I am sure it will serve me well in the future.

Another thing I realized was that I had untidy habits. So, I began making my bed every single morning, picking up my clothes, and keeping my desk orderly. I still have these habits today! (Though I need to clean off my desk today... I have so much going on that it gets piled up quickly. :)

I also realized that I needed to be more consistent with my Bible reading-- so I made a commitment to read through the Bible in a year. And I did.

And I am still recognizing and replacing bad habits to this day. (as if I am now super old :D)

Habits are so important! They are what make or break a person. Also, the habits we form as young people will be the habits we carry into our adult lives. So we need to be very careful what habits we form.

Wow, I am on a roll today! :) Three posts in one day. I have had a lot of ideas for this blog lately, so I am going to be posting more this week. Most likely. I think. :)

My List of 10 Things I am Really Grateful For

1. My wonderful, funny, crazy family and their friendship

2. My small, fun, peaceful home

3. All the opportunities I have to learn: homeschool coops, online, church, books, Papa, others, etc...

4. All of the people in my life who help me in so many ways

5. The opportunities I have to minister through Bright Lights, blogging, friends, and so on.

6. My fearfully and wonderfully made body, especially my eyes.

7. Books that teach me, stretch me, inspire me, make me laugh and make me cry

8. That I get to live trusting God for my future-- I don't need to worry because God is in control.

9. The computer and Internet-- I have made many good friends, learned many things, done many projects, all through these two things.

10. Having the Bible readily available and being able to come to the Almighty God --Who has adopted me as His daughter!-- in prayer whenever and wherever I want to.

So, what are you thankful for today?

Contentment and Blogging

The lovely thing about blogging or giving advice is that once you write something, you feel an obligation to try to do something about it. :) The sad thing about it is that you can write some great things, but not apply them to your life.

For example, someone I know is struggling with being discontent. And this is what I said:

Think about it. If you are discontent with where you are right now, what makes you think you would be more content with a different life? Contentment is not about what is going on in your life so much as it is about what is going on in your heart.

Sounds good, right?

Well, the hard part is when after you write something like that, you start feeling discontent.

Yes, that is what happened to me. :)

It does seem like God makes you a guinea pig for your own ideas, doesn't it?

What did I do about it? I wrote down 10 things that I am really thankful for, and also spent some time in prayer about this. And then I felt much, much better.

On a side note, have you ever noticed how much worse your attitude is when you miss praying for a day? I missed praying on Saturday, and on Sunday afternoon is when I was having a hard time with my attitude. That daily time in prayer is so essential!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What Do You Want to be Known For?

First and foremost, I want to be remembered as someone whose primary aim in life was to glorify God. I want it to be said that I was supremely happy in God and that I made Him look incredibly valuable--like He is. I want to be remembered as someone who loved and feared God over everyone and everything else, who was completely sold out for Christ. I want Christ to be the focus-- because He was the main focus of my life.

I also want to be known for the things I've done for God's kingdom-- helping people in need, educating, encouraging, raising godly children, working alongside my husband. I want it to be said that I was a fully devoted to to whatever it was that I was doing, rather than just kind of floating along-- actually making a difference. I want many people to say, "Because of Carissa (really Christ working through me) such and such is better in my life" I want to be someone that when you meet me, you come away changed for the better in some way.

I want to be known as someone who was kind, loving, humble, lived with integrity, dressed modestly, was diligent, patient, self-controlled, fun, and so on.

And there's more. But that's all for now. I wrote this while reading the book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." And posted it for Felicity. :D

So... what about you? What do you want to be known for?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Attitudes... and Stuff Like That

I have found that us good Christian people will usually not do the outward bad things as much... but we struggle more with our attitudes and thoughts.

Lately, I have been coming up with ways to change a wrong attitude into a good one. And I thought I'd share them with you all. (I really don't know how many of you there are... it's a mystery to me whether anyone reads it or not. Unless, of course, you comment. Hint, hint. ;)

Anyhow, an attitude that comes up frequently in a... well, a largeish family (I do not consider 7 children to be a large family) is impatience. *gasp* Carissa gets impatient?!? Um, yes. But lately, when I feel that impatience beginning to rise, I have been saying to myself, "Carissa, God has been so very patient and merciful to you. Surely you can be patient with Matthew while he doesn't listen to you right away." (or something like that) And it really does help.

Another thing is that I am not always particularly thrilled with what I have just been asked to do. Like putting away laundry when I wanted to go do something else. (I know, shocking. :) But then I thought, What can I be thankful for about this job? Well, firstly, I am thankful that we have clothes for me to put away. I am also thankful that I have such a nice papa to tell me to put them away. And I am thankful that I have siblings to put clothes away for. And so on. It helps!

Well, now you know a few of the things I sometimes do to change my attitude. Do you all have any things similar things that you do? Maybe you could comment and share them with the rest of us. Just an idea... :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Benefits of this Time of Waiting in My Life

We are studying the book "Before You Meet Prince Charming" by Sarah Mally. This was one of the assignments: To come up with 10 benefits of this time of "waiting". Here is my list. I may add to it later on... these are just some things that I thought of right away. :)

  1. It is helping me to grow closer to God
  2. It is building my patience
  3. It is a great time to prepare for the future
  4. I have more opportunities for ministry
  5. It is strengthening my faith
  6. It is building character
  7. It is a great opportunity to work on developing great habits and attitudes
  8. It is a time to learn many useful skills
  9. I have been able to minister to other girls in many different ways
  10. I have been able to be an example for other young ladies who are in a similar time

Psalm 27:14

Wait on the Lord: Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: Wait, I say, on the Lord

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Seasons of Life

We started a mother/daughter class at church, and one of the older women had a bit of very good advice. She reminded us to be happy in whatever season we are in. She said she enjoyed every season she was in, and she recommend that we apply that in our lives.

I was thinking about it. And at first, I thought that I applied it pretty well already. But, as I thought about it more, I realized that I am often wishing for things to be like they used to be.

I have had many fun seasons of my life. There was the time when I was working on a farm, feeding animals and various other chores. It may not sound that fun... but I really enjoyed it. When that time was over, I spent a lot of time hoping I would be able to go back to it.

We also had a time when we were doing a Bible study and then afterwards, going outside and playing games with lite sabers. Which we really enjoyed. And when that was done, I again wished we were still doing it.

Then there's people we were friends with who now live far away. And I keep wishing they were here.

There are many other examples of this... those are just a few.

Anyway, through this lady God has been showing me that I need to just be happy with where I am right now. Thankful for the past, yes. But focused on what is good about where I am now.

What a waste it would be of my life if I was continually wishing for times gone past!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Us? You Mean You Want to be Like Us??

We were having our family Bible time one morning. It was several days ago. And, in the course of discussion, mama told us that at least three people had asked her recently how to get girls like Hannah and I. (Well, okay, so that's probably not how they put it. But you get the point. :) )


At first, I was slightly happy with the news. I mean, it's nice to think that people want their children to be like you. Plus, it was heartening to know that we are living in a holy enough manner that others can detect it. Yes, it is encouraging.


Shortly afterwards, I started thinking about it more. (we're talking seconds after my first thoughts... the human brain is amazing. :) ) They want to be like me? Do they know who I am? If they knew me like I know me... well, we'll just say I don't think they'd want to be like me.

I also thought about how low the standard is. I mean, Hannah and I have done some nice things. Like Bright Lights. And we do dress more modestly than the majority of girls out there. And, yes, we are nicer to our siblings than most girls. And we do have devotions daily...

But, guess what? We could be doing so much better with Bright Lights. And I don't even always meet my own standards for modesty. And I know I could be more helpful, more loving, more caring with my siblings. And I should be doing more for my devotions... I'm not really memorizing anything right now. I know I could be doing so much more for the glory of Christ.

If they think we're amazing, then wow, have we fallen in our expectations and standards. (Does that make sense? :)

So... where am I going with this? I don't really know. But I have been thinking about it quite a bit. So now you get to think about it with me. :P

Monday, August 17, 2009

Jesus Died for Us Because We are Worth it??

"God dramatically confirmed His estimate of our worth by sending Jesus to the cross for us. When Jesus counted the cost in Gethsemane before going to Golgotha, He affirmed that sinful humanity was worth the sacrifice. He decided that we were worth it." --Listening, for Heaven's Sake

When you read that quickly, it seems good. At first, I agreed. But as I thought about it, it just didn't seem right. We were worth dieing for? How can we be worth it? Isn't the whole point of Jesus dieing that we aren't worth it?

I did what I usually do-- I asked my dad about it. And he agreed. That's taking God's esteem of us too far.

A few days later, I read this:

"Had men not been lost no Savior would have been required. Had they been abandoned no Savior would have come. But He came, and it is now established that God has a concern for men. Though we have sinned away every shred of merit, still He has not forsaken us. 'For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost.' (Luke 19:10) " --Tozer on the Almighty God

Now that's more like it!

The whole point of Jesus dieing on the cross is not to show how great we are. It's to show how great He is.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

He Gave Up So Much

A few days ago, I was washing dishes. A bit unwillingly. And as I was standing there, I was thinking. (What else can you do when you are washing dishes?) This is what I was thinking:

I can be so unwilling to give up my time to do things for my family (like washing dishes) at times. I want what I want. And I don't want what I don't want. And what I don't want is to give up what I want. :)

Then I started thinking about Jesus. What did He give up? He gave His all-- His glory, His home in heaven, His relationship with His Father, (for a brief time) His very life, for me. Me, who is a worthless sinner, a mere creation of His--one of billions of other sinners. It is stunning, really, when you think about it.

And it made me think how thankful I should be, and how very willing I should be to give up my time to serve others.

It's the least I can do, really.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thank you God!

When we think of how great God is, and how undeserving we are, we should be the most grateful and amazed people on earth.

We are doubly undeserving, as we read in Don't Waste Your Life. Not only are we creatures, a product of God's creation, but we are sinners. So, really, God shouldn't even bother with us.

But He did. And He does. And I am thankful, very thankful.

Think of all the gifts that we have received from Him. Wait, everything we have is from Him.

But think about:

Every breath we take.

Each heartbeat.

Every single step we take.

Finger prints.
Trees, flowers, and birds.

A family.


Legs and arms and fingers.




Eyes and noses and ears.


The ability to talk.



Amazing animals

Like elephants and tigers and blue whales


Finger prints.

Air to breathe.


The ability to read and write and do math.

Paper and pens

Wonderful colors.

Like green. :)


Cameras and amazing photographs.


The wind.



The moon.

Opposing thumbs


The Holy Spirit.

The ability to talk directly to our Creator

And live with Him forever if we accept His gift of Salvation.

And countless other wonderful gifts.

All of them directly from His hand. Wow.

What an awesome God we serve!

Psalm 145:21

My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever

Monday, August 3, 2009

It's the Little Things that Count

Making your bed. Brushing your teeth. Reading your Bible. Praying. Dishes.

All of those things are so simple... and yet-- so difficult. Why? What makes doing the dishes so difficult? What makes those little, daily task so hard? Well, one of the main reasons is that they never get done. The dishes don't stay washed. You unmake your bed every night. These small things never stay done. It is frustrating.

So why bother? Why even do them? Who cares if your bed is made or not? Will it really make a difference in eternity?? Does it really make that much difference whether or not you read your Bible every day? Maybe it's all pointless. Maybe we should just quit. That's it! Let's just quit!

No, wait. Maybe, just maybe, there is a reason for these seemingly insignificant, definitely hard daily tasks.

What, you ask, is the reason? Why should we do these things?

I'm glad you asked. :)

The reason, the purpose, of doing small hard things faithfully, is that it builds character (oh, yes, and skills). That's what it all comes down to.

Small hard things build perseverance, self-control, faithfulness, integrity and patience.

Those little things that we do daily are what life is made up of. Think about it: Those people who are amazing at piano, who are fantastic a basketball... they didn't just wake up one day with those talents. "Look mom! I can make this shot from from half court!!"

Those things take small, boring, repetitious actions to develop them into something great.

What we do everyday is who we really are. All those big dreams and goals we have are made up of little things that we must do. Books are written one letter at a time. Mountains are climbed one step at a time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Humility AND self-esteem??

(This is a re-post from Lily of the Valley. It was published at the beginning of this year.)

Reading in E. M. Bounds works on prayer (again!) I read about prayer and humility. His definition of humility is “to have a low estimate of ones self…” He includes some great little poems about humility:

“Never let the world break in,
Fix a mighty gulf between;
Keep me humble and unknown,
Prized and loved by God alone.”

“Let the world their virtue boast,
Their works of righteousness;
I, a wretch undone and lost,
Am freely saved by grace;
Other title I disclaim,
This, only this, is all my plea,
I the chief of sinners am,
But Jesus died for me.

“O that now I might decrease!
O that all I am might cease!
Let me into nothing fall!
Let my Lord be all in all.”

Aren’t these wonderful?!? This is how I want to be. Sadly, I find I fall quite short.

Thinking about this, I was sitting at the table doing… something, and I heard Zig Ziglar talking to Papa. (Okay, so it was a recording!) Anyway, he was talking about self-esteem. And I, being ever so intellectual, was thinking, How can you possibly be both humble and esteem yourself well?
And being the wise and curious person that I am, :) I asked my dear and VERY wise Papa just that. (Well, I didn’t say those exact words…)

Well, being the wonderful Papa that he is, he shut off Mr. Ziglar (sorry Zig!), and explained to me that we should realize that God made us, and that he created us in His image. Therefore, to look down on ourselves would be to look down on one of His creations. So to a Christian, Self-esteem is really God-esteem. The only reason we are worth anything is because God created us and loved us and saved us. Without Him, we are utterly, completely worthless, helpless, and unsaved.

So I think you can figure out how that works out. We are humble because we realize that we are worthless and can’t save ourselves, and deserve the wrath of God. But we esteem the work that God has done in creating and saving and loving us.

Hopefully that made some sense! Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Lately I have been thinking about how awesome prayer is.

Think about it:

Prayer is talking directly to God. God who is the Creator of all things, the Saviour of the world, an awesome and powerful and majestic and enormous God. He is the eternal, unchanging, omniscient God. Who suffered and died and rose again again for us. Who is perfect, holy and just.
And the One who, in spite of our complaining, forgetting, turning away, sinning, and sinning again, loves us SO much.

And this God wants to talk to us! He wants us minuscule, insignificant people with all of our sometimes ridiculous requests to share them with Him. How amazing is that?!? He actually enjoys listening to us ramble on about all these comparatively small things. And He responds! Not only does He let us talk to Him, but He wants us to talk to Him and then, on top of that, He responds! And then we sometimes complain that He didn't do what we wanted, how we wanted it! How can we be so foolish?

And then--this is what really bothers me about myself-- we have the audacity to start thinking about other things while talking to God! Really! We are talking to the All-powerful God of the universe... and we get distracted? How can we do that? If we were talking to a friend, we would hardly do that. But when we talk to God... it's different, somehow.

So my challenge to myself has been to do this:

Before I pray or at the beginning of my prayer, I think about the incredible privilege it is to come before our Great God and Father in heaven and imagine Him listening to me attentively. That helps me to appreciate the power of prayer and the value of prayer more and it also helps me to be more focused in my prayers.

Also, today and yesterday I have been using a list of things to pray about. That helps me to stay on track and also remember everything I would like to pray for. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What Have We Done Today?

By Nixon Waterman

We shall do much in the years to come, But what have we done today? We shall give out gold in a princely sum, But what did we give today? We shall lift the heart and dry the tear, We shall plant a hope in the place of fear, We shall speak the words of love and cheer, But what did we speak today?

We shall be so kind in the after while, But what have we done today?
We shall bring to each lonely life a smile, But what have we brought today? We shall give to truth a grander birth, And to steadfast faith a deeper worth, We shall feed the hungering souls of earth, But whom have we fed today?

We shall reap such joys in the by and by, But what have we sown today? We shall build us mansions in the sky, But what have we built today? `Tis sweet in the idle dreams to bask; But here and now, do we our task? Yet, this is the thing our souls must ask, What have we done today?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Don't Waste Your Life Q and A

Question 1: Is it true that all men seek happiness (even those who commit suicide?)
In my limited experiences, I find that it is true that all men seek happiness in some way. Some seek it in power, some in relationships, some in amusements, others in money, and the list goes on.

Is the pursuit of happiness inevitable?
It would seem so, especially if it is a God-given desire.

How do you think the Bible regards the pursuit of happiness? Cite scripture verses in your answer.

"To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind." Ecclesiastes 2:26

If we please God, He will give us happiness.

"But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful." Psalm

The righteous should be happy and joyful before God.

"I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live." Ecclesiastes 3:12

Nothing better than to be happy and do good!

"Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!" Psalm 144:15 We should be happy simply because our God is the Lord!

"Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding;" Proverbs 3:13

Gaining wisdom is part of being happy.

Question 2: When you hear the phrase the glory of God, what comes to mind?

I think of that phrase in two different ways.

One, I think of the universe and of nature, and how that displays the glory of God. The vastness and the incredible design of the universe make me realize how awesome God is. I see His glory in all of creation. "The heavens declare the glory of God;And the firmament shows His handiwork." Psalm 19:1

Two, I think of "How can I bring glory to God?" What can I do that will show others the glory of God? How can He be glorified by my life? "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

What does the Bible mean by "the glory of God"?

I think it means the majesty, splendor and honor of God (Psalm 19:1). It also can mean the opinion, judgement, and view of God; a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory. (1 Corinthians 10:31).

(I looked up the greek word for glory in those verses here:

Question 3: How would you define or describe love?

Love is everything. (1 Corinthians 13; Matthew 22:37-40) If you do not have love, you are nothing. It is hard to grasp this concept-- especially as our culture has us thinking that love is some kind of feeling. It is perfectly clear in 1 Corinthians 13 that that is simply not so. Love is so much more that that. Love is actions--Showing you care. Hugging someone. Giving a sacrificial gift. Keeping quiet when you want to speak in anger. Forgiving someone yet again. And so on...

How does the world define or describe love?

As I said earlier, the world views love as a feeling. It is something that you can "fall into" and "fall out of". It is not the kind that never fails. Rather, it is the kind that is selfish- what can I gain from this relationship?

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Definition of an Unwasted life

An unwasted life is one in which you do what God has called or ordained you to do. You successfully accomplish your purpose/mission and you've lived to the glory of God. You also spend your time on things that are eternal, such as human souls.

A wasted life is one where you waste your time on trivial things and do little or nothing of eternal value. It is life spent avoiding God's will for your life.

How can we discern whether or not we are wasting our lives?

By looking to the Bible to see what things the Lord requires of us and whether we are striving for and attaining those things.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Don't Waste Your Life

"Only one life,
'Twill soon be past;
Only what's done
For Christ will last."

That basically sums up the book "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper. We, on the Rebelution forums, are studying this book. I am privileged to be one of the discussion leaders and moderators. It has just started, so if you are reading this and want to join, click Here to get instructions for how to join on the rebelution blog.

I will most likely be posting thoughts about this book in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Love 3

And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 10:12

This verse really sums it up, doesn't it? Fear God, Love God, Serve God. If we could just do this every minute of every hour of every day we would be perfect. Since that is not going to happen in this lifetime, we can at least do our best to do those three things.

How do we fear God?

To fear God is basically to respect Him for His power and glory, to be aware that He will judge us. It is also the opposite of the fear of man. If we are living in the fear of man, we are constantly thinking what will people think if I do this? If we are living in the fear of God, we will be asking, "What does God think of this?" "Will this thought or action please Him?" It is also to hate evil.

I like to think of it as similar to my relationship with my father. I can talk to him, ask for advice, play with him-- I'm not terrified to be near him. But, on the other hand, I want to do things that I know will please him and not upset him. I have a sort of "fear" of what will happen if I disobey him-- but not of him himself.

To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Proverbs 8:13

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs :10

How do we love God?

Love is expressed by actions-- in this case, by obeying His commandments. This is how He loves us-- by His actions, especially of dieing on the cross for our sins.
Also, if we love someone, we are going to spend a considerable amount of time with them, are we not? So then, it would seem to follow that if we love God, we will be spending time talking to Him and reading His word to find out more about Him and about His commands. Another thing that we do when we love someone is tell others about how wonderful they are. So it is with God-- if we really love Him, we will be willing and eager to tell others about Him. And we will be praising Him for all He has done for us.

And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. Mark 12:30

How do we serve God?

To be used by Him, and to devote our lives to Him. To do all that we can for His cause. I think it may also mean to worship Him.

Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only. Luke 4:8

Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Romans 14:16-18

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Love 2

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:16-18

Need I say more?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:37-40

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13

So then, love is everything. If you do not have love, you are nothing. It is hard to grasp this concept-- especially as our culture has us thinking that love is some kind of feeling. It is perfectly clear in 1 Corinthians 13 that that is simply not so. Love is so much more that that. It is actions. Showing you care. Keeping quiet when you want to speak in anger. Forgiving someone yet again.

We watched the last of the Truth project videos yesterday evening, and the subject was community. He talked about the first verses, which is what got us talking about this over supper this evening.

More later!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Use your God given strengths

One of the things that was really stressed at the teen track "secrets of the world changers" was to find out what your God-given talents are and to use them to His glory. They were saying that doing that will give you energy, and it will be much more productive and fun then trying to learn some other thing because you think you won't make enough money with whatever it is that you are gifted in. So if you are good at something, continue to improve in it and use to the glory of God.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

While I'm waiting

I recently posted this video on my other blog. It is a song/video about waiting on the Lord. It is from the movie "Fireproof". Go ahead and listen to it, so we'll be on the same song. :) Here, I just wanted to point out a few key things in the song that really spoke to me. (I'm sure you can gain something from it, even if you don't listen, but I recommend listening, too)

It talks about waiting on the Lord in the these ways:
  • Hopefully
  • Patiently
  • Even though it's painful
  • And maybe more, don't have time to listen right now- if you find more, please leave a comment with it. :D

And it also talks about doing these things while you're waiting:

  • Worshipping God
  • Serving God

I think those things can apply to this period of "waiting" in my life, and in many of yours. Waiting for a husband, waiting for children, waiting for college, graduation, etc... I'm sure most of you are waiting for something!

The above actions and attitudes are so important! We are not to just sit around and "wait". We need to be worshipping, serving and so on.

We are going to a homeschool convention today!! So I need to go help finishing preparations soon. I will probably have learned some things that I can post on here when I get back, so stay tuned. :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Things I have learned from the women in my life

I am incredibly blessed to have had the influence of many amazing ladies in my life. I have thought of this sort of post for a long time, and now that it's around (well, a bit after) Mother's Day, I thought it would be a good time to write about it.


What blessed me most about Katrina was her very evident love for God. She had a wonderful way of praying... you could really tell she was talking to God, and that she really loved and knew Him. She told stories in such an interesting way. My brother Josiah always said that he liked it when she would do the "Devotion" part of our homeschool coop. She was also very fun-- she likes to play games and do crafts. They used to be neighbors, but moved away. So that's why I talking in past tense... Right before they left, she had us girls over for a sleepover, and stayed up talking to Hannah and I. She told us very funny stories of when she was a girl. She is very humble! I also admired her for not complaining about her health. (She has hip problems.) Also, she had an amazing garden, with pretty much all the edible tropical plants that can grow here. Which is pretty amazing!


One of the things that stands out to me about her is that she listens really well. She always is interested in what you have to say and offers good advice if you need it, goes along with crazy ideas, is ready to "philosophize" with you about anything, and so on. Another thing that is really amazing about her is her faithfulness and love for her unsaved husband. This is a good problem, because when they were married, they were both unsaved. Now she is saved, and her husband is not. So prayers for him would be appreciated. She is curious, and willing to learn. She is a "technology mom". They have 6 children, from 20 to 6, whom she loves very much. She also has many, many animals in her house and on their other property. We're talking 3 dogs, 4 or more cats, tons of fish, a snake, bearded dragon, 6 cattle, 4 hives of bees, and I'm sure there's more. So that in and of it self is pretty amazing. :) Well, there's more I could say about her, but I have to stop sometime.


Just the fact that she is a Pastor's wife and mother of 8 children under 13 is enough to make me admire her! She is a very happy, friendly person who is easy to talk to and to like. Her love for the Lord and desire to serve Him are a real encouragement to me and I'm sure many others. She is also a great cook on top of all that. I really like her potato casserole, sloppy joes, and cheese bread. And the cookies. :) I also admire her hospitality and heart for families. And of course, there's so much more...


Yuko, as you may have guessed, is from Japan. I admire her for her adapting to America, for her enthusiasm, her hospitality, her amazing cooking (sushi [no raw fish], miso soup, and much more!) her creativity, economy (when they were first married, she lived on popcorn for most of the day and made a nicer meal for her husband! She also washed clothes in the sink) and also for honoring her husband, who isn't the easiest person to honor.

Well, there are many more... perhaps I will do a part two sometime. :) But I wanted to get this up, since I actually wrote it last year. I know, terrible. :P

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Modesty tips!

My mother has always been big on modesty, so naturally, she had us dress modestly. Then, I hit about 14, and began wondering, "Why?" Why dress modestly? What is the point? Not that I didn't want to dress modestly... I just wanted to know why.

Well, my mother, being a smart mother, bought the book "Secret Keeper" by Dannah Gresh. In that book, I learned how immodesty affects a guy's mind, whether he wants it to or not. After the initial thoughts, of course, he can chose to entertain those thoughts or throw them out. I learned many other things, as well. She has a test that is helpful. You can see the test here: It looks a bit young, but the tests are still helpful. :)

So... a few tips that I've learned about modesty:

  1. Have you ever bought an undershirt, and then found out that it did not come up high enough to be of much use? Well, I have. One day, I finally had the brilliant idea to wear it backwards. I know it sounds weird, but it works! And you usually can't tell that it is backwards.
  2. Ask your Dad if you have any doubts on whether you should wear something
  3. When you wear a shirt that is button down, it is a good idea to wear an undershirt underneath. Why? Because when you are in certain positions, the holes gap open and people can see in. So, unless that is something you want, you may want to put on that undershirt. :)
  4. Safety pins!
  5. Often, when we stand in front of the mirror, everything looks great... But raise your arms, sit down cross legged, bend over... and some nasty things can happen. Make sure you are aware of what happens when you move!
  6. When you wear a skirt...
  7. If you don't want people seeing up it when you sit down, it's a good idea to have it fall below the knee. A few inches below is best.
  8. It is good to wear a "slip" underneath to prevent it from becoming see through.
  9. If you are going to be active while wearing one, you should obviously wear shorts underneath!
  10. Really tight skirts are probably not a good idea... they make moving difficult, for one thing, and also, they clearly outline, well, your backside. Not the best idea. :)
  11. When you swim...
  12. Well, I'm sure you all know this, but if you wear a white shirt over a swimsuit, it's not really going to help. :)
  13. Probably the more modest and least expensive swim attire is a swimsuit with a dark t-shirt and longer shorts over it. (see the modesty survey)

If you are really interested in modesty, I recommend going to Seriously, you must go there! It is a bunch of guys who are answered some of our questions about modesty. Very, very good!!

It can be a bit confusing at first, so I recommend looking at it like this:

First, look at the modesty petition.

Then, read how to read the results of the survey.

Next look at some of the really encouraging posts, such as: "Guys notice whether girls dress modestly or not", "Modesty is an important quality for your future wife to have" and "Despite rampant immodesty all around us, girls who choose to dress modestly do make a difference."

After that look at whatever topics interest you!

I hope this post made sense, and that you can find something useful here. I am very visual, meaning that I can sometimes get an idea of how clothes would affect a guy. So this is a big deal to me. :) I don't feel that everyone should dress like I do or anything (I wear dresses daily!), but I just want to encourage girls to dress modestly. And guys! :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Truth Project

We have been going through focus on the family's "The Truth Project". It is excellent, highly recommended. Last Tuesday, the thing that really stood out to me was that our search for significance is what has caused so many of the problems in history and in our lives today. In trying to appear important, we become like the pharisees. We do things to bring glory to ourselves, rather than to bring glory to God. And in doing that, we lose sight of why we are even doing these things, and it becomes a meaningless show. I hope and pray that God will help me to only do things for His glory, not mine. This is a fault that I have recognized in myself!

Soli Deo Gloria! "To God Alone be the Glory!"

Friday, April 24, 2009

What do you want to do?

So, what are you doing with your life? What do you want to accomplish in this lifetime? Do you know? Have you ever taken the time to think about it? Did you write anything down? Huh? Huh? Did you? Did you?

Well, if you didn't, get off the computer, get a notebook, journal, whatever, get a pen, and start your list. Especially if you are young, but even if you're not. Do it now! Why are you still here? Go! Come on! I'm sure you have the things you need... Now just do it! I'll stop talking so you can go. Bye!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

This day is all I have and these hours are now my eternity. I greet this sunrise with cries of joy as a prisoner who is reprieved from death. I lift mine arms with thanks for this priceless gift of a new day. So too, I will beat upon my heart with gratitude as I consider all who greeted yesterday’s sunrise who are no longer with the living today. I am indeed a blessed woman and today’s hours are but a bonus, underserved. Why have I been allowed to live this extra day when others, far better than I, have departed? Is it that they have accomplished their purpose while mine is yet to be achieved? Is this another opportunity for me to become the woman I know I can be? Is there a purpose in nature? Is this my day to excel?

I will live this day as if it is my last.

This is in one of the books I am reading, and I thought it was really good, so I'm sharing it with you! I want to live each day like this-- how about you?

Friday, April 10, 2009

The 20-40-60 Principle

When you are 20, you worry about what everyone thinks about you.

When you are 40, you don't care what anyone thinks of you.

When you are 60, you realize that no one was thinking about you all along!

Even when people criticize you, they aren't even thinking about it 5 minutes later!

Let's stop worrying what people are thinking about us, and think about what God is thinking about us!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

1 John 3 Study

1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

my thoughts: Wow, that is so amazing how much God loves us! He calls us His children-- I am His daughter! How awesome is that!? I'm praising God for His love to me. So, the world does not know me. I'm not of this world. The world does not know me because it doesn't know Him-My Father-It is not part of the family!

2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

I will be like Him! How can that be? That is amazing! I will see Him- He will be revealed to me.

3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Wow, if we have this hope and belief that we are God's children, we will be pure, like our Father. So maybe if we are not being pure, we need to focus on the promise that we are God's children.

4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

If I sin, I am not obeying the laws. Sin is lawlessness. This verse is a bit strange to me, at least right here in this passage. Thoughts anyone?

5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.

He came to take away my sins! That is great-- I really hate my sins! I can claim that promise, "He was manifested to take away our sins". In Him there is no sin-- I can trust Him and follow His example.

I am doing this study with a girl from the Rebelution forums. She is one of my accountability partners.

Does anyone else have any thoughts to add?

Winning and Whining, Part 2

I read, and have been reading, this great book called "The Top Ten Distinctions Between Winners and Whiners".

Distinction number 6 is that Winners listen more than they talk.

In the Bible, is it says: So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; James 1:19

Listening more than talking is also a sign of humility. Showing that you think about what the other person has to say as more important than what you have to say.

This has always been a problem for me: When someone is talking, I will start thinking about an experience that I had that was similar. And then I tend to just blurt it out! I am trying to keep my mind focused on what they are saying, instead of thinking about me and what I can add that will make me sound good, or whatever.

This is a big way to make friends and keep them, also. No one wants to feel like they are not being listened to! On the other hand, when someone is listening attentively, it makes us feel that our opinions, thoughts, and feelings are valued, that the person cares about us.

One way to show that you are listening is to ask questions about what they are talking about. Another is to say, "So, what you are saying is that _____________?" Another is to remember the details and then use them later on.

For example, one of the Bright Lights girls was telling me that she would like a purity ring. I asked questions about it, until I had a good idea of what she was looking for. She also mentioned that she had a hard time finding camouflage duct tape for her duct tape crafts.

She really is having a tough time right now, so I wanted to make sure she knew that I cared about her. So I sent her an email with links to websites that had the things she was looking for, along with a note. Here is her reply in part:

"Thank you for the links Carissa. You just mean so much to me that you took the time to find them. You are a great inspiration for my life and I love you so much I am crying right now."

So, as you can see, this listening stuff can really show someone how much you care!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Winning and Whining, Part 1

Lately, I have been realizing the importance of using positive words. We need to be constantly focused on what is going well, what we are grateful for, and so on. Happier people live longer, have more friends, and are probably going to be more successful.

Words are extremely powerful! They can ruin some one's life-- or make it! They can get you where you want to go, or prevent you from reaching your goals. They can make or break a friendship. They can produce good results, or not-so-good ones.

In the Bible, it talks about the importance of controlling your tongue. For example:

Proverbs 18:21 (New King James Version)

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Proverbs 21:23 (New King James Version)

23 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue
Keeps his soul from troubles.

Proverbs 13:3 (New King James Version)

3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life,
But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.

Psalm 39:1 (New King James Version)

“I will guard my ways,
Lest I sin with my tongue;
will restrain my mouth with a muzzle,
the wicked are before me.”

James 3:4-7 (New King James Version)

4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.

5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.See how great a forest a little fire kindles!

6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.

7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind.

And so on...

I will add more later--I have to go make supper! :)

About "Rejoice Always"

I will be using this blog to share things God is teaching me or things He has already showed me (to some extent, at least :). Especially related to Himself, Christianity, girl topics, relationships, doing hard things and life in general. I hope and pray you will be encouraged and inspired here.