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Posted in Bible Trivia/Study

Are we truly humble?

HUMILITY: freedom from pride or arrogance 

“Lionel Messi is the humblest person I know,” 

Yes. Yes, he just might be especially when compared to this:

Image result for gif do you know who i am

Or this…

Image result for gif do you know who i am

And I do admire Messi’s humble trait, but he is not the humblest person I know. 

When Jesus Christ was here on earth dwelling among mere mortals they failed to realize who He was because pride was in the way and Christ did not take out a billboard in every city to advertise that He was the Son of God. When He was scorned and rejected, He could’ve easily revealed His divine glory and show those people who He truly was, but He chose to remain humble in every matter and verbal assault.

Being God, Jesus HUMBLED Himself to become Man.

Christ lowered Himself when He died for us on the cross without even insisting on His rights. Had He insisted, “Do you know who I Am?” I guess many people would’ve been astonished to see that He really was the true “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16), the “Prince of Peace” and “mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6) among other wonderful titles! 

So can we be as humble as Christ? According to Philippians 2:5, we can by having the same mindset as Him. We can start by confessing our sins regularly, not worrying about status, always thanking God, and putting others before ourselves. 

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Remember, not all angels were as humble as our Lord, who is gentle and humble in heart (Mattew 11:29). Jesus modeled humility and there isn’t another fine example that can match up to His humbleness. Check pride at the door and be a humble warrior!

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ACTIVITY: Your activity is to sit down and reflect on humbleness. Share in the comment section below what humble truly means to you or your favorite Biblical verse on being humble. 

“Above All” is a wonderful tribute to our humble Savior. It perfectly describes His humble nature. 💙 Happy Sabbath, all!

Crucified
Laid behind the stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone

Like a rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Above all

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Posted in Musings

Where I go from here…

I hope this month is filled with excitement! ✨

So, here we are, May. I’ll be doing some reflection this month to see how far I’ve come in different areas of my life and where I’ll be going next. I have a ton of reviews to write so I hope I can get to that this month and I found some six-word stories on my flash drive so maybe I’ll share those. 

I really look forward to writing, though, so maybe I’ll finally get around to some of those neglected posts I’ve been meaning to finish 2-3 months ago.

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Challenge for mai

I found this challenge on Pinterest (I’ve since pinned tons of them for the future!) and although I don’t listen to music as I used to, I still chose it. *shrugging* Maybe I’ll walk down memory lane with some of them!

Ask me anything you wish from this picture XD. I will try to answer as soon as I can.

Blessed mai to all!

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Posted in Blogging 101

New to blogging? Start here.

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Hey, you there! 

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You-ooh! Over here!

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Yes, you! If you’re new to the blogosphere (even as new as late last year or early this year), the community welcomes you with open arms and if you’re reading this post, here’s a pretty good place to start so don’t be shy. Introduce yourself in the comment section below, leave links to your blog/tell us what your blog is about if possible (no profanities please!), and make some new friends. 

Although I won’t be able to follow every single blog, I’m happy to have you on board. Again, welcome to the blogosphere! Enjoy your stay.

To the not-so-newbies: feel free to share a post that you’ll like to highlight or get more reads on.

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Posted in My Write 💙

The Flower Shop at the end of rue des Saints-Pères

Short Story #24
An ode to April & Spring

Like a flower opening its petals to greet the world, the sun rose over the most romantic city its light filling the sky; pure scattered light illuminated Paris bringing the legendary city to life.

The picturesque morning made many Parisians smile as they went about the day, but Monsieur Raoul Gilles grumbled as the scent of Spring fills his nostrils. He disliked this time of the year for it was the most romantic time for lovesick locals and flowers overflowed from almost every store.

“ACHOOO!!” he sneezed as he made his way down rue des Saints-Pères not paying attention to where he was walking and grumbling about Spring ruining his sinuses so that’s why the question caught him off guard.

“Would you care to buy a bouquet of freshly cut roses?”

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Gilles stops abruptly after realizing that he was at the end of rue des Saints-Pères and slowly turned around to face the soft sing-song voice. It belonged to a woman not much older than twenty-five standing outside of a small flower shop with baskets of flowers at her feet. The sun rays cascaded onto the reddish curly hair and small bare shoulders and danced on the smattering of freckles across her cheeks giving her an impish glow.

But it was her bright eyes which made him stare. The striking, yet soft baby blue eyes remained wide open, a perfect Spring sky! His breath hitched in his throat. He had never seen eyes this beautiful!

The woman waited, holding out to Gilles an armful of luscious red roses. When he didn’t express a wish to buy a bouquet, she offered, “Or do you prefer lilies, tulips, or some other Spring flowers?”

Gilles shook out of his stupor. “I um, actually don’t like flowers.” The woman’s radiant smile fell from her face and he quickly adds, “I’m allergic to the pollen.”

“Oh,” she said and nods in understanding.

“But I’ll take a bouquet of tulips. “Gilles hurriedly said just as she made to turn to go inside the shop. “My sister is unwell and she’ll truly appreciate them.”

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The smile on the woman’s face was back and all was right in the world again for that’s the only expression that looked right with her Spring eyes. She told him the price for the tulips and he reached into his messenger bag to retrieve his wallet. Once he had the required cash, he held the money out so he can take his purchase, but this gesture wasn’t met half way. She was facing him wrong and she held the bouquet of lilacs like she was waiting for it to be taken from her instead of handing it off to him.

Gilles stared at the woman and noticed two things he didn’t before: her exceptionally beautiful eyes hardly diluted and a blue cane leaned on the open door. He was so preoccupied with the woman’s face that he failed to notice that she was blind.

Chuckling, he took the flowers from her hand and pressed the money into the soft palm of her hand. “I better go,” he said.

Her face brightens. “Thank you for purchasing flowers. I hope the rest of your day passes well.”

“And same to you, my lady. Same to you.”

Gilles sneezed all the way back to work, but he was in a happier mood than when he woke up to the Parisian Spring and after reading the attached poetry to the bouquet, something tells him that he’ll be back to Mademoiselle Flowers soon.

Image result for gif april

***ALL GIFs via Google Search

 :

I’ve missed this. I’ve missed writing short stories. I wrote and edited this story in two sittings because when I started writing it, I was not feeling it. It’s not the best I’ve written to date, but I wanted to write something about romantic April in the beautiful season of Spring set in only the most romantic city in the world. I wanted to focus a little more on Mademoiselle’s character because she’s blind and sells flowers attached with poetry and I thought she was probably one of the more interesting characters I’ve had in a long time. Anyways, thank you for reading, although I did not deliver the romance I wanted to. God bless. 💙

Posted in Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

Day 25: A song by an artist no longer living

The ever timeless classic “Billie Jean” by the talented Michael Jackson. Who was Billie Jean? What was Billie Jean? Was she just a girl as Michael claimed? The stalker who wrote him letters about a son she thought was his? Shall we decode the song? First, let’s take a moment to appreciate the moonwalk:

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Now, the song. What I loved about MJ, was the fact that his songs and videos mimicked each other and didn’t confuse its audience, for he used the videos to tell the story of his songs. In this song, we have a girl claiming that MJ is the father which he is outright denying. After all, this is an outcry! He’s a virgin (straight from his mouth) so how can he be the father? A PI is then seen following MJ in order to take pictures with him and the so-call Billie Jean to prove that they’re lovers. A newspaper headline appears screaming “Billie Jean Scandal” showing that the press never lets scandals or rumors for that matter fade for the media is almost always the ones responsible for making them up. 

The glowing floor is the most mysterious.

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I think it represents MJ being followed and accused and that no matter what he do or were he goes, someone is ALWAYS going to be there watching (Big Brother), which was creepily true in real life. She shows him a photo of his kid, and although “his eyes were like mine”, he still denies it “She says I am the one but the kid is not my son”.

Pffftt!! Yeah, right, the kid was his son and the lady ain’t no crazy fan named Billie Jean. His admonition of warning “remember do always think twice” overshadows his repeated denials of “the kid is not my son”. He had history with that girl. He’s admitting his mistakes because of fathering a child while being a child himself (possibly), but when he found out that the child isn’t his, he’s relieved because “mother always told me be careful of who you love. And be careful of what you do ’cause the lie becomes the truth” and he regretted not listening to her. He’s also relieved because he’s young, his career is just taking off and having a child can be a setback. Obviously, he slept with this woman. How stupid does he think I am? He does not get to play the innocent victim in this song for moonwalking out of Billie Jean’s life and his possibly child. 

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As for “For 40 days and 40 nights. The law was on her side” it brings to mind Biblical accounts such as Jesus fasting for 40 days and the great flood. Here, 40 is the nominal number of weeks of pregnancy. Gestation lasts 40 weeks or roughly 9 months.

Hmmm… maybe I should start a Hollywood Speculation & Theory series. 🤔

Anyway, here’s a fun fact: this was the first music video I actually saw and I was intrigued with the mystery surrounding the story. It’s also the video that’s credited for breaking the color barrier on MTV. His videos were always groundbreaking and he changed an entire genre with them for music videos were never the same afterwards, but Billie Jean was his lover… at least in song.

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Billie Jean is not my lover
She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one
But the kid is not my son
She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son

Posted in Books & Reviews

Book #114: Cellar of Horror: The Story of Gary Heidnik

Serial killer Gary Heidnik’s name will live on in infamy, and his home, 3520 North Marshall Street in Philadelphia, is a house tainted with the memory of unbelievable horrors. What police found there was an incredible nightmare made real. Four young women had been held captive–some for four months–half-naked and chained. They had been tortured, starved, and repeatedly raped. But more grotesque discoveries lay in the kitchen: human limbs frozen, a torso burned to cinders, an empty pot suspiciously scorched…

This is not a story for the faint-hearted. Cellar of Horror is a shocking true account of the self-proclaimed minister with a long history of mental illness, who preyed upon the susceptible and the retarded in a bizarre plan to create his own “baby factory.” It is a macabre web spun around money, power, and religion, tangled with courtroom drama and lawyers’ tactics, sure to send a chill into your very soul.

THE WRITING

Like many true crimes books out there, authors seem to enjoy going back and forth, sometimes clutching at straws when trying to tell a murderer’s story. I hated the back and forth of Heidnik’s life in this book. This is not supposed to be a fascinating page-turner that it leaves you at the edge of your seat where you can’t wait to turn the page to find out what really happened. The author should’ve started from Gary’s childhood thus producing a significant timeline. The back and forth was sickening and I almost flung the book across my room.

The information was also repetitive, another thing true crime writers have in common. The last two-thirds of the book focused on the trial and it was very boring at some point.

GARY HEIDNIK

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Like most (if not all) serial murderers out there, we can always look back to their childhood and blame something from their past that causes their brain to malfunction making them turn into killing machine. But where killing is concerned, there is no excuse, although Gary’s childhood was a dysfunctional one. His father was abusive and whenever he wet the bed he’ll be forced to hang up his sheets outside his window. He was a loner, but he was smart and at 17, he was drafted into the Army. It was during this stint that he showed signs of mental illness and things eventually went downhill from there.

He was said to be an LSD guinea pig for the military, but the most disturbing thing was the fact that he tried to commit suicide 13 times.

Twenty-one times Gary Heidnik entered mental health facilities. Twenty-one times he was discharged. Even when he said he wasn’t ready to go. Even when he begged to stay. (Page 274)

This started after his alcoholic mother committed suicide. Had he gotten the help he had needed, who knows? Things could’ve turned out differently today for him.

Intelligent, with an IQ of 130, Gary kidnapped, tortured, and raped six African-American women. During their captivity, Gary fed them dog food and even forced them to eat Lindsay’s body. 

Was Gary really mentally ill? Did he really suffer from schizophrenia? Was he faking it? How does someone who is mentally ill capable of making sound investments?

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Police digging in Heidnik’s basement (Pic via murderpedia.com)

Gary was executed by lethal injection on July 6, 1999. As of 2016, he was the last person to be executed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

THE CAPTIVES

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via Google Images

Josefina Rivera, age 25, kidnapped on November 25, 1986. She was accused of beating the other captives and enjoying it even when Gary was not around.

Sandra Lindsay, age 24, kidnapped on December 3, 1986. She was murdered in February 1987.

Lisa Thomas, age 19, kidnapped on December 23, 1986.

Deborah Dudley, age 23, kidnapped on January 2, 1987. She was murdered on March 19, 1987.

Jacqueline Askins, age 18, kidnapped on January 18, 1987. (featured on The Steve Wilkos Show “I Survived A Serial Killer”)

Agnes Adams, age 24, kidnapped on March 23, 1987 (rescued the same day).

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Heidnik’s house (via criminalmindswikia.com)

COVER

2/5

OPENING:

Officer Julio Aponte shook his head. “No,” the rookie cop said emphatically. “I can’t do it. Not without checking with my supervisor.”

VERDICT:

love coffeelove coffee…just one more True Crime book to go and then I’ll be reading a short history book on champagne and reviewing two YAs. 

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Posted in Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

Day 24: A song by a band you wish were still together

I’m not a band lover. I loved Backstreet Boys and I think they’re still together and Depeche Mode is definitely still going strong. I’ll have to go with Creed. Scott Stapp’s voice was not top notch in my opinion, but I liked it anyway. My all-time favorite song of theirs was “With Arms Wide Open”. Taking the lyrics at face value, it’s obvious that it’s about a father (Stapp) welcoming his newborn (Jagger) into the world. But the video tells a different story altogether.

Given that Creed was a “Christian” band, there had to be a spiritual theme. 

Stapp is addressing his Creator, there’s lightning and then he is suddenly surrounded by fire and brimstone (?) a sure sign that we’re living in a wicked world; the world in which his son is going to be born in. He sees a tower/church and seek refuge (Proverbs 18:10). He then finds himself in a cave under the tower church and while he sings about his one desire being that his son does not end up like him, he accepts God as His true Savior and is baptized and ends up on top of a mountain with arms wide open as if surrendering to God. Thus God receives His son once more with His arms wide open (The Prodigal Son).

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With arms wide open
Under the sunlight
Welcome to this place
I’ll show you everything
With arms wide open
With arms wide open

Posted in Yes, This Is Our World.

Michael Jackson music video inspires Cheswick boy to help the hungry

The following is taken from wtae.com:

A 9-year-old boy from Cheswick said he was inspired to help the hungry by watching a music video with his mom.

“I was watching a Michael Jackson video, ‘Man In The Mirror,’ and I just saw these kids that didn’t have enough to eat (and) not enough water,” said Sam Kieffer. “And it just didn’t seem right to me. Everyone should have enough food and water to live.”

Kieffer has established Sam’s Blessings Box on Jacoby Road. The outdoor food pantry provides everyday essentials to people who need them. Among them are fruit, vegetables and toiletries such as shampoo.

“I can’t survive a day without eating dinner,” said Kieffer, “so I can’t imagine how people feel when they don’t have anything for dinner for a week or many days. It’s just not right.”

Kieffer said he hopes his effort will inspire others to create similar roadside food pantries in their neighborhoods.

“I feel like the future of this small thing can make a big impact in every community.”

Helping the hungry isn’t the only mission for 9-year-old Sam. He has also become involved in raising money for research of the epidermoid brain tumor. He said his father has such a tumor.

Through the Save The Brains campaign, Sam, his siblings, and others have raised more than $7,000, making them the single-largest donor to the Epidermoid Brain Tumor Society.

Among the fundraisers they hold are lemonade stands and bake sales.

Kieffer has also written a collection of poetry called Freedom Zone, a portion of the sales of which are donated to the Epidermoid Brain Tumor Society. He has listed the book for sale on Amazon.

“Sam is a child who just has a genuine desire to help people and he tries to do that in various ways,” said Kieffer’s mother, Terri.

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This is the best story I’ve read this week and decided to share it here. Sam’s book can be purchased here: Freedom Zone. May God continue to bless this child as he carries out his mission in this world. 

***Photo via Twitter; GIF via Giphy

Posted in Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

Day 23: A song that you think everybody should listen to

Aw, man! I don’t like recommending music at all. I’ve chosen Michael Jackson for the past few days or so and I have a feeling that I’ll be selecting some of his songs later on again, so I’ll leave him out this round! 😄 I’ll just leave 4 songs that I enjoy and hope you enjoy them too. Fair?

All I Want by Michael W. Smith

There is no greater desire than drawing closer to Jesus. 💙We’re nothing without Him and although we may fail Him, He is quick to forgive us when we come to Him. Our eyes should be set on the things above as we continue to seek Him every day and Mr. Smith couldn’t have sung it any better. Jésus est mon Univers!

Peace by Depeche Mode

When Dave Gahan sings, you shut up and listen. Eh, not really, but Gahan just happens to be my favorite vocalist after MJ. At the beginning of the year, this song chose me. It’s calm, it’s peaceful, it’s motivating, it’s uplifting, it’s about letting go of a negative nature, accepting the past, and moving forward. Peace is also my word of the year… and so is epic! 😆

Hold Me Now – Thompson Twins

Stay with meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

Was I disappointed when I found out that this band wasn’t actually a pair of dashing twins? Of course, I was! But they actually had some decent music such as this one and ‘Lay Your Hands’. It’s about reminiscing about a relationship gone bad, focusing on the good times they had while they were together. 

Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy

It’s just beautiful, soothing piano music. Clair de Lune is French for “light of the moon” or “moonlight” and it was originally written in 1890. It belongs to French Impressionism, although Debussy rejected this label in a 1908 letter. Now, this is giving me some serious inspiration for a poem!