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Goal counter: April ✨

Hello, and welcome to another…

April has been a fantastic month! I cannot complain. I’ve been reevaluating all areas of my life and spending more time in nature. I didn’t read as much as I would’ve liked to, but nevertheless, I managed to read a few books.

Anyways, these are the short-term blogging goals I had for this month:

* I actually read 6 classics including “Around the World in 80 Days”. I did not get to read as much as I would’ve liked, but I read a total of 13 books this month for a total of 64 books so far this year. 

* Unfortunately, I’m yet to lay the groundwork for Exodus and it’s quite irritating given the time I’ve had. I keep veering off track, but I’ll try to resume Bible studies soon. 

* Done! A lot more work to be done, but it’s good to get a head start on things. 

michael jackson mature era | Tumblr

This GIF is a mood! I think it’s going to be a new fave!

* Done! Book reviews are becoming a task, so I’ll be attempting to write shorter ones in the near future. 

* This was also done. I’m still getting around the new theme, but it’s the one that the Lord led me to, so I’m grateful to have this new theme. The header is a peacock and the background (if you can see it) features dragonflies, two creatures that I currently adore.

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* I actually wanted to start the kitchen adventures category, but I ended up with a totally new one: Coffee Shots in which I’ll upload short thoughts, poems, or stories that are coffee-related.

* I did not find the time to do this although I do have one in mind, so I’ll try to look at it soon.

* Actually, I started writing a review for a TV show but abandoned it midway. It’s sitting nicely in drafts.

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Although I did not get everything accomplished, I was delighted with all that was done. I pray that you’re doing well by God’s grace and that your May will be spiritually blessed.

God’s peace be with you.

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#amwriting ✍

Legend Has It…

Short Story #31

“So,” Jack Payet turns around and places his hands flat on the desk. “You’re telling me that three stupid girls went into the woods in search of some legendary monster and got kidnapped?”

She nods.

“And I should report it?”

She nods again.

“Give me one good reason why.”

“Because one of the girls is the mayor’s daughter.”

“Whoop de doo!” Jack mocks. “The mayor has done nothing good for this city and want my byline in the press about his daughter? What about the other girls? Don’t they get some sympathy for being stupid, too?”

She sighs and lets this one slides. When her boss was in one of his so-call righteous mood swings, there was no reaching him. All there was left to do was let him finish his sanctimonious rant and when he was satisfied, he’ll set out to write the article he was viciously ranting about anyway.

“Didn’t Criminal Minds teach them anything?”

“Not everyone watches TV, sir.”

“That one shouldn’t go into the woods alone?”

“Technically, there were three girls an…”

“How could they be so stupid, Lois?” 

“Actually, my name is Janice.”

Criminal Minds is like the best lesson in how not to get murder 101.”

“Again, not everyone watches TV!”

“I’m going into that woods tonight.”

“Good luck, sir.”

“And you’re coming with me.”

“Why?”

“To prove there is no such thing as the Laughing Man and the girls just wanted attention.”

Janice shakes her head. Sometimes, she didn’t get how Jack Payet was an award-winning journalist for the Los Angeles Times.

Jack grinned at the satire draft and shaking his head, discarded it to get down to the real article. He had an hour and a half to prepare for his trek into the woods, and he didn’t want to waste any more time. 

10 Cool Jobs Held By Super Heroes - Page 3

Related > Sometimes You Can’t Go Home

When I was younger, I wanted to be a journalist (thanks to Clark Kent), a lawyer, or a librarian. God has blessed me with a wonderful library career, and I am utmost grateful for this was definitely the best route for me. However, from time to time, I do enjoy writing about lawyers and journalists. I enjoyed writing Jack Payet, but with this short (it’s actually part of a series that my youngest sister is currently encouraging me to write), I wanted to work on dialogue setting.

Also, the mention of the name ‘Lois’ is a nod to Clark Kent’s partner although Payet ain’t no Kent. I included the LA Times draft “article” to give an insight into the articles that Payet would’ve truly liked to have published.

All grammatical errors are mine.

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Books & Reviews 📚

Books #162 – #164: Christian lit

These reviews might be shortish… 

Book #162: Mi Casa Uptown: Learning to Love Again by Rich Pérez

Image result for Mi Casa Uptown: Learning to Love Again by Rich Pérez

The book is part memoir, part sermon; a good blend of uptown and faith, but in all honesty, I couldn’t bring myself to love it. I partially liked the book for I like a few of the messages, but I didn’t like that lyrically or musically, Mary was compared to the likes of Kendrick Lamar. What does Lamar spiritually and positively bring to the table? Yes, I might be petty, but I didn’t like it. The author loves his city so much that he’ll have a hard time believing that God would want to call him away to another city. 🙄

Final Verdict:

love coffeelove coffee

Book #163: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Image result for The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

This book was first published in 1942. It’s a Christian Apologetic novel that has been dedicated to Lewis’ then good friend, J.R.R. Tolkien. What even is the purpose of this partially self-help, satire book? This book consists of 31 letters and in the very first one, we see Screwtape advising his nephew Wormwood (named after a star in Revelation) on how to tempt his human, “the Patient” into sin and hell.

The bottom line is that Lewis gives us a very black and white view of right and wrong. Whatever we think is good is Christian-based and whatever we think is bad is anti-Christian. Christians think deeply, but non-Christians don’t? War hurts people, but it’s better to die young than to live to 70 as a non-believer? 

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This is exactly the kind of book that can cause non-believers to run for the hills. The fear tactics employed in this book! The smugness that clung to the pages. I felt like I went to a sanctimonious church service and the preacher thinks that he’ll be a whole lotta funny to impersonate a devilish figure. He wanted to be funny without being preachy, but it didn’t work. 

Although this was satire, meaning that it was supposed to be funny, there was nothing to laugh about for it was too arrogant. Doing the Lord’s work is not a joke and this reverse Psychology of how to stay close to Christianity was not effective. Lewis said that he didn’t enjoy writing this book – I didn’t enjoy reading it – and he spent nights awake worried about this book. Well, one look at Ephesians 5:11 would’ve halt his anxiety and insomnia, and put a stop to writing this book. 

Not because a lot of Christians like it, doesn’t mean I have to like it. 

Final Verdict:

love coffee

Book #164: Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Image result for Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

I thought this book would’ve been redemptive from the Screwtape show, but alas! I was wrong. This book was adapted from a series of BBC radio talks between 1941 and 1944. It should’ve stayed on the radio. 

He calls Matthew 24:34 the most embarrassing verse in the Bible because: “Say what you like,’ we shall be told, ‘the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, “this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.” And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else.’ It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible. Yet how teasing, also, that within fourteen words of it should come the statement ‘But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.’ The one exhibition of error and the one confession of ignorance.”

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Give. Me. A. Break! Lewis was in the wrong, not Jesus. Lewis probably didn’t understand prophesy when he called this verse embarrassing. Jesus wasn’t even talking about the Second Coming. This was Jesus’ most prophetic message concerning the end of the world. Where it concerns His Second Coming, Jesus addresses what we should do (watch) for no one knows the appointed time of His glorious Coming (Matthew 24:36-51).

After many so-call believers read this book, they flocked to atheism because they were looking for a sad excuse albeit a pathetic one to turn their backs on God Who gave them the gift of life. I’m a Christian and after reading this so-call Christian book, I’ll continue to stick with God for He is my EVERYTHING. I have no excuse to turn my back on Him. I don’t need any convincing.

C.S. Lewis comes across as pompous and after reading two of his books, I’ve come to the decision that they’re not my cup of coffee. If I do come across any more of his books such as these in my TBR, I’ll get rid of them. Lewis is canceled. 

Image result for quotes on praying for others

Final Verdict:

love coffee

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Musings, Yes, This Is Our World. 🗺

Thoughts from the lockdown!

Over the past few months, I’ve seen the world go from hoarding toilet paper to animals actually enjoying the open without people trying to invade their space every second. Look at how happy this crow IS to have the see-saw all to itself!:

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B9W37i_qaHI/

While the essentials got a pass to leave their homes for work, the rest of us were threatened to stay inside for our own good unless we really need to go to places such as the pharmacy or grocery. And boy, when some people got to the grocery, they bought things they did not need for selfish reasons!

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We were also warned to wash our hands and sanitize, and I wondered if people never knew about practicing proper hygiene before this pandemic. The public was also advised to social distance and wear a mask while out in public. 

Michael Jackson Face Mask GIF - MichaelJackson FaceMask FixHair ...

MJ made wearing masks couture before it was couture itself. 😆

The measures that were put in place by governments around the world made people angry that they were being imprisoned in their own homes for their good. This was not D’ 2020 they envisioned in their mind when the year began. 

Tom cruise GIF on GIFER - by Dalen

The tuning into the media caused panic within so many people that they seem to fear the virus more than God. This kind of fear only leads to anxiety and other wicked thoughts. Trust always in the Lord. Do not unravel or compromise with the world.

Coronavirus, Virus, Fear, Hide, Health, Healthcare

Instead of running scared, we should be re-evaluating our priorities. What are we doing all day long? How are we using the time that God has loaned us? Are we praying? Are we reaching out to those in need?

In all of this melee, I threw my trust in God and just went with the flow. Over the past weeks, I’ve been enjoying my family, valuing my walk with God, engaging more with nature and trying new things in the kitchen. Yes, I said the kitchen. 😒

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Life as we know it is not over and this is not the new normal (at least not yet) for we’ll get to enjoy the sun again even if it’s for a little while. I hope you’re all doing well and leaning on God throughout everything no matter what.

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Devotional Nuggets

Devotional Nugget #14: Omakase

For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them.

Ecclesiastes 9:1

I love learning new and exotic words so when I came across the Japanese word omakase, I immediately loved the translation of it: “I will leave it up to you.” Omasake is the Japanese tradition in letting the chef choose your order. 

We can say the same when it comes to going to God with our prayers: “I will leave it up to You.” That is why when we pray, we ask for His will to be done (Matthew 6:10). 

2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to take every thought captive. Before we truly begin to talk ourselves into doubt thus allowing us to spiral down a hole of anxiety, we need to take those thoughts captive. Over the years when I handed my worries and burdens off to God, I saw His hand in everything when I did not attempt to take it back. I saw His hand in health challenges, finances, job transitions, and even where my family was concerned. We should never be afraid to approach God in prayer for we’re His servants, and we’re accepted by Him (Isaiah 41:9-10). Faith unfolds when we leave everything in God’s hands and by witnessing His hand in all things (Isaiah 66:2). 

Truly learn to trust the Father, so when you put your problems in His hand, you won’t be tempted to steal it back. 

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Application

Whatever it is that you’re holding tightly onto, put it in God’s hand, leave it up to Him and watch Him work. Share with God what’s on your heart daily for He loves and values hearing from us.

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A to Z

The Imperial Shag

It’s getting harder to choose one bird for its respective letter, but I’m happy to see that this challenge is progressing and hopefully, it’ll be done before September God’s willing comes along for I have a tendency to stretch things out. In this post, we’re going to look at another beautiful bird! 

Imperial Shag, Blue-eyed Shag or King Cormorant (Leucocarbo atriceps) - many sub-Antarctic islands, Antarctic Peninsula & southern South America

Image: The striking Imperial Shag. 

🐦 The Imperial Shag – also called the “Blue-Eyed Shag” – is a black and white cormorant that can be found down the Antarctic peninsula. In the wild, they can live up to 15 to 20 years.

🐦 These birds form large colonies often mixed with penguins and other seabirds.

antarctic shag

Image: They do remind me of penguins… but prettier versions!

🐦 They’re the only Antarctic bird to keep a year-round nest as long as the ice holds off.

🐦 Although it’s referred to as “blue eyes”, it’s actually the region of the skin surrounding the eye that’s blue.

Imperial Cormorant Portrait by Sean Crane - Photo 207559661 / 500px

Image: “I’m ready for my close-up!”

🐦 The Imperial Shag fishes together in groups that are known as “rafts” and they’re able to stay underwater up to 4 minutes at a time.

Images: Pinterest; Google Search

Reference/s: coolantarctica.com; oceanwide-expeditions.com; YouTube

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Related

The Anhinga

The Blood Pheasant

The Crane

The Duck

The Eagle

The Flightless Birds

The Gulls

The Hoopoe

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Bible Activity/Discussion

Who is the Holy Spirit?

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.

Zechariah 4:6 

Who or what is the Holy Spirit? Is the Spirit a personal Being? A separate entity? A part of God? To you, who or what is this Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit seems to be the least understood of God’s character. The scriptures personify the Holy Spirit at times, just as it also personifies wisdom, sin, and death. In John 16:7-15, the Holy Spirit is referred to as “He” for the Greek word for helper is a masculine noun and according to the Greek grammar rules, it requires a masculine pronoun. 

How to pronounce Paraklētos in Biblical Greek - (παράκλητος ...

250 years after the last of the apostles had died, the Trinity became a thing thanks to Constantinople in AD 381 thus causing division among religions. However, we know how God feels about taking away and adding to His Word (Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32; Revelation 22:18). When it comes to the Holy Word, we’ve been led astray by men for we’re too lazy to sit and read/study the Word on our own. Besides, God promises that we’re never alone for we have a Helper to guide us (John 14:16;26)

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Acts 2:4

Throughout the Bible, Jesus speaks of the relationship between God the Father and Himself (Matthew 26:39; John 5:18-22). In visions of God’s throne, we read recordings of the Father and Christ being seen, but not the Holy Spirit (Daniel 7:9-14; Acts 7:55-56; Revelation 7:10). In Revelation 21, we see that “a new heaven and a new earth” is soon going to replace this corrupted earth. Verses 3 and 22 explicitly states that God and Christ will dwell with men, but there is no mention of the Holy Spirit. I believe that this is because we’ll constantly be in His presence. However, I’ll admit that I’ll have to do some more study and research in this area.

The Holy Spirit and Artificial Intelligence - The Singularity

The Holy Spirit is a gift (Acts 10:45), it can be poured out (Acts 2:17, 33) and it can be quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19). We are baptized with it (Matthew 3:11), we can partake of it (Hebrews 6:4), drink of it (John 7:37-39), and be filled with it (Ephesians 5:18). This Spirit is ONE Spirit for it’s not only the Spirit of God, but also of Christ (Romans 8:9; Philippians 1:19). This is the same Spirit that the Father imparts to true Christians through His Son the Christ (John 14:26; Titus 3:5-6) that enables them to be “partakers of the divine nature” (Peter 1:4). The Holy Spirit is represented by various symbols such as a dove (Matthew 3:16), oil (Psalm 45:7), God’s hands (Psalm 8:3) and wind (Acts 2:2). 

Ics Video Game Mario Bros Vati Run Edition V 1 Vincent Pham Holy ...

The Holy Spirit is God’s active force or divine power and it shouldn’t be misunderstood. The Spirit is there to guide, teach, and comfort us. It has attributes of a Person and IS treated as a Person. I’ll just leave a few things I’ve learned about the Holy Spirit while reading/studying the Word:

^ Jesus began His ministry “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14-15).

^ We cannot gain a spiritual understanding on our own or through man; it is through God’s spirit within us that we gain spiritual wisdom and insight (John 14:26).

^ Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, the power through which the Father begot Jesus as His Son. In short, the Holy Spirit is God’s divine power (Matthew 1:20).

^ Paul wrote many books, but only in 2 Corinthians 13:14 is the Holy Spirit mentioned along with the Father and Christ.

^ The Holy Spirit is the Source behind the books of the Bible (2 Peter 1:20-21) for ALL scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16).

Matthew 3:2) “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand ...

In the comment section below, leave your favorite scripture or story from the Bible about our Helper/Comforter!

COMING SOON: What is the Bible?

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Related

Who is God

Who is Jesus

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