Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Don't Waste Your Year

It's. Nearly. 2010. That's a scary thought (and I feel the same way every coming year)! And you know what New Year's means: parties, New York, the countdown, and "new year's resolutions."

Have you ever made any resolutions? If you're like me (and you're probably not), then you'll have many excellent, challenging resolutions. The beginning of the year will start out great! You'll keep on schedule, stay on track, prevail in diligence, and keep yourself accountable. But slowly, very slowly, as the months go by, your diligence starts to decline, and procrastination starts to set in. With all the activities and responsibilities you have, your resolutions slowly move to the back of your mind. Eventually they're forgotten. Until New Year's. Then you look back on your year, a bit guilty that your resolutions have not happened . . . once again.

So why is it so hard to keep resolutions (or am I the only one who finds it difficult)? I think there's probably many reasons; but ultimately, resolutions fail because people (including me) try to do them in their own strength. And I know from experience that things done in my own strength never succeed. But take a look at what God says:

Proverbs 16:3

NIV
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
ESV
Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.

Joshua 1:8
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (NKJV, emphasis mine.)

By committing my way to the Lord - doing it in God's strength - meditating and applying God's Word, I can have success in what I do! Of course I must make sure "my" plans are not my plans only, but God's promise is clear: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path."

The below lists are Sunday school notes from a few years ago, adapted by yours truly.



10 Ways to waste your year


10. Don't commit to anything

9. Do things on your own (and in your own strength)

8. Expert in putting things off

7. Spend lots of time on the Internet, watching TV, etc.

6. Choose wrong vs. right

5. Center activities and your life on yourself

4. Go with the flow (of the world)

3. Don't take your parents' advise

2. Use your time for your own benefit

1. Have no goals





10 Ways to make the most of your year


10. Commit to something

9. Have an accountability partner

8. Don't procrastinate (in other words, "procrastinate later" =D)

7. Manage your time, make God your priority

6. Chose Truth over tolerance

5. Center your life on Christ

4. Fight peer pressure

3. Take your parents' wise counsel (and ask for counsel)

2. Be servant-hearted

1. Set a goal!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 Tag

Here are the rules:
1) Fill the answers in with your memories of 2009
2) Tag your friends!


A Moment I Will Always Remember:
New Life Ranch, 2009

A New Skill I Acquired:
French Braiding my hair!

A Movie I Watched:
Up (too adorable!)

A Book I Read:
Ben-Hur

A Lesson I Learned:
Or lessons =D
1) This life should not be about me, but God.
2) God humbles the proud, but gives grace to the humble
3) I cannot trill my R's (which really stinks if you're trying to learn Spanish)

A New Experience I had:
Driving for the first time!

A New Place I Visited:
Silver Dollar City. Well, actually I've been there before, but it was so long ago I don't remember much. It was new to me!

An Inspiring Verse/Quote:
Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


I tag anyone who comments!

I'm Not Dreaming!

We had a white Christmas! I don't know, maybe you guys have white Christmases all the time, but I can only remember one in my lifetime (here in Oklahoma)! But now I've had another one--with about 6 inches of snow and drifts up to 15 inches! I think lots of the States have been having snow, though. Even though we had to reschedule our family gatherings, this Christmas was exciting!

Sorry about the glare...this picture was taken inside!

Dad shovelled a bunch of snow from our driveway.

We live right by a water retention area, so we're just walking distance from some big hills to sled on! The kids went to go sledding and I decided to join them a little while later. But after I got ALL my snow clothes and boots on, they decided they were done! No one wanted to go sledding with me! =D

Cierra had a blast...

...and Mariah was exhausted and could barely walk home!!!

I, nevertheless, decided to enjoy the snow by myself! =P


I hope you all had a...


We didn't get to go to our cousins' house, but we had a fun time together as a family at our house.





Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Christmas Tree





The
Christmas
tree reminds
us of the Christ;
its top pointing to
heaven, its lights denoting
the Light of the World, and all
the presents beneath it reminding us
that every good gift comes from above.
Thanks
be to
God!








Note: Want a laugh? Check out this article. I sure feel sorry for those reindeer, though!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

Whew! I've been having lots of finals to study (and cram :D - JK!) for, so I haven't been blogging in a while! And now it's all over! Yipee! I'm not sure if I've mentioned this on my blog, or not, but I'm taking a humanities class that's just for homeschool students and meets twice a week. I'm loving it and have learned so much, but I am pretty relieved all the tests are over now! Partly because I don't have to worry if I'll remember everything, but also because it means Christmas break! Well...for my humanities class anyway. My mom probably will have us continuing to do some of our other school. :( Anyway, since I haven't posted in a few days, I have a lot of catching up to do! So beware for a long post...

We are privileged to live in an area where a local church decorates - and I mean DECORATES - their property with TONS of Christmas lights every year! And the best part is, it's free! They put up an estimated 1.8 million lights this year!!!! We try to make a point to see them every year. We chose last night because it was incredibly nice - for a December night!


Isn't my brother so tall? :D Most people probably wouldn't guess that I'm 15 months older than him! It's even harder to believe that I was actually taller than him once!!! He likes to tease me about that now! :) Thanks to my brothers, Aaron and Austin, for all the pictures and videos! I happened to not bring my camera! :) Austin took these pictures. If you've ever tried it, you'll know that taking pictures of Christmas lights is really hard! So on some of them, he turned his camera around - while he took the picture. He said it makes them so messed up, they look good! I think it's pretty cool myself! Sorry about the sound in this video! I haven't found digital cameras to have much audio quality. :)
video
video


We also made gingerbread houses the other day. We did it by "gluing" (or icing) grahm crackers together:

The kids had some friends over to help decorate!


This is Aaron's house!


Here's Mariah's! Cierra even got . . . creative! Notice her chimny on top. :D Another view...


I didn't make one because I happened to be the one who glued them all together! I was a little "iced" out! lol!


Well, that's all for now!

*Don't forget to vote on my new poll! I'm trying to decide if comments should have a whole new window that pops out, or if I should keep it embeded right beneath the post.*

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Christmas Tag!


Fun, fun, fun! I was tagged by Karis at Winsome Composition. Thank you Karis!!!



1) Do you like sugar cookies? Yeah! I like decorating them too!

2) Do you like a LOT of lights on your Christmas tree, or just a few? I don't really like the colored lights as well, but if they're white - put 'em all on!!!!

3) Do you prefer a real tree, or an artificial tree? We've never had a real one . . . I think a fake one is less hassle though.

4) What's your favorite Christmas carol? Why do they have to ask an impossible question??? I try to listen to them ALL, seeing that we only have about one month a year to play them! lol!

5) Do you like egg-nog, or boiled custard? I DO NOT like egg-nog, and, to my knowledge, I have not ever had boiled custard!

6) Do you want a lot of snow for Christmas, or just enough to sled in? Just enough to have fun in and still be able to travel safely! We've only had one or two white Christmas-es (how do you spell the plural of Christmas?) in my lifetime, so it would be fun to have another one. :)

7) What's your favorite part of the Christmas story? Mary's reaction to the angel's messege, the manger birth, and the shepherds coming to worship Him.

8) What's your favorite Christmas movie? Hmmm, most of the Christmas movies I've seen are a little too goofy . . . I want to see one like The Christmas shoes, or The Nativity.

9) If you could spend $1,000,000, what would you buy? I would use it for a TON of things, too numerous to list, and then put the rest in savings. :)

10) What is your favorite name(s) of Jesus? Immanuel, Lamb of God, Lord, and all the others, of course! :)


I tag anyone who loves baking Christmas goodies!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Question of the Month

So I've been wondering . . .


Why is it important that Jesus was born in a manger? (Or was it important?)


Note: There is no wrong or right answer, necessarily. I just wanted to see what you all thought.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jingle Bells...2!

I heard this version of "Jingle Bells" a couple years ago from one of my cousins! :)


A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
I hopped into my sleigh
And picked up my friend Clyde
We rode down to the school
And much to his surprise
Some boys started throwing snowballs
And hit Clyde between the eyes!

Chorus
(Jingle bells, Jingle bells. . . .)

Now Clyde got really hot
At what those guys had done
He filled the sleigh with snow
And said, "Let's have some fun!"
We rode down to the school
And much to their surprise
Clyde threw a bunch of snowballs
And clobbered all those guys!

Chorus

I thought it was so hilarious when my cousin sang it!!! Do you all have any funny Christmas songs that you know?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tag, You're It!

I was tagged by Taylor from Proverbs 31 . . . in Training!

Six names you go by:

1. Chloe
2. My little sister used to call me "La-la." I have no idea where that came from!
3. Chlovus - I got that name from friends at CYIA (I might post about CYIA sometime, for those of you who weren't there!!!)
4. Uh... Lucky Clover (kinda a variation of Chlovus)
5. Chloe-mano-ee-fee-fi-fo-ee - Okay, I don't go by this name, but that's what my dad would call me when he was teasing me!!!
6. I'm having trouble thinking of another one . . . but I have had several people pronounce my name like Klo and Cleo!!!! :)

Three things you are wearing right now:

1. A brown turtle-neck with little pink hearts all over it
2. Jeans
3. My tennis shoes

Three things you want very badly right now:

1. To get my drivers license
2. Christmas break!!!
3. To grow closer to Christ

Three things you did last night/yesterday:

1. Went to church and our Christmas drama
2. Finished up homework for today :)
3. I read one of the Left Behind - The Kids for over an hour!!!

Two things you ate today:

1. A kiwi
2. Homemade bread

Two people you last talked to on the phone:

1. My little bro Aaron
2. My dad

Two things you are going to do today/tomorrow:

1. School (duh!)
2. Tonight I think we're going to the skit night put on by the homeschool group

Your three favorite beverages:

1. I hardly drink anything except water!
2. I like hot tea every now and then
3. And any juice!

NOW TAG EIGHT PEOPLE

I don't want to tag anyone who doesn't want to do it, so I tag the first 8 commenters!!!
Thank you Taylor!!!



P.S. Want to hear ONE of my favorite Christmas songs?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

He Made a Way in a Manger

I heard this song for the first time the other day and thought, I have to find out about this song! It relays the meaning of Christmas so beautifully!

Written by Steve Merkel and Lee Black
Performed by Candi Pearson Shelton in the album Shout Praises

For lyrics, click here

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sisters-4-ever

Mariah, Me, and Cierra! <3 You girls!





Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Power of the Resurrection

When I was younger, I heard the story of the resurrection over and over. I could retell it, backwards and forwards. But the resurrection is more than just a story. Much more. I think because it was so familiar, I didn't fully understand its significance. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul writes to the Corinthians explaining the importance of Christ's resurrection and how fundamental it is to our faith:

13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
(1 Corinthians 15:13-19)

The notes in my study Bible divided divided this passage into six points. . .

Six disastrous consequences if there was no resurrection:

1) Preaching Christ would be senseless (14)
2) Faith in Christ would be useless (14)
3) All the witnesses and preachers of the resurrection would be liars (15)
4) No one would be redeemed from sin (17)
5) All former believers would have perished (18)
6) Christians would be the most pitiable people on earth(19)

Wow! I have just recently been learning how fundamental Jesus' resurrection is to the Christian faith. The whole purpose of Jesus leaving His glory and coming to earth as a man was to conquer death for all mankind, that we may have Salvation through Him alone!!! And because Jesus DID rise again, we have a faith that's alive and a living hope. (Like verse 19 says, if Christ did not rise, then we have a false hope because it's based on this life only.) We have hope that we will be resurrected someday because death has been conquered by our Savior!!!

Have you ever found it hard to believe in (or doubted) the resurrection?


Revelation 1:17-18
And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death."