Friday, February 28, 2014


Whether we have role models or not, we are all influenced by something or... more than that, someone. It could be your parent, or your favorite singer, historical person, or missionary. It doesn't even have to be a real person. Instead, it could be an character in a book or a movie. We're all influenced by something or someone. Of course, our main inspiration should be Jesus, above all else. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't have other inspirations.

Our country has a few bad influences. Number one is the culture. Unfortunately what is one of the most influential things in the word is one of the most twisted things in the world. We, as young adults, can't help but be sucked into it. Not everything is bad, but a lot of it is. If we don't have enough godly influences in our life, we can get deceived.

Sometimes I can get caught up in my influences and forget the fact that I should focus on being an influence. Okay, I know you might think that you don't influence anyone, but the truth is that we don't realize what influence we have on other people.

I'm the oldest child. You might think that obviously puts me in a influential position. Sure, it does, but my sister influences me a lot. We might be family, but it shows that just because you're young doesn't mean that you don't influence people.

If you're an only child, think of your friends. Friends can influence each other too. My best friend influences me to be confident. The truth is that many of us don't realize what kind of affect we have on people. Whether is our friends or family, we are affective.

You might wish that people wouldn't see you as a inspiration. No one is perfect. We can't help but always find some sort of flaw in ourselves, whether if it's pride or too big of a smile.

Now this might sound unfair, but it's not your choice whether you are influential or not. Seriously, it's not. We are free to choice our own inspirations, even if our inspiration doesn't want to influence us.

Here is your choice: how you influence. You might not be able to decide if you are an influence, but you definitely can choose how you do. That is completely up to you. You can choose to be an influence for good reasons or bad. You can choose to influence people rightly or wrongly. It's all up to you. You can send encouraging messages to people or you can bring people down. Just remember,  there are people who watch you.

So I ask you: What kind of message will you send today?

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Colossians 3: 12-14

Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review: MOCKING JAY

Title: Mocking Jay, the third book in The Hunger Games series

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, sci-fi, action and adventure

Author: Suzanne Collins

Plot: In the final chapter of the Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen is at her lowest low. Her home, District 12 has been completely destroyed by the Capital, resulting in many lost lives. Though her family and her best friend made it out alive, she is devastated. On top of blaming herself for its destruction, her friend and fellow tribute, Peeta, has been captured by her enemy, President Snow. After being rescued by a group of rebels, who have made their fortress in District 13, they want her to be the Mocking Jay. It is the symbol of rebellion that shall unite the Districts against the capital.

When she accepts the offer, she goes to difficult districts to make peace and help the wounded. She is caught off guard when she finds out that President Snow is hurting Peeta because of her. They rescue him, but it doesn't make things any better. Peeta has been 'hijacked' which means that they took memories of Katniss and made them scary. He used to love her more than anything, but now he wants to kill her. She must balance her life as the Mocking Jay and decide what she must do with Peeta.

What I liked:
The emotion of this book was... amazing. In my heart, I was crying along with Katniss through her struggles. Though the plot twists made me sad, they kept me turning pages. The author has a way of making the unlikable characters likable. Also, it showed the ups and downs of love. Instead of completely bringing it down, it showed a couple getting married.  At first, Katniss hates Peeta, but in the end, her anger softens and she learns to love him, even when he hurt her. Multiples times the characters sacrifice themselves for each other. Gale, Katniss' best friend, volunteers to go with the people who save Peeta, even though it is a life threatening mission.

Okay, no one can deny that this book is very sad. However, in the end, it shows that there is hope in tragedy. There are mixed feelings about the ending from Hunger Games fans, but personally, I loved the ending.

What could've been better:
Throughout the entire series, there have been quite a few deaths. Most of the deaths weren't too upsetting and had to happen, but in this book, two important characters died and it brought down the story. Character  deaths are sad, but sometimes they work out for good. A death earlier in series inspired Katniss to win the Hunger Games. Unlike that, the character deaths in this book didn't seem to have a point, other than to throw Katniss off her game and ultimately, off the edge. It shows sacrifice, but the death at the very end didn't have a good purpose.

Katniss did do a little life saving, but it was influenced by her hatred for President Snow. My point? My favorite scene was when Katniss saved ____'s life.  From the outside, it was really sweet. Underneath the surface though, instead of being influenced by love, she was influenced by anger and hatred. Mercilessly, Gale kills, unlike Katniss, who is haunted when she murders someone. As a result, some killing could have been avoided.

Content: Of course, violence is a thing in thestory. Once when someone is dying, she describes it as 'flesh melting off like candle wax.' Similar things happen, but not the point of being explicit. Katniss kisses Gale and Peeta once. A male character talks about being forced to be sexual with women by the cruel president.

Conclusion: I am a die hard Hunger Game fan and I was satisfied with the ending. Mocking Jay was very powerful. It enticed me and didn't disinterest me for a minute. Katniss comes across as an unlikable character to me, but I ended up rooting for her. Since I've adored Peeta, it was difficult for me to read those parts, but it worked out happily in the end.

Apart from that, it was sad. Through it all, I wish it could have more happy parts. Making up for it, the book sends a message. Unfair violence and cruelty never benefits anyone. But... there is hope even when it seems so far away.

Because of the violence, I'll have to rate this 4 stars. I really liked this book, but you have to be a certain age before you read it. There has been some controversy about it, but overall, it is amazing book. The series is thrilling and totally worth reading. In the end, it does make up for the tragic deaths.

Friday, February 14, 2014


In honor of Valentines day I have 1st Corinthians 13 up for you. It's a great chapter one of my favorites. I encourage you to take a couple seconds even if you've already read it to just read it. Don' just read it say oh that's good. Apply to it. If you can't love you enemy just one day that's bad. Many are mocking Jesus but he loves them. Not just one day, but always. That's a love that's priceless. Try new things today. Say something nice to someone you don't like very much. When it says in verse 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Faith is awesome. Hope is too. But love builds faith and hope together. Just a little something to think about. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY EVERBODY!! MAY YOUR DAY BE FILLED WITH LOVE ALL AROUND!! BYE!!:)


The Way of Love

13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Life Goal

This week I've been researching an amazing missionary named Amy Carmichael. She was most known for her work in India, but also ministered in other countries, like Japan and Sri Lanka. You see, I have to write a long paper for my writing class and it was my dad's idea to choose her as my subject. Now I see how that has benefited me.

Amy Carmichael is an inspiration to me for many reasons. Bravely, she helped many children escape from the temples of the false gods, which was their prison. Also, she taught the Gospel and was a hope to people whenever she went. Trust me, she went a lot of places. The main reason she inspired me though, is more than that.

Ultimately, she inspires me because she was willing to go anywhere for God. As I learned more about her, it was clear that her goal in life, was to glorify God. It wasn't just something she claimed. Undoubtedly, she wanted to serve Him, not in the way she wanted to, but in the way He wanted her to.

I have different kinds of goals in my lives. There are fun goals, like seeing my favorite singer in concert or going to Washington DC. Also, normal goals. You know, the things everyone wants to do: get married, have kids.

Of course, there's also one special goal. For me it's publishing a book. It's the kind that relates to our personalities. Perhaps making a record or dancing professionally is what you have in mind. It's something that might be unrealistic, but it's fun to dream about. (Not that those things are unrealistic)

What's my point? Well, the thing is that we have a lot of things in mind that we want to do. Disney tells us that dreams can come true if we believe in ourselves. But what if we did something different?

Okay, you might have many life goals and there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's good to set goals for ourselves. For a moment, though,
 forget all those goals. Set your mind on one goal: following God's plan for your life. We can get so caught up in what we want to do. Even when our plans aren't bad, we need to let the writer write the story.

Amy Carmichael felt God's call to be single and she was. Now I'm not saying we should be single, but that probably wasn't what she had in mind. God works in mysterious ways and He will surprise us. Quotes from different people say to be brave and be yourself. While some of these things are good, the bravest thing you could ever do is give your life to God.

There is nothing wrong with life goals, but as you are thinking about it, keep one goal in mind. That is following God's plan for your life, no matter where He calls you. That's what truly matters most.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Book Review: The Lightning Thief

Title: The Lightning Thief, book #1 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series

Genre: Children/Young Adult Fiction. Modern day mythology. Action

Plot: Percy Jackson isn't a regular sixth grader. He's gone to multiple schools and has been expelled from multiple them. On top of that, he's dyslexic and has ADHD. He's at a boarding school for troublesome children, away from the only one who cares about him, his mother. Things get worse. At a field trip, one of his teacher turns into a monster before his eyes and tries to kill him. It's just getting started.

After getting kicked out of the boarding school, he soon learns that he is more unusual than he thought. Going on a vacation with his mother, he is unexpectedly found by his best friend, Grover who leads him to Camp Half Blood... but not before his mother is kidnapped. At the camp, he learns that he is a demigod, half human, half god. After being with people like him (other demigods), he starts to like his new life. But then he finds out the he is the son of Poisden, the sea god. His uncle, Zeus, the god of the sky, believes that he stole the most powerful item in Olympus, the lightning bolt.  To stop a war, Percy, his friend and fellow demigod, Annabeth, and Grover, a satyr, must consult the god of the underworld, Hades, in order to find the lost lightening bolt.

 What I liked: This book was really exciting. Once I got to the exciting parts, I couldn't put it down. Every chapter had me on the edge of my seat. More than that, there was a humorous aspect. It wasn't all action. Percy's voice was sarcastic and hilarious. I was laughing some of the time too. These characters were brave and likable.  Percy was dyslexic because he was meant to read Ancient Greek. Grover hid behind his crutches to make sure no one found out who he really was. From first glance, someone might look weak and dumb, but outward appearances can't define who you are. The friends sacrificed themselves for each other. Percy and his mother are very close, showing a great mother-son relationship. It portrays deception the way it is: not obvious, but deceiving. This is a great, exciting read.

What could've been better: Okay, these gods aren't perfect. Not that they should be, but they're wrong doings aren't seen as terrible, even when they hurt other people. These gods have many children from affairs with mortals. None of these affairs are put in any detail (expect for Percy and Annabeth), but you know from the many children they have. The gods in Olympus can pretty much do anything like want and don't get criticized. Even if they do, it doesn't affect them much.

In the end, an act of revenge is seen as a good thing when it wasn't right. The director of Camp Half Blood, hates his job and doesn't care for the kids.

I know nothing of real spirituality can come out of this, but reading this book did remind me of the awesomeness of the true God. I mean, man might try to create his own world and make his own gods, just like the Greeks did, but he can never, repeat never, create a god like ours. These gods sinned and hurt their children. A few of them were bloodthirsty and unforgiving. We can be grateful that our God isn't like that. He is holy and perfect. He loves his children. More than that, unlike like gods, God has everything under control. Nothing ever slips past him and nothing ever will. By His own grace, we can have a personal relationship with Him. That was a good thing to think about after reading this book.

Percy is one of those characters who actually deserves to be a main character. He's brave, but still has a lot to learn. He has his faults, but learns to make the best of them. I really liked this book as a fictional story. 4.5 Stars

WARNING: If you have heard of the movie and want to watch it, read the book first. I watch the second movie after I read the first book. I liked it until I watched the first movie and disliked it. It had the same goal in mind: save the mom, get the lightning bolt, but other than that, it didn't work. So please read the book, so you can have an open mind.