Monday, January 31, 2011

one out of thousands of bible verses

"For a man's ways are in full view of the Lord, and He examines all his paths."
Proverbs 5:21  NIV

winter youth retreat weekend: part three

I had not seen a view like that ever!  I saw five gorgeous, blue speckled with white on top, mountains; pine trees surrounding us and the mountains; and blue sky!  It was beautiful  : )

We stayed up at the top of the cliff (me keeping a good distance away from the edge) for about ten minutes.  One of the guys that came along the trip was going to throw a stick (more like a foot long log) for Sheih-Mu.  Sheih-Mu trotted for the "stick" and plumped down and started to pulverize it.  The guy (I have no clue what his name is) who threw the "stick", came over to Sheih-Mu and was about to take the "stick" away from him and throw it again.  Sheih-Mu didn't like that, so he started barking at him!  It was so funny, every time the "guy" went over to Sheih-Mu, Sheih-Mu would bark at him; only him.  I walked over to Sheih-Mu and started petting him and scratching his ears... he really smelled bad, "Hey Sheih-Mu!  You just want to chew the stick, you don't want him to throw the stick do you?", I said in my most babyish way, the way I talk to my dogs.  He seemed to really like this; the other girls came over to the lovely canine and did the same, "I can not believe this...", The "guy" said.  So funny!

A half an hour later, I was walking up the steps to the Squirrel Cabin; as soon as I got in there my glasses fogged up!  I was soaked to the bone, so my plan was to change into a new pair of dry jeans, make that everything dry!  Then head back to the meet/eat cabin and hang out there like a few others were.

About twenty minutes later it was Cabin Time, where you meet up (at the meet/eat cabin) with your cabin roommates and leader and have a discussion...what about, well basically the same thing about worldview and how most people live and how we as Christians should live.  Comparing those subjects, I should say, and which of those subjects God would want us to live by.  Then it was dinner (again the meals came by really fast!).

After dinner, it was Game Time!  I honestly don't like games because they want to make sure that everyone gets a turn; and that ain't so good for someone like me self who ain't that bubbly (sorry for the slang sentence, I just couldn't resist)!  Want to guess what the game was?  Family Feud!  I had never heard of the game but everyone in the room was all like, "Oh Yeah!  That is my all time favorite game!".  We all had teams (green, blue, red, and black) I was on the blue team; and to make sure we knew what team we were on, they gave us colored hats depending what colored team you were on.  It was fun!  Luckily I didn't have to do much in the game; but still fun!

Then we had three hours of  worship/listening to our youth pastor.  You're probably thinking, "Wow!  Three hours of they have like an intermission or something?".... nope!  The title of our winter youth retreat was called Redemption, and we were going to learn what Redemption means from God's perspective.  Redemption, from God's perspective, means redeeming yourself from the "dead" [meaning you haven't excepted God's gift (for more information about God's Gift, go to the it's my god page)], and redeeming yourself for life (excepting God's gift)!  That night was awesome!  We actually did worship for three and a half hours!  When we were singing one of the last songs of the night, the generater blew.  Right then and there.  We all knew it was Satan, he did not want us to be worshiping God!  But you know what the coolest thing was?  We kept singing, and playing; without the amps or microphones... Satan:  DEFEATED!  My heart had felt so refreshed; before my heart felt like it weighed thousands of pounds of guilt and sin, but after that night I felt like I was floating!  I felt so good.

One thing that really stood out to me that night from what our youth pastor said was, "Make everyday feel like you just redeemed yourself from the "dead"!  You feel so good right now, but a week from today your life might seem like you never even went to this retreat; so act as if you just redeemed yourself for life, everyday!", He had a whole speach about that but those few sentences are what stuck with me. 

After three and a half hours of worship, it was time to do Night Tubing!  They had blaring lights so everyone could see where they were "tubing".  I didn't want to let the moment with God slip away from me so I went the Squirrel Cabin to go to bed.  Plus I was tired and that one day felt like three weeks!  Ten-fortyfive pm...

Let me rap up the next day (the last day) in a nut shell.  After breakfast we did worship and Jonathan spoke.  He gave us three questions to think about before we left; who are you living to please?; how can we be set apart from the worldviews pattern?; how can we strive to be holy?  We had a half an hour of God Time again; then the generater blew again when I was really getting into the verse I was reading.  I just knew it was Satan trying to get back for last night.  The room was dark, and the clouds were covering the sun.  But then the wind blew the clouds away and the room got surprisingly bright!  It was such a God Thing!  Satan: (once again) DEFEATED!

To get the girls back down to the bus, the leaders had to drive them the three miles to where the bus was.  Then the bus did it's job and drove us to a cute small town with cute small shops.  I got Starbuck's for lunch (my favorite) and got a tall double chocolate chip frapachino and a nice, moist cranberry scone...mmmmm!  We went to Subway for the people who didn't want Starbuck's.  It was located in a gas station store, which I walked around and found the cutest looking sweat-shirt!  It's blue and very soft.  So I just had to get it, right? 

After lunch we walked around and looked at some stores (most of which were very inappropriate), then I saw more of the sweat-shirts that I had got, some with cuter colors.  I felt really bad because I thought I had chosen the wrong color for my new sweat-shirt!  Then I looked around the store some more and realized that all that was in the store besides sweat-shirts, were really inappropriate things!  Things I won't even get into.  I was actually glad that I got my sweat-shirt at a gas station than at a chintzy, inappropriate store.  I do not want my money to be put towards that!

A few hours later, I was home!  I was at the kitchen table telling Mom and Dad the story I just told you; about how crazy and fun it was.  I really had a great time!  It wasn't what I expected, yet, not boring!  After I told them the whole story; I ran up stairs, took a shower, unpacked, did a load of laundry, then hit my head on my fuzzy pillow so hard I thought I might pass out...and I did : )


Saturday, January 29, 2011

winter youth retreat weekend: part two

Anyone want to guess who the guest speaker was; anyone *cough*?  Have you ever heard of Relient K?  Well, Jonathan Schneck, the guitarist in Relient K, was our guest speaker!  He is really nice, really short (sorry!), and is a speed Rubik's cuber!  He did a puzzle right in front of all of us at the retreat and it just blew my mind... I was speechless.  It looked like we were watching a video of him, and the video was sped up really fast... yeah, that fast!  Jonathan brought his wife and two adorable children (boy and a girl).  I really liked what Jonathan was saying at the retreat.  He asked us what worldview means?  We all grew quiet.

Worldview just means how you understand and think about the way the world works (I'm sure most of you knew that already, I just wanted to clarify that).  Most of us are that way, some think that way is fine or just normal; like relying on something more than... well, God!  Then Jonathan asked what a Christian worldview is like.  Again the room got quiet (we aren't stupid teenagers we just wanted to hear what he was going to say).  A Christian worldview is someone who lives for God!  They don't care what others might say about how "religious" they are or how un-cool they are.  They... live... for... God!  As should we.  Jonathan's challenge for us was to live from a Christian worldview and not just a "normal" worldview.  Don't live for anything but God!  Jonathan said, "Go and be in Him." meaning (you guessed it) live for God!  I loved that!

While a little over twenty of the forty girls got to sleep in the meet/eat cabin, the other girls had to trek less than a quarter of a mile (up an icy, snowy hill) to our cabins... that had no bathrooms or showers what so ever!  So I quickly partnered up with Kylie and our luggage, and started following a group, that was headed for the two cabins, up hill.  I had a fifteen pound backpack on my shoulders and a forty-five (or more) pound suitcase!  You can imagine how hard it was to go up a snowy hill in the dark, carrying a fifty pound bag, and not knowing where to go in the first place...right? 

I don't think the group ahead of us could see us following them, because they were already up the hill and we had no clue how to get up without slipping.  I tried to sound really dramatic, "I think we're lost!", I said while heaving for big gulps of air.  We waited about thirty seconds until we saw another group behind us going in the same direction as us.  Someone had made snow steps up the hill so it would be easier for us to go up the hill.  I was slipping anyway cause I had no clue where I was going even with the snow steps.

Six girls,including me, finally made it to the Squirrel Cabin, our home for the next few days.  At this point of the trip, to many things had gone on for me, and the retreat hadn't even officially started!  I thought I had made a huge mistake!  I felt like crying but I didn't want to embarrass myself; so I just put on my pj's and got my sleeping bag out and just crashed for the night... it was past twelve-thirty am.

Eight am... wake up and head down for breakfast.  I haven't woken up that early in months.  It was a Saturday morning and I was used to sleeping in 'til ten in the morning, then play video games with my brothers... unless Zack had a basketball game.  I was tired and was so not ready to deal with the snow!  After getting dressed and balancing my way down the snow steps that I could actually see, the girls and I made it down to the meet/eat cabin.  I wasn't hungry; I was still full from the shake and fry that night.  But one of the main rules were, YOU HAVE TO EAT AT EVERY MEAL!  They were serving massive pieces of french toast, sausage and peaches.  Everyone took three pieces of french toast and sausage; except me.  I took one piece of french toast and a half of a peach... and orange juice.  I ate everything I put on my plate but I felt like I had just eaten the shake and fries with it.  Don't get me wrong, the food was good, but I was not hungry.

After breakfast, we did worship and listened to Jonathan some more.  Then it was God Time!  I really liked God Time!  We all just got to read our Bible's and pray and just pour our hearts out to God... well, I poured my heart out to God (I'm sure others did too).  I felt like I needed Him right then and there, that He was the closest friend I had to talk with.  I just told Him that I wanted to feel Him with me for the whole weekend... and for my whole life!  After God Time I felt as though I could talk more freely to people... just a little.  I connected with the other girls in the Squirrel Cabin and with our cabin leader, Deborah.  We had about an hour of free time and then it was lunch!  The meals seemed to come way to fast!  Then it was another hour of free time.

So about a quarter of a mile from the meet/eat cabin, there is a drop off that has this amazing view of mountains, and trees, and blue sky (that's what I had heard)!  Ten people were going up to see that view for there hour of free time.  I wasn't thrilled about the fifteen foot drop tubing area as some others were, so I decided I would go and see the pretty view.

Our "leader" for this trek, was a canine that looked like a bear rug that you might see at a museum!  He smells but he is the most adorable, loving, dog anyone could have...well my dogs always come first in line but right then he was the closest dog around.  Sheih-Mu (shay-moo), sorry if I didn't spell his name right, was probably over one hundred fifteen pounds!  He was so big!  But so kind and gentle.

I was very cautious of how I was walking because the snowy path was slick and I was not in the mood for slipping in front of everyone.  After about two minutes or less of walking, we came to this pretty, snowy meadow that we would be walking across.  We would've walked almost half way around the meadow and we would've gotten to a path that lead us the same way (if that makes any sense), but walking across the meadow would be easier instead of going around...or so we thought. 

A couple of girls ahead of me dropped into about two feet of snow, and then a couple of the guys did the same, and then me.  It took us all by surprise!  Every few steps we took, one of our legs (or both) would plunge into the cold, icy snow.  I was wearing jeans and the snow had gone up my legs and I felt tiny sharp pains up and down them.  I thought it was the snow just getting to me.  We were half way across the meadow and we would've been across the meadow if we had gone on the path!  My legs felt so tired, having to bring up my legs two feet then dropping them into the icy snow.  It felt like I was on an advanced elliptical!  When we got across the meadow, I felt like my legs were going to give in; but everyone ahead of me were still walking and I did not want to be the whiny girl in the group (Then what are you doing right now, Allie?).  Nine minutes or so later...

We had made it; and what I saw was beautiful!  I will describe it in another post... = )


Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

winter youth retreat weekend: part one

So around Christmas time I got an invite for our church's winter retreat. The card said there would be a long drive to camp but there would be snow tubing equipment, cross country skiing, a guest speaker, and a great opportunity to connect with God! Deep down I was really excited for the trip but I was honestly really nervous to sign up because I barely knew anyone my age and it might just be a waste of my time if I didn't even know anyone there.  But then there was that little voice in my head... it kept telling me, "Allie... just go for it!".  So I did!

So the day of the trip finally arrived and I felt like I was going to puke I was so nervous.  But I tried to get rid of that feeling because I knew this trip would be wasting my time if I was going to have a sour attitude for the whole trip.  So when Mom and I finally parted ways and she was driving away from the church, I was thinking, "Wait!  I change my mind!".  Like I have said before, I am not a bubbly kind of girl.  And with (I'm guessing) over fifty kids my age swarming around me chatting like crazy I was starting to get really nervous... okay not starting, I was again getting nervous.  So what's a nervous girl to do with a lot of kids her age swarming around her like bees... be the follower.  I went to some of the girls I was friends with a couple of years ago, sure they said hi and I said hi back, but there was just something there that just seemed... I don't know... weird?

I kinda looked around the room and saw someone really familiar... who was she?  She was one of my really great friends from when I was in public school!  Her name is Kylie, she's my age and has a bold personality!  I  was really excited to see her again, so I quietly slipped away from the current group I was following and walked over to her and another girl I knew.  I awkwardly tried to invite myself into the group of two, and explained to Kylie who I was.  She paused for a moment and then her face went ecstatic!  "Oh my gosh!  I remember you!".  It was such a God Thing!  And then the bus came...

There were like forty girls and like only (idk) a little over fifteen guys.  We had two vans to drive the boys to the camp and a giant bus for the girls... I know!  So after getting all of the luggage below the bus, I found myself sitting next to Kylie, listening to all the girls squealing and texting (okay I couldn't hear them texting but still).  We waited what seemed like a million minutes and we were finally off!  I was still nervous.  What would the camp be like?  Would I meet any new friends?  Would I slip on my butt in front of everyone?  Is there some reason God wanted me to come on this trip? 

About an hour and a half or more later, we stopped at McDonald's for dinner.  I wasn't really hungry, but the leaders said we needed to get something in us.  I got a medium size chocolate milkshake and a small fry.  After sucking both of those down I felt like I was really gonna puke... but thankfully I didn't! 

An hour earlier, we were pulling up to an icy/snowy drive which would lead us to the camp.  After a few turns and curves, we came to a really steep hill.  We tried to go up the hill, but the bus slid back away from the steep hill.  We tried a few more times but nothing got any better.  We waited for about a half an hour for some of the college leaders that were already at the camp, so they could help get some chains on the bus.  When they showed up, the bus driver got up to help with the chains but the bus started to slide farther down the hill.  One of the guy leaders', who was already on the bus,  quickly sat in the drivers seat and pushed hard on the bus brake.  Thank God for his quick reflexes!

Forty-five minutes later... still in the same place... never felt so... "bus" bound in my entire life.  The guy leader who had his foot on the brake pedal... was still there.  The crew who was helping with the chains finally came in the bus.  I was sitting a few seats from the front of the bus, so I could here everything that was going on.  Apparently the guys who were putting on the chains had to stick there heads under the tires to get a good look of where they were putting the chains on.  Remember, there was always someone who had to hold the brake pedal, and if someone hadn't held the brake (splat) they're dead... (chills).

A half an hour later, after trying to go up the hill with the chains to find out that the chains weren't much use, the leaders decided to have the girls walk up the hill.  They told us to leave the stuff we brought on the bus and to get off sl-lo-ow-ly.  Getting off the bus while leaders holding our hands reminded me of kindergarten,  which was kinda weird at first...until I realized how icy the ground was!  I almost slipped like... three times!  All that the leaders wanted us to do was to get to the top of the hill, and there would be vans and cars up there that we could hop in and they would drive us to the camp.  While we were doing that they finally backed the bus down to flatter ground.

Finally we were at the camp!  And when we got out of the vans, though it was (still) slick as ever, we went into the main cabin where we would eat, meet, and where some of the girls would spend the night this weekend (girls would bunk upstairs of course).  When we got inside, we did some worship (I was thanking God for getting us here safely!), and then the guest speaker came out...

Want to hear the rest of the story?  I'll tell you that later!


Monday, January 24, 2011

it's my hm-hmth birthday

Yay!  It's my hm-hmth birthday!  Well was (about a week ago)... let me take you through all the exciting moments of my birthday!

So two days before my birthday, Rachael and I had a sleepover!  We watched Bride Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean.  We hadn't seen either in a really long time, and it was fun going back and watching them.  We had tons of snacks and candy so we didn't go hungry (haha).  We got to bed around two (which is pretty good for a sleepover)  and we were so tired the next morning!  The next morning Rachael had to go to her brothers AWAN event so she could support him which was really thoughtful.  I had to do the same thing only my brother had to go to a basketball game.  Grammy and Boppa came to see his game and after wards we met Rachael and her family at Red Robin (YUM!).  She and I got to have our own table which was really fun! 
After that we got to see.................. (dun-da-da-dum!)  Tangled!  That is my all time favorite movie... ever!  It was the first time for me to be at a movie by myself with my Best Friend!  Honestly I could watch Tangled my whole life and I wouldn't get sick of it!  If someone asked me what movie I would bring to an island (where there would be electricity I'm guessing LOL)  it would defiantly be Tangled!  After the movie we were both very tired.  Very Tired!

The next day was my official Hm-Hmth Birthaday!  It was a mix of Tangled and French themed party!  I had so much fun.  Oh and guess what... Mom and Dad found my frog slippers!  I know!  They're so comfortable and so new!  For dinner we went to this Japanese restaurant (okay so a tiny bit of Japanese theme with it)  where they cook your food right in front of you... it was so cool!

Part of my main presents was a youth retreat for our church.  I'll tell you all about it in another post!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

one out of thousands of bible verses

"He has shown you, oh man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."
Micah 6:8 NIV

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

never alone

Remember that one awesome christian group (BarlowGirl) I was telling you about in the previous post music or lyrics?  BarlowGirl has this one song that I listen to all the time called Never Alone.  The three sisters are singing about how alone they feel, and that it's hard to be sure if God is still there listening to them.  Here are the lyrics.

i waited for you today, but you didn't show no, no
i needed you today, so where did you go?
you told me to call, said you'd be there
and though i haven't seen you are you still there?


i cried out with no reply and i can't feel you by my side so,
i'll hold tight to what i know your here
and i'm never alone

and though i can not see you
and i can't explain why
such a deep reassurance you've placed in my life
we can not separate, cause you're part of me
and though you're invisible i'll trust the unseen

[chorus repeats twice]

I just adore that song!  I listen to it when I'm scared, sad, or when I need to remember that God is by my side all the time (which i guess implies both).  I have the song on allie's tunes at the very bottom of my blog so you can listen to the song.  Hope you like it as much as I do!


Monday, January 10, 2011

uh oh... it's back to school

Okay so I like going back to school, it's just getting back into the "school" routine that I dread!  During Christmas break, I slept until eleven, eleven-thirty;  which I might add was record breaking in my book (so far)!  On normal school days we are supposed to wake up around nine and start school a little before ten.  So since today was our first day back in school, I tried to remind myself that I couldn't look at the clock and pull the covers over my head and say, "It's only nine-fifteen, I can still sleep."; that was so... hard.  I had sucked myself into the habit of skipping breakfast for like a month, because I slept in so much.  I know totally unhealthy (I don't know if I should brag or complain).

It was fun getting back into learning again though!  I always like starting new subjects, it's fun!  It's fun for a while until the subjects get old, ya know?  Overall really great first day!  Oh and I finished early today (with school, duh!)!

Well (yawn), I'm still kinda tired.  So I'm gonna go see what the Fam is doing down stairs.  Bye!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

music or lyrics

Okay, so who doesn't like music?  I thought so!  But do you listen to just the music and not the lyrics?  To tell you the truth, I used to just listen to the music instead of the lyrics.  Okay, so even if you know all the words to "that song" do you really focus on... the lyrics?

Okay Allie, what's going on here?  Well I'm trying to bring up the subject that no one likes to avoid... MUSIC!!  Let me look up music in the dictionary, let's see music, music... uh... aha!  Music!

Music:  the art of combining vocal and instrumental tones in a rhythmic form; such an artistic combination of tones; any pleasant combination of sounds; melody, harmony; musical taste; musical score.  music to ones ears, something that one is pleased to hear.

Wow!  That is an awesome description of music, isn't it?  So now I'm going to look up lyrics... uh, ooh!  That was easy!

Lyric: suitable for singing; of poetry, expressing the individual emotions of the poet.  a lyric poem; a song; verses used in lyric poetry; the words of a popular song.

Again, Wow!  I don't think I've ever looked up music and lyrics in the dictionary before (oops)!  Awesome descriptions for both of these words.

In the past year I have stumbled upon a song that had an awesome beat, music, everything... until I listened to the lyrics.  (please note that I am not trying to put down this artist in anyway, I am just expressing my feelings for this song.)  I had gotten Selena Gomez's new album A Year With Out Rain from the library and I was listening to one of her songs called Rock God.  I loved the beat and the music!  Then the lyrics... not so much.

preacher man walked into the club and he said, he said
hey girl can't you walk a mile straight
father i'm torn and i'm selling my soul to the rhythm, the beat and the bass
cause i can't confess my rock and roll ways
cause i'm so possessed with the music, the music he plays

i can't stop my feet dancing from the sound of his drum
oh no, i fell in love with my rock god
i can't keep my hips from swaying to his sweet melody
you see i fell in love with my rock, rock god

preacher man took my hand and looked in my eyes and said,
hey girl can't you live your life right
father things aren't the way so black and white
don't cast the first stone cause i'm not alone
and it's not like i'm hurting anyone
but i can confess my rock and roll ways


oh i wouldn't change a thing even if i could
cause i chose a path and i'm not looking back
and i'm sorry if i left the angels crying over me


 Okay... as a Christian that kinda bugged me (a heck of a lot!), and if you are a Christian as well you understand my point.  If you go back to the description of lyrics one of the lines were, expressing the emotions of the poet, and the poet (Selena) was expressing her feelings (like big time) to people about her faith, which is praising the "rock god".  Selena is saying that someone was trying to tell her about Jesus , who is the one and only God,  and she was basically telling that someone that she was selling her soul (that means giving her whole life) to the "rock god"  in her way of putting it to music.  Now I can understand at one point that since Selena is an artist, that she loves music; but on the other hand she was saying that she loved music so much that she doesn't want to live for anything else but, the "rock god". 

So you're saying we shouldn't listen to music any more Allie?  Of course NOT!  Music is an amazing thing,  that's how we worship God (the one and only God of course)!  Just don't give up God for anything;  God is more powerful, stronger, and caring than anything in his creation.

As a New Years resolution, I decided to listen to better and cleaner music/lyrics!  Allie, that's like kinda hard for a Christian girl like me.  My friends my think I'm a freak or something.  Let me give you some advice: if your friends think you're a freak I don't think they're very friendly.

Awesome Christian Artists who Sing Awesome Christian Music/Lyrics

BarlowGirl:  BarlowGirl is a mix between pop and rock and roll, and are amazing poets!  My Mom and I have all of their albums, and they truly inspire me.  My favorite song of theirs would be Never Alone; I listen to it like, all the time.

Bethany Dillon:  Bethany Dillon plays on her acoustic guitar and has a soft spoken voice.  I learned how to play two of her songs on the guitar a year or so ago, and I love them!  She has a folksy style of music and it is really nice and calming.

Britt Nicole:  I just discovered Britt Nicole like a year ago and she is at the top of my list.  With her up beat pop songs, I promise you, you will always be inspired!

Jump5:  With Jump5, you always feel like they're your closest friends.  When you listen to their songs, you just want to jump five times and sing along with them like you would with a true friend.

Awesome Artists with Really Good and Pure Songs

Taylor Swift:  Okay I usually don't listen to country music, but Taylor Swift is awesome!  I just got her latest album Speak Now and I love it!  Though I must warn you that in her first album in her song Cold As You she says the "D" word in it once, and that was like the only one in all of her albums (I don't usually listen to that song, I just wanted you to know).  And I do want to make it clear that as Taylor comes out with more albums, the songs get more mature in the dialogue.  In most of her songs she talks about love stories, love stories falling apart, stories that become love stories, or just what is.  So overall she's really clean and I think she's a christian.

Aly & AJ:  I have been listening to these sisters since I was like eight!  Though these christian girls don't sing christian songs, their pop songs are clean and pure for all ages.  They have really inspired me to play guitar (same with BarlowGirl).

Demi Lovato:  With her up beat pop music, Demi has made two albums and pure ones at that.  I have read that she is a christian and lives for God!  In all of her Thank Yous in her albums, God always comes first, "God- Without him, I wouldn't be hear, I wouldn't have a second album.  All my passion comes from Him, and I hope that this album inspires someone because this isn't my work, this is His." - Demi Lovato

I hope you can join me on this New Years resolution.  We can work on it together, *hehe*!  Music is like life, don't use it in the wrong ways.