Archive for August 2010

Break Out Your Shovels

August 13, 2010

Dug Down Deep
A Book Review

Have you wondered why you are a Christian?  Do non-believers ask you tough questions about your faith?  Are you a Christian who is tired of taking things for granted, who wants to know more about what we believe and why?  Joshua Harris’s latest book, Dug Down Deep, is a good place to start.

I’ve been a Christian since I was five, grew up in a Christian home, and have gone to church all my life; and I was challenged by this book, Dug Down Deep.  Josh Harris starts with Jesus’s parable of the two builders, the one who built his house on sand, and the other who built on the rock.  I was surprised to realize with Josh that Jesus was speaking of two Christians.  The book goes on to talk about the bedrock of the Christian faith.

I love Joshua’s conversational tone, his excellent storytelling, and his on-point examples.  He shares quite a bit of his own testimony, which I found quite interesting, seeing that he comes from a background more similar to my own than I would have guessed. 

Dug Down Deep has challenged me to grow in my faith.  I’ve learned to know God as my Savior, my Helper, and my Father, now I’m meeting him as my Friend.  Get that?  God is my Friend!  I first ran across that concept a few weeks ago while reading Start Here, written by Joshua’s younger brothers, Alex and Brett Harris.  Since reading both books, I’ve already started noticing that I read my Bible a little differently.

Perhaps some of you have read stories written by someone you know.  It’s very different from reading any other book!  When the author is related to you, it can be all the more exciting (as I have reason to know).  Think about it, the Bible was written by God, who is our Father and our Friend!  That simple fact can transform a dry book written a long time ago into an exciting adventure.  The fact that the book is historical combined with the fact that its hero is God himself, makes the Bible a compelling book. 

I would highly recommend that you find a copy of Dug Down Deep.  For a further introduction to the book, go watch this video.


Andrew Cunningham

August 12, 2010

The Rebelution posted a link to this video of a Georgia rebelutionary and after watching it, I had to share it with you.  Andrew is trying to win a contest run by 104.7 The Fish, which you can read about here.  Andrew’s song Matthew 7 is great, as are his vocals and guitar playing.  I’d want to invite him to my church if we lived anywhere near each other, but since we don’t, this is the best I can do for now.

Watch the video here.

Who Me? A Blogger?

August 7, 2010

If you had told me three years ago that I would now be writing a blog, I would have smiled and laughed and said, “Really now?”  If you had told me that only one year ago, I would have at least smiled a slightly incredulous smile.

Up until my junior year of highschool, I did very little with the computer.  I only played a few games on our desktop as a kid, and when I got to middle and highschool, I only used it for my typing and Spanish classes, and to type up some of my writing assignments.  I only ever sent one email until after I had graduated from highschool, and didn’t have my own account till I needed one for college.

My mom did a computer science course for 3G and me in my junior year (my brother was a freshman).  I was still at minimal computer usage, however, till I started college online.  I had a rather steep learning curve for the first month or so before I felt comfortable with everything I was being asked to do online.  The actual coursework, of course, was no problem, but some of the internet parts of my studies took a bit of getting used to. 

This will give you perspective: before graduating from highschool, I barely knew what sites like Google and Wikipedia were, and I didn’t use them more than once in a blue moon, if even that often.  Before graduation, I spent an average of about an hour a day on the computer, mostly for school assignments, almost never for the internet.  I didn’t even know what a blog was until I found while reading an article on another site, and that was actually toward the end of my freshman year in college.

Now here I am, two years later, actually writing my own blog.

A lot has happened in the 2-3 years between those two points in my life.  I started volunteering at some different organizations.  I got a part-time job.  I’ve been to a couple of Bible conferences where I’ve made some new friends.  My family began attending a new church.  I’m online a lot more now just by virtue of the fact that I have class discussions to keep up with, email correspondents, and a couple of blogs I follow.  In the last few months I’ve been online even more because I’ve been writing this blog.

The blog was originally begun as part of a college assignment.  Yes, I was required to start a blog on which I told personal stories.  I decided to make it more meaningful by telling the story of me as a homeschooler.  I got started on the assignment early and had a blast writing posts and organizing the blog.

I had so much fun that I decided to keep the blog going even after the assignment was done (something not all of my classmates did).  The blog hasn’t garnered a lot of viewers, hasn’t gotten quoted, hasn’t been linked to anywhere that I’ve seen, but that’s not why I am here.  I’m not here for notice.  I’m here because I have a story to tell.  Who knows how many people have stopped by and been intrigued by just one thing I said?  Who knows how many may have been encouraged?  Those things don’t show up on any stats sheet.  They aren’t calculable because some of the viewers may not realize that my blog has affected their thinking till later, or even if they notice that their perspective on things has changed, they might not be able to trace the change back to me as the source.  That’s fine with me.

I’m here to share, and the blog has been a good way to do that.  How long will I keep it up?  Who knows!  The posts have been fewer during the last few months because summer always makes me feel lazy and because I’ve had a busier schedule, but I’m still having fun writing them.  I can’t guarantee how often I’ll post in the future, but I’m still convinced that God has me writing this blog for a reason.  Someday maybe I’ll learn what that reason is, but even if I don’t, I am glad to write it for him to use in whatever way he desires.

Summer Vacation: Good for a Season

August 2, 2010

Summer vacation will be ending in a month or so.  Are you syked for the new school year?  I always was!  As a young girl in elementary, I was surprised to find that many of my friends (homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers) didn’t get excited about going back to school.  Granted, some of them did like school.  Often those kids were ones who only saw their friends at school.  I’ve only known a few kids who liked going back to school because they wanted to learn.  I think the rest mostly prefered the lazy days of summertime.

Summer was full of fun stuff like swimming, playing all kinds of games outside, ice cream cones, family trips and getting together with friends.  Oh, and don’t forget the relatives!  They came by twos and half dozens in general, and we would do plenty of catching up and showing off how much we’d grown.  I got lots of projects done over the summer and read loads of books.  Some years, I remember feeling like our summer vacations flew by.  Okay.  Correction.  Most years.

Summer vacation was great fun, but when school started up again, I was ready for a change.  I liked routine, and I enjoyed learning.  Although at the beginning of summer I was often tired of lessons and ready for a break, by the time late August or early September rolls around, I was ready to start school again.

It’s not like we stopped learning during the summer.  As I said, I read a lot of books over the summer and we still had long lunch conversations.  The break was not from learning, but from formal academic work, textbooks, and quizzes.  By the end of summer, however, I’d usually had enough of laziness and was ready to plunge into the school time routine.

I had a very long summer after highschool graduation.   I had missed the deadline for the September term at my college, so I was bumped into the November term (both count as being in the Fall semester).  Actually, that later start date was a blessing in disguise since we were also building an addition on our house for my grandparents.  Mom was busy handling a lot of things with that project, so I got to help with laundry and meals a lot more than usual.  I also started volunteering at a local nursing home once a week, which gave me something extra to do.  Still, it felt very odd not to be doing school work while everyone else was.

I’m a senior this year, finishing up my BA in Human Services.  Every once in a while I let myself think that far ahead and realize that I won’t get summer vacations anymore.  I’ve been working part-time, which is preparing me a little for the transition.  After I graduate this time, I’ll be looking at finding a full-time position or maybe a second part-time one.  Summer vacations will essentially disappear.

I am glad to have had summer vacations.  They helped get me ready to start another year of schoolwork.  I think, however, that I’m almost ready to give them up.  I’d better be, since this will be my last!  School and summer vacations are good while they last, but I can’t wait to see what good things I will find as I enter a new stage of life.

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