**Most of this blog is for girls only! Any boys, please only read the posts linked to in the "For Boys" page on the sidebar. Thank you.**

Thursday, 23 February 2012

You are what you [read, watch and listen to]!

Hey, it's good to be back! A huge thank you!!!! to my guest posters, Bri (she has a givaway on at the moment!!!) and Lauren! We're settling in, and missing our old home town a lot. Ok, now to my post...

It's the truth. Books, TV etc, music and words are four of the more subtle tools of the devil . Many people can say that their lives - a. were less healthy (mentally and spiritually) after watching, reading or listening to not-so-good stuff; and/or b. got healthier after they stopped watching, reading or listening to/got rid of not-so-good stuff.

I personally can testify that bad language had made me a little less healthy. We now live in a neighborhood in which I constantly come in contact with kids that swear. As soon as I go inside, away from them, I realise I now have a desire to swear. Something goes wrong, and instead of thinking "drat" or "bother," a crass word is the first that comes to mind. I hate it. (Thankfully, praise to God, I have never actually sworn out loud.)

Music, books and TV have the same effect. If it has crass words in it, it makes you crass, or have an urge to be. If it has yucky news or is 'black', it affects your thought life for the worse. That then translates into real life.

So can I encourage you - "get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you." (James 1:21) Yep - toss the books and mags that have dark murders, assassinations, etc etc; delete from your iPod any songs that have swear words in them, or even bad lyrics and themes; don't watch that movie all your friends are that is M rated (or even PG, if necessary); ask those kids to stop swearing if you're in earshot. It may seem radical, but trust me, it will be a radical decision for the better.

Wait! I forgot: not only do you need to stop filling your mind with bad things, but you also need to start filling your mind with good things. If you just get rid of bad things and not fill up with good things, there will be a void in your mind and heart, which is too easy to start filling with bad things again. Besides, you'd be bored if you didn't fill the gap with something (which, of course, is meant to be good)! The Bible says "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24, emphasis added) So remember to replace the bad, ugly, black and yucky with the good, wholesome, Godly, true, noble, right, pure, lovely etc (taken from Philippians 4:8). Read good books (like Narnia!); listen to Godly music (I can recommend the Newsboys!); pick out movies that are wholesome and pure (pluggedin.com has movie reviews from a Christian point of view); and hey, surround yourself with friends that don't swear (while still retaining non-Christian contacts)!

Cassie xoxoxo

The Reason I love Fanny Price (guest Post by Lauren)

Mansfiled Park is one of my favourite books ever, and definitely a favourite of Jane Austen's works. Why? One simple answer, I love the character of Fanny Price.
If you haven't read the book before click on this link to visit a book review on one of my favourite blogs. The review is completely trustworthy. I will warn you that this post has a few 'spoilers' in it. 

Before I state my reasons for loving the character of Fanny, I will start with a few facts about the life of Jane Austen's favourite character. 

  • She is from a lower-class family in the early 1800's. 
  • She is sent to live with her Uncle and Aunt at the age of nine to be higher educated and to help Mrs Price out by having one less child to take care of (Mrs. Price lives with an alcoholic husband and has (soon-to-be) nine children. 
  • She is constantly reminded of her lower status by her cousins and Aunt, and isn't treated with much respect.
  • Her only kind cousin is Edmund, who reminds her a little of her older brother William, whom she writes to regularly. 
So basically even in a better environment, she doesn't fit in and isn't really happy. As her Aunt Norris tells her... 
[page 464] Mrs. Norris fetched breath, and went on again. 
       "The nonsense and folly of people's stepping out of their rank and trying to appear above themselves, makes me think it right to give you a hint, Fanny, now that you are going into company without any of us; and I do beseech and entreat you not to be putting yourself forward, and talking and giving your opinion as if you were one of your cousins, as if you were dear Mrs. Rushworth or Julia. That will never do, believe me. Remember, wherever you are, you must be the lowest and last; and though Miss Crawford is in a manner at home at the Parsonage, you are not to be taking place of her. And as to coming away at night, you are to stay just as long as Edmund chooses. Leave him to settle that."

  • Fanny is respectful

Fanny is respectful, and doesn't expect any further kindness then what she is given. She is content with the way she is treated, because her cousin Edmund is kind to her. She respects those who are above her and never complains or thinks badly of them.

Later in the book Fanny visits her family again and instead of feeling at home, she is reminded of her neglectful mother and her alcoholic father, both who would be easy to disrespect especially since Fanny has gained higher status in society than them, but instead she gives them kindness and respect.

  • Fanny is Selfless
Fanny can often be found thinking of others before herself, whether it be giving up her pony for Miss Crawford to ride (alone with Edmund no less) or sitting on a stool by herself in a garden, missing out on Edmund's company for Miss Crawford or looking after Mrs Norris instead of resting on a couch to get over a headache. Fanny is constantly selfless. 

  • Fanny is Wise
Fanny is very discerning and could soon pick up on the Crawfords' bad influence on her cousins. Fanny also realised that the play (early in the book) was a bad decision, and consequently produces affections that were not meant to be, and ends up leading to her female cousin's destruction. She could tell that Henry Crawford was nothing but a selfish flirt, which saved her from what could have caused heart-break.  

  • Fanny Stands Firm in her Opinions
Despite being respectful and meek, Fanny has strong convictions of what she believes right and wrong. She stands firm in those options regardless of what people around her say. This shows in smaller decisions like the play. Fanny believes the play that her cousins, the Crawfords and Mr Yates scheme, is improper (immodest) and her Uncle would not approve of it (who is away). Even when she is pressured into to a small part of it, she refuses, saying it was against her better judgement. Her oldest cousin Tom Bertum even (lightly) abuses her. 

In larger decisions Fanny makes, like the proposal from Mr Crawford, she again lets her conscience guide her (and her heart). Fanny decided that he is not a man worthy of giving her heart to. His true character is revealed near the end of the book. This is a decision in the book that shows Fanny's firm opinions, that she doesn't give in to. 

“Am I to understand,” said Sir Thomas, after a few moments’ silence, “that you mean to refuse Mr. Crawford?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Refuse him?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Refuse Mr. Crawford! Upon what plea? For what reason?”
“I—I cannot like him, sir, well enough to marry him.”
“This is very strange!” said Sir Thomas, in a voice of calm displeasure. “There is something in this which my comprehension does not reach. Here is a young man wishing to pay his addresses to you, with everything to recommend him: not merely situation in life, fortune, and character, but with more than common agreeableness, with address and conversation pleasing to everybody. And he is not an acquaintance of to-day; you have now known him some time. His sister, moreover, is your intimate friend, and he has been doing that for your brother, which I should suppose would have been almost sufficient recommendation to you, had there been no other. It is very uncertain when my interest might have got William on. He has done it already.”
“Yes,” said Fanny, in a faint voice, and looking down with fresh shame; and she did feel almost ashamed of herself, after such a picture as her uncle had drawn, for not liking Mr. Crawford. (Ch. XXXII)
“We are so totally unlike,” said Fanny, avoiding a direct answer [to a question of Edmund’s], “we are so very, very different in all our inclinations and ways, that I consider it as quite impossible we should ever be tolerably happy together, even if I could like him. There never were two people more dissimilar. We have not one taste in common. We should be miserable.” (Ch. XXXV)
 Sir Thomas asks Fanny, “Have you any reason, child, to think ill of Mr. Crawford’s temper?”
“No, sir.”
She longed to add, “But of his principles I have”; but her heart sunk under the appalling prospect of discussion, explanation, and probably non-conviction. Her ill opinion of him was founded chiefly on observations, which, for her cousins’ sake, she could scarcely dare mention to their father. Maria and Julia, and especially Maria, were so closely implicated in Mr. Crawford’s misconduct, that she could not give his character, such as she believed it, without betraying them. (Ch. XXXII)

  • Fanny is Pure
Fanny guards her heart from Henry Crawford and stays perfectly pure. 

“We have all been more or less to blame,” said he, “every one of us, excepting Fanny. Fanny is the only one who has judged rightly throughout; who has been consistent.

Quoted by Edmund in chapter 20

So there's the reasons I love Fanny Price.  She is a role model, and someone worth copying.

From Lauren

About me...

 I read, write and ride horses. I am the eldest of three home schooled children. I love my pets to bits and I love Jesus Christ, and try to follow in his footsteps. Thankfully he catches me when I fall, and loves me just the same.

Visit my blog Jilla to view my novel I'm creating.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

"Jesus Be the Centre" Lyrics

Photo credit to Waiting For The Word and Flickr Creative Commons

Here's an awesome hymn that has touched me. It was written by Michael Frye.

Jesus, Be The Centre
Be My Source,
Be My Light

Jesus, Be The Centre
Be My Hope,
Be My Song

Be The Fire In My Heart
Be The Wind In These Sails
Be The Reason That I Live
Jesus, Jesus

Jesus, Be My Vision
Be My Path,
Be My Guide

Be The Fire In My Heart
Be The Wind In These Sails
Be The Reason That I Live
Jesus, Jesus

Be The Fire
Yes, Be The Fire

Be The Fire In My Heart
Be The Wind In These Sails
Be The Reason That I LiveJesus,

Jesus, Be The Centre
Be My Source,
Be My Light

Be My Source,
Be My Light

What a great song/prayer. I hope we all long for Jesus to be our Source, Light, Guide, etc.

Cassie xoxoxo

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

6 simple steps to conquer your goals! {A guest post by Bri}

When you think about making a goal for yourself, what do you do?
I used to just try hard to make it happen for me. E.g. If I wanted to be more helpful around the house, I’d simply try to do that without thinking much about it. As a result I was pretty good the first day but forgot about it the second. I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I've had a lot of goals but felt too over-whelmed  to deal with any of them.
I'm going to share with you a good method for how to put your goals into practise without feeling bad about yourself, or thinking it's all too hard.
  1. Figure out exactly what your goals are and write them down.
  2.     Have a look at what you've got and number them from most important to least important.
  3.     Have a look at your most important one. Instead of looking at all of them and feeling flat. Just look at that one.
  4.     Pray about how to improve on it.
  5.     Write it down on 3 pieces of paper. Put one on your wall in your room, put one in your devotions    booklet, and the other one somewhere around the house where you're most likely to see it.
  6.       Focus on just this one for a whole week. Each night write down what you did to improve yourself. If you need more time continue with this goal. Each week try to add something else and follow these steps for it.

I used this method myself about a month ago when I was feeling bad. I wrote down everything I wanted to be and tried to improve on one each day. Along with prayer and encouragement I found myself improving quickly and so did my family.

Once your happy with how your going try setting up new goals for other people around you. E.g. I've been praying for my friend Yasmine for about 2 years. We both play basketball together. She's not a Christian. I've been hoping for an opportunity to invite her to something at church. The other week she said she was really struggling with some things. I was going to my first youth group that week. Although I wanted to go alone at first and see it how it was, I felt God tell me to invite her this week. And so I did. I got Some close friends to pray for her time at youth and hoped that somehow she would want to come again and hopefully meet some beautiful Christian people. Youth Group went well, I loved it but didn't really expect her to. That night we were talking, I asked what she thought. She told me that she was amazed that there was no fights or conflict. She said that she really enjoyed it and wanted to get to know my friends better. I asked whether she would come again this week. And she said that she wanted to come every week!!! She loved the people and wanted to learn more about what made them like that. Praise God! I encourage you to trust in God and what He can do for you.

Thanks so much for this opportunity, Cassie!


About the girl!
My name is Bri. I'm very different. I enjoy a change. Getting my hair cut into different styles, buying weird clothes, asking everyone I meet to do an arm wrestle with them, and doing dares, are all things you'd know I do if you lived with me. Although I'm young, I strive to make a difference in our world with help of my saviour, Jesus Christ.
Please visit my Blog Diamonds and Pearls