**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.**

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Two Anniversaries

Hey guys! Yesterday was by blog's 3rd birthday! I wish I could have posted on the exact day, but I was away at a camp. But anyway, here are a few things I'd like to say...

First of all, the reason why this is the first time that I've actually 'celebrated' my blogaversary is that I've always just missed the day and not thought about it in the past. But this week I was reminded that it was my blog's birthday in a few days! So, I thought that since I'd remembered the day I may as well celebrate it. :P

It's going to sound false and religious, but I want to praise God for my blog anyway. It's He that teaches me (often hard) lessons and gives me stuff to share, and enables others to get something out of my posts. And it's He that brought me to the point where I had something to say about purity in the first place!

I thought I'd commemorate three years of blogging by picking my top five posts. (Yes, it would be more suitable if it was three, but I don't think I could pick only three.) So, in no particular order, I present my Top 5 Blog Posts of the [3] Year[s]!

  1. Set an example... in purity
  2. "Mission Modesty: Revive Our Actions" {Part 2}
  3. Thought Life - Arrgh! 
  4. Daily Dignity: Dress 
  5. Encouragement 

AND I'll even put on a fireworks show for you!

Ta-da!!! :P

Now, in my title I promised to tell you about TWO anniversaries. Well, the second one is even more important than, and is indeed the forerunner of the first. {Drum-roll please!} Saturday the fifth of October 2013 marked... the fifth anniversary of when I had a change of heart and ended my crush (see the My Testimony page).
{Moment of deep and important silence}

Five years. Five years of wonderful, insightful, often very intensive training and learning. Five years of facing struggles and temptations and learning to press into God. I ain't done yet! Still a very, very long way to go.  Let me tell you something ironic. The very day of the anniversary I was wrestling with my thoughts over a guy. The next morning I got a 'slap in the face' about my selfish attitude towards marriage. The day after that I meet a guy I'm attracted to but haven't seen in months and have to carefully watch my mind. See? I still struggle. But even though I struggle, I still have a lot to praise God for!

Your thankful and still imperfect sister in Christ,
Cassie xoxoxo

Monday, 7 October 2013

Secular Music - to listen or not to listen

{Drawn by David Richardson}
At the being of this year in this post, I stated that I dislike secular music. This lead to a commenter asking why this was and me doing a lot of thinking, and then trying to explain my reasons as best as I could. Ever since then the subject of music has been at the back of my mind. What do I really think? Should I listen to secular music? Why? Why not? Every now and again a new realisation would come to me and force me to reconsider those questions again. So where do I stand now? That's what this post is all about - my opinions on listening to secular music.

In the summary of my answer to that question a reader posed, I said this:

"So the bottom line is (to me at least) to read, watch and listen to what will build us up, not tear us down. We should always seek to have our ‘entertainment life’ under God’s direction. If we are always seeking to follow Him in this area, it’s less likely that we will watch, listen to or read things that are harmful or distracting. Also (to quote my good friend Annie), “I know most of the time when I’m doing something wrong, and that’s where I’ve got to draw the line.” "

I still stand by this view. To put it another way, my basic thoughts are this:

If I know a song will distract me from God or pollute my thoughts I avoid it. For me, those songs are a big percentage of all secular music I hear. However, I know that for many Christians, a lot of those songs will have no negative effects on them. If that is the case for someone, they should feel free to listen to those songs. Personally, however, I have to avoid them. 

 For example, I have to steer clear almost every romantic song ever written - in fact, even if it's written by a Christian! Why? Because after hearing them I too often fall into I.W.R.L.S. - I Want Romantic Love Syndrome. :P I am tempted to think romantic thoughts or pine after romantic love, instead of finding fullness in God.

 However, there are a few exceptions to this 'rule' for me. One is "Smile" by Uncle Kracker. It's a love song through-and-through, but is so upbeat and funny that it just makes me smile, and nothing else, most of the time.

Two other exceptions are "Counting Stars" by One Republic and "Riptide" by Vance Joy. These are two songs that under normal circumstances I would most definitely shun - the lyrics are not great at all, and just a warning, don't go looking at the music videos! However, these songs are very strongly connected in my mind with one of my most beautiful memories, which also involves the lyrics of these songs re-written. So I can actually listen comfortably to these two songs because my mind is completely washing over the lyrics and focusing on both my sweet memory and the 'alternate' words.

 One point I really want to stress is that individuals may have different "pollutant resistance" levels. Mine is quite low. Other people I know, however, can listen to songs that I never could without being negatively affected. In turn, some of their friends can listen to songs that they couldn't. I therefore have no right to judge either my friend's music choices or their friend's music choices. Where appropriate, I can encourage them to make wise decisions and avoid any songs that have negative affects on them, or warn them that I think listening to such-and-such a song is a bad idea, but I can't lay a blanket rule that no Christian should listen to secular music or certain secular songs. Individuals can make up their own minds on what is or isn't harmful to them, as long as they continually submit to God in regards to what touches their ears. 

That is my opinion. Feel free to voice yours.

Cassie xoxoxo

P.S. Same principals apply to books and movies. Personally, my pollutant resistance level is higher for movies, and significantly higher for books.