**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.**

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year!

Hey guys! Happy New Year!!!! Hope 2015 is glorious for you. Stay close to Christ.

Also, go check out this awesome New Year's Day song. It is simply wonderful. Lyrics here.

Cassie xoxoxo

Monday, 29 December 2014

Studying the 20th Century

 This year I studied the 20th century in both History and Literature/English. It was incredibliy intense, emotionally rough, and absolutely fantastic. I know this is kinda a strange post, and I don't usually do things quite like this, but I thought it was worth sharing what I loved about it, what I've leant from it, and what I would absolutely recommend. (Or you could re-phrase that as 'lessons, joys, etc and reconsiderations from the past year.' :P)

What I have loved about studying the 20th century
  1. It's generally fascinating. There are so, so many important things that happened during the 20th century, and leaning about them all is highly interesting. 
  2. It helps you make sense of the world today. What happened during the previous century has massive ramifications on today. I loved gaining a deeper understanding of my world by studying the recent past.
  3. It's mind-opening. Studying the 20th century has opened my eyes to a deeper reality than that I face day-to-day. I've been faced with events that have left me utterly appalled, disgusted, or numb with grief. I've been faced with things that have made me smile with joy. My mind has been stretched like never before. 
  4. A lot of the literature is incredible! I don't know about you, but I'm an avid reader. My curriculum was very literature-based, both for English and History. By the end of this year I had read 40ish books, and most of them are amazing. Being exposed to fantastic literature from the 20th century has been awesome.

What I have learnt studying the 20th century
  1. The stories we hear probably aren't the full picture. Boy, that's a recurring theme in the 20th century! There's a back-story to almost everything, and studying the 20th century has both alerted me to that fact and helped me be able to dig it out.
  2. I have learnt more about humanity. In truth, probably mostly about humanity's depravity, but also about what a light in history those who strive for good can be. In amongst the dank, horrid truth of our corruption, truth and love shines.
  3. I have learnt more about God. When I feel like screaming because of the grief and anger that tears my heart into shreds as I read of Stalin's atrocities, I suddenly remember that I, too, am just as deserving of wrath as Stalin. And yet God, in his unfathomable mercy, has forgiven me. "No-one is good but God alone" has indeed be proved true throughout studying the 20th century. That's only a few of the things I've learnt (or re-learnt) about God through this year's school.
  4. A whole range of other things from the books I've read. Every single one of the books I've read for school this year have themes (obviously). And so I've learnt stuff from every one. 

My top 20th century book list
(Note that this is only from the books I've read this year. Obviously many other books were published in the 1900s that I have not read, and so cannot include in this list. Also note that this list is in chronological order, not in order of enjoyment.)
  1. The Road from Home. Topic: a young girl's journey through the Armenian holocaust of 1914-1918. (Anyone else have no idea this holocaust occurred?) Why: Shattering from it's first page. Maybe the only thing I can use to describe it properly is the fact that the very word 'genocide' was coined to describe this atrocity. So, so many truths this book brings out.
  2. All Quiet on the Western Front. Topic: a young German solider's journey through WWI. Why: I often say that this is the most literarily perfect book I have ever read. It's shattering too. There are no words to describe what your heart goes through as you read this, what unspeakable horror fills it. Absolutely heart-rending, but absolutely flawless (in my opinion). Warning: I'd get your parents to look at this first. It's fairly graphic.
  3. The Great Gatsby. Topic: the obsession of Jay Gatsby with old flame Daisy Buchanan, told from Daisy's cousin's perspective. Why: while some love this book and some hate it, I found it a great read in terms of literary quality. It is quite a tragic, pathetic story, but that in itself is eye-opening. It's a classic of the 20th century, and give you a great feel of the 1920s.
  4. Brave New World. Topic: Like Orwell's 1984, it's a grim description of a 'utopian' society that warns of a similar future for our world. Why: this book is intense, and in many ways scary, but incredibly eye-opening. A bit of a slap in the face, delivered with fine literary skill. Warning: DO NOT read before letting your parents check it out. It's highly graphic. 
  5. Cry, the Beloved Country. Topic: the journey of an old South African parson whose son has gone off track. Why: it's a rich, deep, beautiful book, and an awakening look into racial injustice, especially in South Africa.
  6. The Moves Make the Man. Topic: explores the friendship of a basketball player and an emotionally troubled baseballer across racial boundaries. Why: my goodness, the style of this book is so cool! Down-to-earth and quirky, and the themes make you think. You don't have to like basketball, or baseball, or even sport in general to like this book.
  7. The Wednesday Wars. Topic: On Wednesday afternoons Holling Hoodhood has to say at school with Mrs Baker, who he believes hates his guts. She makes him read Shakespeare, through which he ends up learning a lot about the world he lives in. Why: Fantastic fiction. Funny, and serious, and beautiful. And if you love, or even just know a bit of, Shakespeare, you'll love it even more. 
  8. Fallen Angels. Topic: the journey of a young solider in the Vietnam War. Why: while different from the almost-lyrical style of All Quiet, this book is just as shattering. The Vietnam War was a tragedy, and this book shows you exactly why. An incredible depiction of the thoughts and feelings of US soldiers in Vietnam. Warning: DO NOT read unless your parents say it's OK! It's highly graphic (gory) and also has a lot of swearing. 

 So that's what I've loved about and learnt from studying the 20th century, along with my favourite 20th century books from those I read this year.

Cassie xoxoxo

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Lessons, joys, etc // Week 6

 ~ Seeking God must be a choice we make, regardless of our mood and feelings.
 ~ Submit. Everything.
 ~ [From journal] My God is greater. My God turns lost causes into testimonies. My God is a miracle worker. My God changes hearts, minds. Even if I can see no solid basis for change, my God has a plan. My God hears my prayers. My God makes Pauls out of Sauls. With my God, nothing is hopeless. Nothing.
 ~ "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus' name."

 ~ Constructing a spring-free trampoline with a bunch of friends.
 ~ Kids bouncing, bouncing, bouncing, bouncing....
 ~ Young goat wandering into our friend's house.
 ~ Friend with chronic fatigue having energy to bounce.
 ~ Trading book suggestions. 
 ~ Camera protected from rain when I foolishly left it outside.
 ~ Awesome photos of a quintessential Christmas tree.
 ~ Automatically connecting to wifi.
 ~ Fish market trip. 
 ~ Watching the carols in one state via TV in another state, talking to a friend in a third state - ah, the beauties of technology.
 ~ Trading prayer requests.
 ~ Presents, presents, presents - too many to list.
 ~ "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:5.)
 ~ Braving the Boxing Day sales - and winning!
 ~ White tops, black tops, red shorts.
 ~ Watching the Boxing Day cricket match.
 ~ Extended, extended family get-together.
 ~ Re-reading the Kights of Arrethtrae books.
 ~ Siblings and Dad going through a revolving door.
 ~ CHRISTMAS. Christ-mas. The miracle. The joy. The love.

Cassie xoxoxo

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Lessons, joys, etc // Week 5 + a special occasion

Photo credit to JAB Productions

 ~ 'Still choosing to obey and pray when it seems like God has left' is an awesome concept (see Screwtape quote from this post). However, it is not an excuse for wishy-washy, dry prayer as a direct result of not deliberately seeking God.
 ~ FOCUS => GOD. Always.
 ~ God answers prayers. (Wow, I know - another revolutionary concept!)
 ~ Although I am a mature teenager... I can still be wrong. And my parents still have to correct me sometimes.

 ~ 4 days out of 7 seeing friends in person.  
 ~ Discovering I can actually still play in the pool with friends - twice this week, actually!
 ~ First actual proper horse ride. Complete with a few seconds (note - few) of trotting and cantering.
 ~ Getting a kick out of going 30km/h on a farm buggy. (Still not sure how this is, when I can go 110km/h in a car....)
 ~ Cricket in the blazing sunshine (ah, the Aussie Christmas season).
 ~ Being back in the air-conditioning, watching actual cricketers play in the blazing sunshine on TV.
 ~ Book recommendations from a very well-read woman. 
 ~ Last minute-invitations.
 ~ Boys being crazy in the pool.
 ~ Teasing friend. 
 ~ Normal heart-rate (you don't know how awesome this is unless you have a heart condition that makes it race for a few minutes every now and again).
 ~ Gorgeously decorated house interiors. 
 ~ Chatting with friends about movies and The Rebelution.
 ~ Book titles running down a page.
 ~ Rolling rumballs.
 ~ An absolutely unexpected and absolutely lovely chat with one of my younger brother's friends whom I know (i.e. about 4 years younger than me).
 ~ Stir-fry vedgies saturated in butter and flavoured with chicken stock.
 ~ Carols night.
 ~ Friends coming to the carols night.
 ~ Singing carols with friends and family (especially when they're really good singers).
 ~ Siblings in the Nativity tableau.
 ~ Picnic food.
 ~ Camera tripod. 
 ~ Waking up early to write this (better than I expected the experience to be :P).
 ~ My 100th post (this one).

Yes, that is the aforementioned special occasion - my 100th post. I've been anticipating this for a while.... and now it's here, I'm not exactly sure what to say. I feel like an award recipient being prompted to make an impromptu speech. Oh well, here goes.

This blog came out of my crush experience. Having come out the other side and God having given me a passion for purity, I wanted to tell someone. Well, make that everyone. So, my mum said, why not start a blog? And so I did. I started with a welcome post and two pages on purity and crushes (on the sidebar. Actually, they're pretty old now... I'm in the process of re-writing them). And it went from there. Whenever God lays something on my heart or teaches me a lesson appropriate to share with the blogging world, I jump on here and create a post. And you guys read it. And comment (which I LOVE!).

So really, I guess I have three people/groups to thank:
  1. My Mum, who suggested this, and who (with Dad) took me through the process of starting a blog, being safe online, etc. Actually, before that, she was the one who taught me a bunch of stuff about crushes and purity etc. And before that... (that's another story).
  2. You guys - my followers. I can post all I like, but nothing happens in no-one reads. So thanks for reading, and commenting, and sharing. 
  3. God. Of course. None of this would have happened if He hadn't been working. And He's still at work - teaching me stuff that I then share, encouraging others through the posts, etc. Thank you, my Awesome God.

And now, let the wild rumpus start! (a.k.a. let next hundred posts commence!).

Cassie xoxoxo

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

So it's Christmas time again! Isn't it wonderful!?

Truth be told, I don't have anything deep and meaningful to say about Christmas. Many people write glorious posts and articles around this time of year that capture why Christmas is so special. And I could follow in their blogging footsteps and write about how awesome this time to dwell on the miracle of God With Us is, how sweet is this time of community with family and other around us, or how we need to slow down amidst the rush. But honestly, we all know that. I'm sure each one of us has had those reminders many times throughout this month. And God has not laid anything new or especially incredible on my heart. So I'm not going there, however wonderful 'there' is. Or at least, not quite.

I did want to say, Merry Christmas!!!

And I did want to share something God laid on my heart last year, when Christmas did not feel as Christmassy as it does this year. I shared it a few weeks ago, but I want to put it here again:

Christmas began with pain: the pain of childbirth, the pain the wrenched God's heart as He watched His dear Son enter this messed-up world.

Many people will be feeling pain as well as joy this season. How well I know that. My prayers are with you, and I wanted to remind you that God knows and feels your pain. Even as I write that, it feels... unsatisfactory. But it's truth. And I know I was comforted by that truth last year, and still am whenever I feel pain.

I also wanted to share some fave Christmas carols. Feel free to add yours in the comments!

  1. "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" by Sleeping at Last. #1 carol this year, no doubt about it.
  2. "Mary Did You Know?" by Pentatonix. Popular this year, and it brings out absolutely glorious truth. This sleeping Child you're holding is the great I AM.
  3. "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" by Sleeping at Last. The quote in my 'Lessons, joys, etc / week 2' post was from the wonderful carol.
  4. "Carol of the Bells" by Pentatonix. Amazing a cappella talent in this song!
  5. "12 Days of Christmas" by Reliant K. Crazy, almost-head-banging, upbeat version of possibly the worst and most repetitive Christmas song ever written. I seriously feel like laughing every time I listen to it.
  6. Favourite to play on the piano: O Holy Night.

Have an awesome Christmas!!!
Cassie xoxoxo

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Lessons, joys, etc // Week 4

Photo courtesy of JAB Productions

 ~ A mindset of purity is not pure if it judges others.
 ~ Emotions are fleeting (wow... I know... revolutionary idea, huh?!).

 ~ Antihistamine medicine.
 ~ Rebelution discussion forums (so totally awesome!!! Go check them out!!!).
~ Polite discussions and debates.
 ~ A most welcoming Salvo church.
 ~ Advent candles.
 ~ Finding an iron in the holiday unit.
 ~ Dozens of boogey-board rides (huzzah for awesome waves!).
 ~ Twilight beach capers with my family .
 ~ "Fix My Eyes" by 'for King and Country'.
 ~ Fans (as in the whirly things that keep you cool).
 ~ A hilarious account of a friend's roller-coaster ride.
 ~ Sister finally surfing after persevering for almost a week.
 ~ Shrieking like a 5-year-old for the fun of it.
 ~ Discovering a like-minded brother-in-Christ's blog.
 ~ Picking gorgeous flowers and arranging them.
 ~ Taking photos of the flower arrangements:

 ~ Mum's rhymes to help us remember a balanced holidays (and life): move (exercise) and groove (make or listen to music), read and meet a need, create and relate, think (do something like a game that works your brain) and sink (into a couch, or bed, and just be quiet and think thoughts).
 ~ Catching up with a friend I haven't see in a while for a few hours, and talking, talking, talking...
 ~ Time. 'Free' time. I'm relishing the holidays, this time to chill after a crazy school year, to catch up on a year's worth of spare-time activities, to bless, explore, create, learn in different ways (much as I have absolutely loved this year of school).
 ~ Dead Poets Society (if you have not seen this movie, you MUST watch it. I mean, MUST).
 ~ Christmas spirit, Christmas carols, Christmas clothing, Christmas stage set, Christmas sermons, Christmas trees, Christmas street parties, Christmas food, CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

Cassie xoxoxo

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Lessons, joys, etc // Week 3

 ~ We seek the 'highs' of the Christian experience - the feeling of deep connection with God, the joyous emotions of feeling His power work through us. But actually, I think God most seeks the 'troughs' for us - because it is there we are best moulded into His likeness. Quote from 'The Screwtape Letters*: "It is during such trough periods, much more than during the peak periods, that it is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be... He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles... Our [the devils'] cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's [God's] will, looks upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, but still obeys."
 ~ Feelings are second-rate, and in fact their significance come to almost nothing, in the Christian walk. Of course, feelings are involved - joy and pleasure comes from Christ, and passion for Godly things, etc. But (see above lesson), when they are not there, when the dreaded 'dryness' (i.e. lack of emotion and desire to do God's will) strikes, it actually matters little. The important thing is continuing to bend to Christ's commands, and seeking Him no matter what.
 ~ I must choose to use the weapon of prayer diligently, not just when my feelings dictate.
 ~ If Satan can't get me to give up a Christian practice, he will try to get me to take self-righteous pride in it.
 ~ Other lessons... hmm... just read The Screwtape Letters, and you'll discover a myriad of things I've been challenged about in the past week. (P.S. The Screwtape Letters is an absolute joy to read; the literary brilliance of C.S. Lewis is absolutely incredible!)

 ~ Two friends giving up things (work and rest respectively) to come see the musical I was in - the last ever with that company. (I think I mentioned something about that last week...)
 ~ Panadol (can't give enough thanks for this wonderful medicine).
 ~ Frangipani flowers
 ~ Chicken BLT.
 ~ Floating down the creek with my family. Literally. In life-jackets (all the better to float with), drifting down with the current.
 ~ Squash. (As in the sport. Not the vegetable. And not the action. :P)
 ~ Little brother's birthday.
 ~ "The Screwtape Letters." (Oh my word... SO GOOD!!!! Ah yeh, see above.)
 ~ 1/2 price!!! cheap off-cuts from hand-made lollies! Think: two big chunks of solid sugar lolly goodness for under $4.
 ~ Long nails.
 ~ Music by Josh Garrels.
 ~ "The Screwtape Letters." (Wait, did I mention that?)
 ~ Holidays. Ahhh, relaxation.
 ~ God healing my runny nose.
 ~ Grandparents.
 ~ Games of 500 (the card game) with grandparents and parents. Incredibly pressure-filled, and incredibly brain-zonking (or should I say stimulating), and incredibly fun.
 ~ Agatha Christie novels.
 ~ Road-side rose farm. And subsequent 'windfall' buds brought into the car.
 ~ Safe driving.

Cassie xoxoxo

*For those who may not know, The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis is written from the 'perspective' of a 'senior devil' (Screwtape). Basically it's fictional letters written 'by Screwtape' to a junior devil, Wormwood. Hence the 'our' meaning Satan's forces, and 'Him' or 'the Enemy' meaning God.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Lesson from a TV show

So, I was watching a Nickelodeon TV show on holidays... (yeh, that's a separate discussion :P). And two of the girls on the show fell for the same guy. And start arguing over who should date him. Yup.

And then they strike upon a solution: "Would it be so bad if we both went out with him?"

"Yeh, it's not like we're going to marry him!"

Woooaaahhh!!! Hang on a second! Stop right there! Pause! Rewind. Did you catch that? Let's recap:

"We're not planing on marrying the guy or anything, so why don't we both date him now?"

Or put in another way: "There's no long-term goal with dating, so we may as well BOTH do this thing that has no long term goal."

OK, question time: If there's no long term goal.... WHY ON EARTH DO YOU WANT TO DATE HIM?

Oh, oh, wait. Don't tell me. I get it. You want both want to indulge your temporary fancies. You want to give your feelings free rein, unleash them to gain instant gratification. Right now. With nothing else in mind. No intention of anything in the future, really. But that's OK. Because it's expected. Why not? And if you both want that, why can't you both have it? No harm done.


Saturday, 29 November 2014

Lessons, joys, etc // Week 2

{Original  picture by photosteve101 and Flickr Creative Commons. Text added.}

Lessons and reminders:
 ~ Boy's aren't everything. (Well thanks, Sherlock! :P)
 ~ Beauty is often seen best in a storm, or in darkness.
 ~ Christmas began with pain - the pain of childbirth, the pain that wrenched God's heart as He watched His dear Son enter this messed-up world.
 ~ And in despair I bowed my head: // "There is no peace on earth," I said, // "For hate is strong and mocks the song // Of peace on earth, good will to men." // Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: // "God is not dead, nor doth he sleep; // The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, // With peace on earth, good will to men."

 ~ My 'little' (taller than I am and many more times as buff) brother comforting a primary schooler during a storm.
 ~ Petrol pumps.
 ~ Music.
 ~ Electricity.
 ~ 'Wall of blessings' at church.
 ~ Blue dresses.
 ~ Vietnamese food.
 ~ Plays - one sweet, one funny.
 ~ Spiders (the drink, not the creature :P. Still don't know why they're called that...).
 ~ Candles.
 ~ Just mum and I at home for a full day!
 ~ Favourite carols.
 ~ Nights hours just talking with a bunch of friends. And day hours, for that matter.
 ~ Hokey-pokey ice cream - always a fave.
 ~ Looking back on the most epic school year ever.

'Sniffle moments:'
 ~ Finishing grade 11. This year has been the best ever, and I'm actually sad to see it go.
 ~ Last performance with the musical theatre company I'm in.

Cassie xoxoxo

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Lessons from a storm

{Photo credit to Mike Lewinski and Flickr Creative Commons}

It was huge. 

We were at our homeschooling co-op, up in the hall, practicing our little plays. The mums saw it coming, and rushed to bring everything under cover downstairs. Then they brought umbrellas up – just in time. It hit, a fury of rain, as hard as I’ve ever see it come, lightning, cracking thunder, a gale of a wind, and soon, hail. (They later told us that is was equivalent to a Category 2 cyclone.) It was scary, and wonderful all at the same time. We gave up talking and just stood together, watching it sprinkle through the glass louvers, praying they wouldn’t crack, praying protection on our cars, praying our audience wouldn’t drive in this storm. My brother sat on the stage with a crying primary schooler tucked in his arms, gently comforting her. We couldn't go downstairs. We could only wait.

It eventually passed. Although it was still pouring, we ventured downstairs, in twos and three, dashing past the broken gutter that spewed water on top of our umbrellas, and managed to get us, too. We laughed in the drenching wetness, and shrieked our fun, and eventually got everyone into the dry downstairs. None of our cars were significantly damaged. No costumes were wet. The hall was still dry, the glass louvres intact.  Our audience arrived, the plays went of pretty much without a hitch, we laughed and talked together after cleaning up. We drove home.

We got home to a blackout. Fetched torches, lit candles. No internet to check the storm's progress. No oven clocks to know the time in an instant. We moved towards bed.

And then I looked outside the window.

And saw the stars. 

Since the surrounding suburbs were in blackout, the light pollution was reduced significantly. I could see a few of the fainter stars. The clouds had rolled back, and the night sky glowed with more pinpricks of light than I usually see above our cluttered city. I went outside and sat on the cold fence, simply staring upward and soaking in beauty. Beauty that needed a storm, and a blackout, to see. 

The power was still out in the morning. No toast. No email checking. Which, though inconvenient, was nice. It made space. It opened a margin in my life. I felt strangely uncluttered. A blackout teaches you how much you rely on electricity, and the internet. But you know what I missed most?


We usually have music of one sort or another going during after-breakfast clean-up. Instead, there was silence. I was craving a tune. I pulled out our batteries and racked my brains thinking of a device that was battery-powered in our house. Ah, yes! Our piano! Praying they would fit, and work, I pushed them in, and held down the power button. Life!! I sat down, and played O, Holy Night, thrilling in the glorious music. Music was no longer just another thing in my life, another convenience. It was beauty. Holy blessing. And it took a storm, and a blackout, to show me that.

Our power came back on this afternoon. I literally cried, "Hallelujah!" and ran to switch on the computer. It was wonderful to see emails from dear friends, and send songs humming through the speakers. My life does feel a bit more cluttered now. 

But I saw beauty through the storm, and through the darkness that followed. 

No matter what storm you're in now, now matter how dark the blackout that surrounds you, may you see beauty too. May you look up and see the stars of God's faithfulness. May you listen to the glorious sound of His plan, whether you feel it strong inside you or only remember it as fact in your head.

Cassie xoxoxo

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Lessons, joys and more // Week 1

 Once a week I hope to start posting these little logs of the lessons God has taught me this week, and the joys (big and little) that He has given me. I know I find it encouraging when I see other bloggers sharing the blessings of the past week/month/whenever. They point me to the wonderfulness of Christ. So here's this week's.

Lessons and reminders:
 ~ The ultimate reason for marriage is because the two can serve Christ better together than apart. 
 ~ Service to Christ is the ultimate reason for being alive, and the only worthy pursuit in this world.
 ~ Today I am called to singleness. Never mind the future. Today it is my calling.
 ~ My happiness is the wrong motive for being pure. A response to Christ's sacrifice is the right             motive.
 ~ If I have to 'disconnect' from my relationship with Christ to do an activity (i.e. watch a movie, have     'me' time) it does not belong in my life.
 ~ Am I spending my time to glorify God? (Oh boy, this one is a constant trip-up for me. :/)

 ~ A grandfather who doesn't constantly writhe around from his Parkinson's disease (this is the result       of a wonderful operation).
 ~ Smelling a newly open packet of TimTams. (You guys living in countries devoid of TimTams are       sorely deprived.)
 ~ Work feeling like family for the first time.
 ~ Boys (a friend and a brother) fixing all my problems (or at least trying their best).
 ~ Encouraging, challenging, phone call with one of my best friends who I haven't caught up with in       too long.
 ~  Hilarious practice of a short play.
 ~ Absolutely, utterly gorgeous instrumental music (discovered Dustin O'Halloran!).
 ~ Siblings talking about Bach, and Beethoven, and Vivaldi.
 ~ Free Christmas album from one of my favourite bands! (Sleeping at Last.)
 ~ Getting into the Christmas spirit via carols (call me early, I don't care. Really, Christian Christmas     carols should be all-year-round, I think). 
 ~ Laughing over old scrapbooks with a dear friend.
 ~ Red cordial. 
 ~ Hidden Christian themes in "The Truman Show."
 ~ Free simulcasts from Leslie Ludy.

Why don't you leave a comment below with some things God has blessed you with or taught you this week? I'd love to hear them!

Cassie xoxoxo

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Entrusted, Not Given

{Photo credit to Kris and Flickr Creative Commons}
So today I was reading "Money, Possessions and Eternity" by Randy Alcorn (amazing book, must-read if you haven't already, highly challenging!). And I read this passage:

"Servants should be acutely aware that they are not the owners, or the masters, but only caretakers or money managers. It's their job to take the assets entrusted (not given) to them and use them wisely to care for and expand the master's estate."
~Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, pg 148.

 When I saw that phase, "not given," I immediately thought of something I'd been pairing the word 'given' with in my head recently. 


I've had a few interesting (and awesome!) situations recently where God has very clearly 'given' me a renewed/enriched friendship with different friends. For example, an old friend contacted me again, and so we've been chatting more. Two of my friendships have grown deeper in the past few weeks. I was getting (internally) frustrated with another friend, because they had stopped initiating conversations. After wrestling with it, I asked God, "If you want this friendship to go ahead, please make them initiate." Next day, they initiated twice. And then again the next day. Pretty clear answer!

 So anyway, I kept thinking to myself, "Wow, God has been so good in giving me these friendships!" That is, until I read the above passage. And realised that God had not 'given' them to me. He had entrusted them to me!  My first reaction was, "Oooohhhh!!! So they're not 'mine,' they're His, and I need to grow and nurture them for His glory! And yes, God has designed it so that some of my need for love and companionship is filled (though it can ultimately only be filled by God), but these friendships are tools for His glory, just like money!" And my second reaction was, "Oh my goodness, God considers me worthy enough to entrust me relationships? Woah... what a responsibility!" And obviously He helps us steward and navigate relationships, just like He helps us steward money. But it was quite a revelation just putting them in this 'stewardship' light. My friendships are not mine at all (except in the sense that they involve me). They are God's, and His to use how He wishes through me.

Cassie xoxox

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Pray-a-thon for MAF

Hello! I know I don't usually do this, but this post is actually about something awesome some of my friends are doing, and which they would love your prayers for.

 About two years ago, these friends moved to PNG. They are living at the Kompiam Hosptial in Enga Province, one of the less remote medical posts. From this post, they have the opportunity to observe first-hand the incredible work that is done by the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF). When patients are too ill or wounded to make the gruelling trek from other parts of the province to Kompiam, MAF flies them out. In PNG, as well as in thousands of other locations around the world, MAF provides the only way to service the remote rural populations.

 But MAF can't do their work alone. They need support. And so my friends have decided to do something to raise awareness for MAF. It's pretty simple:

They run a marathon, we pray a marathon.

 Over the month of November, they are going to run up and down the Kompiam airstrip 26 times - that adds up to be one marathon. While they do that, they get everyone they can to pray. For them, but mostly for MAF. And tell everyone we can about what they're doing (that's where this blog post comes in). Will you join me in praying?

 You can go to http://mafmarathon.blogspot.com.au/ for more info and weekly prayer points.

Thanks guys!
Cassie xoxoxo

Saturday, 25 October 2014

A Converstation and Subsequent Clarification

{Photo credit to Ethan Lofton and Flickr Creative Commons. Fade effect added,} 

I was D&Ming with one of my dear friends yesterday, and I brought up another chat I'd had with a different friend about choices. I'd told this second friend that no matter what she did or how I felt about it, I wouldn't judge her. And then my first friend asked me a hard question.

"OK, but think about it hard, really hard: DO you judge?"

 Quite a question. Basically why she asked me was because she had felt a bit of judgement about crushes and such through my blog posts. She told me that while I might be able to 'turn off' a crush, she couldn't, and was left feeling judged because of that. She also said that while she agreed with many, even most of the things I said, because she just can't 'turn off' a crush, she saw crushes as something to walk through hand-in-hand with God, because He is with us and sovereign in every circumstance. When she had said all this in tough honesty and love, I realised that I have obviously not been clear enough about some things that I think, resulting in misconceptions and hurt. While I've cleared it up with this specific friend, I wanted to say some things here to clarify what I truly believe, and hopefully to alleviate any feelings of judgement I may have given to any readers.
  • Let me define what I mean when I say 'crush' or 'liking.' I've said it in this post, but it won't hurt to say it again here. I define a 'crush' or 'liking a guy' as basically idolising that boy. He consumes you, to some degree. You probably think about him all the time, and act out of your 'crush' feelings. A crush indulges your current feelings and fantasies. This is what I mean by 'a crush' (unless the context clearly shows otherwise). That is what I exhort against in my blog posts about crushes, that is what I believe is not wise, that is what I post 'how to fight off liking a guy' posts about.
     On the other hand, I'm 'fighting off a crush' when I acknowledge my feelings, but refuse to get caught up and indulge them, but instead choose to focus on God through them, and walk through it with Him (more on this is a second).
  • I cannot 'turn off' a crush. Not on your life!! No way can I just choose to 'flick the switch' on crushes or whatever. True, I've had a LOT of practice at journeying through my feelings and learning how to not give in to a crush but instead focus on God. By the grace of God, I can say that because of that I've never had another crush as I just defined it. But it is not in my power to 'shut down' my feelings that want to turn into a crush! Every now and again, God chooses to intervene and take away those desires for a guy, but rare is that occasion! I wish you could see my journal! It's full of entries of the "Help, God, I'm struggling with these feelings for a guy! Help me focus on You instead, and not give in!" kind. I'm no superhuman!
  • I, too, agree that desires for a guy are something to walk through hand-in-hand with God. In fact, I can't possibly agree more! Once you know what I mean by 'crush' and that (while I can choose not to let them develop into a crush) I can't just switch off my feelings, the need to walk through these desires with God is kinda obvious! It's a gruelling journey. My feelings are real. They're there. So are yours. You can't deny them, you can't flick a switch to make them go away. But you CAN limit (through God's power) how those desires affect you. You CAN pray, you CAN choose not to indulge them, you CAN choose to focus on God, you CAN choose to take His hand, and let Him gently guide you through this whole process, this season, these feelings, this struggle. He is sovereign. He has something to teach us every time this happens. He does not hate what you feel. Nor do I.
 Before I move onto my next point, I thought I'd give you a bit of an example and illustration of how these things have played out in my life recently.

 About this time last year, I began struggling with feelings for a certain guy. Had I just 'let it go,' they would have developed into a crush. But instead of indulging my fantasies and feelings, I chose to bring everything God has taught me over years of fighting off crushes into play. The result: I deliberately didn't think of him all the time, my feelings did not rule my actions (most of the time), I brought it to God daily, hourly, minute-ly, and he guided me through it and taught me things, but my feelings were still there. It wasn't till around March this year that I finally felt release from those desires. Attraction still remains, but it is no longer a battle to see this boy as a friend and hold him as such in my heart, well below God.

 So you can see here my definition of 'crush' (what I had was NOT a crush), how I cannot 'switch off' my desires, and how I had to work through my feelings with God. Now, to continue...
  • My desire is never to condemn, but to exhort, warn, encourage, and help. I know I've judged in the past. I've lectured instead of loving. Many times. And I am truly sorry for those times. Even Christ did not come to condemn, but to save (John 3:17). While I will no doubt slip up again in the future, it is never, ever my desire to judge through my posts. I will not shy away from exhortation or even gentle warnings against something I think to be wrong (i.e. tearing down others with your words) or unwise (i.e. crushes). I will encourage towards something I believe is right and wise. I will offer practical help for things I find hard. But I never mean to pinpoint something and say, "That, there - if you do that you are a bad Christian, or inferior, or weak."
     Your choices are between you and God. My intent is to urge you towards Christ and what I believe is in accordance with His word and His heart. But I cannot force you do something. You have to decide. If you choose something I believe is unwise, may I never condemn you for that! That is not my position. I will feel sad, because I know that unwise decisions are called 'unwise' for a reason: you will get hurt, or at least not be abiding in God through it, which is a painful place to be, whether you realise it or not. But again, it's your choice.

 Dear readers, if any of your have felt judged or offended or hurt in any way by anything on my blog, please know that I am so very, very sorry. If after this post there is still something you feel hurt by, please send me an email or comment, and hopefully I can clear up any misunderstandings and reassure you. If any of you feel that there is something in a specific post that could hurt someone or that I could say better in order to avoid misunderstandings, please let me know.

Blessings in Christ,
Cassie xoxoxo

Friday, 17 October 2014

The Last Hours of the Thief

{Photo credit to Waiting for the Word and Flickr Creative Commons}

 So I was at my youth group last night, and (long story short) someone was talking about the thief on the cross who repented, and that yes of course he was saved even though it was his last hours, because his heart truly realised what he'd done and was genuinely sorry, etc.

 And suddenly, sitting there on the floor, it hit me out of nowhere.

 What must have been going on in the thief's heart as he strained through his last hours on the cross, until the soldiers finally came and broke his legs.

 What a paradox those hours must have been!! Here he was, in the worst hours of his entire life, in excruciating pain, suffering for all the wrong he'd done. I can't imagine how dreadful that would be! And yet, it was also the best few hours of his life. He had been forgiven. Completely cleansed. He had been promised by the Messiah an eternity in heaven. What joy flooded his heart? What unexplainable relief and peace washed over him as he found what he had been longing for all his life?What revelations did he have as his entire life was put in perspective, as the history he had surely been taught suddenly make sense? What discoveries did he make about the character of God, who's very Son lay gasping a few feet away for having done nothing wrong? 

 Of course, I can only speculate. But it was just so cool to think of what must have been going on for that thief who Jesus forgave because he humbly repented. I'm looking forward to getting to heaven and asking him about it!

Cassie xoxoxo

P.S. See Luke 23:26-46 for the full story.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

How to fight off liking a guy // Part 3

The Specifics // Part 2

  1. Be willing to listen and learn from God. Trust me on this one: God has something to teach you every time you fight off liking a guy. I literally have a list on my iPod titled "Things God has taught me through my boy struggles." Items include 'that I need to give those thoughts to God,' 'God has such an amazing man in store for me,' 'telling parents helps so much,' 'I must treat and encourage all the Body equally' and 'friends is best and [sometimes] hardest.' There is a lesson with ever struggle. I've learnt to keep my ears open to God when I'm faced with trying not to like a guy. They're such growing seasons, no matter how hard and frustrating. Be willing to listen and learn from God.
  2. Be willing to listen and learn from others. My mum reminds me that I'm too young to think about a life partner (yeh, I know, duh. But a good kick of blatant logic does help sometimes). My friend reminds me of the importance of Scripture in our daily battle. And if you have a friend who you know thinks the same way about this stuff, and maybe has more experience to boot, go ask for help!*
  3. Choose to focus on others. When you focus on others and serve them, that's letting God work through you to be a blessing. It's forcing your mind away from your wants, your desires, you yearnings, you obsessions. Seek out ways to encourage others. Give of yourself. Treat others like you feel like treating that boy. Looking actively for how to bless others is a powerful weapon against obsession! 
  4. Look for the big picture. The here and now isn't everything! What will you think looking back on this in ten years time? What happens when you slowly (or suddenly) come to realise that he's actually not that like-worthy? Looking at the big picture relieves some of the pressure of the right-now. It puts things into perspective.
  5. Don't give up! I've fought off liking guys for a few weeks. I've fought off liking guys for a few months. There are guys I've been attracted to for years and still have to wrestle my mind off sometimes. Sometimes I do feel like giving up (that happened recently). But in the end, the fight to glorify God instead of boys in your life is worth it. You learn things. You grow. You become the person you will be next month, next year. You realise afresh how great our God is, and why His is worthy of our whole heart and mind. And be encouraged: when God started teaching me this stuff, it took years for me to get a hang of. But now, more than 5 years later, I find it way, WAY easier to identify and combat a potential crush. When God started teaching me this stuff, I could go minutes before catching myself thinking romantic thoughts. Now, I mostly catch a thought like that almost before it fully forms, and certainly within a few seconds. When God started teaching me this stuff, I wouldn't realise I was attracted until I was deep in. Now, I can identify any out-of-the-ordinary emotions very quickly, keep tabs on them and be ready to swing my defences into action if I realise it's getting beyond the realm of attraction or admiration. So don't give up! Keep relying on God for everything, and you'll get there, whether it be in a few days or a few months.

I hope these posts show you some helpful things. Please comment and let me know what you think, or what tips you have!

Cassie xoxoxo

*And hey, if you want to shoot me an email and ask me, go ahead!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

How to fight off liking a guy // Part 2

The Specifics // Part 1

  1. Swap the thoughts you catch yourself thinking for prayer, scripture, or truth. I think I've said this before: we can't just push out bad thoughts, we must exchange them for good thoughts. When you catch your mind wandering, dreaming over a guy, try praying, quoting scripture or reminding yourself of truth (i.e. God is more than enough for me).
  2. Be aware of Satan's tactics. Unfortunately, this one comes mostly by experience. But let me just say, Satan has many tactics to tap us off the course. It may be outright, or it may be subtle. Keep your eyes open, and claim God's truth over you.
  3. Tell someone you trust. This one is so helpful! I can't say I tell my mum or one of my best friends every little thing I'm struggling with in this area, but when it's bigger, or when it's been going on for a while, one of the biggest reliefs is telling someone you trust. It removes the secrecy aspect, brings things into the light (in some cases, just doing that breaks it's power), and most often yields in helpful advice or accountability. It is unbelievably helpful (even while somewhat uncomfortable) to have someone saying, "so, how are things going with so-and-so?"
  4. Avoid things that stir up those thoughts (don't spur it on). OK, this is big. When fighting off a crush, we must not do things to stir it up! That may mean any manner of things. Maybe it's taking his photo off your phone lock screen, or not listening to that so that so reminds you of him, or not Internet-stalking him. ;P For me, it's meant any manner of things, from choosing not to seek him out at a gathering, to not going along to drop my brother at his place where I might just, maybe see him. It's meant not chatting to him online all the time, not playing memories over and over (you with me here?!), not sitting right next to him, not holding his gaze a split second too long, nor too deeply. If you've purposed to fight this fire, FIGHT IT, don't fan it!

{Please comment and let me know what you think, or any ideas you have!!}

Monday, 29 September 2014

How to fight off liking a guy // Part 1

Ok, so a reader, to my excitement, took the time to request a few posts. This was one, and when she mentioned it I suddenly realised that, guess what? I hadn't actually a done a post with some of my how-to for fighting off liking a guy. Oh yes, I've suggested things for a myriad of other topics, and I say (or imply) multiple times that you should fight of liking a guy, but Oh my goodness, I've not actually done a post about it. (I have said some stuff in the "My thoughts specifically on crushes" page, but that actually needs a bit of revision, so here's the first step with that.) So thank you, dear reader, and here is part 1 of your answer.

The Basics
  1. I can't tell you how. Yup, you're probably familiar with this kind of answer now. There is no cookie-cutter method. This is an individual journey, and each one is different. Besides that, you learn more and more each time (that's right, fighting off liking one guy isn't a life-time cure!). So in the following points I will suggest things I've found helpful, but I don't promise a perfect cure-all!
  2. Acknowledge it. I think one of the most important things in this process, and certainly the foundational step, is to be self-aware. Eavesdrop on your thoughts, pay attention to your emotions. No, I'm not saying that we are purely 'natural' creatures or that we can't resist our body's processes, but don't write off anything you're feeling! Be conscious of yourself, and acknowledge what you're feeling. (Note: this is a growing process! You learn to observe and acknowledge yourself better through experience.)
  3. Pray and submit. When you realise that you're drifting towards liking a guy, your thoughts are wandering off course, you're getting distracted, you get a jolt of adrenaline whenever you hear of a certain guy, or whatever, drop to your knees! This step only comes second because you can't do it without acknowledging first. It is of utmost importance. Talk to God; let Him know what you're feeling, and submit it all to Him. Give over your heart, your mind, your feelings, your attention.
  4. Fight to stay close to God. The whole reason we fight off liking guys is because it distracts us from God and our true purpose - to glorify Him. God is so much better than any guy, and that's why we choose to focus on Him. Remember that! Fight for it! Refuse to be swayed! Actively pursue God!
  5. Choose to fight it. This is a choice. It won't be easy. It will probably be frustrating. It may take a short time, or it might take a long time. But whatever the cost, choose to fight! Make a stand!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014


 This is something I've been thinking recently. The meaning? It's OK to notice Godly guys. It's OK to admire them. But it's not OK to focus on them. Our focus must be on God. We can use guys as a spring-board to God ("Oh, that's sweet... Lord, thank you for your kindness to me"). That's something I'll be working on more. Join me?

Cassie xoxoxo

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Tarnished Love

Photo credit to THOR and Flickr Creative Commons
My brother and I were flicking channels tonight, and came across The Bachelor. Now I'd heard of this show before, and guessed it was probably some faulty search of a guy for his 'true love.' Well, tonight I actually paused to watch it for a few minutes. Turns out, I'd guessed right. One bachelor looking for love, a pile of single gals dying to win his affections. By the time I'd watched less than 15 minutes, I had disgust coursing through me as steadily as my blood. I feel like yelling, "What????!!!! WHY???!!!!"

 How sick is our world? I am appalled and saddened once again as I see how far we have fallen. We have destroyed the meaning of love. Love is sticking 25 swooning girls on a TV show to compete for the heart of a man who's willing to lead every single one on emotionally so he can find his 'soul mate?' Love is letting each one stare into his eyes, go deep, rival each other so they can say "he's mine?" I don't think so! How tarnished is that version of love! It makes me angry, it makes me deeply sad, it makes me sick in the pit of my stomach. How can we?!

 It also makes me incredibly thankful for Love. For God, who entered my life and the lives of so many others, and taught me "this is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we aught to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters." (1 John 3:16.) "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" (1 John 3:1.) I am sick because I know something so much better. And that is... unspeakably awesome.

Cassie xoxoxox

P.S. Please note, I mean no disrespect to the producers or participants of The Bachelor. I'm not blaming them for anything. As my friend always says, why should they hold to my standards since they aren't Christians? All I want to say is, as a Christian, how appalled I am at our culture; thought I started with The Bachelor, I'm stepping back and looking at the general idea of this 'love' as simply one example of our world's mixed-up mindset. 

Monday, 21 July 2014

On having it all.

"She's got it all!" 

 I've been musing a little over this recently. When did it start.... hmm, not really sure.... But it has just come into my head recently as I look in the mirror at myself - "You know, I could 'have it all!'" Let me tell you a story I think illustrate's this pondering perfectly...

I was invited to a 1950's-themed party recently. In keeping with my personality, I chose to go all-out with a costume, not just wear some read lipstick or whatever. So I coated my lashes in mascara, tied a scarf around my head and pulled out a purple swing-skirt that we've had in the dress-ups since I can remember. And then I found the darkest, most red-ish shade of lipstick in our house (we don't actually own straight, glaring red, I discovered), and painted my lips. And BANG. I transformed into a 50s rock 'n' roll teen - flaring skirt, voluminous hair, swinging hips, boys hanging of my arm and.... WAIT A MINUTE! No, I didn't go that far. But for a second, I caught a glimpse of what I could be, if I chose. I could 'have it all.' Tight cloths, a new boyfriend every week, a pouting mouth, and all those other things that were glorified back in the 50's rock 'n' roll culture, and still are now.

 I stared at myself in the mirror for a moment, and asked myself, "Why aren't I like that, again?" Not because I was unsure of the answer, but because I knew it would do me good to hear it stated directly again. It's all to easy to lose sight of why we do what we do, are what we are, dress like we dress, act like we act, etc.


 I reminded myself that I am not of this world because the world is not all there is. There is more. There is God. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind." (1 John 1:1-4)

 I reminded myself that knowing this God is way, WAY, WAY better than anything the world has to offer. I have the King of the universe as my Friend and Security and Peace and Joy and Righteousness! He holds out eternal, priceless jewels; the world, stinking piles of temporary rubbish. "What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead." (Philippians 3:8-11)

 I reminded myself of who I was going to see at that party - God's gifts that I am so very privileged to know as friends. I smiled as I reminded myself that I have their respect. Their respect! How does the selfish attention of a dozen boys, or materialism compare to the respect of true friends who see deeper than the surface and love me for, and despite, what they see?! "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." (Proverbs 22:1)


I thought of 'having it all.' My insides curdled, all but that one tiny spot that lusts for it, that sin-nature that my God has conquered. I thought of amazing Grace, of ridiculous Love, of inexplicable Joy, of eternal Hope. My heart shone. My spirit glowed with joy and satisfaction. I DO have it all! No, not 'all,' ALL!! And I smiled at myself in the mirror because I am not of this world, I am not a sleazy 1950s teen. I am Cassie. Purity and God and ALL!

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade." (1 Peter 1:3-4a)

Cassie xoxoxo

P.S. OK people, just got into Anthem Lights! These guys are incredible! In voice, and, above all, in their standards of faith! Far from being just the 'yeh, God's there, but I'm still gonna sing like I believe it's about me' these guys express such profound truths in their music. Check out "Hide Your Love Away" (and you MUST see the 'behind the song' for this!), " and "Follow Your Heart." These are basically two of my strongest convictions put into song. INCREDIBLE and such an encouragement! Also "That's What I'm Looking For" is awesome too!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Music Recommendations

All credit to Dawid Richardson
 Hey guys! I've been thinking for a while about doing a post with some music recommendations. So... here it is! Hope you get something from it!

  1. I know some of you may not be huge music fans. That's OK. I know I wasn't till a year or two ago. But hey, maybe pass this on to a friend?
  2. Many of you will probably disagree with some of my music choices. In fact, I reckon the majority of you will find at least one thing in this list that you wouldn't listen to. You might personally choose to listen only to worship and instrumental music. You may shy away from rap. Again, that's OK. I respect your standards, and honor you for choosing to stick by them if that's what you're convicted of. I agree to disagree. Feel free to let me know what you don't listen to and why in a comment. But I hope you find at least one thing to agree with or take from this post.
  3. This list does not include worship songs. Trust me, I have plenty of them, but I haven't put them here because I think worship songs are easy enough to find... plus this list would be way to long then!
  4. The songs are kinda-sorta colour-coded. But I don't have definite genres. You can work it out for yourself. :)
  5. If you guys have any recommendations, I'd love to hear them!

So, without further ado: my music recommendations...
  • Practically anything by "Sleeping at Last." This band I discovered through a friend. I LOVE them! OK, some of there songs are romantic (I tend to avoid those), but most a really profound. You will find that some of their songs address death... but they do so brilliantly. I'm slowly working my way through their portfolio, but my ever-enduring favourites are "Overture," "Saturn" (that's a death-ish one), "Mercury" and "Sun," "Noble Aim" and "Mars." Their lyrics are often a bit cryptic or hard to figure out, but here's a link to all their lyrics.
  • Anything Lecrae. Lecrae is a rapper. {"Whoah, whoah!" I hear some of you saying.} I never thought I'd get into rap, but when my brother started buying their music, I found that many of their songs far surpass other Christian songs! Favourites include "Tell the World," "Free from it All," "Children of the Light," "Far Away," "Just Like You" and "God is Enough." 
  • Other rap songs. There is a HUGE amount of awesome Christian rappers out there! ( For example, Tedashii is a great one.) Many of them feature in the songs of the others. :) Songs of theirs (various rap artists) I like include "Make War" by Tedashii, "Till they know" by Tristan Peace, "Surrender" by Flame (no, not Flume) and V-Rose, and "Man-Up Anthem" featuring a whole bunch of rap artists (this one's mainly for guys... but I like listening to it too! It's actually super-encouraging for. Take a listen and you'll find out why.) Oh, and a note on rap songs: their full value can only be appreciated if you look up the lyrics. Although there's quite a lot you can get out of them without doing so.
  • V-Rose. V-Rose is very up-beat, getting close to rap, but not quite that fast. :) Her song "Not so Average" is AWESOME! I think it's one of the few "be-you-not-what-every-one-else-tells-you-to-be" songs that actually glorifies God. Look up the lyrics, they definitely help :). 
  • Kerrie Roberts. Her songs "Outcast" and "What are you Afraid of" are two more "be-you-not-what-every-one-else-tells-you-to-be" that glorify God. Again, up-beat like V-Rose. 
  • Audio Adrenaline. I haven't listened to many of their songs, but I love "Kings and Queens."
  • Building 429's "Listen to the Sound." A little note: '429' refers to Ephesians 4:29
  • Casting Crowns. Ah yeh, you've probably heard of these guys. :P I find some of their songs a bit lame, but many of them are great. If you haven't already, try "Courageous," "Praise You in this Storm" and "Who Am I."
  • Group 1 Crew. In the same genre as V-Rose and Kerrie Roberts, although maybe a little faster in some songs. There album "Outta Space Love" is great.
  • Marching South. These guys are fairly unknown, but I love their music! It kinda sounds like Mumford and Sons... but Christian (although it's not obviously so at all). We own their album "Lost in the Woods."
  • Newsboys. Yeh, you probably know these guys too. If you don't, you've got to check them out. They've remained my favourite band for many years. Also, in my opinion, the old Newsboys (with Peter Furler as lead singer) are are better than the new (with Michael Tait as lead singer). Both are awesome though.
  • Selective songs by Pentatonix. These guys are a crazy-awesome a-capella group. They mostly do covers, many of pop songs, so I don't listen to those. But "Little Drummer Boy" and "Carol of the Bells" (OK, both Christmas songs...) are great. I also listen to "Run to You." That's kinda one of those kinda-boy/girl-kinda-God cryptic songs. I don't find it a problem at all, but you may differ.
  • "Captivated" by Shawn McDonald. I haven't listened to any of his other songs, but I get the impression they're pretty good.
  • Naturally 7. Have you heard these guys? They're an all-African-American a-cappella group, and their songs are really funky.
  • Peter Hollens. This guy sings a-cappella and mashes his voice recordings. He's AMAZING. Aaarrr, his vocal range!! Like Pentatonix, some of his songs are covers of pop-ish songs (I can see a Katy Perry song, and others like it, in his YouTube channel), BUT, many are other great ones! Just check out "Scarborough Fair," and "O, Holy Night," for instance. He also does a few songs from Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (including "Into the West," and "Misty Mountains").
  • Pretty much anything by The Piano Guys. You may know these guys. But if you don't, check them out! Almost all their music is instumental (piano and cello), and they are SUPER AMAZINGLY SKILLED! It's nuts how good they are! Not to mention the lengths they go to do crazy-awesome music videos. (Think in an ice castle, on a sand dune, on the top of a cliff, and on the Great Wall of China. No kidding. And no green-screens. Just watch the behind the scenes clips.) Some of their covers are of pop songs (Taylor Swift and Coldplay, etc), but a good portion aren't. They do covers of "Story of my life" and "What makes you beautiful" by One Direction... and though as a general rule I don't like One Direction, these are so amazing that all the wishy-washy originals don't even come to mind. Favourites of mine are "The Cello Song," "Let it Go/Vivaldi's Winter," "Lord of the Rings," "Me and My Cello (Happy Together)" (you gotta check out the video clip for that one), "The Mission/How Great Thou Art" and "Over the Rainbow/Simple Gifts." 
  • The WOW CDs often have good songs on them. Lots of them are worship, but many aren't. 
 There you have it! My music recommendations. Hopefully there's something there you've just discovered and will love to listen to!

Cassie xoxoxo