(Despite what the title seems to proclaim, no, I am not giving away three thousand followers. Sorry about that.)
AHEM. I am very excited to announce a pretty…. um, exciting giveaway in honor of reaching over 3,000 followers! AHH I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE IT! You guys are even more amazing than the giveaway. 😀 ♥ I expounded your wonderfulness at greater length in my last post, along with some blogging tips, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t yet. 😉
Anyway, let’s proceed. Are you ready to see what I’m giving away?
What You’ll Win
This is mostly an arts/crafts type of giveaway because I love that sort of thing and I know a lot of you guys do too. Plus, I post about arts and crafts sometimes on my blog, so I thought that would make sense. 🙂 Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll receive if you win:
I have been procrastinating this post bc 1) I didn’t want to take pictures of my drawings because I was too lazy and 2) I was too lazy to clean all my fair entries up and rescue the drawings from the heap. 😆
This begins a new series of posts! They’re called Thoughtful mostly because they will focus on different things I’ve been thinking on lately. This first post is being started because I have been thinking a lot on the future- and specifically on what it holds.
Mainly, I have been thinking more on the future of this blog. I don’t want to quit writing here-ever. I just think it’s about time to think of new things to do on it. Here are some thoughts I’ve been jumping around with:
Perhaps start a new series (check! This is the newest blog series.)
Perhaps do a drawing tutorial in pictures?
Perhaps do a craft tutorial? I love crafting…and am thinking of starting back up now that I’ve cleaned up my ‘studio’. (more on that later)
Those are my thoughts on it thus far.
Another thing that’s had me all excited about the future is the acquiring of a new lens! A kind friend gave it to me, and it has changed my photography experience. Why? Because it goes to the minimum f-stop # of 1.8!!!! That makes for a great popped subject and a way more blurred background. I love it, and believe it will help with all my portraits from now on. Bonus? It’s a small lens, not at all heavy and it goes to 52mm max. Here are some sample photos:
Another thing that has me thinking is school. I have a lot and not a lot left. It still feels like so much and yet I only have a few courses left now. I always like watching my siblings do their school…mostly because I can take photos of them being studious.
Then I am so excited about the future crafting possibilities now that my studio is all the way clean for the very first time (I never finished unpacking at all).
The future of cooking. It’s no secret that I really like cooking. I enjoy it…but I would actually prefer to cook for a smaller bunch for a while. One thing I look forward to in the future is the possibility of someday cooking for my own family.
Writing! Maybe I’ll actually get something published someday?
Hope you didn’t find my thought ramblings too dull, or weird…
Oh dear…this year has flown. FLOWN. I am still trying to process how the year ran off and is about to land me in 2017. 2017??? Eeeeeeeee….sorry. It seems like just yesterday that I was bemoaning the fact that 2015 was going so slow. I really wanted to be sixteen. And now I’m sixteen…and feel just about the same 🙂 .
BUT…that aside…what’s my game plan for this post? Well, I think I want to take a slightly different angle. I have always thought that I (personally) shouldn’t live out my life story on social media. However, I love blogging. Honestly, I just love writing. I also love to be able to share parts of my life. I pray that when I write things it will be encouraging to my readers and will give glory to God. So…I think this post will be in four sections:
Events of the year.
My unique blessings.
Thoughts on the new year.
Dreams for 2017.
There will almost certainly be run over into the different sections and overlapping. I apologize for that in advance.
❤ Events of the Year ❤
There have been a lot of different things that happened this year. It’s been a good year. These are things I liked (in no particular order).
I got (back) into photography on a point and shoot.
2. I started posting more regularly on this blog! 🙂
Guys…guess what? I just looked to see how many posts I wrote this year compared to last year and the year before that…and this year’s posts including this post and the other post I’ll be posting is…76!
3. I turned sixteen.
4. I got a DSLR camera and started Lucillian Photography.
5. We went on a vacation to visit some family members.
6. We celebrated Christmas with our family members.
7. Visiting a friend’s woodworking exhibition.
8. Working on my non-existent etsy business (which will hopefully be existent in 1-2 years 🙂 ).
Product #1: Silver bell earrings
Product #2: Denim braided headband
Product# 1: Silver bell earrings
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
9. Visiting friends around the holidays. (another new thing!)
10. Renewing our friendship with childhood friends this weekend.
So with that I end this section. There are more things…but these really stick in my mind.
🙂 My Unique Blessings 🙂
Christ dying in my place, obeying the law perfectly for me, and rising again from the dead that I might be saved.
Being privileged with a wonderful family who loves me and share the same faith.
Being showered with everyday needs and many things which I don’t need but love.
The Spirit’s ministry.
Fellow friends and believers in the walk of faith.
The gifts I have been given and the opportunity to hone them. I am thinking specifically of my DSLR camera.
BOOKS!!!! I love books.
The lovely chance to renew my friendship with some of my childhood friends.
The fact that I am probably finally graduating later in 2017. 😉 :p
My older sister. I love my sis. Yeah, we fight sometimes–but I am so grateful for her. I am so grateful as I look at our relationship now as compared to when we were younger.
That ends this section…there are MANY more blessings–but this is taking a long time. 🙂
😉 Thoughts on the New Year 😉
As I already mentioned–I can’t believe 2017 is pretty much here. I know there are so many things that ‘dramatized’ this year–and I can’t help secretly hoping it isn’t so eventful next year. And if it is…I hope it isn’t the negative kind of drama. God has given us many things to sharpen us and draw us closer to Him this year. And that’s what life as a Christian ought to be. The fact that I sit here in such comfort is amazing. Over the years I have gotten the opportunity to study the early church/ the early church’s Christians. And the persecution was massive. I can’t help but wonder what would happen to us if the Lord brought intense persecution our way? I pray there would be a revival–instead of many denying Him and falling away.
But…perhaps you’ve been wondering why this is so dismal sounding? Don’t worry—I AM actually looking forward to 2017! There are many things wonderful that almost certainly could happen. God blesses His people above what we could ever ask or think! And I am looking forward to all the wonderful things He will bring. But I thought I would address that in the next section 🙂 .
Dreams for 2017
I am really excited about photography in the coming year. There are always so many unique and new opportunities. And since I didn’t get a white Christmas–I want a semi-white January now :p !
2. End of school?
3. New and exciting things. I don’t know what, and that’s what makes it so exciting. There really are so many things that could happen in a new year! I mean, just think of all the unexpected things that came this year!
4. Anything amazing that happens to happen! 🙂 Literally anything. This includes anything else I’m excited for.
Well, Happy New Year’s Eve! Also Happy New Year too. I look forward to continuing to blog in 2017. I can’t make promises that I will be really faithful at it–because I will be busy. But–I can say I probably will still blog.
This post is one that came to me a few mornings ago…as I was thinking about difficult passages in the Bible. You know, I think as Christians–we are all too quick to pass up passages in the Bible that we find difficult to process. And I may be the chief of skipping the hard passages. So what should we do about it?
Don’t skip reading the passage! There is actually a profitable way to read these passages. My goal is to organize my thoughts on reading such passages , and sharing other peoples’ helpful tips as well.
So let’s talk genealogies.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram,[a]4 and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon,5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse,6 and Jesse the father of David the king.
And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah,7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph,[b]8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah,9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos,[c] and Amos the father of Josiah,11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel,[d] and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor,14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud,15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob,16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.
This look familiar? It should. It’s one of the many genealogies I’ve skipped over before. It’s also the genealogy that I want to discuss today.
Tip #1: Read the passage through from start to finish.
It sounds plenty easy, so why do we skip it? Well…sometimes I’ve personally skipped it because I didn’t get why it was important. Or I’ll think: “There are better passages to occupy my time.”. But I think it’s important for us to remember that the Bible is concerned with redemptive historical stuff. And lineage is important (if it’s in the Bible, I wouldn’t assume it’s unimportant. I am the worst when it comes to this!). In this particular genealogy found in Matthew one–it tells you the ancestors of Christ.
Tips #2: Make a mental or literal note of names you recognize.
Tip #3: Do the same for the ones you don’t recognize.
I might even try to write it down in a journal. It’s great if for your personal study you keep a notebook to jot down things. It really helps me to think clearly, although obviously everyone’s different.
Here’s a list of the one’s I recognized and identified right off the bat…
Names I know… Names I didn’t know…
Judah + brothers * Nahshon
Perez & Zerah (twin brothers) * Salmon
Tamar * Abijah
Boaz * Asaph
David * Ahaz
Solomon * Manasseh
Bathsheba, wife of Uriah the Hittite. *Amos
Rehoboam * Jechoniah
Jehoshaphat * Shealtiel
Hezekiah * Zerubbabel
Josiah * Abiud
Joseph & Mary * Eliakim
Christ Jesus * Azor
* Zadok (not the preist)
* Eleazer (not Aaron’s son)
* Jacob (not the supplanter)
Tip #4:Look up the names you didn’t know on a Bible search or a concordance.
For this I would say watch out for the kings of Israel. I did this part of the genealogy with my friend Emily (from guest post) and we kept running into the wrong one. Just keep in mind that Jesus was descended from the tribe of Judah. So you’re looking for the kings of Judah. Another thing you ought to be aware of–is that some of the names are translated in a variated form. Meaning that some of the kings especially had a different variant of their names. Example:Joram was also called Jehoram. But most of you probably already know that.
Once we had looked up all the names, Em and I wrote snippets down about each of them. I won’t write the list we came up with here, because it would end up too long a post. Instead I’ll just share the photo I took of the notebook.
Tip #5:Look for strange characters or phrases in the genealogy.
Here are some simple examples:
a. Tamar’s inclusion. She acted as a prostitute! Now that should make us scratch our heads a little. Why is Tamar in the genealogy of the Christ? This should get the wheels turning. I won’t provide any fancy exposition on this (I wouldn’t know where to begin, and I’m not all that qualified 🙂 ) I would recommend going back and reading that passage found here. But I will mention to you that Judah at the end of that cringe-worthy narrative says something interesting:
“She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.”
And keep in mind that even sinful Judah was chosen as a type of Christ. Not to mention that his line was chosen for the Messiah! It just shows that God chooses the most unexpected ones as the means. And it pleases Him to do so.
b. Rahab’s inclusion. It is thought by many that Salmon (father of Boaz) married the same Rahab who hid the spies. If that is indeed the case, that is a ‘strange’ thing also. After all, Rahab was a harlot. Just like Tamar was.
And there are others (Ruth, Bathsheba, etc.).
So read the stories of these strange inclusions. And maybe try a commentary to go with each passage? 🙂