Character, Not Color

Martin Luther King Jr. famously said in his “I have a dream” speech that he wanted his children to grow up in a nation where they would be judged not by the color of thier skin but by the quality of their character.

This poses a good question for us. How do we judge people?

Let us not be hindered by what a person looks like but who God made them to be.

My mom gave my sister and I African-American baby dolls when we were little. We loved on them and never thought anything of thier skin color. My parents raised us to look and learn about other cultures, not judge and sneer on them.

You see this is what the Bible says after God created man…

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.”
Genesis 1:27

All men were created in the image of God and we all were created for the same reason, to glorify our maker.

We also all sinned. Romans 3 says that “none are righteous, no not one.” And later, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Just as we all bear the image of God, we also all bear the sin nature. But it doesn’t end here.

We are also all saved. Romans 5 says “God shows his love for us in this, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

You see the gospel is for everyone.
Americans.
African Americans.
Hispanics.
Asians.
Europeans.
The disabled.
The fatherless.
The rich.
The poor.
The list goes on.

Just like Martin Luther King Jr. I long for the day (we have made progress, but we are not perfect.) when people judge each other, not by their skin and outward appearance but by their character, love for Christ and thier heart.

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7b

“For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people.”
1 Timothy 4:10a

Priscilla Joy


Posted in Bible, character, God, history, holidays, Living for God, words by with 1 comment.

Committing Your Year to the Lord

It is a new year and many people like to make New Years resolutions. I think that is a great thing to do! Comment below to share your resolutions. Today I want to propose something else for you to do too.

Let’s commit our year to the Lord.

Let’s just say a prayer, write one down if you want, and just thank the Lord for all He has done in your life this past year and ask Him to do great things in you this year.

Be humble and commit 2016 to Him!

Happy New Year!
Priscilla Joy


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Movie Review: The Nativity Story

It’s Chrstmas time! I sit and listen to Celtic Christmas CD as I write this post. There are some Christmas movies we like to watch as a family. Last night, we watched “The Nativity Story”. Here is my movie review on it!

Rating: PG for some violent content

Age: 12 and up could watch the whole movie. My little brother (7) watched it, he just covered his eyes in some parts.

Things to watch for: The first scene in Herod killing the babies, it doesn’t actually show a baby being killed but it gets pretty close. There are also two births (Mary and Elizabeth). Mary’s birth scene is pretty mild but the one with Elizabeth is a little more vivid (again, nothing too bad). The last thing to watch for is it does show John (the Baptist) getting circumcised but it is not too vivid.

I really liked the movie. It is not biblically correct on every point but I think it does capture the nativity story very well. Joseph might be my favorite character. He was really portrayed as a noble, strong man who thought of others before himself. When he, and Mary are traveling to Bethlehem he takes good care of her, protecting her and keeping her safe.

The scene where Mary has Jesus is very sweet and special… It might make you cry. :)

Mary’s character was overall played well. The one thing I wished is that she would have been more joyful in some parts. But I think the scene when she tells her parents and Joseph she is pregnant with Jesus she shows lots of character and stands strong in her faith even though it might mean her death.

I also liked how they showed how the townspeople shunned Mary and Joseph after finding out about the baby. I don’t usually think of that part.

The wisemen were good. They added just a touch of humor to the movie but not enough to take away from the beauty and seriousness of the story.

In all I think it was a great movie and it really brings the story to life. Perfect for Christmastime!

Merry Christmas!
Priscilla Joy


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Journal Entries- My Birthday!

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 16 years old. I sometimes can’t believe I am that old but I like the sound of both 15 and 16 so I am still happy. :)

I had a really fun time yesterday so I will reveal what I did in this journal entry blog post.

When I woke up I had my devotions like usual. I had been reading in Isaiah but I took a break from that and read Phillipians because that is one of my favorite books of the Bible and you always do your favorite things on your birthday, right?

We had breakfast together (my dad and Jace took off work) and looked at my baby book. I always love looking at that. It is fun to see our family when I was born, my little brother Jace (almost two at the time of my birth) is SO cute! I opened gifts and then we all got ready and dressed for the day.

We headed out on the road to Stone Mountain about 9:30 a.m. We arrived there at about 10:45 a.m. I like to go hiking on my birthday because it is something I love to do but we don’t get to do a lot. We had never been to Stone Mountin before so we were all looking forward to it.

I decided we should do the Stone Mountain Loop Trail. It was 4.5 miles but we probably hiked about 5 miles in all because you had to hike .3 miles to get to the trailhead.

Stone Mountain Summit

Stone Mountain Summit

It was very pretty. Not too long before we started there was this HUGE stone slab that we stopped at and just hung out and explored and ate lunch at. It was cool. We hiked up some more (up and up and up) until we reached the Stone Mountain Summit. It was 2,305 altitude! It was sooo high up!

The view from Stone Mountain summit

The view from Stone Mountain summit

We saw lots of Hawks (maybe 100?) circling in the air right about our height. It was cool that we were the same height as the birds. Also the mountains around us were about equal with us. We were high up. After experiencing that awe inspiring work of God we continued.

This next leg of the journey was through the forest so it got cool and damp in there. We went down lots of steps and we were all very glad that we were not going up the steps! It was about 1.5 miles between each attraction. We stopped at a “comfort station” (a wet bench) and had granola bars and apples. Then we got to the Hutchinson Homestead. It was pretty cool. There was an old barn, cabin, corn crib, outhouse, garden, smokehouse and more. You know me… I love the pioneer/frontier times!

Hutchinson Homestead

Hutchinson Homestead

After that the trail went through a field and then into the forest again. There were a lot of gurgling brooks on the side of the trail and we soon came to the source! The Stone Mountain Waterfall! It was a huge slab of stone with sheets of water just careening down it! William, Celia and I went to the bottom of it and watched it for a bit. The trail then went up the waterfall so there were lots of stairs. Lots and lots and lots.

Stone Mountain waterfall

Stone Mountain waterfall

There wasn’t too much more. After the waterfall there was only less than half a mile to go. We went back to the car and headed back to Statesville where we stopped for dinner at Crackerbarrel. It was a really good time as a family. Very precious.

We went to a friends house for dessert. We played Risk and had ice cream sundaes and brownies. Then we came home and since we were all very tired went to bed soon after.

I stayed up and looked at my baby book one last time and then I went to bed. I had a great day! Thanks to all who made it special! I look forward to see what God will do in me this next year!

-Priscilla Joy


Posted in adventures, Family, Fun Stuff, holidays, journal entries, me, memorys, Nature and the Outdoors by with 1 comment.

3 Things To Help You Celebrate CHRISTmas

Remember to focus on Christ this busy holiday season.

Remember to focus on Christ this busy holiday season.

It’s not about the lights or the presents or the snow….blah blah blah. We say that but what are some real, practical ways to celebrate Christ during the Christmas season? It is easy to get distracted with Christmas parties, gift giving and holiday busyness. Below I have three ways for you to celebrate CHRISTmas.

1. Bible reading leading up to Christmas
So instead of just reading the Christmas story start reading things leading up to it in the month before Christmas to give you a big picture of what God was doing. This year I am reading the book of Isaiah and then I will read the Matthew, Luke and John version of the Christmas story. I picked Isaiah because that prophet foretold a lot about Jesus’s birth. Below are some other ideas.

-Isaiah, then the Matthew, Luke and John version of Christmas story.
-Genesis, then Christmas story (from the beginning of time look for promises like the “He will bruise the serpents head” passage and others.)
-Revelation, then Christmas story (look at the mighty lamb slain for us)
-A gospel read the whole way through then double back and read the Christmas story again. (See how Jesus came with the purpose to die)
-1-2 Kings then Christmas story. (Look at the different kings and then look at King Jesus born in a manger)
-Psalms (selected) then Christmas story (Find psalms that point to His birth and read in a poetic style)

With any plan you do try to look for the truth about Jesus coming as well as the promises of His coming.

2. Give your time (and money)
This time of year there are so many opportunities to serve and give so take them! Here are a few ideas:

-serve at a Soup kitchen or homeless shelter serving a Christmas dinner.
– volunteer at the Operation Christmas Child processing center
-order something from the Samaritans Purse, or Food for the Hungry gift catalog
-buy gifts for needy kids/families (I have heard good things about hopematch.com or a local project works well)

Just remember to focus on giving not getting and look to Jesus’s example-He gave His life!

3. Enjoy some good ol’ Christmas carols
Christmas carols are awesome. They proclaim the truth of Jesus’s birth and the gospel. So dwell on that truth. Below are some ideas:

-Go Christmas caroling with friends
-Learn Christmas carols on an instrument if you play one
-Listen to Christmas CDs. (Chris Tomlin and Andrew Peterson’s are some of my favorites-very worshipful)
-Go to a Christmas concert and enjoy the music (We went to a Celtic Christmas concert this year- what a treat!)

I hope you found some good ways to keep your eyes focused on Jesus during the holiday season!

Merry Christmas!
Priscilla


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Thanksgiving!

First off, I am sorry this is late. I am writing this ater thanksgiving. But hey thats ok. :)

Second off, I want to tell you about my thanksgiving. We went to our grandparents house in Asheville NC. We slept in on thanksgiving morning and then watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. Then my mom took our school pictures and we had the big lunch. We had all the classics plus zuchinni casserole (a new menu item).

After the meal we ususally go on a thanksgiving walk and take family pictures. It is such a pretty area! Most of the family watched the Panthers game but I read a book. We served the pie (I made an apple pie) and then played a game of family football. We also shot off the bb gun in there somewhere. We had leftovers for dinner (of course) and all in all we had a great day.

Next I want to tell you five things I am grateful for:
Nature and beautiful weather on Thanksgiving!
I love the beautiful nature God made and it continually shows me the awesome power of God, the Creator!

My amazing family and friends
Celia, Jace and William, you are the best siblings a girl could ask for. Mom and Dad, you guys are the best parents, teachers and friends in this whole wide world. My friends, you know who you are and know that I thank the Lord for our friendships!

Books and stories
You all know I am a book-lover! I am so grateful for the good stories and books out there that enrich my life and give me a window into other worlds.

A Bible
I get updates from Wycliffe Bible translators and every time I see an update I thank the Lord that I have a Bible in my languaage that I have the freedom to read. My faith always grows stronger when I am in the Word!

The Grace of God
I saved the best for last. :) I thank God that I do not wallow in my sin anymore but I am saved by grace and this is not my own work but it is a gift from God.

There you have it! Five things I am grateful for. Comment below with five things you are grateful for!

Lastly I want to give you some ideas for how you can celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving.

1. Make placecards/placemats.
We have a tradition of making the placecards or placemats each year. It is really fun to do fall crafts and you can make simple ones to do with little kids or more complicated ones to do with older kids. Maybe I will post about some ideas later…

2. Study the Pilgrims
So the Pilgrims started the first thanksgiving. They worked really hard to get there though! It is always fun to study the Pilgrims and thier hard journey to that Thanksgiving day. We can learn a lot from those amazing people.

3. Sing a hymn
Sing a hymn around the table. We chose “For the Beauty of the Earth” this year.

4. Start a gratitude journal
Thanksgiving is a great time to start a gratitude journal. Just get a memo book and write down a few things you are grateful for each night. It will help you develop the habit of gratitude. I think it is a great way to really focus on the true meaning of Thanksgiving- giving thanks.

Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving!
Priscilla


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Changing A Life Through A Shoebox

Yesterday was a big day. For all of you who don’t know it was the start of National Shoebox Collection Week!

Millions of shoeboxes pour in every year to an Operation Christmas Child processing and distribution center. Then they are shipped out and handed to a child and then… that childs life is changed.

Operation Christmas Child was started by Franklin Graham (the head of Samaritans Purse and son of famous evangelist Billy Graham). Operation Christmas Child is a program that goes on every Christmas to give children all around the world a shoebox full of gifts. Sometimes whatever is in the box is the only possesions that child owns.

Here is how it works:
1. Individuals choose what age and gender they will make a shoebox for. You can choose girl or boy ages 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14.
2. Then you take a shoebox (or box shoebox sized) and fill it with gifts. Items to pack include hygenie items (toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, hair brush/comb, soap and soap dish), school supplies (notepad, coloring book, pens/pencils, crayons), hard candy (no chocolate!), other useful items (flashlight and batteries, t-shirt, sunglasses, mittens, water bottles, plastic plate etc.) and toys (for boys: soccer balls are a favorite and for girls: jump ropes, dolls and jewelry)! Things NOT to pack include: army related toys, liquids, glass/breakables, chocolate and complicated toys and games kids won’t understand.
3. Write a letter to your child and include a picture (this step is optional). Make sure to include your address in case they want to write back!
4. Add $7 to the box to cover shipping, or you can donate your $7 online and they will track your box for you.
5. Take your box to a drop-off center near you!
6. Pray for the child who will recieve it. This is important!

Tips and tricks:
-Dollar Tree is a great spot to shop for shoebox items. They have lots of great stuff there and everything is only $1!
-With the $7 donation and shopping at Dollar Tree, our boxes usually cost about $20 per box.
-The older children (10-14) are good ones to pack a box for, lots of people choose the younger children so I choose the older ones a lot.
-Boys LOVE soccer balls so you can buy a deflated one and add a ball pump in for them too.
-We usually buy a pack of hard candy (smarties, lifesavers and jolly ranchers are good) and then scatter it through the box after it is packed to save room.

My History with Operation Christmas Child:
Operation Christmas Child has been a huge part of my Christmas every year. We almost always packed boxes as kids and now I always put money aside to pack at least one shoebox. Here are some other ideas that you can try.

1. Packing Party
My sister and I have birthdays in early December so for a birthday party (my 10th) we wanted to do a shoebox packing party. We sold cookies all fall to raise $120 to make six shoeboxes. We each invited two friends and went shopping and then came home and put them together. It is always better to give than receive, isn’t it? You could do a packing party with your church, school, friends or family.

2. Shoebox Drive
Last year I was president of our 4H club. One of my responsibilities was to help our club leader plan activities, service projects and programs. I organized a shoebox drive for November. We had boxes, labels, and information in October and the club members brought the shoeboxes back in November. Our club made around 15 boxes.

3. Shoebox Gift
This year I had a friend whose birthday was in late October and for her gift I gave her a shoebox outing. She picked the age and gender and we went shopping together and then out for a treat. This is a great gift to give your giving friends who you want to bless with a meaningful gift.

4. Volunteer at a Shoebox center
Our youth group has gone to volunteer at the shoebox processing center for the past three or four years. It is soooo fun! The shoeboxes go through an assembly line, you take out the donations, go through the box (make sure it is full, take out any inappropiate items, etc.), tape the box up, box the boxes up and send them off. It is very fun to see all the thoughts and prayers put into each box. You must be 13 or older to go and you need to have 1 adult for every 4 youth.

I hope you have the oppurtunity to bless a child with a shoebox this year. It is amazing, beautiful and heartwarming. After the children are given a shoebox, some are entered into a discipleship program and presented with the Gospel. Lets hear it for Operation Christmas Child!

Lovingly,
Priscilla


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A Tribute to Christopher Columbus

Today is Christopher Columbus day for all who didn’t know. :) As a tribute to this great man I am posting my report on him I did in August. Enjoy!

Christopher Columbus was a great man of history and we can learn many lessons from his life.
1. Determination: Christopher went from being the son of a weaver to Admiral of the sea. How did this happen? Chistopher was born to a weaver and when he reached the appropriate age his father started training him to carry on the business. Christopher hated it. His heart longed for the ocean.
He and his brother Bartholemew, started a map making business together and Christopher also joined a few voyages to learn more about sailing. Christopher read many books from Marco Polo and soon came up with the idea of sailing west to get to the East and Cathay (China). He now tried to find someone to sponsor his expedition.
For years he pleaded with kings and queens from Portugal, France, Italy and Spain. Christopher never gave up though and finally his determination was rewarded. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain decided to finance him now that the war with the Moors was over.
Christopher had gone from son of a weaver to Admiral of the ocean sea! Through hard work, determination and endurance, Christopher stuck with his God-given idea and went on to find America! (2 Timothy 4:7-8*)
2. Christ-bearer: Christopher felt his expedition was a God-given task. Christopher mean Christ-bearer and Christopher believed that God had called him to bring the light of the gospel to the Indies. On his second voyage, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella sent priests with him to convert the Indians. (Mathew 28:19-20*)
3. Pride: With all the royal titles, riches and attention Christopher was getting, pride started to form in his heart. On one of his voyages back to Spain, there was a great storm. Just like Jonah, Christopher had been running away from God and God was letting him know through a storm.
Still, pride remained. After Christophers first voyage he came back in a parade of pomp and splendor. This made the pride grow. Pride continued to poison Christophers character until later he was humbled and came back to Spain wearig the robe of a monk (more on that later ;)).
We must learn to stay humble before God, even when prosperity comes. We must keep that dangerous pride out of our life. (Proverbs 16:18*)
4. Humility: Christopher struggled with pride but after some events at his colony (Hispaniola), Christopher was unjustly fettered and kept prisoner. Although this was unjust it taught him a lot about himeself and humility. After this humiliation, Christopher didn’t struggle with pride quite as much. (1 Peter 5:6*)
5. Injustice: There were some things that Christopher Columbus did that I do not agree with and I think were unjust. His treatment of the Indians, his haughty leadership, his revenge-filled hate for those who opposed him and his negligence of his wife and children. Christopher Columbus had some struggles especially when governing his lands and although I admire his good qualities I dislike his injustice and harrasment of those around him. (Proverbs 21:15*)
Christopher Columbus was a great man and I learned a lot by looking at his life. Christopher died still thinking that he had discovered the Indies but he actually paved the way for others to follow and settle in the New World- America!

* “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”
2 Timothy 4

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Sprit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded and I will be with you until the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20

“Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Proverbs 16:18

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you.”
1 Peter 5:6

“When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous, but terror to evildoers.”
Proverbs 21:15

**If you want to read more about Christopher Columbus check out “Heroes of History: Christopher Columbus” by Janet and Geoff Benge It is a good book!

Enjoy celebrating this hero!
Priscilla


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#27- Made New Years Resolutions

Ever made New Years Resolutions? Yes. Ever kept them? Nope. Well, I don’t usally make resolutions and all that but this year I did a hard thing and made some. Jace, my older brother acutally served as an example to me. He made a very nice list of goals and he never makes goals normally! So if you would like to look at my list please go down to my last post titled “Living the List” Did you make resolutions? Do you intend to keep them? Do you see areas that need personal growth this next year? What does the Bible say about making New Years Resolutions? Hard questions right? Well, I am learning that there is never a stand still in Christian life. Our goal is to always strive to be closer to God and grow in Him. Sometimes we can feel like we are not growing but just like a seed that is planted we are growing. Sometimes the growing just happens deep in the soil or deep in our heart. With a little sun and a little water and a lot of love from God he helps us sprout, then grow and finally start producing fruits. Fruits for His kingdom. Anyway about the question, “What does the Bible say on New Years Resolutions?” here is a link.. 😉

http://www.openbible.info/topics/new_years_resolutions

Keep doing hard things!

Priscilla


Posted in 100 Hard Things Challenge, Bible, challenges, character, do hard things, faith, holidays, Living for God, myth of adolescence, teens, teens doing big things, the rebelution, time by with no comments yet.

Living the List

Happy New Year to all of you who read my blog!

It is the time where people make thier lists of New Years resolutions. And yes, you guessed it, this is mine. I hope to acutally live it this year, not just make the list like I have done in past years. :(

Spiritual

-read through the Bible (Psalm 119:105)
-start having devotions outside so as to have some quiet time with God (1 Thessalonians 2:12)
-become a strong praying woman (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
-work on Christ-like characteristics (Galatians 5:22-23)
-finish going through the “Becoming God’s True Woman” with my mom and sister and work on becoming a true woman (1 Peter 3:3-6)
-listen to all of the Louie Giglio audios that I can get my hands on (Phillipians 3:17)
-start memorizing more Scripture (Psalm 119:11)

Musical

-start playing piano at nursing homes or other places like them (1 Peter 4:10)
-learn more worship songs (Hebrews 13:15)

Personal

-finish the 100 Hard Things Challenge (Hebrews 10:24-25)
-strengthen relationships with family and friends (Galatians 5:14)
-go through the book “Find Your Fit” with my sister (Psalm 139:14)
-blog more (Luke 1:3)
-embrace my passions (2 Peter 1:10)
-being a pilot
-read through the airplane handbook and go through pilots course online
-being a missionary
-take my 3rd trip to Rancho3M in Mexico and find a way to be an advocate for missions throughout the year
-the outdoors
-go hiking more and go on a camping and canoeing trip
-farming/gardening
-plan, plant, grow and harvest the garden and raise chickens

Physically

-go running in the mornings once a week (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Academically

-work on science and math (for pilots training) (1 Corinthians 10:31)
-really really study spanish to be able to really really talk to and understand the kids at Rancho3M (Phillipians 4:13)

I will hopefully try and do these this year. Please pray!

Happy New Year!

Priscilla


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