Friday, August 17, 2012

the traveler - a poem

:: Today's post is a never-before published poem written in January 2011. It's a rhyming poem... for the most part at least. I hope you have enjoyed these special posts while I've been away on vacation. I'll be posting about vacation early next week. Enjoy!
Source: unknown

Does a traveler know where his path will lead?
Or what adventures await him?
How does he know where he is going?
Why did he sign the traveler's creed?

Down the lonely road he walks,
Sometimes without a friend.
Any wounds he may suffer,
The true king will help mend.

 The Bible is a powerful thing,
To the traveler a double-edged sword.
With faith, those who believe, can move mountains,
And receive strength from the Lord.

Some days the traveler may fight dragons,
And later eat a feast.
Be surrounded by leaders of wealth,
But find true joy in the least.

He may be captured by evil,
To be held in the darkness.
But a glimmer of the Lord's hope shines,
So the traveler takes up his sword of knowledge.

And slices through the enemy's lies,
Leaving the evil ones behind him screaming.
Not looking back, he focuses on the King,
Back to his path, the traveler flies.

Now we know where he is going,
Letting other's join his journey.
To the Kingdom of the One True King,
That is where he is going.

To hear the King say his name,
To say he is at his journey's end, his traveling days are gone.
The King says, "Well done, good and faithful servant.
You're battle has been won!"

So the traveler walks on, to the kingdom, that is where,
With the Lord as his guide and the Bible as a sword.
With his faith as a map, to the kingdom it leads,
He will get there.

He will be received with laughter and happiness,
The sound of angels singing, seeing old friends and making new.
In the shadow of the One True King,
He thrives in Heaven's Lore.

At his journey's end, he will travel no more.

Monday, August 13, 2012

painting from the heart

:: Today this piece of writing was published on Facebook on November 12, 2010. I hope you enjoy it.
Source: unknown
     A blank canvas stares back at me as I try to figure out what I want to paint first. I could paint the background, or maybe the biggest section. Or I could just start, but there's so many questions I ask myself. What color should I use? Which size brush is right? 
     I can't decide, so I pick up a random brush and pick a plain color. But I only paint in shapes. Flat, un-detailed, boring shapes. At least now there are splotches of color here and there. 
     I swirl my brush in paint, stalling for time. I just can’t seem to get in the zone, not a single thought of inspiration is coming to mind. I’m stuck. I decide to work on one of the smaller sections. I clean off my brush and dip it in a little bit of paint. I brush it lightly onto the canvas and so far it looks good. It looks almost as good as the picture I'm painting from.   
     As I finish the object I can't help but think that it isn't finished yet. The colors are not blending, it doesn't have personality and it still looks boring. It just doesn't sing. I take a deep breath and tell myself I'll come back to it. 
     On to the next section. This part is more detailed and complicated, but I'll give it a go. I start out small and do the shadowed areas. They actually look really good, so I keep going. I become so focused on my painting that nothing else exists. I watch as the brush goes back and forth, up and down, leaving a colorful trail in it's wake. The paint seems to weave into other colors on the canvas, spinning a story, popping out at me as if the painting has come to life. It's... magical.
     My brush comes to a stop and I look at what I have done. It's amazing and surprising. I didn't know that I had done so much. Feeling very proud of myself I look over at the picture and my pride deflates. My painting looks nothing like the picture. A wave of disappointment crashes over me and I try to think of a way to fix what I've done. I need more highlights in some areas, more color in others. I'm right back to the beginning.
     I dip my brush in paint again and am about to put it on the canvas when I take a closer look. While I'm right that what I've painted doesn't look a thing like the picture, I've painted my own picture. My painting has it's own highlights and shadows, and the colors are just right for what I've painted. My painting is beautiful and has a voice all it's own. 
     I don't have to change a thing, but I'm still confused a bit. How did I know what to paint, even when I didn't know exactly what it was that I was painting? After thinking about it for a bit, there is only one conclusion that makes any sense. I was painting from the heart.

Friday, April 27, 2012

my thoughts on Avatar

     Actually it would take a really long time for me to go into all the different aspects of Avatar but I want to focus on one main point that I think is important. To start off with, I really liked the movie, it was beautiful, emotional and thought provoking. I appreciated the love of nature the Na'vi expressed and how they supported each other.
     It's kind of funny that some people didn't like it because of the violence, isn't that what most people want in a good movie nowadays? Personally, I didn't think it was an overdone amount of violence. Now, the amount of language, that's a different story. Good thing I bought the special edition and it has a family friendly version.
     I understand how people might have a problem with the language, the suggested Pantheism, or maybe just how unrealistic it is, but I draw the line when I hear someone say, "It's just another movie that makes humans look bad."
     The main gist of Avatar is that the "humans" want the Na'vi to be moved from their home because of a major deposit of a very valuable mineral beneath the ground they live on. The "humans" are willing to negotiate as long as they get their way. The Na'vi are going to move one way or another, either willingly or forcibly.
     Whenever I hear someone disapprove of Avatar because it makes humans look bad, I want to take them on a trip back into our history. Let's just take a look at American history for a moment. The Native Americans were here first correct? The settlers that came from England pushed right on it and claimed the land for themselves believing that the Indians were less intelligent than they were. Fast forward to the Trail of Tears where the Cherokee nation was forcibly removed from the east in the dead of winter. Think about the enslaving of Africans because of their color. Or even today how millions of unborn babies are killed just because they are thought to be a hindrance.We fight against each other and put each other down. Let's just say that the human race has not had the best reputation over the years.
     As for Christian's, I understand how, by the grace of God, we can rise above the curse of sin. But we still fall at times. Humans are evil without God's Grace. The bottom line is that when a movie portrays humans as bad, it's just showing humans in their true nature.
     Some people of course, can see this evil more easily and fight against it, like the abolitionists that stood up for the slaves rights. Jake Sully started out as going along with the evil plan to remove the Na'vi but once he realized it was wrong he worked hard to reverse the damage.
     I guess what I'm trying to say is that just because the movie makes humans look bad, that is not a reason to not like the movie and it doesn't make it a terrible movie. I think the problem is that Avatar painfully reveals that we as humans are not as wonderful as we think we are.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

introducing pebbles

Pebbles the Platypus
Born April 18, 2012

     Not many people know that the platypus is my favorite animal. I guess some of the problem is that the platypus doesn't have much in the way of merchandise. It's very difficult to find platypus apparel, jewelry or stuffed animals. Of course, now thanks to Etsy, it's easier to find more things platypus.
     But last year sometime I ran across a sewing pattern for a stuffed platypus. I knew that I wanted to make it eventually so I saved the pattern and it's been sitting in my drawer since. This week I've had the sewing machine out and have been working on different sewing projects in the afternoons. I remembered the long forgotten platypus pattern and decided to try it. I had already picked out the fabric I would use. All I had to do was start.
     It took me awhile to get the pattern pieces to the size I wanted. If I would had left the pattern pieces alone, Pebbles would have been a bit small. I wanted her to be a good, cuddly size. So I spent fifteen minutes or so on Paint, cropping and resizing the pattern.
     All together I'd say I spent about 3-4 hours on her, including sizing the pattern, cutting out the fabric, pinning, sewing and stuffing. Pebbles came out to be 20 inches long, from tail to bill, and 15 inches across from tip to tip of her front feet.
     I haven't given her eyes yet, but I think she looks pretty good. It's nice to finally have a stuffed version of my favorite animal.

The pattern I used can be found here.

Monday, April 2, 2012

reader's heartache

This weekend I read the last book in the Bailey Flanigan series by Karen Kingsbury, Loving.

~{CAUTION: Spoilers}~

     I was dreading even reading this book because I could feel the changes the author was making with the story. The happy ending that I envisioned was slowly losing it's possibility. I held out hope until the last couple chapter which I read in a blur because I was crying mournful tears. Instead of the joy and hope I thought I would be feeling, I felt pain.
     Through the whole series I got the impression that there was only one true ending. But when Bailey had a heartbreaking thought that Cody was there at her wedding as she married a different man, I lost it. This was not the way it was supposed to end. I think that most of Karen Kingsbury's readers feel the same way. We could all see how it was supposed to end and we were let down.
     Instead of feeling the contentment I expected, I felt lost. I kept expecting Bailey to not go through with the wedding. I feel like there should be more, but Bailey married and now there's no hope for her and Cody anymore.
     I almost feel like writing my own ending to the story, where Bailey and Cody see they can't go on without each other. I see them telling each other all of the pain and feelings they both had. I see a reconciliation, an embrace and tears. But not the tears of good-bye but tears of happiness as they move on to live their lives together.
     Don't misunderstand, Karen Kingsbury is a wonderful author. And if I hadn't been led to believe that Cody and Bailey would end up together, I would probably appreciate how she wrapped up the story. But there's no way I can be content with the ending. This will probably cause me to be more cautious when I'm reading her books, because I feel she didn't fulfill the promise she seemed to make clear in the beginning stages of Bailey and Cody's relationship.
     That's one of the major aspects of writing, when you make the reader's a promise then you need to fulfill that promise. In an unexpected way, yes, but fulfilled nonetheless. The promise that was made clear to me was that Bailey and Cody belonged to each other, and sadly the story came to a tragic end.
     So the bottom line? I was highly disappointed with Loving. It wasn't a terrible book but it didn't fulfill it's promises.