Music Appreciation

Music is a beautiful thing.

Everyone knows this. But I think too often we take it for granted.

As long as you veer away from the Top 40 (Let’s face it, the majority of the songs are about nothing more than sex and partying, and that’s not very ‘beautiful’)

I’m talking about the songs that give you chills, the melodies that make you want to either sway and curl into a ball underneath a big fluffy blanket. The lyrics that bring tears to your eyes.

It’s amazing that humans are creating these songs. Just a few minutes that bring up so many beautiful feelings that you don’t feel all the time.

I think my favorite genre is the cozy, rainy day, coffee shop type music. Not really a specific genre at all but I think you guys know what I’m talking about. Hozier, Bon Iver, Birdy, Ruth B, Jeff Buckley, Halsey, Simon and Garfunkel, Iron and Wine. Music like that.

I love that one song can mean so many different things to so many different people.

I think that writers, especially as a writer myself, get a special dose of this. You create these characters, all these little parts of yourself. Each one has a life and a backstory and history and heartbreak and certain songs just pertain to their life and their relationships and you can’t help but feel all their feelings because that’s you. That’s a piece of you on paper, or on a screen.

That’s the beautiful part. Even when it’s not your personal past music can move you.

I’m going to set some choreography on a friend and we chose Not About Angels by Birdy. I suggest you listen to it. It’s a haunting song.

I’m really excited. I know there’s a lot I can do with it.

So go play that one Spotify playlist that is perfection. Put on your favorite record. Just sit and listen for a minute. Let yourself be swept away by memories and enjoy it.

Here are a few of my suggestion from above:

Not About Angels- Birdy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj_VidtyaOc

Like Real People Do- Hozier : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrleydRwWms

Skinny Love- Bon Iver : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVGl8Spm1v8

Lost Boy- Ruth B : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO3ppTYwRYs

Hallelujah- Jeff Buckley : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8AWFf7EAc4

Drive- Halsey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oI-BsWbIg4

Sound of Silence- Simon and Garfunkel : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oI-BsWbIg4

Flightless Bird, American Mouth- Iron and Wine : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwZNGaMrwcE

 

Time to Get Back on that Horse

It’s that time of year again folks.

Dance is starting up tonight.

Not that I’m dancing. Not this semester. But I am still teaching.

I have hopes. I have goals for my students. I’m sure they have goals too. I can’t wait to hear them.

I am especially excited about my intermediate class. There’s a bunch of new students in there, along with two of the most senior dancers in the studio. I am very excited for the improvement I’m going to see in them.

I am, of course, sad and quite a bit discouraged that I can’t dance this semester but I think God is giving me a chance to focus on my teaching and directing skills.

I’ll be directing our spring show, which I’m excited about. I’ve never directed without being in half the show myself.

Here’s to a great semester and a new focus.

 

Crimson Peak Review

***SPOILERS***

Crimson-Peak

Ah, the beauty of this Gothic Victorian Romance/Suspense.

Guillermo Del Torro outdid himself.

Not only was the cast perfect in their roles (Hiddleston KILLED as Sir Thomas Sharpe) but the set, the music, the lighting, the attention to detail was just all so breathtaking.

But let’s start with the cast. As I said, Tom Hiddleston made a perfect Good Villain. Mia Wasikowska effortlessly played the naive, lovestruck authoress.

And Jessica Chastain. Holy cow. Who knew someone could play an incestual murderess with such grace, elegance, and poise. She was ruthless as Lucille Sharpe and played the role so well I forgot she was ever anything else.

Charlie Hunman and Jim Beaver (Bobby Singer!!!) were wonderful in their roles as well.

And that murder scene!!!!! Poor papa Cushing never saw it coming. But oh, it was brutal. The entire theater cringed when the sink broke.

I could go on for hours about the waltz scene.

I loved when Alan tipped his hat to Thomas at Mr. Cushing’s funeral. Like a silent “You take care of her”.

I really could just keep going but there’s one thing that just won’t leave me alone about this movie.

The ghosts.

There were three different colors of ghosts. Edith’s mother was a black ghost. The ghosts of the murdered wives were red. And then at the end, Thomas’s ghost was white, almost transparent.

Why?

My theory:

Edith talked so much about how ghosts are linked to certain places and events. I think the color depended on how they died.

Edith’s mom was black because she died from sickness. The murdered wives, and Lucille’s murdered baby, were all blood red. They died gruesome, hateful deaths.

The confusing ones are Lucille and Thomas, who both died gruesome deaths yet neither one had a red ghost.

Lucille was black. She died from sickness. Obviously, she wasn’t right in the head. For pity’s sake she had sex with her brother and murdered her mother. She died because of it. Her mental illness haunted her and that’s why she was black.

But what about Thomas? Why wasn’t his ghost black then?

He wasn’t insane. The incest, that was all Lucille. Thomas grew up believing that was ok because that was all he ever knew. Thomas didn’t murder his mother. Lucille did. And it was Lucille’s idea to marry into rich families and kill the wives off.

Thomas died because of love. He saved Alan, he saved Edith, and he tried to save Lucille, even though he knew that what she had done was wrong. He wanted to change her, to save her.

He was just so innocent and loving and forgiving.

That’s why his ghost was white.

Yes, yes. I know. I’m obsessed. So sue me.

Anyways, I’m always up for a lively discussion about this masterpiece of a movie.

Ninja Ballerina Makeup Tips

I apologize to my male readers who care absolutely nothing about makeup. I won’t do this often. I’ll be posting about more relevant stuff to you soon. 🙂

I love makeup. I love trying new color combos and blending different neutrals together. It’s fun.

So I cringe a little inside when I see makeup disasters,as I’m sure many girls do. So here’s a few things I’ve learned the world of makeup:

1. You do not want to look like a clown.

Don’t pair colorful eye-shadow (blue, green, bright pink) with any sort of lipstick except very pale, neutral tones. You’ll end up looking like a clown or the Queen of Hearts from that one Alice in Wonderland movie no one talks about.

red clown

Instead, if you want to go with a daring lip color, stick to neutral, light eye-shadows, like brown, silver, bronze, and gold. And if you’re looking for a bright eye-shadow, tone down the lipstick. A gloss would probably work better.

2. If you have a pale complexion, stay away from red-orange lipstick entirely. It’s not very flattering to a light skin-tone. Women with darker skin can usually pull it off ok, but spend some time looking in the mirror if you grab a red-orange lipstick.

3. Mascara. You can actually use too much. Some of this is personal preference. Like, I don’t really like putting mascara on my bottom lashes. It makes me look like a mime. I’m not the only one out there. Also, you don’t want to use so much that your lashes clump together a lot. It looks trashy and super teenage-white-girl-at-starbucks-posting-to-instagram.

4. Liquid black eyeliner. Again, there is definitely such a thing as too much. Careful about lining your bottom eyelid because a lot of women just look tired when they do that, though there are plenty who can pull it off.

cat eye

You don’t want to look like a raccoon when you put on your eyeliner. A simple, skinny cat-eye works wonders and goes well with almost any outfit. A more dramatic cat-eye is ok for late night dates or performing or something, just be careful.

5. The “natural” look is very nice. Just all neutrals, simple.

6. Bronzer. Use it sparingly. Your face should not be 8 shades darker than your arms.

7. Find a good blush. Again, clown warning. Go to your makeup store and ask for help. They’ll be happy to help, I’m sure. It’s their job.

I hope I’ve helped somebody out there. My biggest thing is the clown makeup. Drives me insane. Obviously there are some exceptions to the “rules” I’ve made. Some pale girl can pull off orange lipstick. Some girls get away with blue eye-shadow and red lipstick. Just not many…

By the way, if you have a Merle Norman in your area, try it out. I love their makeup and I recommend it to everyone.

Keep it real, guys.

Roaring 20's

 

Adultery and Living Water

The Samaritan Woman at the Well. John 4: 4-26

First of all, to all the people who have tried to use this against me, Jesus pointed out the woman’s sin almost right off the bat.

He told her how she was sinning.

Ok, let me start at the beginning. A Samaritan and a Jew walk up to a well. No, this isn’t the start of a bad joke I promise. The Jew talks to the Samaritan, which is crazy, because Jews just don’t do that. It’s “below them.”

She can tell He is a Jew and is super confused. She talks to Him anyway.

Jesus asks for a drink of water and she asks how a Jew could ask for anything from a Samaritan.

Jesus replied by saying that if she knew who she was talking to, she would’ve asked for water back, the kind that completely satisfies your thirst.

I like how Jesus really drew people in with the way he spoke. He was all mysterious and wise and weird, and it made people ask more questions, get involved in the discussion. He was a very talented speaker.

So, then He explains how this water quenches all thirst and the woman’s like, ‘well give me some so I don’t have to haul water all the time. It’s messing up my back.’

Jesus replies with ‘go get your husband and come back.’

I imagine this made the woman a little fidgety, if she had any clue at all who she was talking to. She admits that she has no husband.

Jesus tells her she was right the say that because she has had, in fact, FIVE husbands (no way all those men died) and pointed out that she was living in adultery.

If you don’t believe divorce and remarriage is adultery then read Romans 7:2 and Matthew 5:32. I can give a couple more references if you still don’t believe the Bible.

This. Is. Important. He tells her straight up that she is an adulterous woman. There was no sugarcoating, no super-sweet “I love you but you really shouldn’t be doing this…”

NO

Jesus was like, “You’re living in sin. Cut it out.”

She realized He must be a prophet and He starts telling her that the Samaritans are wrong in worshipping what they do not know and that soon people will worship in spirit and in truth.

A couple things to point out here. First, historically Samaritans worshipped idols AND had a fear of the Lord. They tried to mesh their culture with the Jews’ and cover all the bases. But it doesn’t work that way.

Believe it or not, that’s happening in today’s world, the modern day Church. People pick and choose what they want to keep from the Bible (mostly verses out of context and a supposed “faith”) but at the same time they worship the world and it’s idols, such as science and the word of people instead of God’s Word.

Jesus said people must worship in spirit and truth. Several times the Bible refers to the Word of God as truth. Seriously, take the Bible seriously. It is super important!

I realize that I need to work on the part where I show people how God can fix things, but the first step is pointing out the wrong, the sin. Warning against it. Trying to steer other Christians clear of it.

I do NOT see many Christians doing that at all. I know this theme pops up a lot in my blog, but I’m very passionate about it. Really, what’s more important than trying to lead people closer to Christ?

I pray that people don’t only challenge my words, but that they make people think. It seems like too many people just want to argue with me and don’t actually take the time to consider that what I say might actually be right. Don’t count me out just because I’m young. Maybe I’m still clinging to a scrap of child-like faith that others have already discarded as juvenile.

I try my hardest to take the Word of God seriously, literally, and I look to it for answers. I don’t know a better source for answers. Please, fellow Christians, instead of arguing with me right off the bat, pray about it, read the Bible on the subject, and then see if there is really something that I’m doing incorrectly.

Thank you so much for reading!

Back to the Rosin

Dance starts back up today!

After an insanely long break it’s back to the hardwood, metal bars, and oh-so-glorious rosin.

Tonight I get to teach the first class of the semester and I’m looking forward to it.

I bought 95 new songs, I have some new experience under my belt and I am feeling prepared. New leotards don’t hurt either 😉

I honestly don’t know if I’m looking forward to teaching or actually dancing more. I love both so much. I love working and seeing improvement in myself, but seeing improvement in the girls I teach is very rewarding too.

I have mixed feelings about the upcoming show, but hopefully it’ll be great. It’ll at least be cute.

I thank God so much for my dance family and the opportunities I get with it. I am so blessed by ballet.

For my lovely dancers reading this, can’t wait to see you this week! Love you all!

I Tell You the Truth

Jesus really liked that phrase. I mean it’s fair, He was telling the truth. I don’t quite know what to make of his persistent use of “I tell you the truth” so I’m just going to leave it at that.

Today we read John 3:1-21.

PAUSE

Break out your Bible.

Read it.

It’s worth it.

The first thing about this passage is Nicodemus. He didn’t go to Jesus to question Him. He went to Him to state that he believed that Jesus was God. To support Him (Ah, that must feel nice. 😛 I kid, I kid.)

Jesus still used this as an opportunity to teach. He told Nicodemus that the only way to see or enter the Kingdom of God was to be born again.

Now, this was a pretty radical idea to Nicodemus and everyone else. They didn’t understand the phrase, I don’t think. Jesus explained the difference between the Flesh and the Spirit quite well.

He put a lot of emphasis on being born again and how it is the ONLY way to enter Heaven. Just take a moment and ask yourself if you have been born again.

In the second part of the passage, Jesus references the Old Testament (If it was relevant to Him and His teaching, it’s relevant to us.) He talked about Moses lifting up the snake in the desert, and how the Son of Man must also be lifted up.

We need to keep our focus on Jesus. As Christians, we need to lift Jesus up for others to see Him. Are we doing that in todays society? Not the vast majority of us. It’s a Sunday thing. We go, we sing, we pray, then we forget about it on Monday. That’s not how it should be. We are a broken church. The only way to be the church Jesus intended us to be is to lift Him up above petty politics and what humans want.

God did not send Jesus to judge the world, but to save it.

NO, this is not a verse that can be used to say we should not judge others. Another word for judge as used in this verse is ‘condemn’. So calm down there. As I’ve mentioned before, the Bible still tells us to judge our fellow Christian and warn against sin.

The last bit of the passage talks about Judgment from God, righteous judgment, and how He has already judged those who choose to follow darkness.

I think it’s powerful how Jesus said that God sent Light into the world (Jesus) but men loved the darkness (sin) too much to go to the light.

You know how, as a kid, almost everyone is afraid of the dark. But then we grow up and we realize that it’s silly and childish and that the dark is nothing to fear. I think we’re wrong. Darkness is terrifying, on a spiritual level. It’s what separates us from God. Why aren’t we as afraid of THAT darkness as we were afraid of the actual darkness as a five-year-old? We need to claim child-like faith again. We should still be afraid of the dark.

In conclusion, you should read 1 John 1:6.

One thing I want to say about me blogging mostly to believers; It’s very important to share the Word with non-believers, to try to get them to come to faith in Jesus. But if we have huge problems in our theology, how can we do that efficiently? If we are not examples of Christ, not exclusively His loving nature but all aspects of Him, how can we paint an accurate picture of what the church is? That is why I blog to a believing audience for the most part. I’m trying to share how I think we all need to act more like Christ before we tell others how they ought to. Look at yourself first. Do you look like Christ? I don’t as much as I would like to, but that’s why I’m doing this Bible study. I’m figuring out what Jesus looked like.

Flipping Tables

One of my favorite parts of the Bible: when Jesus got angry.

I’m actually going to start with  John 2:1-11, which is  Jesus turning water into wine. That was his first miracle. Also look at John 7:6.

An important point is that Jesus knew when He was supposed to do things. He said it wasn’t His time to perform his first miracle. That being said, I don’t really know why he did it if it wasn’t His time, but He must’ve had a reason.

Yay, now it’s time for flipping tables! Read John 2:12-25. It’s awesome. It makes me happy.

Jesus went and cleansed the Temple because a bunch of idiots were turning it into a business. Jesus walked in, saw all this happening, and made a whip.

He made a whip.

He didn’t walk through calmly saying “You really shouldn’t be doing this, friends, but if you feel like it’s the way you were born, or if you just love everyone, it’s ok.”

No. He went through driving people out with a whip and flipping their money changing tables over. He yelled at them to get out because His father’s temple was not a place of business. He had some really awesome righteous anger.

Jesus was not meek. He was not always gentle and kind. I do not know why people paint him that way. He took action, he was aggressive, he was physical..

One of the verses says something about zeal for his Father’s house consuming Him. The Greek word for zeal translates into jealousy. He was jealous for His father’s house because it was not what it was meant to be. It had become taken over by the world. It was no longer a place of reverence. People were changing money and selling doves.

This brings me to a concern about today’s mega churches. A lot of the times they have coffee shops, stores, something. They are selling things in their church, and I don’t know how they justify that.

I think it’s ok if it’s a fundraiser, but if people are getting paid to work it or it pays for a pastor’s salary or something, it’s a business and it’s wrong. It’s just plain disrespectful.

One more point to draw from His actions was that he spoke out against what they were doing wrong, not against them as people. He didn’t attack anyone personally. I strive to do that in my blog and I think I do a decent job of it. I speak out against sin without involving a certain people group as best I can.

If you look from Jesus CONVERTING water to wine and then CLEANSING the Temple right after, you see what He does in us. After we convert, we are cleansed, we are renewed. Jesus has wonderful power, let Him work it in you.

Beatitudes (Bee-Attitudes)

At least I’m pretty sure that’s how you say it. Not an expert.

Today we read Matthew 5:1-12, which lists the blessings. It’s counterpart, starting at Luke 6:20, also lists the warnings, the “woe to you”s. I won’t be talking about those today though.

The first one talks about the poor in spirit. What on earth does that mean? As far as I can tell it’s talking about being humble in your faith, not being spiritually arrogant.

The next says how those who mourn will be comforted, the kind of comforting that can only be found in God.

These verse are really pretty self-explanatory, I hope you take the time to read them.

Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Meek does not mean quiet. It’s more like humble and gentle. But NOT silent. This is important. We still need to speak up, but remain humble before the Lord.

If you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you will be filled. We must seek God first, and if we really do that, we will be rewarded.

If we are merciful, we will get mercy back. This is a difficult one. We have to forgive to be forgiven.

Those with a pure heart will see God. Before you get too panicked about how pure you’re heart is, remember that we are, or can be, purified through Jesus Christ.

This next one is a tad bit confusing. It says that the peacemakers will be called the Sons of God. However, peacemakers does not mean ‘appeasing everybody’. In 1 Corinthians 14:33 it uses peace as an antonym for confusion, so my understanding is that peacemakers create clarity more than appeasement.

A point to make about that is that Christians who misuse scripture create confusion. I try my best not to do this and hopefully I don’t, but we all need to be careful.

The last is that those who are persecuted for righteousness will be rewarded. Read 1 Peter 3:14. You don’t get persecuted if you never speak up.

The last two verse are about that subject as well and are pretty self-explanatory. A couple good verses to go with those are 1 Peter 4:14-16.

I hope you enjoyed my installment on the Beatitudes.

Judgement

I’m tired of getting called judgmental by judgmental people who don’t admit that they’re judging me.

Because when you call me judgmental, you are, in fact, judging me.

Now, I never said that I never judge people. Here’s the reality people; we all judge. Yes, you judge people too. Every last one of us make judgments about people and events.

I try not to judge people, and I thought I had been doing a pretty good job about only judging the sin on my blog post, but when I slip up, it’s not really your job to call me out, because that my dear friends is called hypocrisy.

Again, I’m not saying that I’m never hypocritical, but try to think through it before you call me judgmental. I’m trying my best not to be. Are you when you call me out on my every failure?

On a different note, we’re supposed to judge fellow Christians and try and make them aware of their sins. That’s what I’m trying to do. We need to be more careful when we talk to non-believers, and that’s something I need to work on, but I’m blogging mostly to believers and mostly believers comment.

Read these verses in context:

Hebrews 3:12-13

John 7:24

John 8:16

I Corinthians 5:12

1 Corinthians 6:2

Galatians 5:26- 6:2

Ephesians 4:25

Colossians 2:8

Before you throw it at me, Romans 14:13 needs to be read in context. It is talking about different levels of maturity in faith, and how you should not judge if one’s faith is slightly different than yours, not whether or not you should judge sin or make him aware of it. Please, please, please read all the verses in context so they are not abused. You can’t just pick and choose.

Also, Paul, who was not blameless like Christ, spoke out against sin to the churches. He was not silent. He straight up told them what they were doing wrong.

In short, we have been called to judge sin. That is what I am doing. Judging the sin, not the sinner. If you have any reason why that is not Biblical, please tell me, but don’t talk about “feelings” and ignore what the Bible says.