Hello! I just heard about this really cool app called Anchor. You can record podcasts on there and have people call in and play music when you aren’t talking. Check out my station, Rachel Acham, on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/rachel-acham

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Proverbs 31:8-9

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.
 Speak up and judge fairly;
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.

At this time of year many hearts are turned toward the less fortunate. You stroll past the Salvation Army volunteer who is ringing that bell and throw in that dollar or two. Many businesses hold toy and food drives. You may even volunteer for certain organizations and events. But what about the rest of the year? The poor and needy don’t disappear when January hits. In fact, where I live, their plight worsens. That is when the real cold and snow arrives. Cold is just one hardship that the poor have to face through out the year.

“I want to help, but I don’t know where to start.”

“I don’t have the time or resources to bring all the homeless off the street.”

This is often where the thinking stops. The problem seems too big and too hard, so the brain shuts down, we move on, and drive away. But what would happen if we actually continued to think about the problem. If we asked others, perhaps those more experienced. In this modern age, the Internet provides so much information to understand better the need and see what you can do to help. But ultimately, the first thing to do is pray that God will guide your steps. Also, pray every time you see someone who is homeless, hungry, sick, or voiceless. This may sound cliched, but it is true. Remember the the Starfish story.

Tell me what you can do to help the poor, the needy, and the helpless.

Hello, World!

Recently, I had to read Screwtape Letters and Out of the Silent Planet for school. This wasn’t a burden because I love C.S. Lewis’ work, which I guess is pretty evident from my other posts. But anyway, as I was thinking, an interesting connection between Prince Caspian, Screwtape letters, and Out of the Silent Planet dawned on me.

In Prince Caspian, Aslan was telling the prince how his people came to live in Narnia and Caspian was a bit disappointed.

“I was wishing that I came of a more honourable lineage.”
“You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan. “And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.”

That has always been one of my favorite quotes from Prince Caspian. However, when I read Screwtape Letters, it sort of brought new meaning to the quote. You see, there is a particular quote by Screwtape that is tells us an interesting fact about human nature.

“Humans are amphibians…half spirit and half animal…as spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time. This means that while their spirit can be directed to an eternal object, their bodies, passions, and imaginations are in continual change, for to be in time, means to change. Their nearest approach to constancy, therefore, is undulation–the repeated return to a level from which they repeatedly fall back, a series of troughs and peaks.”

Then there is the part from Out of The Silent Planet when Ransom meets one of the rational creatures of the planet and gets a little freaked out.

“The huge, seal-like creature seated beside him became unbearably ominous…was it really as rational as it appeared?…the rationality of the the hross tempted you to think of it as a man. Then it became abominable- a man seven feet high, with a snaky body, covered, face and all, with thick black animal hair, and whiskered like a cat.

So you may be wondering what all these random quotes have to do with each other. Well, the first quote was saying that being human is something to be proud of, but it is also a reason to be humble. Then Screwtape says that humans are eternal, but we are also bound to time by our bodies. So in one way we are immortal beings, but on the other hand, we are very similar to animals. We have bodies. We need shelter. We need food. We are susceptible to change.

Then I read Out of the Silent Planet, which had characters that were rational, but very much akin to animals. They were “amphibians” like us but still had the human capacity for rationality. On Malacandra, they called creatures such as these “hnau.” So, basically, all of us are one rational brain from being animals. Dang. But then go back to Prince Caspian where Aslan says,

“You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan. “And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.”

So even though we are eternal spirits that are made in the image of Christ, the medium that God uses to fashion us in is material, finite, and vulnerable. Our bodies are so similar, to similar to animals, that some people believe we are descended from apes. And yet homo sapiens is the only species to have a soul. I believe that when God created us, he wanted us to be able to love and be loved, but he gave us a “animal” body to keep us humble.

Busting the Myth of Work-Life Balance by Susan Olding

So many of us strive for that perfect schedule where we finish work and then just live, play, relax, and create. However, we all need to realize that if work can take so much of our time, then we need to embrace it.
Thanks, Crystal

QWF Writes

Inside the Cardinal Studio, one of the Leighton Studios at Banff Centre for the Arts.

About a year ago, I was invited to give a talk to some graduate students at Queen’s University about what was billed as “work-life balance.” Sure, I said. Why not? That should be easy.

There was only one small problem. For me, “work-life balance” is an unattainable mirage. I am the farthest thing from an expert on the topic.

The truth is, most of my days pass in a blur of immediate “to-dos.” And the hours that I so carefully set aside for creative work often go instead to the unanticipated trip to the doctor, the emergency phone call from the school or the rush-rush project for the paid job.

I used to spend a lot of time feeling resentful, inadequate and guilty about that. Because other people seemed to combine their creative work with the rest of their lives successfully. Other people seemed to have some magical ability that…

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An Open Letter to Everyone

Dear Everybody,

Did I ever tell you that you are the most beautiful, handsome person. I’m not just saying that. I literally looked at you and thought “Oh my goodness, what a gorgeous creation.” There may be some who say that beauty is a matter of opinion. However, in my short, almost 16 year long life, I have found that there is always something that is beautiful about everyone.

I’m not the only one who thinks so. God, our creator, the master of the human form looked at you and said “This is very good.” I pray that you learn to believe it.

A Box

Hello, I hope you all enjoyed Christmas with your family and friends. I sure did. Holiday season is a wonderful time to fellowship and bask in the of love and joy… or political debates around the table. It is also a time to remember the gift that saved our lives, JESUS!

Moving on to the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the stores are packed with people returning gifts that either don’t fit or that they don’t like. If that is you, then I am not writing this to judge. However, I want to tell you a story about a gift that my little brother gave me.

So, due to the fact that my parents gifts were not ready for Christmas, we decided that our immediate family was going to go to my grandparents house and exchange gifts there on Sunday. So, on Sunday, after dinner, we all exchanged gifts and my brother gave me a small box.Needless to say, that my outward enthusiasm was a little underwhelming. However, about a minute later, my twelve year old sister saw that I had opened my nine-year old brother’s gift and said, ” We all thought that would be a great gift for you, because you are always telling us to stop taking your mechanical pencils. So now you can put all of your pencils in the box. and then we will know not to take those pencils.” That was just beautiful. My brother knew that I hated strongly despised when people took my pencils, and he decided to do something about it. So even though at first glance it didn’t look like much, the thoughtfulness behind it made it much more valuable.  So, remember that even as you return any unwanted gifts, that someone actually cared enough to buy, make, and wrap that present for you.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Tattoo….You?.” Do you have a tattoo? If so, what’s the story behind your ink? If you don’t have a tattoo, what might you consider getting emblazoned on you skin? This is an interesting question. The first on is answered pretty easily. No. But let us consider that […]