Tag Archives: Music

Wonderful Wednesday

I realized I haven’t posted anything on here in a month now, so I figured it’s about time to fix that. If you’ve wondered what I’ve been up to lately, I’ve mostly been reading, working on my writing (stories, not blogging), and doing basic responsibilities. TBH, I’ve been lacking energy lately. Not sure if that’s because my body isn’t used to the heat yet or what. However, it’s definitely frustrating when you have a bunch of things you’d like to do, but little to no energy or motivation to do it. I’m sure more than one person can relate to that.

One thing I’ve learned recently, is to jump on board when I have the motivation to do something. Take the opportunity when it arises, because you never know how you’ll feel later. Of course, there will be times you need to act despite how you feel, however, the point is, if you have the time and the will – dive in! That’s my advice. Anyways, I wanted to write about a few new and wonderful things that I’ve discovered lately – not give life advice (intentionally) – so without further adieu, here’s to a wonderful Wednesday!

  • Christian Rap

I never had any interest in rap music. I just didn’t enjoy it, so I avoided it at all costs and cringed whenever it came on. However, this past school year I was challenged to listen to music I wouldn’t normally for one week. I accepted. During that week I discovered that I do enjoy rap music! Some artists I listened to: NF, Twenty-One Pilates, and Propaganda.

  • Anime & Manga

Yeah I’m a nerd and I’m not afraid to show it! One of my favourites (still) has to be the first one I ever watched, which is called “Fruits Basket”. I’ve watched the anime and recently finished the first book in the manga series. I’m looking forward to reading the second. (Of course, I’ve got a few animes I’m watching, but for the sake of this post I thought I’d keep it short.)

  • Books

Some of you are thinking: “Hey! She’s always liked books! What’s new about that?”. And yes, that’s true, I’ve always been a book lover. However, lately I’ve finally been able to get back into something wonderful called ‘pleasure reading’. I know, right? What a concept! I have to admit, it took a while to transition from analyzing books for school into actually enjoying them. I think I’ve got the hang of it again now!

Read, Book, Reading, Literature, Books

  • Writing

Similar to my book/reading situation – mentioned above – I haven’t had much time to write stories with homework on my to-do list. After school ended, however, I was able to get back into that as well! So, I’m inspired and working away at a few different novels! It’s looking promising, so far. I find reading and writing very exciting and it continues to inspire my creative mind!

Girl, Flowers, Throw, Orange, Beauty

  • Self-discovery

This is going a little off topic – since it’s different than the other points – however, I wanted to mention it. Lately, I’ve made some internal progress. I find it a little strange because I wasn’t actively working on this recently. So, I’m not sure what changed, but I’ve begun  to accept myself – flaws and all – instead of letting what others think define me. People-pleaser (and perfectionist) are definitely phrases that have described me in the past. However, I think I’ve started to let go of my insecurities and be more comfortable with who I am. I can only explain it by saying that it must be a work of God in my life. I’ve struggled with these insecurities for so long, that it’s really encouraging to finally hear an alternative voice saying “This is who you are. It’s okay. Just be yourself.”

What are some new and wonderful things that have come into your life? What have you discovered lately?

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Five Minute Prayers & Casual Thoughts

Some Thoughts

Growing up in the church I have heard my whole life that Christianity is “not a religion” but a “relationship”. I am not saying that this is a wrong thought – on the contrary. However, I do feel that the church has failed to teach children from a young age how to live out that relationship. I have been gradually realizing that this faith journey is about more than just “five minute prayers” and “casual thoughts” that are cast heavenward throughout the day.

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Now this is not to say that I’ve been conscious about myself thinking this way. It is more likely a subconscious attitude I was not aware of.

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In our fast paced world, the faith-minded person has increasingly less time to devote to prayer and other godly things. Maybe it’s more of an issue related to poor time management. However, there is no doubt that our culture is more busy now than in years past.

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In any kind of relationship do you expect to only exchange a few words in passing and assume that you’re best friends? Of course not! We are all aware that to have a good friendship with someone takes time and effort. You need to have conversations with that person and spend time getting to know them in different contexts. Why then do we assume that our relationship with God would be any different?

You may be saying, “But God is all-knowing. He should already know everything about me. He should just answer when he hears my prayer.” Yes, God is all-knowing. however, he still desires a close relationship with us. He wants to hear from us. How was your day? What are your hopes and dreams? What are you struggling with? God wants to spent time with us. Although, he is omniscient, we are not. That is another reason (and benefit) to dedicate ourselves to deepening our relationship with him.

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If any of us wonder why we are not moving forward, why we cannot hear God, or many other questions, the first thing to ask ourselves is: “how is my connection with God?” Now, I understand that even the most devote individual, will go through dry seasons. This is by no means a “step-by-step”, “one-size-fits-all” solution. However, these are some thoughts that I resonate with, that may help someone else out there reading this right now.

To sum it all up, this faith we are called to, needs to be lived in dependance on Christ and according to the truth found in his Word.

Digging Deeper

“[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity 

“We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts” – A.W. Tozer

1. God Is On The Move by 7eventh Time Down

2. The Proof Of Your Love by for KING & COUNTRY

3. Wake Me Up (Amnesia) by Group 1 Crew

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

This season can be a very busy time for a lot of people. Sometimes with all of our responsibilities and/or distractions, it can be a rush to get everything done. With that said, here are some Christmas ideas for those of you who may be trying to get last minute gifts.

First of all, when looking for a gift for a friend of family member, it’s good to show that you’ve put some thought into it. What kind of things do they enjoy? What are their hobbies?

  1. Journalling / Writing

Does the person you’re buying for enjoy writing or journalling? Journals, notebooks, etc. can be great gifts. They are appreciated by the recipient and can be used for a multitude of different things. notebook-731212_960_720.jpg

2. Books

So maybe the individual isn’t a writer… well, do they enjoy reading? Books are a thoughtful gift and will definitely make the day of any book lover! Don’t know the type of book they like? I know sometimes gift cards can be looked down upon as being a cheap way of avoiding a serious gift… but honestly, a book lover will be ecstatic to receive a gift card to a book store.

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3. Music

As a side note, I’m not just basing this off of things that I like….  I know these are generally good basic gift ideas.

Okay, so if they enjoy music, you can get them a CD of an artist they like. Just make sure they don’t already have it. If you don’t personally know, it’s fairly easy to find out from another close friend or family member. And if they don’t collect CDs, an iTunes card is always a valid option.

 

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4. Movies

Is there a movie or TV show they really enjoy? That’s another option. Or instead, you could actually take them to see something in theatres. That way they receive a gift, but also get an enjoyable experience while spending time with you.

 

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5.  DIY

Not everyone is the ‘creative type’. However, if you are on the creative side, this can be in your favour. Not all projects can take excessive amounts of time, like knitting a scarf. To start, you could make your own Christmas cards instead of buying them in the store. It’s more personal because even if it doesn’t take a long time, it still shows that you put in effort and thought. If you aren’t sure what to write, there are plenty of quotes, blessings, Bible verses and more that you can find online.

The possibilities are endless, only limited to what you can come up with. One quick idea is putting together a hot chocolate mix. There are multiple different recipes, but some ingredients you can put together are: cocoa, sugar, chocolate chips, marshmallows, and crushed peppermint or candy canes.

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I could continue on with other suggestions of quick and inexpensive last minute gift ideas. However, the main thing is to know the individual you are buying for – their interests, likes, etc. The gift doesn’t have to be big or really expensive, but just something that the person would enjoy and/or could use.

In the end, just remember. Christmas is more about making moments and memories. Spending time with the people you care about can honestly be the greatest gift. They will understand if you’re not in the place to give gifts this year.

Mood Altering

Goodbye August and hello September 1st! The topic of mood has been on my mind a lot lately. Now it’s common to see my mood swing up and down, but what can I do when it stays down? How do I get out of a low? Well, there’s no step by step guide. It’s different for everyone, but I thought I’d share some ideas on what has helped me.

Air

Even if it’s just going for a walk, I find being in nature rejuvenating. Instead of being trapped inside all day – in your house or at work – take some time to get fresh air.

Exercise

I definitely used to be one of those people who hid under a desk at the work exercise. Me exercise…? It wasn’t going to happen. But once I started exercising out of necessity, I surprisingly found that it wasn’t too bad. I actually enjoyed it and it helped to boost my mood. Whenever I became angry, I found it helpful to work out and deal with all my stress that way. It’s healthy for your body and mind.

Friends

I’m an introvert, but if I’m alone for too long, I start to feel lonely. Everyone needs a certain amount of social interaction. So, whether it’s planning a movie night or going out for coffee or lunch, spending time with your friends is a good mood booster. My friends always know how to brighten my day and make me laugh.

Wardrobe

It doesn’t matter if you’re a girly girl or not, if you wear something that makes you feel comfortable and confident, I think it can help improve your mood. In my experience, if I’m wearing my favourite t-shirt or pants, then I feel good and also probably won’t be as self-conscious.

Music

I like music a lot. Therefore, you’ll probably see me mention it quite a bit. Music is powerful. It can bring people together, touch the heart, cause you to sing and/or dance. However you’re feeling or whatever you’re facing, there’s probably a song you can identify with. I usually see a difference in my mood after listening to my favourite artists. If I’m particularly anxious or stressed about something, I listen to peaceful instrumentals or movie soundtracks.

Here is one of my favourite movie songs from LOTR.

*Picture from Pixabay

Something Old & Good

In my household, we listen to a variety of music. My brother is stuck in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, whereas my parents and I enjoy a wider range of old and newer songs and styles. Although I like different music, I usually can be found listening to more contemporary music. So for something positive today I thought I would step back and mention a few of my favourite older songs.

To start, I’m going to talk about The Nylons – and I am referring to the original group and members. They were formed in Canada. One of my favourite songs done by them is their cover of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. Take a listen!

Two honourable mentions are the songs “Up the Ladder to the Roof” and “Combat Zone”.

Two, I don’t think this list would be complete without mentioning Keith Green. He was a man before his time. His lyrics were challenging and he always passionately sung and performed his music. He wasn’t afraid to speak out and challenge the norms. My favourite song of his would have to be “You Put This Love in My Heart”. The video below has better audio quality, but if you have time to look up a live performance, to see how he passionately plays the piano is amazing!

One famous older group I love is Abba. Their harmonies are great and the songs are well written. People young and old enjoy Abba; they have long been split up, but their music still continues to last for generations. Though, pretty much all of their songs were #1 hits, the one I am going to highlight is “Thank You For The Music.”

The last artist I will mention is someone who has been writing music for decades now and is still successful at producing great songs. He is popular in rock and other sub-genres. And even for someone who isn’t really into rock, (aka. Me), I still enjoy this artist’s music. His name? Bon Jovi! One of Bon Jovi’s older song I like is “Livin’ On A Prayer”.  Honourable mentions are two of his later songs “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” with Jennifer Nettles and “We Weren’t Born to Follow”.

Hope you enjoy these artists and songs as much as I do! Do you like older music too? What are your favourite artists and songs?

Poetry Fridays!

“Nightlights”

Be Thou exalted over my reputation
‘Cause applause is a poor form of soul medication

And I’ve tried it for years but my symptoms remain
Still fretting the day that they’ll misplace my name
Still selling my soul for American fame
Treating the promotion of Jesus like a well oiled machine
Advancing His kingdom just to snag some acclaim

Now, I’m both comforted and haunted that it isn’t just me though
I see a nation of people needing to feed their own egos
Parading status like steeples
Do we not know it’s evil to love ourselves
More than both God and His people?

But see, here’s where You turn this poem on it’s head
‘Cause the greatest among us came as servant instead
And You humbled Yourself to the point of Your death
Apparently love for the Father’s glory runs red

So friends, will we point to the Son till our own flames grow dim?
Will our bright lights become merely night-lights near Him?
Words echo once, let them echo again
Be Thou exalted over my reputation


Jimmy Needham