Amazing Grace

Hello again! So I’ve been searching around you tube when I came across this amazing version of ‘Amazing Grace!’ Its so beautiful and as a Christian, I was deeply moved. These days, society  doesn’t pay that much attention at all to religion, and atheism is on the rise. Now, I’m not saying I don’t like atheists-In fact, many of my best friends are atheists! But from what I’ve noticed, people have decided not to believe in God simply because they don’t see or hear him, don’t want “to deal” with all the religious customs, etc. What’s ironic is that most people in poor countries have much more faith in the Lord than those in America and other nations!

Now why is that? You may expect people in third world countries to have less faith in God because many of them, like Edmond Dantes from TCOMC, have been stripped of their belongings, pushed out of their homelands, and thrown into horrible prisons, and so they would feel that He has favored them less. But their faith is so much stronger than many Americans and others from prosperous nations because they recognize that goodness and hope that lies within the teachings of the Lord for salvation and enlightenment. Christ has opened a doorway for all of us, and through that doorway is heaven, and it is up to us on whether to go through that doorway or not. America and others have become so wealthy (Yes, I’m saying wealthy because quote-unquote “poverty” in America at least has soup kitchens, homeless shelters, etc. while in Africa toddlers are starving because their parents can’t find work and their crops are failing so to get money  to buy food they have to sell off their ten-year old daughter to a seventy-year old man) that they don’t feel like they have a reason to have faith in Christ because they have already provided for themselves. Though they never consider :

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1. Who has provided you the atoms of the metals that form your computer, IPhone, 18-inch TV, and Mercedes-Benz?

2. You keep saying that no one can prove that God exists, but how can you prove that He doesn’t exist?

3. Read the book ‘Heaven is for Real,’ a true story. Then get back to me later.

Atheist Churches are for me, an oxymoron because churches are places of worship of Christ but atheists don’t have a religion. As a Christian, I feel extremely offended because it to me it is a sort of mockery of what God is and Christian devotion. It’s like, say your father died. You were really close to your father and his death made you very sad but overtime you learned to live for him, to follow his bidding and finish what he was unable to finish for you and your family.  But then a group of people come along, and start saying your father never did all the great things he did, he was never the kind, generous man who helped you with your homework, comforted you when you fell off your bike for the first time, etc. They go around, influence your friends to disbelieve that he ever existed, and even construct houses just like the one your father built from his own hands for the sole purpose to preach their  belief in his ever existing  from there.

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So I have no problem with atheists simply not believing in God- I just don’t like it when their social gatherings are called churches and they state their beliefs on billboard signs denouncing another’s religion. This post was not a hate-rant on atheists, but I meant it to encourage others to consider following the Lord’s teachings. Rest assured: That doorway will  remain open for eternity, no matter who you are.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDdvReNKKuk

-Heather

1 Second to Soon

You know that feeling- You’ve set a goal for yourself, a really good, solid goal. For say, the time you decided- okay, I’m going to get an A in math at the end of this semester! You know it won’t be easy, but you are confident you’ll pass the class with flying colors once you start working your butt off. In the end however, after nights of droopy eyelids with cramped backs crouched over a dim light to work on problems for hours, you just miss you goal by receiving an 89.9%! And you’re teacher is a real pain in the donkey, so you finish the class with a B+, not even an A-! I’ve felt that feeling many times before, most recently over the events this past weekend.

So this week I had two track meets, one was a dual and another was the Redondo Nike Invitational! At the dual I PR’d in both the 1600 (commonly known as the mile) and ran a  the 3200 (also known as the two mile). Redondo is a really big deal, and I really wanted to break 12 minutes for the 32oo, but went out WAY too fast, and came a second behind my PR. ONE SECOND!!!!!!!!!!! 😡 I felt exactly like Edmund Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo, when he lost his dream of being with those he loved, but was betrayed thrown in prison, and did a bunch of other stuff that I don’t want to spoil because the book is so good! Anyway, I’m sure you’re expecting me to write a big old story about it, but not this time. This time, I’m showing you guys a video about arguably the greatest high school runner in the history of America, Sarah Baxter! In 2012 at the most famous high school cross-country meet in the planet, the Mt. Sac invitational, she broke the record for the extremely hilly, 3-mile course by 16 seconds running a 16 FLAT! That was when she was junior. Now last year, in 2013, there was all this pressure on her to break 16, and although she came close to doing so running the senior course record (16:11!), she fell short of running a 15:59. However, she’s still one of, if not THE best girl high school runner in America. I think we should take it from her, and look at ourselves- Just because we fell short of our goals doesn’t mean we can’t achieve them later, neither does it diminish our reputations. We just need get some more lemons and make some really good lemonade (I’m sorry I’m just craving lemonade now :P). Anyway, here’s the video!Enjoy!

CLICK ON PICTURE TO SEE IT MORE CLEARLY!!!!!!! I’m sorry I tried doing a collage but it came out a little blurry 😦

lemonquotes                                        -Heather

LA Marathon today!

The L.A marathon was today! In spite of humid temperatures today due to Daylight Savings, the men’s race was won in a 2:10:37 over by Gebo Burka of Ethiopa and the women’s race was won by Amane Gobena, also from Ethiopia, who covered the 26.2 mile course in a time of 2:27:37!

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I plan to run a marathon when I get older, the farthest race I’ve ran so far was the Laguna Hills Half-Marathon last year to honor the Dark Horse Batallion. It’s so nice how people care about our military more nowadays than back in the days of World War One!

Anyway, here’s a video of the marathon.The 2014 race hasn’t come out yet, so I’m not able to show it. 😦 But here’s last year’s! 🙂 Hope you guys enjoy it!

-Heather

All Quiet on the Western Front; My Interpretation

He fell in October, 1918, on a day that was so quiet and still on the whole front, that the army report confined itself to the single sentence: All quiet on the Western Front.

He had fallen forward and lay on the earth as though sleeping. Turning him over one saw that he could not have suffered long; his face had an expression of calm, as though almost glad the end had come.

This is the last paragraph from ‘All Quiet on the Western Front,” which I just finished reading this weekend. It’s about a 20-year-old man named Paul Baumer, who enlists in the German army in World War One, and about the hardships he endures in the fighting, the friends he makes, and the stupidity of war.

Near the end of the novel, the Germans are losing and running  back home to Germany. The war, which has costed the lives of millions of young men, is nearly over. Paul has seen all kinds of men, French and German, old and young, fathers, sons uncles, and brothers pummeled with bullets, go ballistic in the trenches, and face some of the greatest horrors in the history of humanity.

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Forget the foolish notion that war is a romantic adventure, with swashbuckling heroes and valiant acts of courage. After Paul’s first day on the job, he learns that idea could not be further from the truth-

“When we went to the District Commandant to enlist, we were a class of twenty young men, many of whom proudly shaved for the first time before going to the barracks. We had no definite plans for our future. Our thoughts for a career and occupation were as yet of too unpractical a character to furnish any scheme of life. We were still crammed with vague ideas which gave to life, and to the war also, an ideal and almost romantic character.”- Paul

However, he soon learns the reality, this quote being an example once he is taken to a hospital-

“A man cannot realize that above such shattered bodies there are still human faces in which life goes its daily round. And this is only one hospital, one single station; there are hundreds of thousands in Germany, hundreds of thousands in France, hundreds of thousands in Russia. How senseless is everything that can ever be written, done, or thought when such things are possible. It must all be lies and of no account when the culture of a thousand years could not prevent this stream of blood being poured out, these torture-chambers in their hundreds of thousands. A hospital alone shows what war is.”

It’s ironic, that Paul hadn’t died during a massive bombardment,  when he lost his comrades in No-Man’s Land, and not in the hospital; But on a still, relatively peaceful day, nearing the end of the war.

Some readers might say “Why didn’t he live, reunite with his family, and live happily ever after?” Again: War is not a romantic adventure, with heroes and their valiant deeds. Paul’s death was not out of courage, strength, resilience, nor suffering, but inner peace and self-satisfaction. Throughout the book, he show himself to be a fighter, fighting the Enemy, hunger, his superior officers, and most of all, his morality.

His morals were once pride, serving one’s country, and glorification of himself and what he had done. Later, his morals are basically 1. Eat all the food, any food, whenever you can get it. 2. Shoot the enemy before he shoots you and 3. Defending his comrades. Any feelings for patriotism, honor, and glory are lost in the fight for survival, and Paul is often conflicted with himself on whether he has put himself in a morally right position.

One example, is when he has slit the throat of a French private, Gerad Duval, who had leaped into a hole with him to escape the shell fire. As Duval dies slowly in front of him, Paul grows more overwrought with guilt, and learns that he was a printer and had a wife and a daughter. He vows to send money to Duval’s family, and wishes to support them for the rest of their life, but knows that it could never be possible. Later on though, he tries to forget about Duval, not referring to him by his name but by ‘the printer.’ This shows his conflicting moralities on whether to view the enemy as a separate race that must be destroyed before they cause any harm, or as humans just like himself.

In the end, Paul  welcomes Death with open arms, and finds an interbalance within himself at last; not a tragic end, but the peace that comes after an eternity of suffering, the painfulness of dying is numbed by an acceptance that  is unevitable- as is Change itself.

-Heather