What An Opportunity!

As I approach the end (don’t remind me! I’m loving this season of my life!) of the second-to-last semester of high school, I am very aware of the opportunities and privileges I’ve been given.

  1. I am dual-enrolled in a Stats class at our local state college.
  2. I finally made it to Advanced Band as a (mainly) mallet percussionist.
  3. I help lead worship once in a while at our synagogue and church.
  4. I’ve already been accepted to both of the colleges I applied to, Covenant College and The King’s College.  I pre-qualified for a $18,000 scholarship from TKC, which makes actually going there a realistic possibility.
  5. I am eligible for a full-ride scholarship from both colleges, but I have to write some essays and jump through some other hoops first. But praise God that I had a high enough ACT score to actually qualify!

But that all fades away in light of the world-wide opportunity for ALL Christians that Adam Ford breaks down brilliantly for us in his latest CDRticle.

If you’re not familiar with Mr. Ford’s work, he’s the guy who started the Babylon Bee.  Sometime last year, he sold that lovely website to the other guys who were helping him with it so that he could work full time on his newest project, the Christian Daily Reporter.  He makes podcasts and comics as a part of CDR, and they’re always insightful and hardhitting. socialism-doesn't-work

But if his political commentary is brilliant, his Christian encouragement and admonitions are even better.  His latest CDRticle is called What an Opportunity We Have as Christians Today

I hope it strengthens your resolve as much as it strengthened mine.  For Narnia! 🙂


In today’s exceedingly polarized and angry political climate, what an opportunity we have as Christians.

As warring factions fight in the streetsbombs are planted in mailboxespoisons are mailed to government officialsrocks are chucked through office windowsracist robocalls are circulatedpoliticians and their families are chased from restaurantsand parts of cities fall to manic mobs, what an opportunity we have to season our convictions with the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

As social media and click-bait websites intoxicate the masses with fleeting dopamine hits as rewards for “owning” one’s foes, what an opportunity we have to care deeply about policy and social issues not out of resentment or self-importance, but as a outgrowth of our love of neighbor and care for our fellow man’s physical and eternal well-being.

As political camps, drunk on ideology, proceed to hate, curse, and wish ill upon each other, what an opportunity we have to be willing to discuss our beliefs in a civil manner, attempting to persuade using reason, logic, and grace; firmly, yet with broken hearts and love in our eyes.

As politicians and their armies on all sides will increasingly do or say anything — anything — to accrue power, what an opportunity we have to refuse to compromise truthfulness or bear false witness.

As groupthink-fueled tribes and their echo chambers become more deeply entrenched, what an opportunity we have within the body of Christ to exhibit our dedication to each other as paramount by disagreeing with one another on politics with care and affection — not as the world does, but as fellow members of the royal priesthood and siblings in God’s eternal family, in a way that might manifest Christ’s words in front of unbelievers: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

As our culture increasingly worships politics, what an opportunity we have to show that our politics are subservient to — and an overflow of — our worship of the One True God and the life He has called us to live in Jesus Christ.

These are unique and furious times, and you and I are not here by accident.

What an opportunity we have.


Squid

J-SALT fam

The rain came down / And the friends came / Together

The power of piano / And paper airplanes / Thank you, Sarah / Paul

The dining hall / Is now my home / And J-SALT / Family


I don’t like how WordPress formats my poetry in the excerpt for the posts, so I’m trying a new format…

This poem was from the prompt “A Storm”, and I wrote it in Camp Gilead’s dining hall after cleaning up with the rest of the junior counselors, who were working as kitchen staff during Teen Week. The usual kitchen staff are SALT members (Service And Leadership Training), so we called ourselves J-SALT (Junior Counselor SALT). There is a piano in the Hall (don’t ask why), and our SALT leader, Paul, and the lovely Sarah, the nurse’s assistant who helped out whenever she could, played us some lovely piano pieces. It was a really sweet time, so I pulled out my poetry prompt journal to try to express what I was feeling.

Camp is officially over, and I’m trying to reclaim some sort of normalcy before I start school on Monday Hopefully I’ll get some more posts written and all that jazz. 🙂

Squid

Trees

With quiet dignity

Standing as a refuge

For those who flock to you.

You are shelter,

Security,

A place for us to

Grow.

Rooted in reality and

Reaching to the sky,

You remind me that

An acorn has to

Die

Before it can

Thrive.

Hey, guys! It’s been a busy summer at Camp Gilead, so this is a poem I wrote in April on the prompt “A Tree.” I look forward to reconnecting with you all after the end of this last week of camp!!

-Squid

I’m Gonna Miss My Lil Bro

Giggles, squeals
And smol smiles galore,
Adam and I
Rough house-ing on the floor

He pushes me over
And I roll on my back
He jumps into my arms
And I hug him right back

With his face right near mine
His volume down to a 2,
He rubs our noses together, and says
Ugga mugga“;
I love you too.

I barely have time
To appreciate his love
Before he gets right back up
And gives me a shove!

I throw up my hands
And chase him around.
It’s a lovely way to spend
One of my last nights in town.


I’m leaving for the FPEA homeschool convention on tomorrow, and then I’m going straight to Camp Gilead for the summer, only coming back on Saturdays (basically). 

So, I’m trying to soak up all the Adam-ness I can before I leave.  Monday night, I played with him after dinner for a bit.  He gets a bit riled up, but his sweet, quick love inbetween all of his little boyish yelling and tumbling almost made me cry because I know how much I’ll miss him.  D: 

He just turned four on Saturday, and I can’t believe I’m gonna be gone all summer and miss his amazing adorableness!  I’m storing up all his affection in my heart so that I won’t feel like I should have spent more time with him, should have let him play racetrack on my bed one more time, etc. 

Shoutout to my lil bro! ❤

-Squid

 

P.S. I guess I did manage to fit in one more blog post before I left! 🙂

What I Learned In 2017

That’s a really cliche clickbaity title, but it was going to accurate.

I was going to write a post about how I grew this year and what I learned, but then Mrs. Dawnlizjones wrote this post on INSPIRATION with an ATTITUDE, and I realized that her main theme was going to be my main point! 😆 So, I’m gonna just let you read hers, and then give a recap of my year.

From INSPIRATION with an ATTITUDE

After a painful, drama-filled beginning of year, I felt like a terrible human being. When I was offered a chance to work at a Christian summer camp, Camp Gilead, I jumped at it as a chance to follow God’s will instead of mine.

That was the greatest decision of my life because I grew SO. MUCH. over the span of just a few months and cultivated friendships that are still bearing fruit.

Due to camp, I drove two hours on the highway multiple times after only having my license for a couple months… My mom is still confused on how she ever let me do that, haha.

I became a lot more independent and responsible this year — you can ask my mom. I’ve gotten gas by myself multiple times, run errands for my mom once in a while, and drive myself and my sisters around very often. It’s been cool to have that level of freedom. 🙂

I had had my own room at the beginning of the year, but I moved in with my sister after camp. Sharing a room is harder than I remembered, but we’re working on it. 🙂

At the beginning of the Lunar year (in the fall), Jews around the world read a section of the Torah each week, starting in Genesis. My family started doing this too this fall, and I’ve gained soooo much knowledge and perspective on the first book of the Bible (we just finished Genesis) because we’re watching some videos in conjunction with each week’s parsha (portion in Hebrew). The videos are non-Messianic, but Rabbi David Fohrman is an incredible teacher with incredible insight into the Torah. Often, we discuss his videos and say, “If only he knew the rest of the story! What he could do with the New Testament!” I can’t wait for Exodus!

My family also joined GCHFA this year, which is the culmination of my childhood dreams: playing in a band and singing in a choir. The fact that it’s with other Christian homeschoolers is just the coolest thing ever. Our Christmas concert went splendidly, as did our assisted living facility outreach the week after. Yay!

My mom got some pics… 🙂

I know that there are more things that were relatively important this year, but also that I’ll only remember them once I publish this, so I’m not going to sweat it. Regardless, it was a really good year, and I’m excited to see what God has in store for 2018.

Happy New Year!

-Squid

Quatro Años

Guys…

I started blogging in 2013, so I was 13 (which just seems crazy to say).  In these four years, I’ve gained 324 followers. (Hoooowww???) But, more than that statistic, I’ve gained an uncountable number of friends; on WordPress and in real life.  Some have been good for a short time but faded away, and some are still here since 2013.  

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship because God also has recently given my family a bunch of new friends through our band/orchestra/choir program, GCHFA, through our synagogue, and through random (I mean God-designed!) encounters at the beach.  Like, how cool are people who are incredibly cool but yet also think that you’re cool??  It’s so great!

Thank you to all of these amazing friends (online and in person) who have made an investment into my life.  I wouldn’t be here without you, and I wouldn’t be the same person I am today without you. 

Praise God for friends!

-Syd the Squid

P.S. I’m going to see The Last Jedi with a bunch of my church friends (FAMILY) tonight!  

Christmas Tiiiiimmee Is Here!

I’ve been really busy practicing Christmas music for my upcoming band and choir concert.  Even my little brother has started singing “Jubilate Deeeeeoooo” around the house. 🙂  

My internal 10 year old Jewish girl still doesn’t know how I learned all these songs so quickly, but here we are, haha.  

But, she’s placated by the fact that my family is going to be leading worship at our synagogue’s Hanukkah celebration… Which is the day after our Christmas concert (but we’re just going to ignore that). 😄

Since my life’s been so wrapped up in music, I thought I’d go back and find some of my favorite music-related posts to share again. 

Strumming in Vibrato – A poem, the style of which is based loosely on The Bells by Edgar Allen Poe, which is my favorite poem ever. 🙂 

Ivory Keys (also a poem)

Little Drummer Girl – A short, slightly cringy contemplation of the gender gap in percussion… However, in my percussion class now, guys:gals is 4:3, so it actually feels pretty balanced.
I want to thank the people at GCHFA for their incredible mentoring and friendship.  GCHFA is Gulf Coast Homeschool Fine Arts.  It’s pretty much the coolest thing ever invented, cause now I’m playing the xylophone, snare, and bells in a band, while also singing in a choir, all with other Christian homeschoolers!  I appreciate this program and the people who run it immensely.  Thank you!

-Sydney