Today is Photo Wednesday and therein shall be a weekly posting. Since I have discovered that such a posting is successful and popular, I've decided to expand it and make it--gasp!--a weekly thing. Photos often describe my feelings and emotions in ways that words cannot suffice. So, be forewarned, on Photo Wednesdays, you will not receive information on my toiling moods, but rather just pictures. So if the meaning is ambiguous, too bad.
But when the rain refuses to submit to your demands and, rather than reciprocate the query, continues to torrentially downpour, it puts a dismal influence on your mood. With the furious pitter-patter weighing down on your skin like pebbles, it's hard to go outside and have those feel-good moments. Personally, I enjoy the rain. When it's soft and peaceful, the rain is romantic; when the rain seems similar to hurricane season, it seems as though it gives rise to a plethora of emotions, all of which indicate stifling and rousing behavior. So, what do you do when you want to scream and the rain for falling? Rather than being admitting in an asylum for your ludicrous behavior based on last-second judgement, first, go to the grocery store and stock up on junk food--chips, popcorn, chocolate, ice cream, the works. Then, rent a boat load of movies and just watch all of them with your best friends, enjoying the company rather than ruining it just on account of simple weather. Here are my recommendations:
Megamind is an excellent remedy for the rainy blues. With Will Farell lending his voice for the title character, it is a wonderful alternate to feeling sulky.
Ah, a true screen gem. A Place in the Sun is an iconic film that tells the story of a young man enchanted by a young women. However, unbeknownst to her (Elizabeth Taylor), he is with a pregnant woman with whom he is living with (such scandal in the 50s!). But since he (Montgomery Clift) is so in love with Taylor, he pursues to inadvertently kill his pregnant girlfriend. A sexy thriller/suspense movie...half of which is added to Montgomery Clift's sexiness. Why can't men dress or look like that anymore? Does everything have to be a bygone era? Sigh.
This is possibly one of the cutest movie in the 21st century. I am impartial to these sweet and tender and love stories, but Flipped is in a league all on its own. Furthermore, the soundtrack will make you want to shake and dance, something exciting to do when the outside scenery seems to damper your mood.
Steve Carrell is a genius. Get Smart will induce violent laughing that may or may not lead you to the bathroom. But you will cry from laughter, that is guaranteed. A wonderful giggle-fest.
Again, a sweet love story that takes you the sweeping landscape of Ireland. I realize that it's cliche to have a movie that involves the on-screen characters to attract animosity towards one another then grow to have tenderness to ultimately love each other, but seriously, that theme never gets old. This is a wonderful film to watch while pigging out with your girlfriends, grovelling on the fact that you want a boyfriend like Declan, thus leading the discussion elsewhere. At least, that's how it was with me...
Oh, the 80s...how I adore the 80s...Pretty in Pink tells the story of a popular guy in love with the girl from the wrong side of town who endure peer pressure for being together. It's nice to know that things haven't changed since 1986. Beautiful, just beautiful.
Pride and Prejudice may perhaps be the most sweeping love story told. I am not even kidding. Keira Knightley is brilliant as the vain and judgemental Elizabeth while Matthew Macfayden is remarkable as the handsome and subtly sexy Mr. Darcy. It's a story that never gets old.
Pants, 4 best friends, heartache, love...what else do you need? Pass the popcorn.
I just realized that all these movies include at least one rainy scene. Mhmm...could that foreshadow something...?
If you read my Gilmore Boys post, then you'll know that I am team Dean. However, after watching several videos on Youtube and reading some comments, I've changed my mind. I am officially team Jess. What changed my mind? Well, Rory cheated on Dean (emotionally and physically--that kiss at Sookie's wedding?) with Jess. She also cheated on Logan with Jess, ending also in a kiss. So, if she cheated on Dean and Logan with Jess, then it's obvious she loves Jess and should be with him. Otherwise, she would not have done what she did. If you are in love with two people, usually the second person is to whom the affection is returned because if you weren't in love with that second person, then you would be in love with that first person and you wouldn't have second thoughts...or have gentleman caller #2 on your mind. Rory and Jess had far more in common that she did with Dean or Logan. Jess also knew her better than anyone else too. Dean grew over-possessive and while I would leap to the moon to have a boy that much infatuated with me, after a while, it seems similar to strangulation, not letting me breathe. Logan, no offence, was a pompous jerk and Rory defending him is simply confirming it. Rory and Jess should have ended up together in the end. They both should have married and they would have ended up in the same department: Rory in journalism and Jess in publishing or writing novels. It's as simple as that. Also, in season 2, Jess displayed attention to Rory without being asked to. He brought her that care package (which Jess made her believe was from Luke when really it was all his doing), he pulled that umbrella over her head when Luke's Diner was being "renovated", and he opened up to her, showing his delicate nature. Yes, bad things often followed but hey, to err is human. Besides, they had far more natural chemistry than anyone else.
I really hope they make a Gilmore Girls movie.
What do non-Christians want to see in us fellow believers? Is there something specific they aspire to see in terms of our lifestyles, our vocabulary, our day-to-day routines? Do they want to see love behind our actions, authority behind our words, and truth and honesty behind our motives? Unbelievers want to see results, ladies and gentlemen! A chef goes into a kitchen, broils ingredients, and cooks something; likewise, a Christian should cook something and display it, symbolizing that it's simply not enough just to talk about it--you actually have to do it. "Oh, I'm a Christian 'cause I go to church and youth group and my whole family is implicated in the local church scene." Really? That's wonderful. But what does your lifestyle say about that? Do you say you love Jesus and show it? Or do you say that you love Jesus, go to church and/or youth group but you're drinking, smoking, fornicating, and doing other inappropriate miscellaneous things? People don't like talkers or people who use a lot of superfluous words simply because talk is cheap. You can say a lot and quite frankly, whatever the heck you want, but when it's time to act upon your words, many fail to do so. "Oh, I'm a Christian but I'm also really popular." Is that the type of legacy you want to leave when you finish high school, that you were known for your popularity status rather than your temperature for Jesus? That you were heavily involved in the local drinking/smoking/sex scene rather than your fervent love for Jesus? Don't you get it? People are watching and monitoring your every move. You say you are a Christian so the people around you watch and detect your moves, your words, and your actions because you say you are a Christian so they want to see if you walk the talk rather than just talk the talk. If you say you're a Christian but do non-Christian-y things (i.e. doing things Jesus would frown upon), then you might as well not say you're a Christian because you are a freaking hypocrite! You sigh, you disgruntle, and you are vexed as to why you haven't lead anyone to Christ lately. Perhaps, if you analyze your lifestyle then you would see that you are a hypocrite and no one wants a hypocritical Christian. In the minds of nonbelievers, after seeing and observing you, they think, "Why would I want to become a Christian if they act like--referring to a nonspecific human--you?" You have to have results, something that proves to the eyes of nonbelievers without ever opening your mouth that being on the Lord's side is good not just because of what you're saying but because of what you're doing. Since obviously what you're doing is working and producing mass results. You can't say you love and serve Jesus and conduct yourself in an unlikely manner, comport and engage in inappropriate activities. No offence, but you might be the reason that person might go to hell because you are not living the light of Christ. As Christians, we are supposed to be a light, not just some dim headlight that is flicking and seems to die out at any given minute, but as strong as a lighthouse, guiding from several hundreds miles away. We are call to be different, set apart. We're supposed to have something that everyone wants, not act as if others have something you want and Jesus is practically nothing. When you cuss like a sailor, using excessive profanity and profoundly vulgar sayings, you do not exude the light of Christ; when you have erratic Facebook statuses, ranging from " I love Jesus and He is my life and I will serve Him for the rest of my days" to "#$%@! My life sucks!", it's no wonder people do not go to for life help because you obviously need help yourself to differentiate from what it means to love Jesus (if Jesus is with you, your life doesn't suck; it is the greatest adventure); if you claim to go to church on Sundays, but have sex Saturday night, there is a reason why no one wants to hear your opinion on God because no one wants to listen to a fornicating Christian who is the epitome of hypocrisy; when you're sick (and I'm referring to life-threatening diseases such as cancer or lymphoma), no one wants to listen on your opinion as God the Healer because you're not living a life of God the Healer since you're obviously still sick; no one wants to listen to a Christian who is in poverty and has the poverty mentality ramble about money and how good God is when you're barely making it. If you want people to take you seriously, to make people listen, and make them ask you what you're doing, then you have the live the life of prosperity. You can talk about healing because you live in supernatural wellness; you can talk about prosperity because all your debt is paid and you bought a 1.5 million dollar mansion...in cash; and you can talk about Jesus and His goodness because it's displayed in your life and is extremely evident in your day-to-day life. If you will not do and be likewise as Jesus, then you might as well not say you're a Christian. Let someone who is actually following Him and serving Him all the way do the talking because they'll listen to them and not you. If your youth pastor would ask your friends what is your temperature for Jesus, what would they say? Would you be shocked? Or would your pastor be astonished to find out that you are living two separate lives: the church life and then the school, after school, and Friday night life? What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? Do you want to be known for being popular or for making a difference in your peers just by simply being you and by your actions alone? You are not accountable to your friends, but to to God. You can go to hell even if you're a Christian because you are not a disciple of Christ or follow Him. Friends can help you go to hell. So, what would you rather be: an isolated, "religious freak" and go to Heaven and life in God's abundance, or be popular in high school but die and go to hell? It's your choice, my friend.
But what happens when you're surrounded by people who share Christ? When you are surrounded by Christians who are not bringing you up but rather dragging you down? What do you do then? Nothing. Just let them be. If you have friends who live life for Jesus up until the point of going to youth group, hanging with fellow Christians at school and that's it, leave them alone. Oftentimes, Christian people will be the ones rooting for you to fail, wanting you to be stumbling on the ground, asking them for help. When you talk about Jesus, do they grow uncomfortable? When you talk about healing and how God is the Healer and heals, do they grow offended and demand to know what prompted you to inquire such preposterous inquisitions? Do they make you feel as though they're bringing you down and holding you back rather than raising you up? Do they make you feel as though you should conform to the world rather than live by God's standards? If they are your real friends, then they will respect you and if they see real and genuine change in you and see you living what you preach then they will do the same because you're only living wholly by the Word, nothing else. If not, or, if they turn their backs on you because you are serious about God and about His Word and they're not serious about Christ, then it's better to cut them off completely. It's easier to go forward without so-called brothers and sisters dragging you down. We are called the body of Christ for a reason! We support each other; we love each other. We don't kick a fellow sister out or ostracize him or her because he or she said God heals based on Isaiah 53:5. If that's the case, then let them act immaturely and continue your life. People will see their lack of maturity and more importantly, people will look at those Christians and conclude that if they treat a fellow Christian that way, they wonder how they will treat a non-Christian. We are accountable to God with our time and how we spend our time, whether that be watching Creflo Dollar on your iPad or partying it up with friends who will laugh when you are so hungover, you land in the hospital due to alcohol poisoning. People are always watching you, observing what you say and do. Even if they say nothing, or even if they laugh along with you, in the back of their minds, they are thinking and observing you. What do you want to be known for?
What do you want to leave when you exit high school? Do you want to leave knowing that you made a difference, that you pursued Jesus regardless of all the distractions and nuisances, or that you were the most popular Christian on campus for strictly non-Christian reasons? People want much more than just talk, talk, talk. They want to see actions, they want to see a reality behind your words. They want to see results, something cooking in the kitchen. So, what are you cooking?
I love to travel. I suppose it's nothing particularly surprising, considering that I'm gone for nearly 6 months of the years. I have been in 3 continents and plan to visit the remaining. Strange as it sounds, I actually even enjoy the plane ride en route for my destination. Flights are synonymous for jet lag, lack of slumber, fatigue, baggy eyes, back breath, horrible hair, and crankiness, but, oddly, the flight adds part of the excitement. It means you're actually going there...wherever that may be. I have the globe-trekking blood in me; I have always found voyages exciting. I am elated whenever I hear we're going to Switzerland (again) or staying in St. Marten for a month or driving down to Florida to live there for 2 months. Ahh, yes, there is something to travelling that captures the valiant traveler. When I see a new scenery, gaze at the astounding panorama, or admire the unfamiliar atmosphere, I receive inspiration and accustom myself to the culture, something I find invigorating. While I have footprints in impressive countries (Switzerland, Venezuela, France, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Romania, Germany, and the Caribbean), there are several more places I want to visit, immerse myself in the culture, and delve in the topography before I go to my permanent home with Jesus. God created such a wonderful and beautiful earth that it's shameful not to visit His accomplishments (I would use the words masterpiece but He considers us His masterpiece). Accurate, Third Day's lyrics rings true: Footprints of the mighty God. Such places are absolutely correct. Here is my travelling itinerary in no particular order yet filled with equal aspirations.
I want to go Down Under--I want to visit and live Australia. I want to see the toilet go counter-clockwise; I want to swim in the Great Barrier Reef; I want to tan, swim, and learn to surf for the first time on the Gold Coast; I want to chat with hot Aussies; I want to go to Hillsong Church; I want to pet a kangaroo. I just want to go to Australia period. It's just one of those places I want to go for an inexplainable reason because the reasons would not suffice my desire to go there. It's a cool place, with cool people, with cool things to visit. Simple as that. And I will go there soon. Mark my word.
Thailand is known for its exquisite beaches and that is the reason alone I why I want to go there. I am a beach bum and seeing the turquoise waters mere feet away from me would arouse my growing passion for sun, water, and sand. I swear, I'm going to be here for a honeymoon or wedding ceremony in a few years because the beaches is not only relaxing and soporific, it's almost timelessly romantic. The ultimate paradise for beach bums, such as myself.
I am going to go on a continent-wide exploration across Europe. I am not even joking. I'm going to visit Britain, see London, Oxford, and the Buckingham Palace; visit Paris, Cote d'Azure, St. Tropez, Nice; go to Belgium and have authentic Belgium chocolate; take a ferry and visit all of Scandinavia, seeing Copenhagen, Oslo, Reykjavik, Helsinski, Stockholm, and Køpenhavn; visit all of Greece and all of its isles, including Corinth, Santorini, Athens, and Crete; visit Cyprus and relax as the lethargic beach bum; go all the way to Italy and fill my body with pasta, pizza, and garlic bread, see Rome, Naples, Sicily, Isle de Capri, Milano, see Mt. Vesuvius and Herculaneum, and learn how to toss pizza dough like classic Italian chefs, and see the the Tower of Pisa; see all of Spain, including Madrid and Barcelona, and see a bit of Morocco; and make my final stop in Portugal.
This sounds lackadaisical, since I adore the sun and abhor the snow (which is weird since Barrie is snow central), but I do want to see Antarctica. I want to see penguins and see the uninhabited continent of Antarctica and what white and serene looks like without mobs of crowds everywhere with overlapping voices. In this tranquil quiet, you can hear the voice of God.
This sounds cliche but I want to see the Pyramids of Giza. Actually, I want to see all of the Seven Wonders of the world. But I particularly want to visit Egypt; well, until the feud and protest began and then realized that it was not safe and could possibly jeopardize my health and life if I went there now. I'm not saying that I will never go but there is a reason for everything under the sun (booya, Ecclesiastics) so when God says it's okay for me to go there (regarding to security and safety) I'll go. Until then, I'll merely admire it from afar, planning ahead.
One word: New Zealand. (Yes, I realize that is two words but if you say it really fast, it will sound like one.) I just want to visit New Zealand. I'm not exactly sure why, but then again, to whom am I entitled to give an explanation for why I want to visit this tantalizing country? I just want to go there. Now.
I've wanted to visit South Africa way before 2010 Fifa World Cup was held there. I want to visit Cape Town and from then on, take a voyage across Africa, laying down some roots to build a Christian orphanage for children who have lost parents from AIDS, build wells in cities where they have no access to clean water, and start a revolution where a continent is ruled by voodoo, sorcery, and witchcraft. And how you may ask will I fund this? With my own money, because after all, it's not about me; it's about Him. If you haven't gotten it by now, acquiring money is not just for "selfish" reasons based on "pride" and while we may have things richly to enjoy, it's to distribute our wealth to others so they may see the light and love of Jesus. Without money, many missionaries would fail to continue their work. With money coming directly from God, the Source, I am able to do His work without relying on man...I apologize. I deterred completely off topic and I am sorry. Yes, so, I want to visit South Africa and have a lush and rich experience.
As aforementioned, I am a beach bum and I will likely be found on a beach or somewhere warm with sand. One of the first places I will want to go to is French Polynesia. With its lush landscape, soft sandy beaches and transparent waters, it is an oasis. Three points that I will definitely visit are Bora Bora (first picture), Tahiti (second picture), and Fiji (the cool underwater hotel room picture that I wanted to cool just I thought that was just so cool! Seriously? An underwater room? Whoa.). I think it's safe to say that half of my travels includes beaches and sun.
I don't care y'all say: I want to go to Hawaii. I want to go there to simply get a towel, blob on sunscreen, and lounge in the sun. Man, Americans are so fortunate--you have paradise within your country. Not really within the country itself, but you don't need a passport to fly to paradise. That's awesome. I recognize that I using mostly jargon in this post, but unfortunately, I don't have my vocabulary reference book with me (and because I received less than required sleep last night so I am not scholastically sharp today). I may even get a dual American-Canadian citizenship just so I can travel to Hawaii minus the passport. I'll live in Florida and travel to Hawaii...good plan.
My list would not be complete with a visit to the Holy Land. I'm not adding this simply because it is when Jesus walked, roamed, touched, and dined, but also because the vista is spectacular. This photo, in Tel Aviv, displays the Mediterranean mystique that captivates people such as myself. I will also go to Jerusalem to see the places where Jesus walked and breathed on this earth, giving me the epiphany that Jesus had good taste in food. And that He was a real person. But mostly for pleasurable reasons.
I will go to these places one day. I like to think big; God is not limited and since this is His creation, I will be equipped to see it. Hey, who knows? You might even join me! Unless you prefer snow over sand, then, I'm sorry you can't come because I'll mostly be doing nothing on those beachy destinations anyway other than sleep, tan, and swim.
I like looking at photos. There is something about that is open to interpretation, that allows the imagination to conduct its meaning. The mystique of photography is something still astounds me simply because I can look at it, envision myself in that photo, and leave the possibilities endless. Plus, when you're a writer, like myself, gazing a photo can spark a novel idea. So today, instead of posting my thoughts, rants, and vocal opinions, fashion editorials, I've decided to compile a series of photos that appeal to my current nature. It's like a plethora of my emotions or feelings based on these following pictures. Enjoy!
I wish I had taken a photography class in high school. I just love looking at photos, imagining the possibilities...