Sunday, November 27, 2011

energetic choreography!

I can't believe I went from performing at halftime shows for the Capitol One Bowl and the Spurs to nothing...
I'm lovin' the vibe here and it makes me miss dancing sooo much! :(
I was looking through my ipod to update it and man, my tastes have changed.
I don't really have an affinity for hip hop/electro anymore but I still love the dancing aspect of it I guess.
Musically, I'm more critical of talent but as far as dancing is concerned...anything that feels good!

'til next time, stay classy♥

Saturday, November 26, 2011

video time!

haven't posted one in a while.
This is the guy I mentioned in a recent post that I discovered.
Guitar Center has begun to rub off on me, I suppose.
I use my Shazaam app to tag some songs I like on the radio and then I google them and just
browse around genres until I find things I like.
I like the original version of this song but I gotta admit this version is my favorite.
He's incredible..and so are David Ryan Harris, Dave Barnes, and Ernie Halter (in case you have time to kill and check them out). I was going to go see Dave Barnes in Austin but I couldn't get off for work! :( I was so excited, I got back on Facebook (after a 3 month hiatus) just so I could tag that I was there. I'm such a loser, lol.  His acoustic stuff is waayyy better than his more recent (and more pop-ish) CD and I was looking forward to seeing it live sooooooooo bad. Anyways, just thought I'd change it from book review after book review, haha. Enjoy! :)

til next time, stay classy!♥
ps- Have you noticed I changed the layout of the blog? You like? I was going for a more minimalist look.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

BFB Review #2: What Are You Waiting For? by Dannah Gresh

I was kind of hesitant to pick this book because I wasn't ready for what it might contain. Before I became a solid believer, I used to blatantly speak up about sex when asked but now I've become a new (and wiser) creation, as The Word would say. 
Anyways, I really ended up liking this book. It's one of those where you feel like you're just having a really good chat with a friend over some lunch. Dannah Gresh has a very transparent, personable, and loud voice when she writes and I really enjoyed it.
Her whole book centralizes around "yada" which translates from Hebrew as "to know, to be completely known, to be respected." Yada is essentially the kind of love God designed and she mentions how yada, yada, yada in English has a completely different meaning and it truly is mindblowing how so many of the words in Scripture are lost in translation and as a result, become minimized. 
That was one of the strengths of this book. She did her research and not only provided plenty of translations ("shakab", among others) but she even brings in examples from people on the opposite end of the spectrum who had to admit some faults in their judgments to make her arguments more concrete (like a liberal feminist on her comments on porn; I can't find the page number to site her! I'm sorry!).
A really good sentiment in that chapter reads: "Porn corrodes a marriage because lust kills love. Love gives; lust takes. Love sees a person; lust sees a body. Love is about you; lust is about me and my own gratification" )(page 85).
I can't really relate too much to the porn chapter but some of them really hit home. I was glad SOMEONE in the Christian community had the lady balls to talk about this stuff. Outside of church, sex is everywhere but the church tends to skirt around the topic (probably for censorship purposes).
The picture of the bulls-eye was a nice visual,the picture of Cali's fiance proposing was cute
and so were her examples of the payoffs of purity.
The book also comes with some challenges in prayer, a discussion guide in the back, and some pretty interesting fun facts throughout the book so you get a lot of information in one book!
The only thing I was say as a slight negative is that because Dannah has such a loud voice in her writing, sometimes she could sound offensive when she makes negative opinions but that's just a matter of wording. The lesbian chapter just sounded like lesbians were on crack (lol) I agree with what's being said but I guess I'd be a little more considerate of my audience? Maybe I'm just being critical.
Anyways, loved it. Read it in two hours and was something to be thankful for. (BTW, Happy Thanksgiving!) The chapters are short too so that made me feel like I was really breezing through it. (Maybe a trick she used?) She really did do a sensational job at making you appreciate and view sex in a totally new and exciting thing to look forward to..even brought out a tear or two. It really emphasizes purity and modesty without coming off as overbearing or offensive (which is hard to do in such topics). Awesome! 

Disclaimer: I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah as part of their blogging program in exchange for a book review. I was not required to give a favorable review. The opinions expressed are my own.

'til next time, stay classy! ♥

Sunday, November 13, 2011

first review for Blogging For Books!

"Raised Right" by Alisa Harris tells of a coming of age from the innocence she experiences as a child to the transcendence of her adulthood and all the shades of grey it brings.

It took a couple of pages for me to really begin to get into the book since I've been more into self-help books recently. A couple of reviews I read have complained that Alisa doesn't really give you any plan of action on how to differentiate faith and politics but if you turn to the back of the book, (by the bar code) it's under "christian living/social issues" not "spiritual growth/self-help". Her purpose for this book wasn't to cajole you into a certain direction but rather just share her experiences on why she's chosen hers. She closes each chapter really well and offers insight on topics like how what her old sign picketing definition of "love" doesn't compare to the man who gives leftovers at 5am to homeless people (chapter 1), how she says that "in the pursuit of self-preservation, we abandoned the values that are worth preserving" (chapter 5), and how Jesus "didn't call us simply to oppose positions that are wrong but to embody values that are heavenly" (chapter 6). Her insight offers a new perspective without discriminating on others who disagree. She talks about all her experiences from her childhood involvement in politics all the way to college and beyond, while stopping to reflect on the disillusions 9/11 brought, the restored faith she experiences during the Obama campaign (when she was previously campaigning for Bush), and the things she's learned from her parents that she'll pass onto her children.

I've made my faith a serious commitment recently (under a year ago) and can honestly relate to what's being said. Finding that balance is a journey we're all on and she candidly owns up to the complexities of that. Early on in her life, she saw things in black and white and also states how that was a safety net. As she stepped out into the real world, she sees things and begins to ask a lot of questions. Although her parents had the best intentions, she began to see their methods to promote peace as selective and has since tried to adjust to more effectively lead a Christ-like life. The reviews used on the back covers talks about a new generation of Christians and I don't think there's much of a difference between then and now. She just seems more vulnerable and open about the struggles of being a Christian than others would admit to... and if anything, THAT is the new breed of Christian..admitting we're human instead of rubbing in a facade of perfection we don't have. The first step to progress is acknowledgement and Alisa has done a fine job of that. She respects all the values and virtues learned from her parents taught her and holds them close as she realizes labels are one-dimensional and as a result, becomes her own person...whether that fits into a specific category or not.

Overall, Alisa has created a great memoir with phenomenal writing. I can always respect someone who makes me learn new words and packs a punch in all the right placing while still being refreshingly funny.

The good folks at the Blogging For Books program provided me with a free copy of this book so I could review it. I wasn't paid or swayed into any certain opinions. Everything is from my own noggin!

'til next time, stay classy!♥

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Lately, I've made it imperative to serve myself more instead of the usual "selflessness" I was accustomed to. I voiced my concerns about this since I'm naturally a helper but my counselor quickly reassured me that although it can seem selfish, you can meet others need better if your needs are met first. I didn't believe that junk that first time I heard it but I've made an effort to exercise that (with counseling and a help from a few amazing books) and I gotta say it's actually quite liberating. I have started writing daily again and I'm reading more often. I even feel on top of my homework since I'm not procrastinating. Today at work, I typed out a 7 page assignment that's due next month and I felt great afterwards (even though my eyes hurt from looking at the screen). It's just good to know I'm not putting things off. I have even been doing good about walking Dusty daily and today, we ran through ALL of my neighborhood. Usually, I cut it short cuz I'm tired after my 12 hour days of work and school. The only things I need to work on though and getting up earlier so I can meditate on my devotionals and Scripture and also squeezing in more time for guitar. I do both now but it feels rushed. My life is pretty boring lately but I feel in control and that's something I haven't felt in a while. As a result, I've been in better moods and have even gotten more generous. I've been good about my 10% gift to my favorite church. I haven't gone in a while but I give to Grace because I like to feel my money's going somewhere I'm familiar with. I've been doing it for the past 4 checks. It's routine and doesn't bother me one bit. I gave leftover tacos to a hobo and put "God bless :)" on the box and he sat down, smiled, and prayed. I treated my coworkers to some pizza and soda and I'm also discovering some amazing music (Marc Broussard!!:) ). Despite my doubts, fears, and bitterness, things feel okay. Productivity is both a good distraction and a God-given treasure.

'til next time, stay classy ♥

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

just sad.

I usually don't write back to back days but today surprised me when my biology teacher told us 
if we wanted to opt out of doing a lab today and listen to a speaker instead. The class agreed but as soon as I found out what he was talking about, I was skeptical. This is part of the school's "distinguished speakers series" and surprisingly, they have brought some pretty legit guests. Today's was Michael Shermer and he was mostly promoting his newest book but all of his being wants to promote evolution.
This is the link to his wikipedia page:
Just so you can get a visual. Before he even started speaking, I felt like I was pacing back and forth in my mind. This guy is basically anti-God and makes that his lifestyle. Why would I want to listen to that?
He was funny and his observations and points were pretty solid but I still can't bring myself to look back.
I'm in a place in my faith where I've finally grown comfortable with every aspect of Christianity and to just have some guy propose theories that basically everything that happens to us can be traced back to certain things that happen in our brains just sounds stupid to me.
I agree with him saying science is our best tool but how can the human mind be expected to solve every possible question when we don't even use our full brains?
All I kept thinking was how this guy probably had some level of frustration in his life that made him turn to his equations and ideas. He was supposedly a Christian before.
Now he's promoting to live without God?
I don't buy it. Something traumatic had to have happened to him to go from one extreme to the other and quite frankly, as secure as he thinks he is behind his "answers" to everything, there is something he's not revealing. 
His desire to question everything is probably more driven by fear than anything.
He should pick up a Bible instead of trying to figure out everything on his own.
I'm all about enlightenment but this guy went about it the wrong way. It's a shame too.
He's pretty bright and charismatic. Living without any purpose other than some self-absorbed self-filling prophecy feels so absurd to me. Forgive my ranting but I'm just not used to having such a strong reaction from things like this.
Anyways, days like this make me proud of my progress in faith.
Thank the good Lord.
'til next time, stay classy!

a review for my own peace of mind.

So obviously, I'm on this kick of writing reviews now.
I originally started on my own but since then have found two websites that I will now be writing for.
I have my second book from booksneeze I have to start and my first from the Blogging For Books program (and that one is as thick as a Bible). For now though, I'm writing this one for me.
The other ones are for me too but this review isn't required and for the websites, I have to keep writing in order to keep reading.
Anyways, I had mentioned earlier in my blog that I was putting off a book I needed to finish and that's true.
I still haven't finished it. For now, I've marked the place I need to pick up on but as I'd be reading it, I'd look up at my collection of books and see "Enemies of the Heart" by Andy Stanley. When I'd be in my really bad moods, I'd think, "I really need to get to that book".

So I decided to finally do it and it was one of the best choices ever. 
I have respected Andy Stanley ever since I heard about him but this book has sealed the deal for me with him.
This book is a gift. His insight is not only easy to read and understand, but God-given.
Maybe I'm so in awe because I can apply it to my life right now but it's honestly my new favorite book.
In one of his sermons I saw online, he commented on the fact that some people criticize him for not being deep enough and he made everyone laugh when he said," I'm not deep because I'm CLEAR." He went by saying that people typically think the more confusing (and "deep") something sounds, the deeper the person is and we might try to deny it but we all like the riddle-ly cliches. Those are better to try to figure out than the ones that are spelled out for you.
This book is full of very spelled out insight...and that's something I think we need more of.
We need clarity.
We need answers to questions, not more questions to have to figure out.
This book talks about how basically all of our negative human interactions stem from either guilt, greed, anger, or jealousy and discusses what four things you can do to fix it.
He also brings up the topic of lust, which everyone probably thinks is one of the four (which is probably why he included it). He makes great points in every single topic and provides excellent examples of each (for both the problems and the solutions).
He even distinguishes the four from lust and the one difference is one to really consider.
This is a book I want to literally show to everyone I know and I've never had that urge with a book I've ever read.
I just finished it right before grabbing my laptop and feel compelled to share with everyone (or the 1.43 people that might happen to read this, haha).
Great job, Andy!

'til next time, stay classy!