Friday, October 29, 2010

Autumn Leaves Painting~ A Craft by Heather Young

For this activity, you will need:

A blank piece of white watercolor paper
Fairly large paintbrush
Watercolor paints (they don’t have to be the expensive kind)
Table salt
A pencil

Note: To help the paint dry faster, you may want to use a hairdryer.

1. Choose an assortment of colors to paint with: red, blue, green, yellow, brown, and/or purple, or any other colors you want to use will be fine.

2. Place your paper horizontally, and, using the paintbrush, cover the paper with water.
3. Paint stripes of color across the page.

4. Wait a minute or two, and then, while the paint is still wet, sprinkle table salt all around the paper. The salt will begin to dissolve in the water and absorb it and make little white dots on your paper.

5. Once the paint is completely dry, wipe off the salt into a trash bin. With pencil, draw outlines of leaves on top of your background.

6. Paint another layer of water and various colors on your background, going around the leaf shapes you just drew.

7. Then, draw more leaf outlines, and paint over your background again.

8. The more layers you do, the more realistic your autumn leaves will look! Hope you have fun!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hair Care Tips!~ A Beauty Article by Renee Arnold

Hair care is very, very important. Whether our hair is long or short, blond or brunette, thick or thin it needs care. In this article I'm going to give you some great advice on how to make your hair look and feel it's best.
 First, figuring out whether or not to let our hair air dry or blow dry it. Air drying is very easy if your hair is short or curly. Blow drying is obviously a very nice convenience if you have long or very thick hair. Excessive blow drying can make your hair brittle and dried out especially if it's straight and thin. Blow drying is okay if you're in a rush but make sure to blot it out with a towel first. Use some heat protecting spray before you blow dry. it protects it from the heat and leaves it feeling smooth. Blow dry about six inches from your head and move the dryer all around your head. Towel drying is the best if you have really dry hair, but if you follow the tips above, blow drying will be okay.
  Second is how to take care of annoying oil that can ruin a beautiful hair style. First, wash your hair as often as you need to in order to keep your hair clean and fresh.Also, remember to only put conditioner at the ends of your hair and not your scalp. Try to limit oils in your diet, now please don't go crazy but you would be surprised how much that helps. If you need a quick fix, rub some talcum powder into your roots when your hair is dry and wash it out later. Do not brush your hair to much. This releases the oils in your scalp. Lastly, maybe it's as simple as changing shampoo's, ask a hairdresser or stylist to see what they recommend.
  Last but not least, we all know the damage that straighteners can do to our locks. Here is some helpful insight that will minimize damage and maximize results. Number one, condition your hair often, this will help keep it smooth and healthy. Secondly, use products specially made for your hair type, it makes a bigger difference than you realize. Next, say "adios" to split ends by having them removed every 2-3 months to keep your hair looking perfect. Lastly, give your hair a break every once in a while so that you're not frying it every singe day.
  So, I hope all these tips make you and your hair happier! If you are having a real problem with your hair don't try and fix it yourself, ask a professional! Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Start of School... Oh How I Love It!~ A Fun Article by Rachel Melillo

Yes, I realize school started in September, and now that it’s October, it’s getting really old and you’re ready for Christmas break already.  I’m a senior in high school, and here are some of the most exciting things that happen to me in the first two months of almost every school year. 

The first thing that usually happens in our school is the fire alarms.  Aren’t they fun?  If it’s a fire drill, you get out of class for about fifteen minutes and by then your teacher might have forgotten that you were supposed to have a quiz that day.  However, if the fire alarm was pulled, then you get out of class for somewhere between twenty to thirty minutes. This year, our first fire alarm was a drill and we got out of class for about fifteen minutes, but it was enough so that my creative writing teacher forgot that I hadn’t shared a piece of writing, so I didn’t have to!  The second fire alarm wasn’t funny until I learned that it had been pulled by a child in the preschool department of our school.  Fantastic, the hoodlums of the high school are teaching four year olds to pull fire alarms….we have high hopes for the future generation.

The second thing is the bomb threats, although the more interesting and memorable ones don’t usually happen at the beginning of school.  Some of you may not realize how appealing the thought of a bomb threat really is under the right conditions.  If it’s real, yes it can be scary.  The first time, it can be a bit nerve racking, but once you realize it’s just a student pulling a prank, you begin to laugh them off and use the spare time to either catch up on homework you never finished, homework you want to finish so that you have less that evening, or talk to your friends.  Bomb threats are better for the innocent students than the fire drills because you get out for a longer amount of time. I have had some fantastic bomb threats and some awful ones.  For example, two years ago, spring of my sophomore year, we had a bomb threat on an absolutely gorgeous day.  It was seventy degrees at nine thirty in the morning and sunny with a couple of scattered clouds for convenient shade.  We sat out in the parking lot talking with friends and playing games while the police and fire department spent two hours scanning the entire school for a bomb.  However, one of the worst bomb threats was last year.  It was freezing cold, about ten degrees with a light snow.  I would have been more than happy to get out of honors pre-calculus any other day but that one, but that day we had a free day to do our homework.  In addition, we didn’t have time to get our coats from our lockers, so we’re freezing cold. 

Next, there are the fights.  This year, I was coming out of my second class and while I was rushing to the bathroom before third period started, these two girls are pulling each other around the hallway and end up on the floor slapping one another and seeing how much hair one person can manage to remove from the other girl’s head.  I’ve never understood what could possibly be so important that you had to get into a hair pulling fight over it… oh well.

Now, I am definitely not advising anyone to do anything like this.  These three things are the top three things on how to get yourself suspended, expelled, or even arrested.  So do not attempt these things under any circumstances.  However, if they happen to occur, enjoy a good bit of drama and laugh it off later with friends. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

God, Our Father~ A Spiritual Column by Hogan Stevens

It seems like it was just yesterday when my dad was teaching me how to ride my bike. I was six at the time and I wanted to ride that bike more than anything, so my dad decided that he would go ahead and teach me. Well, it wasn’t that easy. I did fine with it as long as he was holding the handle bars to keep me steady, but as soon as he let go I would tumble to the ground, much to my aggravation. Whenever I fell off my bike, I would get angry and give up. I was determined to never try again.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Maybe it doesn’t trigger memories of when you learned to ride a bike, but memories or thoughts of something completely different. Sometimes we feel like God has left us alone in our lives, don’t we? And when we feel abandoned it seems like we can never do anything right; we mess up time after time and just feel like giving up. Even David sometimes felt this way. In Psalm 22:1 he says, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (NIV)

After a little while, I would forget the anger or hurt I felt after wrecking my bike and I would go outside and tell my dad that I wanted to try it again. He would smile and gladly show me how it was done--every single time I asked him. He never once said to me, “I’ve already showed you how to do enough, Hogan. Do it yourself.” Instead, he would say, “You want to give it another try? I’ll help you.” He promised me that I would eventually get it, and I did. One day I finally pedaled up and down our driveway without the slightest wobble, and when I got off my bike I had a huge grin on my face. My daddy was right there, smiling along with me and congratulating me.

I know we face much harder dilemmas and circumstances in life than learning to ride a bike, but Jesus is with us each and every time. Just like my dad when he let go of the handle bars, God never completely abandons you. He is right there beside you, making sure you don’t fall. And when you do fall and get hurt, Jesus gently picks you up, wipes the tears from your eyes, and sets you right back on your bike, once again showing you how to ride it.

“I call to God, and the Lord saves me.” Psalm 55:16 (NIV)

Isn’t it amazing, to think that we all have a Father that looks out for us and loves us unconditionally? I’m not talking about our earthly fathers, though they can be wonderful as well. The Father I am speaking of is our heavenly Father, God. We are all His children, no matter where we come from or what we have done, and He loves us with a passion. Why else would He even have created us if He knew that we would turn away from Him? And yes, He knew very well that we would fall into sinfulness! But, like the loving Father He is, Jesus still loves and cares for us even when we mess up.

I once knew a girl that when she prayed, instead of calling Him “Father” or “Lord”, she said, “Daddy”. At first, I thought that that was a little odd, but later I learned that there is a Hebrew name for God that is more or less the equivalent of our word for “Daddy”. It is Abba, the name that Jesus used when praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. When I first heard the meaning of Abba, I cried. To think that God, the all-powerful, all-knowing God considers Himself my Daddy! And He is yours as well.

Maybe you have never before thought of God in such a way before, and this is the first time you have ever heard of His love and tenderness toward you. If so, I pray you feel a need to have this wonderful Father in your life. If you do want to accept Jesus as your Father (or if you have already done so but want to ask Him to help you realize that He never leaves you), then pray this simple prayer:

Jesus, I know that You are my heavenly Father. I know that, because of Your selfless love and sacrifice, I am Your child, and I ask You to fill my heart, to fill my life, and to make me whole. Thank You so much for always being there for me. In Your name, Amen.
May you always remember that your Father is smiling down at you, leading you down the right path, and ready to catch you when you stumble and fall.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we might be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1 (NIV)

Note from Haylie: If Hogan’s article has helped you in any way or has lead you to your heavenly Daddy, please let us share in your joy! Let us know that you have become a Daughter of the King! We are praying for you J

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Life As We Know It"~ "Movie Night"~A Movie Review by Kari Willinger

If I was to write the synopsis of this film in one line it would be; "a twisted love story, started by death". From director Greg Berlanti, comes a story that is worth the watch.

Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel) and Holly Berenson (Katherine Heigl)are two people who share absolutely nothing in common. She is a woman with a plan; organized and ready to go. He is spontaneous and free.

Much to their dislike, they are thrown together in result of their best friends deaths. Left to take care if the young couples daughter, Sophie, comes a very humorous and lovable story. Watch a s Sophie brings two completely different people together.

In this movie, Eric is a womanizer. We see him with at least three different women, he 'talks' about his sex life and we see his kiss women and 'make out' with one. He will pinch and hold ladies rear ends and we see women fall for him. He also parades around in his underwear a few times. Holly is seen in the bathtub a few times (shoulders and legs seen) and she comes running out in a towel once. There are sexual references made by Eric and Holly and a few from their gay friend. 

Language for this movie is not fab. They misuse God's name at least 30 times. They also use sh** and d**n. Eric and Holly sing a lullaby (A song by Radiohead) that has h*** in it. 

There is some drinking in this movie and Holly busts some teens for smoking pot.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

"He is There"~ A Freelance Poem by Purple Lilac

When your alone
...He is there
When there is no where to go
...He is there
When your crying silent tears
...He is the one who hears
When you feel like there is no hope
...He is there
When you afraid
...He is there
When you need to say a small prayer
...He is the one who hears

Throughout all of life's hardships
...He is there
to carry you
to listen to you
to protect you
to love you

-Purple Lilac

Friday, October 22, 2010

Autumn Truths~ A Poem by Lea Sadler

He dabs some orange and swipes some red

He splashes yellow and splatters brown

He uses life to conflict the dead

And applies the leaves to adorn the ground.

Breaths of air turn chilly and puddles of rain shudder,

Trees dance to the voice of the wind

And step to the symphony of the river

As the moon in the sky is dimmed.

With pinks, purples plus newly-shaped blues

And gold and pure-white draped in the sky

The beauty to border is not to amuse

But to show the power of whom I rely.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Francesca Battistelli "My Paper Heart"~ In Our Headphones~ Music Review by Michelle Pell

My Paper Heart-Francesca Battistelli
This CD brings a fresh, upbeat feel to contemporary Christian music that I think much of today’s music is lacking. Francesca has positive lyrics, rhythm that gets stuck in your head, and important messages filling her songs.
When Francesca was only six years old she knew what she wanted to be: a singer. After going to see the Broadway show “The Secret Garden,” she had made up her mind.
Her dad was an assistant conductor for the national tour of “The King and I,” and her mom played Anna, the show’s female lead.
Francesca knew the road to theater fame wouldn’t be easy, but with one goal in mind she worked hard. Instead of signing up for sports or other after-school clubs, she filled her time with dance lessons and theater training classes.
When she was 15, she became part of an all-girl mainstream pop group in Orlando, an experience that helped pave the way for what she does today. She says it tied together two things she loved to do together: signing and dancing.
After the group split, Francesca felt she needed time to clear her head. She joined a youth ministry, and she says, “It was there that the Lord captured my heart for Christian music.” She started playing guitar and writing.

In this, her debut album, she shares the importance of following God’s will for your life, the fragility of a human heart, and accepting yourself as you are.
***my favorites

1. Free To Be Me***
In this song she says that even though we go through rough times, and we’re not always perfect, God loves us no matter what, and we are “Free To Be Me.”
2. I’m Letting Go***
As soon as the first notes in this song are played, you find yourself tapping your foot along to the fast-paced tune.
The story behind this song is that when she was 22, she decided to completely let go of every thing and give it to God.
3. Unpredictable
Even though we may think we have everything figured out, God can intervene at any moment and show us, once again, that he alone is in control.
4. My Paper Heart***
The name sake for her album, Francesca depicts how frail a human heart is, and that even though our hearts may break, God comes along and mends them and makes them whole again.
5. Beautiful, Beautiful***
When God steps into our lives, even though we feel like we’re worthless, He will make it beautiful.
I find myself continually getting this song stuck in my head; the haunting lyrics, I just can’t seem to forget
6. Blue Sky
She writes this song from the point of view of Jesus. Wherever we are, whatever we’re going through, no matter what we feel, when we open up and let Jesus in, His love will become our blue sky.
7. Forever Love***
This is one on the true worship song on the CD. Francesca is basically singing directly to God, and telling Him that He will be her Forever Love. I love it.
8. Someday Soon***
This is somewhat like a love song to her future husband. She tells him that she’s waiting and that she believes that someday soon she will be his.
9. Behind The Scenes
In this song Francesca expresses the feeling that I think a lot of us have all the time. That is, people don’t see what really is going on in your life, and that if they would only try, they could see a lot more.
10. It’s Your Life***
“It’s your life/ whatcha gonna do?/” That’s one of the lines of one of the most well known songs of the album. Your life is here, now. Are you gonna live for Jesus, or be a lukewarm Christian?
11. Time In Between***
In this, another worship song, Francesca tells God that it is the time in between His birth and His death the truly amazes her.

I love this album, and I believe that it is a must-have on your iPod. When you’re feeling down, hopeless, or faithless, her music lifts your spirits and reminds you that there is indeed hope.
 Check out her online store!
Also My Paper Heart is on sale for only $5!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Self Harm: Cutting~ An Issues Article by Abby Massung

W6 (Who, What, Where, When, Why, Walking-in-their-shoes)

 >Who: Virtually anyone has the potential to become a cutter. There’s no age limit, gender requirements, or race restrictions. However, people who are under large amounts of stress are more susceptible, and girls tend to make up the majority of cutters.

 >What: A cutter is someone who uses a sharp object, usually a knife or razor blade, to cut or scratch their body. At first, it may start off being infrequent and not seeming to be very dangerous. Unfortunately, however, it is a problem that only escalates.
  At first, it may start out being something the person does maybe once or twice a month and only causing minimal injury; but it can quickly become several times a weeks and causing serious injuries with lasting scars. It can move from a concealed part of a leg or arm to a wrist. There may only be a few pinpricks of blood when a cutter is new, but as time goes on, you begin wanting more and more, and you’re eventually leaving gaping wounds streaming blood. In short, cutting is a deceptively slow yet addictive self-destruction.

 >When: It may begin as following through on a seemingly innocent impulse. Usually, it’s done when the cutter is in a stressful situation and desires a way to block out whatever it is they’re having trouble dealing with. In some cases, a cutter may feel that cutting is the only way to get the attention they’re craving, or the only way they can freely express their emotions. Cutting is done whenever a cutter feels an urge strong enough to compel them to cut, although some may prefer nighttime, due to the fact that they’re less likely to be disturbed by anyone.

>Where: You can find cutters around the world, but statistically, there are larger numbers in the USA than anywhere else. Usually, a cutter will seek out a secluded place where they have no fear of being discovered. A bathroom is a prime choice because you can wash away blood much more easily without fearing someone will see your freshly bleeding wounds. A bedroom with a locked door is also a top pick. It’s their territory, and they feel they have more control over it. However, if they have to share the room, they will probably avoid using the room to avoid their roommate accidentally witnessing.

>Why: Feelings of loneliness and distress will push a person into cutting. If you’re in pain, and a doctor offers you a pain pill, wouldn’t you take it? The pill will only mask your pain of course; it won’t heal you, but you just want the pain to go away. Cutting can work in a similar way to get rid of mental pain. Physical pain, cutting, helps us to lose focus on the mental pains and issues that we’re facing. It doesn’t last long, but just like the pill, it masks the pain we wish to forget.
  Unfortunately, also like the pill, cutting can become addictive. It becomes how the cutter handles strong emotions – even happiness at times, if you can believe that. When they don’t have a knife or something to cuts themselves with, they don’t really know how else to convey the emotions that they’re feeling. That’s why it’s so hard for them to just stop. A cutter has to relearn something that most people take for granted – self-expression.
  Finally, hopelessness can rope them in. They can’t just stop, and they know it. They try over and over, but they fail. They’ve lost control, and they’ve resigned themselves to the belief that they can never stop, and that they’re wholly worthless after what they’ve done to themselves. After all, who could ever possibly love someone who was so messed up?

Walking in their shoes…
  This could get kind of scary if I get it right, but I think you ought to give it a try. It may help you better understand a cutter and help you to relate to them.

  Close your eyes and inhale slowly through your nose. You can smell it – the sickeningly sweet, somehow metallic, coppery scent of blood. You know that smell so well now. It fills you with both excitement and fear. You open your eyes and look down at your arm. In the dim light of your bedroom lamp, you see a line of fresh blood seeping from the wound you just made. God knows how many times you sliced that same spot over and over until it had reached this point. Absently, you wondered why you had, but you don’t dwell long because you can’t, the pain is wearing off.
  Again you take up your razor blade and dig it into your arm, slowly, painfully dragging it across your flesh. It hurts, but that’s what you love so much about it isn’t it? The sweet release of all you’re worried about. Right now, nothing matters. Except for the slices in your arms, you can’t feel a blessed thing. It’s wonderful in a rather twisted way, you admit to yourself.
  As if in a trance, you watch the blood begin to rise up and out of the cut. You can’t look away from it. You’re sickly fascinated by it. You love the sight of it, though you can’t quite say why. Maybe because it tells you you’re still alive? Maybe it’s because it’s so real? Heck, it could be because you like the color for all you know! You just know that somehow, you can never seem to get enough seeing it.
  You slice yourself several more times, being careful to put most of them in easily concealed places. Not like your parents would care of course, you think with a bitter, inward laugh. They might as well be blind. They’ll believe anything you say about where those cuts came from, no matter how absurd or unrealistic. Why? Because their brains simply won’t allow them to register the truth, plain and simple.
  Then, your knife slips slightly too deep while dancing across those fragile blue veins in your wrist. Your heart stops as you watch blood rapidly welling up, coming more quickly than you’d intended. Panicking, you snatch up a tissue from nearby and press it to your wound. You hadn’t meant for it to go that deeply, but that was the problem with cutting your wrists. They offered you more and quicker blood, but press a little too hard and you could regret it.  
  The bleeding slows and you lean back into the pillows on your bed, close your eyes yet again, and feel the cool run of your own blood running down your arms from the cuts. You toss the blade into the trash. It served its purpose. With relief, you welcome the familiar numbness that seeps over you. You’re just barely aware of the pain in your arms, but mostly, you just don’t feel anything. It’s a good non-feeling.
 The high quickly wears off however. Reality sets in. Your mind clears and you realize what you’ve done…again. Last time you’d sworn you wouldn’t ever do it again, but once again, you just couldn’t stop yourself. Once again, as you wash your stinging wounds, you vow to never cut yourself ever again.

         Fast forward four days…

  Tears rush from your eyes and you desperately clutch a cloth to your arm, willing with all your might for the bleeding to stop. You inwardly curse yourself. Why are you so weak? Why couldn’t you have stopped like you’d planned to do all along?
  For the next couple weeks you wash and care for your wound, praying that it won’t become infected, and wishing you could go to the hospital to get stitches, the scar from this one was going to horrid. If only you’d never picked up a blade to cut yourself in the first place.

  I wish I could’ve given you a better picture of it all. The feelings, the smells, everything. I’m capable of it, but I can’t do it. I’ve gone more in depth, reliving actual cutting “sessions” before. The result was an effect description. But reliving those moments is something that is simply not safe for me to do. It’s been half a year since I last cut, but the memories are far too powerful, and more than once, reliving those times has resulted in a literal bloody mess.
  I don’t know if I can ever fully relate how hopeless and shatter a cutter’s life can be. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It’s a self-imposed destruction from the inside out. It leaves you as a shadow; only a faint glimmer of what and who you once were, and you will never be the same as you were before it all.

God’s Take…

  “You are the children of the lord your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave the front of your heads for the dead.”
           -Deuteronomy 14:1 (NIV)

  That’s a pretty clear statement, right? That was what God told the Israelites in the Old Testament. Now, personally, I hold a belief that not necessarily everything in the Old Testament applies to us, based on this verse:

  “By calling the covenant ‘new’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.”
             -Hebrews 8:13 (NIV)

I take that to mean that God used Christ to make His covenant with Israel obsolete, and set up a “new” covenant in the New Testament, not just with Israel , but with all people. So I tend to look for confirmation about things in the Old Testament in the New Testament, because not everything that applied to the Israelites applies to us today (clean and unclean food for instance). So here’s what the New Testament has to offer us:
  “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
      -1 Corinthians 6:19-20

  “Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”
      -1 Corinthians 3:16-17

  Although these verses can be comforting to those who are suffering bodily harm at the hands of another, it’s far more sobering to a cutter. It’s very clear that our bodies’ are God’s and we shouldn’t mistreat them, and that includes cutting ourselves. Maybe the order isn’t quite so plainly put, but it remains the same as from the Old Testament: cutting is a no-no.
  Getting help to stop is a must for a cutter, but that doesn’t mean that friends should shove that help down their throats either. If you have a friend who cuts, my suggestion would be to be there for that person. Let them know they can count on you. Urge them to seek out help, but don’t in any way make them feel threatened. If they think you’ll tell others or try to force them into stopping, they’ll retreat and block you out, and they’ll tell you lies to make you think they’re doing alright when they’re not.
  If you are a cutter, or are involved in any form of self-harm, please, get help. You’ll probably regret telling someone eventually, but you really need someone to at least be able to talk to about things and to be there for you. It can be anyone as long as you trust them.

 Issue’s Soundtrack (go to: to hear full songs)
   1. Scars-Runaway City
   2. When She Cries-Brit Nicole
   3. Dear X (You Don’t Own Me)-Disciple
   4. Moving On- Decyfer Down
   5. Missing Pages-Seventh Day Slumber
   6. Fading-Decyfer Down
   7. What I’ve Overcome-Fireflight
   8. Beautiful Tonight-Krystal Meyers
   9. Hanging On by a Thread-The Letter Black
  10. Silent Screams-Eowyn
  11. The Motions-Matthew West
  12. Secrets and Regrets-Pillar
  13. Never Surrender-Skillet
  14. Lose it all-Pillar
  15. Carousel-Linkin Park
  16. Hero-Superchi(k)
  17. Hold-Superchic(k)
  18. Get Back Up (TobyMac)
  19. To Know That You’re Alive-Kutless
  20. Mistakes-Kutless

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Maurices~ A Store Review by Madeline Hunt

Maurice's is an affordable, trendy, cute, fabulous store! They offer a wide variety of clothing, which is cute and AFFORDABLE!!! I love how they have jeans that don’t look like they are painted on you can they don’t have many immodest shirts. I found this adorable outfit all for only $106 dollars for a pair of jeans, a shirt, a cardigan, a necklace and earring set and a pair of cute flats.

Morgan Dark Wash Boot Cut Jeans -

I love these dark wash boot cut jeans. The fading is perfect, the pocket detailing is darling. The best part is they only cost $29.00!!!!

Button Back Long Sleeve Layering Tee -

I went with basic black for this top because it paired nicely with the gray cardigan and is essential for every girl’s closet. I like that this top is fitted and has a pretty modest neckline though it may depend on the person wearing it. This top is steel you can grab it for only $16.00

Textured Open Cocoon Cardigan - maurices.comThis cozy gray cardigan doesn’t only work with jeans and a shirt but would look awesome layered over a girly dress or with a skirt. The gray complements the black in the shirt but doesn’t overpower it. You can pick it up for $34.00 it’s the most expensive piece in this outfit but is totally worth the money!

Faux Suede Bow Flats -

These sweet black flats with darling feminine bows will become one of your go to pairs of shoes. The inside lining is an adorable paisley print, while the outside is made of suede. Perfect price for the perfect shoes is $22.00

Flower Necklace Set -

This sweet Necklace and earring set is like the cherry on top that ties this whole outfit together. The flower pendant brings summer right into fall. You will reach for this necklace again and again, its works so well to dress up a plain tee. You can snap this set up for $14.00 dollars.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stand Up~ A Spiritual Article by Rachel Melillo

Stock Photo - teenage girl sitting 
on floor, leaning 
against lockers. 
fotosearch - search 
stock photos, 
pictures, wall 
murals, images, 
and photo clipart
It started out as a normal Friday morning. They had just finished going over homework when the teacher asked seven specific students to go outside the classroom. Without warning, a minute later they were blindfolded, pushed down a hallway and into a back stairwell and then tied up. The hostage takers and their hostages sat there blindfolded and tied up.

Is this what we think will happen if we stand up for our faith?

I see too many Christians walking around like spies in a foreign country; afraid to be detected and overly focused on fitting into the culture. We don’t have time for disguises. We don’t have time to fit in. For those of us who are in a public high school, you have four years to make the difference in someone’s life. The chances of someone coming to know Christ goes down dramatically after they leave high school. So what’s keeping us from making our faith plain to see?

Our reputations have become more important than our faith. Where would we be today if Joseph had been too concerned with his reputation as a good carpenter and honorable man to continue his betrothal to Mary? What would have happened if Paul let his desire to have a good reputation in society be more important than standing up for Christ and the Church? Are we going to let our desire to have a good reputation in our school be more important than standing up for our faith?

We can’t let that happen. I have a friend who calls me Jesus freak, or J freak, everyday, all the time. At first I thought to myself “Hey, I’m a witness for Christ!” Now I’m sick of it. Does that mean I turn from my conservatively Christian beliefs and let them decide how I should live my life? Does that mean that I should hide the most important part of who I am because I’m tired of a nickname?

Stock Photography - teen girl leaning 
against wall, 
looking at camera. 
fotosearch - search 
stock photos, 
pictures, wall 
murals, images, 
and photo clipartHigh school is four years of our lives. We cannot let ourselves be pushed into whatever our friends want us to do. We can’t let our reputations be more important than our faith. We cannot allow fear define who we are and what we do. We need to stand up.

Note from Rachel: The opening scenario was a planned activity by a teacher and known by all students. It was also not aimed at Christians. Do not fear that you will be taken hostage if you stand up for your faith.

Note from Haylie: Has there been a time in your life where you took and stand for your faith? Do your friends know that you are a Christian? Do they know because you said you are or because they have seen it in how you live your life? The LAT staff and I encourage you to take a stand for your faith. If you have a story of how you took a stand, please email it to us. Click here.

                                             Remember, when you stand up, you are not alone.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Organizations~ Operation Christmas Child~ By Emily Ciszewski

Dedicated to Giving to the Forgotten
If you have ever wanted to give to that poor child on the TV who seems to cry out to you, then this is an awesome outlet!

How it started
In 1990, Dave Cooke sat in his living room watching TV. Seeing the abandoned children in Romania put a burden on his heart to give them love. Dave went into action and asked friends to help him fill a semi truck with gifts and head out of North Wales and off to Romania. Soon people were giving in overwhelming numbers. Now O.C.C. is all over the place. Even non Christians give because of the joy they receive when they see children in Third-World countries opening their boxes.

What your gift does
Children all over the world experience the joy of Christmas because of a simple shoe box stuffed with a few trinkets and candies. Often, the children receive small picture Bibles and other books explaining the gift of Jesus. Children who are otherwise forgotten realize someone out there cares for them!

Since 1990, over 81 million children have received a shoe box because of a couple friends feeling the love of God pushing them to fill a semi truck.
If you would like to give a child joy this Christmas - if you would love for another kid to know the happiness you've felt on Christmas day - you can.

What you can do
If you want to be apart of this amazing God-thing, get your Church family, some friends, or just your family at home to help you pack some boxes! You can make a child smile inside and out. All you have to do is pack a shoe box!
 Here are some things you can put into your shoe box.

Toys~ small dolls, small cars, slinkies, stuffed animals, jump ropes, yo-yos, etc.
School Supplies~ pens, pencils, crayons, writing pads, stamps, stickers, coloring books etc.
Hygiene Items~ toothbrush, toothpaste, combs, washcloth, etc.
Others~ ball cap, hair slips, lollipops, gum, etc.
A Personal Note~ “In a separate envelope, you may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. (If you include your name and address, the child may write back.)” Taken directly from Operation Christmas Child website.

Also, your shoe boxes should not include the following…
Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.
Also, O.C.C. asks that you send $7 or more along with your shoe box to cover shipping and other project costs.

To learn more or how to organize an event go to;
Luke 6:38
"Give and it shall be given unto you; a good measure, pressed down and shaken together, shall men give into you bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Love According to First Corinthians 13~ "Table for Three; Me, You and God"~ A Column by Haley Oscar

For my first article I was gonna tell you my life story so you could get to know me a little better; but as I started to write I realized that it would take forever for you to read. When talking face-to-face with someone about my life story it normally takes about two hours. So, I'm just gonna give you the basics of who I am. My name's Haley Oscar, I'm a 17 year old girl from a city in Wisconsin, USA. I've lived here my whole life and never plan on leaving. My "love life" as been far from successful through the years. I've been through it all for the most part. I've been cheated on and have cheated, I've been abused and emotionally scared, I've been used as an object and have used, I've dealt with lustful thoughts and actions. But through the grace and love of God I've been freed of the baggage I've picked up from these many relationships. I’m far from perfect and I'm still learning how to be a good girlfriend and someday a good wife to the man I will someday marry. Through it all I've learned a few things about guys and God has given me a real passion to share my life and experiences with you. I hope and pray that you will get something out of my thoughts, I hope it makes you think and maybe even change. I'm truly thinking and praying for you, God bless!

1 Corinthians 13, many of us know this as the love chapter. It happens to be one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. It shows us how to be a friend and how to show love. What is love to you?

I know that, as females, we all want love. We all want prince charming to hurry is big butt over to us and do his job of happily ever after. But what else is love to you? Is love a fixer to all your problems? Is it something you give out freely hoping and praying that you'll get it back in return?

Love is patient. If you haven't found "the one" yet don't go on a mad hunt looking for him.(Song of Songs 8:4) God knows when you'll be ready for a real, mature, promising, and long lasting relationship with a man. Give God your time as a single. Enjoy this time of freedom you have to do things for God. Be patient, your prince charming is also waiting on God to give him the go to pursue you.

Love is kind. God wants us to have kind and peaceful hearts toward everyone we come across. Even to those guys who we may think are pigs. We need to be respectful toward all men, are you? Do you dress or act in ways that would be kind and respectful to him thought life? Is dressing or acting in a way that would make your guy friends or boyfriend lust after you showing kindness or love? If it's attention you seek out of mean words, actions, and showing too much skin with your clothes, you will get the attention you seek, but trust me you don't want this attention. This attention that you may be seeking out of this has messed up relationships that would've ended well if treated right. Even in some cases I've seen it ruin lives.

Love does not envy or boast and it is not proud. This one's pretty simple; do not want something your friend has. Be happy that they've been blessed, because you, in your own way, have been blessed. Do not boast about the things you have or can do; doing such things will make your friends sin by envying you, and doing such a thing is not showing love in anyway.

Love is not rude or self seeking. Why are you in or want a relationship with a guy? Is it to fit in, feel love, to get back at someone, or to fulfill lustful thoughts or wants? Love is not, and I repeat NOT self seeking; meaning you should not be in a relationship for you. It's not about you. When you're married, you're that persons help mate until the day you or him dies. You're HIS help mate...Not the other way around; you're in it to help, encourage, love him, and fulfill his needs. He should be the same for you. Again, you're not in it for you; you're in it for him. When you love someone, you shouldn't even matter. It should be about helping him. If you're not ready or think you can't do that, then you're not ready for a real relationship.

Love is not easily angered and it keeps no records of wrongs. In a relationship and marriage you will hit hard times. There will be fights and wrong things said and done. You must forgive quickly and listen to him. Men are just as hot headed as we can be and they also need you to hear them out. When they do something wrong you can't keep bringing it up or using it as a weapon. Constantly bringing it up will ruin a guy’s self esteem and make him feel useless. Like I said before, be quick to forgive and let go, doing this will show real love.

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. If you love someone, you're not gonna be happy when the one you love does something wrong. If he's doing something or saying things that are wrong to you, do not accept it! It's not gonna change. Talk to him and tell him the truth as to how you feel and if he doesn't see your way or agree with your views, I'm sorry it's not meant to be. But, maybe it's not him; maybe it's you doing the things that bother him. I believe that, in every relationship, the couple should sit down with each other and talk about what kind of bugs them about the other. This shouldn't be a point the finger time, but a time of truth and acceptance of each others failures.

Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres; Love never fails. You must always protect the reputation of your man; this means if he ticks you off don't go and tell all your friends what a jerk he is. Keep your relationship problems to yourself; if you go around telling everyone your problems then your friends will start to look down on your boyfriend or husband. If he is ticking you off don't go around messing up his reputation. Sit him down and talk things out and PRAY about it. Doing this will help you guys to grow closer.

Always try to trust your boyfriend or husband. Don't just think he checked out the "babe" that just walked by you guys. Trust in him and if he really loves you, he will keep his eyes on you and not someone else. If you're worried about it, sit him down and tell him your worries. He'll like that a whole lot better than you just thinking the worse of him.

And finally, love always hopes for the best, it always perseveres herself in thought, body and mind, and it never fails. You will run into hard times in a relationship no doubt, but if you're mature about the problems you may have with the other and push to work things out through communication and prayer, I believe God can do anything.

I hope and pray that I gave you some things to thing on and prayer about. You girls are in my prayers. Until next time.

With Sisterly Love,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"We All Have Problems"~ Advice Column by Nadia

Dear Nadia:

I want to talk to my mom about dating but how can I bring up the subject without making her think I want to date right away?


Dear Wondering...
If you don't have a great relationship with your mom, you might want to start small and just start trying to talk to her more - asking her about what her life was like when she was your age, how she dealt with issues that you're dealing with right now - drama at school, doubting your faith, etc. - or just small-chatting with her about anything, from favorite colors to current events. If you're already pretty close to her, you could ask her about what her mom used to say to her about guys, advice her mom had for her about dating and stuff, when your mom started dating, her tips about it, or whatever. If you don't want her to think that you're interested in it, you can tell her that right off the bat. Hopefully she'll understand! God bless you!

Dear Nadia:

Ive seen so many things that say or imply that God loves everyone. Does he REALLY love everyone? Even the non-Christian? Murderers? Terrorists?


Dear Freaked, there's a line from a song that says, 'God's love is amazing, steady, and unchanging.' So, God loves us all from birth and if His love is unchanging, that means He loves us 'till we die, right? Yup. It may seem unimaginable, but God loves EVERYONE... that means Every. Single. Person. In. The. Whole. Wide. World. He sees the good in each person, no matter how little of it there is. He gave us free choice and even when we abuse it, He still loves us and longs for us to come back to Him. God's love is unconditional and there are SO many scriptures about it in the Bible - John 3:16, the stories of the Prodigal Son and Mary Magdalen. However, even though God loves everyone, in the end all people receive their judgement (which is according to God's standards, not ours) which means that God will examine the motives and underlying details in the lives of those murderers and terrorists and He will send them where they deserve to be. Bottom line - it may seem totally unbelievable and unfair and humiliating that God loves us just as much as he loves people who kill babies, He loves slave masters just as much as He loves the best Christians... but think, isn't that an amazing love that can look past even the most flagrant crimes? And that love belongs to Y-O-U! In the end, though, God will bring each and every person to justice. God bless you!

If you have a question you would like to ask Nadia, Please email her. Label your email 'DEAR NADIA'.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall Fashion Look Outs~ In Our Closet~ By Renee Arnold

Fall is approaching us and that means that it will be less tempting for people to buy skimpier clothes, but that doesn't mean they're not out there. I'm going to give you three examples of fall fashion don’ts to watch for. Remember, I don't want to force my standards on anyone! I hope that you prayerfully consider your own standards and don't just copy those of another Christian sister. These are just ways of helping you know if they are modest on YOU!

The first thing to watch out for is skinny jeans. I am not slamming skinny jeans. I adore skinny jeans and love the way they look and feel on me. When wearing skinny jeans, you need to watch out for how tight they are on you. If your skinny jeans, or any jeans for that matter, are tight, then isn't it basically like denim colored skin? What's the difference if your jeans are really tight?

Here's how to check for this problem. Pinch the denim together at the top of your thigh. If you're pinching skin then they might be too tight. Also, if you have to wiggle your way into them, they are too tight. Also, look at you hinny in the mirror. (Sorry if this sounds awkward) If you see bunching under your hinny or around your thighs, then your pants are too tight.

The second thing to watch out for is lace camisoles. Lace cami's are simply beautiful and elegant under a low cut top, but you do need to watch how low they are. If the lace has little "peek holes" in it then it can be revealing without trying to be. Try to buy higher cut lace cami's or smaller “peek holes” and that will solve this fall fashion dilemma.

Last but not least is a strapless dress. If you are buying a strapless dress for a special occasion make sure it fits right. Make sure it's not so tight that your chest is squashed, but also make sure it's not so loose that you're going to pulling it up all night! Make sure the neckline is high enough that you're not showing any cleavage for modesty's sake and the sake of everyone around you. I think strapless dresses are a very cute addition to any girl's wardrobe as long as it is worn correctly.

My only disclaimer for this article is this; please don't use this article as an excuse to wear something your parents don't want you wearing or you don't feel right about. Modesty is a personal issue and I'm just trying to help out and make decisions a tad bit easier. If your parents say no about something, then do as they say. God tells us to honor our mother and father.

So have fun this October and always remember that Jesus loves you SO much that He died for you!

Monday, October 11, 2010

"The Girl Bound in Silk"~ A Short Story by Rachel Allen

Note to the reader: This story is best if it's read like a fairytale.

Once upon a time, a beautiful baby girl was born. She was the apple of her father's eye. The poor child's mother died in childbirth. Her father was heartbroken, but he knew that his daughter was his first responsibility. He fed her well and cared for her and loved her. But before he did any of that, he tied her wrists together with her mother's old silk scarf, one end tied to each wrist securely. His friends and family asked him why, but he just shook his head and told them, "In due time."
As the girl grew, her bonds grew tighter. He loosened them, of course, so she wouldn't be in pain, but he made sure that she could not take them off. He was still very kind to her, and she grew up with the silk scarf always present.

When she turned 10 years old, she began to question her father's intent, picking at the scarf and asking him why it was there. He always smiled, kissed the top of her head, and told her, "In due time."
Three short years later, the girl was growing impatient. She asked her father kindly to take the bonds off, but the answer was the same. She resorted to yelling and screaming at him, calling him names and telling him he was a cruel father. He would calmly send her to her room and told her, "In due time."
Finally, on her 16th birthday, she was sitting calmly eating breakfast. The scarf had grown almost too short to fit her, but she had stopped fighting it, accepting the fact that she would be bound until her father's word.
At that moment, her father walked in and told her "Happy Birthday." They ate breakfast in silence. When they were finished, he said, "I have a present for you. Hold out your hands and close your eyes." She obeyed, expecting to feel the cold metal of a locket, or perhaps the square corners of a wrapped box. She felt nothing.

Her father told her she could open her eyes. She opened them, but there was nothing to see. "Father, what is my present?" she asked.

He smiled, a smile that reached his eyes and went from ear to ear. He held up the scarf that had held her for sixteen whole years and said, "Freedom." Slowly, the scarf fluttered to the floor and lay in a crumpled heap. The girl stared at her hands for a moment, then threw out her arms and twirled. She danced around the room and swung her arms with all her might. Finally, the girl gave her father the biggest hug of his life. After a moment, she leaned back, looked him in the eye and asked him, "Why?"

He smiled, took her by the shoulders, and spoke. "When your mother died, you became mine and my own. I knew that here would be no one else to help me raise you. I could teach you what you needed to know, like how to read and write and cook and ride a horse and take care of it. But your mother wasn't there to teach you the rest. I bound you so you would learn to be strong, patient, loving no matter what, and know that there would always be something fighting you, holding you back. I love you, and I just wanted you to be the woman I knew you could be."

The daughter stood for a moment, then threw her arms around her father and cried. "I love you too, daddy."

The point is, God will use discipline to teach us strength, patience, kindness and love. But no matter what method He chooses, whether it's silk or a testimony or a someone fighting you, He does it because He loves you. And that's the truth.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Through Waters Roar~ On Our Nightstand~ Book Review by Michelle Pell

Through Waters Roar by Lynn Austin

This book follows three generations. It takes place during the Civil War on through World War I. The faith in God the characters have and their strong personality, captivates you as you read. The book starts with the third generation, a girl, who, while siting in a jail cell, remembers all the stories her mother and grandmother told her about their childhood. All while trying to figure out how she landed herself in jail in the first place. She remembers how her grandmother told her stories about her great-grandmother and how she broke the law and showed great courage hiding slaves and being a part of the underground railroad during the Civil War. She remembers how fervently her grandmother fought for the prohibition of alcohol in the United States, and how her mothers worked hard for the suffrages' cause. This book gives you a first hand look into the lives of woken of that day, and you see how greatly the duties and expectations of women have changed.

Here is the description from the back of the book...

Harriet Sherwood has always adored her grandmother. But when Harriets decided to follow in her grandmother's independent footsteps, she certainly never expected to follow them to jail! Nor did she expect her childhood enemy and notorious school bully, Tommy O'Reilly to be the arresting officer.

Languishing in a jail cell, Harriet has plenty of time to sift through the memories of three generations of women who have preceded her. As each story emerges, the strength of her family--and their deep faith in the God of justice an righteousness--brings Harriet to the discovery of her own goals and motives for pursuing them.