Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jeans! By Erin from Mod Style Lounge

Ok girls, It's jeans season again and I am so excited! If you're shopping for some new denim, I've found some tips to help you find the style that fits you best.

Find jeans that flatter your figure!
  • Pear Figure: Girls with a pear shape have curvier hips with a small waist and narrower shoulders. If you have a pear shaped figure, boot cut and straight legged jeans are best. Straighter or moderate flare cuts will balance out your lower half.
  • Apple Figure: Apple figures have a larger top half which usually means a larger bust, broader shoulders, and a less defined waist. If this is you, try wide legged and also straight or boot cut jeans. To avoid making your legs and hips look smaller, go for a lighter wash.

  • Boyish/Ruler Figure: Boyish figured girls have a straight figure with very little curves. These girls can wear a straight leg and can also pull off skinny or tapered jeans. Any fading on the thighs will give the illusion of curves.

Other figure flattering tips:
  • If you want to make you legs and thighs look thinner, always go for a darker wash and avoid fading on the thighs.
  • Larger pockets, especially if they get smaller at the bottom, will make your bottom look smaller.
  • If you are trying to minimize your backside, stay away from crazy "bedazzled" pockets.
  • Boyfriend jeans are a new trend that look good on almost every figure!
Wear your Jeans Modestly:Even though most jeans don't show an inch of skin, some can still be immodest. Wearing jeans that hug your every curve can be just as tempting to a guy as a plunging neckline. So be careful when you're purchasing jeans by making sure they're not too tight on your rear or your hips. Your brothers in Christ will appreciate it! :)

Best Stores for Jeans?I am still unsure on this. I buy my jeans from a different store almost every time! When jean shopping it's smart to buy inexpensive jeans, or jeans on sale, but don't sacrifice quality. Some ideas for places to start would be American Eagle, Aeropostale, and Old Navy. There are so many places to check out, just find one that works for you. If you discover a pair of jeans you love, you might want to get another pair in a different color or cut because the perfect jeans can be hard to come by.

Do you girls have a favorite jean style, brand, or store? Let me know. This girl needs some suggestions! :)

This post was originally posted on Mod Style Lounge. Re-posted with permission.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Winter Walk~ Emily Ciszewski

My legs, my face, my fingers are all feeling frosty, but this walk is sweet.
As I move my feet over the street, our hands are locking tighter, and we’re not letting go.
The snow-flakes keep falling, and we stop and look up - white clouds, pale blue sky - our heads touching and our eyes on the same distant star, the first one of the evening.
I smile, he smiles right back.
We turn the corner, a small park in view - like children we race to the swings, our hands are locking tighter, and we’re not letting go.
I hold unto the rusty chain with one hand as he sits in the rickety swing beside me, soon we’re kicking our way up. I giggle and he breathes deep, our hands are locking tighter, and we’re not letting go.
More stars are appearing, each one so bright.
I let my head rest on his shoulder as we head back home, he strokes my hair and kisses my cold forehead with his warm breath. Our hands are locking tighter, and we’re not letting go.
We sit on the porch steps, looking at the world through the haze of a rosy new love,
We’re not even talking, and yet I feel like we’ve just had the most committed conversation I’ve ever known. I turn to look him in the eye - he nods.
It’s true.
It’s really us together.
This must be love.
Our hands are locking tighter, and we’re not letting go.

Did you know that Emily named her guiater Jabez?!
Did you know that Lauren woke her entire family up at 3am last Christmas?!

Photograph property of Lilies Among Thorns Magazine. Photograph taken my Lauren Jaji.

Friday, January 27, 2012

We Bought a Zoo~ Kari Willinger

When Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) loses his wife everything goes haywire. His son Dylan starts dropping in his studies, starts stealing, and starts drawing dark images of decapitation and the likes. His 7 year old daughter, after 6 months, is a little better mostly likely because of her age. Deciding his family needs a new start, he quits his job, and buys a house with his savings and inheritance. But there is a catch. Thought he house seems perfect, with 18 acres for the kids Benjamin has to take care of some animals. 200 to be exact. because in the backyard of this house there is a zoo. How crazy right? A zoo in there back yard. With the help of this motley zoo crew lead by Kelly (Scarlet Johanssen) Benjamin strives to accept this new responsibility. Will his family be able to really start over? Watch this extremely adorable movie and you will see.
This movie was rated PG. There is some cussing in this movie, it includes: d***, a**, and h*** a couple of times. There is some kissing in this movie. There is also a picture of a topless pregnant lady with her arm strategically hiding her breasts. I give this movie a 4/5.
Did you know that Kari is BFF with Haylie?!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What Version of the Bible Should I Read? ~ Haylie Gregory

Have you ever wondered what is the difference is between the KJV (King James Version), NIV (New International Version) and NASB (New Age Standard Bible) versions of the Bible? Many people like to read NIV or NASB because it is easier to understand instead of the KJV. I did some research to see if there was a difference between them. There is a major difference which has caused me to be a strong believer in the KJV only.

Matthew 18:11 in the King James Version says, “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” NIV has omitted this verse from the Bible. When I read this, I could not believe that they would completely omit a verse, so I found a NIV Bible and looked it up. They were right. It went from verse 10 to 12, no verse 11 was found. By omitting this verse, you are saying that the Son of man did not come to save the lost! Is that not why Jesus came?


 Matthew 19:17a in the King James Version says, “And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good?...” The NIV and NASB says, “Why do you ask me about what is good?” I ask you, how could you get this out of what the KJV said? They did not ask what was good. They called Him, the Son of God, good. They tangled their words around.

Luke 4:4 in the King James Version says, “Ma shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” The NIV and NASB say, “Man does not live on bread alone.” The omitted the ‘but by every word of God.’ So, what do men live on then if not bread? By taking this part of scripture out, you are saying that we are not to live by the Word. What are we to live by then?

Every verse changed had made me very upset, but this one got me fired up. Acts 8:37 in the King James Version says, “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” NIV omitted this verse. This verse explains that all we have to do is believe in Christ and we are saved! We don’t have to get baptized (we should, but it’s not what saves us). We don’t have to say a special prayer. All we have to do is believe on the Son. By taking this verse out, they are taking the simplicity of the gift of salvation out of the Bible. How horrible!

Brook Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort noted that, “The modern critical text that forms the basis for nearly all modern versions omits the equivalent of the entire books of 1st and 2nd Peter.” Almost two whole books from the Bible are omitted! Mark 16: 9-20 are omitted from a certain version of the Bible. How is the Word supposed to be complete if parts are missing? I think what hurt me the most was finding out that they take the word ‘blood’ out of these versions. How are we saved but by blood?

Revelation 22:19 in the King James Version says, “And if any man shall take away from the prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”  Note that it says ‘from the prophecy’. The NIV says, “And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy...” Note that this version says ‘from this book of prophecy.’ Now read what the NASB says. “And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy...” Just like the NIV, the NASB says ‘this prophecy’.

 There is only one prophecy and that is the one from God which is written in the King James Version. All the other versions go against this verse by changing what the Bible says. How are we to believe anything if they are changing it? How are we to know God if we don’t know what He said? The King James Version gives us the direct translation of the Bible from its original written languages, Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. This is the version of the Bible we should read because it is the complete Bible.



King James Version Bible

New International Version Bible

New Age Standard Bible

Did you know that Haylie loves horror movies?!
Did you know that Lauren loves vintage clothing?!

Photographs property of Lilies Among Thorns Magazine. Photograph taken by Lauren Jaji.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Word From the Wise (The Wise Being God)

Dear Nadia,

What is your viewpoint on purity rings? Do you have one? Do you suggest we all have one?

~ <3

Dear <3,
Purity rings took off in the 90s as abstinence began to be really strongly promoted. A purity ring is a type of promise ring - a promise that we will "[not awaken] love until the time is right... not stir up or awaken love until it pleases" (Song of Solomon 8:4).

For me, my purity ring - received on my 14th birthday - is an awesome way to remind me of my pledge to remain pure until marriage. I know most people pray a special prayer and fill out a pledge card with their promise to remain pure, but the only kind of ceremony for me when I got my ring was a quick but heartfelt prayer said in the car with my mom that the Lord would be my strength to keep me from temptation and lead me to true love. I have never had a boyfriend, but that doesn't mean that my purity ring is pointless! If anything, my ring provides an even stronger reminder - I need to save myself even when it seems like there is nothing to wait for.

And purity rings don't have to just apply to guys either! In all of our relationships, patience is very important. "Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience" (Colossians 3:12) and "Love is patient" (1 Corinthians 13:4). A purity ring reminds us that, in God, we can be strong enough to take all kinds of relationships slowly - in other words, instead of rushing in and out of relationships seeking security in them, basing our security on God alone because: "I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).

Now that much said, a purity ring is pointless if you are not going to choose to hold up its message. A purity ring should not serve to simply make you feel better about yourself. It should not be an excuse for you to go as far as you possibly can in a physical relationship without having sex. In making a promise to be pure, you should dedicate your whole heart to God and your whole strength to remaining pure until you not only meet your future husband, but are married to him! What a beautiful thing to be able to say to your husband on your wedding night, "I saved myself totally for you, and only you so that now I can give myself to you completely."

Stay pure, beautiful girl! If you choose to get a purity ring, I pray that God will use it as a reminder that your heart should be so lost in Him that men must seek Him to find you (Maya Angelou).

Source for history of the purity ring: http://www.purityringsonline.com/history-of-the-purity-ring
Did you know that Nadia attempts to play the guitar and piano?!?!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Biography on Kari Jobe


fter being established as one of the industry’s premier worship leaders with her Dove Award-winning, self-titled debut, Kari Jobe continues to serve as a worship pastor at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, and will release her highly anticipated follow-up album, Where I Find You (Sparrow) on January 24, 2012.

Produced by Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Chris August) and Matt Bronleewe (Natalie Imbruglia, Josh Wilson), Where I Find You, which includes Kari’s new hit radio single “We Are,” is an engaging departure from her previous effort—both sonically and thematically speaking.

Rather than simply emphasizing the beauty found in God’s presence, Where I Find You is a clarion call for listeners to experience His presence to the fullest. And not surprisingly, the accompanying soundtrack is just as bold with a buoyant mix of fresh musical textures and timbres.

          “After singing about the importance of making time for intimate worship on my first album, I wanted to take the next step on Where I Find You,” Kari shares. “These songs come from such a honest place of praising God for what He’s done—and what He’s continuing to do in our lives—because of His grace and goodness.

          “Ultimately, it’s about declaring who He is and enjoying the simplicity of knowing the Lord is near,” she continues. “He’s for us, He loves us, and sometimes, we need to just stop, enjoy His presence and take that in.”

           While recording the album, Kari says she was often reminded of that very truth—a theme that resonates through the lyrics of “Here,” a reminder to press pause, even when our culture insists we constantly keep moving.

          “There were many instances when we had to stop whatever we were working on because I needed to go outside, take a walk and have my own time with God for a few minutes,” Kari remembers. “Again and again, I was so overtaken by how present He was while we were recording, and it’s my hope and desire that people really feel the strength and intercession that was taking place while I worked on the album.”

          Another decidedly counter-cultural idea that resonates in these new songs is how God never lets believers, including worship leaders, get too comfortable in their faith or permanently reside on the proverbial spiritual mountaintop.

          “This past year has been the season of being completely uncomfortable and going through things I didn’t understand that were really hard,” Kari shares. “I was literally having to hold on in my heart and trust He had everything in control. You can even hear that a little in my vocals, especially on songs like ‘Love Came Down,’ ‘Run To You,’ and ‘What Love Is This.’ It was a season that stretched me.”

Even through all the growing pains, however, Kari says she was continually reminded of God’s faithfulness.

          “I think there are times as believers when we feel entitled and that life shouldn’t be hard. We live in this culture of convenience that says we can do everything ourselves and find all the answers on Google,” Kari says. “But if we can learn to fall more in love with the Lord and trust Him in the middle of every storm, we build our endurance to keep running the race.”

          Naturally, these declarations of God’s faithfulness couldn’t help but make their way onto her album.

          “‘We Are’ is a song of commission for us as believers,” says Kari, “to be reminded of what we’ve been called to, and that is to impact people’s lives in everything we do.”

In the track “One Desire,” which she co-wrote with Jason Ingram, Kari uses simple, heartfelt language that reminds her of one of her favorite worship anthems when she was young.

“During our writing session, Jason and I were talking about the simplicity of worship; how it doesn’t always have to be so ornate,” she explains.  “When I was a kid, I remember how much I loved singing the song ‘I Love You, Lord’ because it was this sweet, simple song straight from Scripture.”

In stark contrast to the straightforward worship of “One Desire,” another key track, the aforementioned “What Love is This,” features powerful imagery of the Centurion soldier’s reaction to discovering that Jesus was the Son of God after He’d been crucified.

“I often think about what it would’ve been like to experience that and to say ‘Truly, you are the son of God,’” Kari shares. “You realize you were part of His death, you were the one of the people who’d nailed Him to a cross. He must have felt so incredibly broken—to believe the lie and then experience the truth. I really think that’s like all of us. We’ve got to have the perspective that without the Lord’s presence, we’re all in darkness, and ‘What Love Is This’ is my love song to the Lord for His love song for my life.”

          Also serving as a grounding force for Kari when life gets complicated is her tight-knit Texas family. Although she turned 30 this past year, she still considers being a daughter one of “life’s greatest blessings.”  

          What’s also been a blessing is a new dimension to her ministry. In addition to ministering in churches, arenas, theaters, festivals and conferences across the globe, Kari has also found another outlet for sharing God’s love in partnering with the A21 Campaign, an organization dedicated to abolishing human trafficking in the 21st century.

          “I’ve become really invested in that ministry and strongly believe that we all have to play a role and do our part to fight against the modern form of slavery that affects 27 million people and growing,” Kari says. “It’s so incredibly dark, and I feel a responsibility to do what I can. Most of these victims are girls like me, and I can’t imagine what life would be like to be stuck in that place.”

Along with her sister, Kris, Kari has created an exclusive line of jewelry and t-shirts where all the proceeds go to the cause of bringing an end to human trafficking and injustice.

“Whether I’m participating in an effort like this or leading worship, it’s all about making a difference,” Kari concludes. “That’s the reason I’m doing what I’m doing at this specific moment—to see God’s name lifted high, to encourage the hurt and the broken and to remind everyone to draw close to Him because He really, truly does care about each and every one of His children.”

And that’s ultimately the message behind Where I Find You, enjoying the beauty of God’s presence, praising him with your whole heart and letting your light shine in a world that needs to experience the true grace and hope found only in Jesus.

          For more information on Kari Jobe and her ministry, please visit www.karijobe.com.

Lilies would like to thank Rick Hoganson for providing this biography for us.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Like Dandelion Dust~ Michelle Pell

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
As four-year old Joey sat on the living room floor, playing with his trucks, he had no idea that the conversation that his mother, Wendy Porter, was having on the phone in the kitchen would potentially change his life forever. On the other hand, Wendy almost couldn’t believe her ears! Joey was adopted and the call was from a social worker in Ohio. Joey’s birth mother wanted her son back! She said it was a mistake, the father never legally signed the papers. And now, after almost five years she wanted to remove him from the only home he’d ever known? This couldn’t be happening…could it?
Wendy and her husband, Jack will stop at nothing to keep their son. But Wendy had no idea how far Jack would take it. Will Jack’s crazy scheme to save their child work, or will they not only lose him, but their family and everything they’ve ever known.
Did you know that Haylie and Michelle were friends before Lilies started?! They met on Susie.com

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How to Prep for a Pet~ Heather Young

  1. Ask your parents.
Make sure that it’s okay with your parents if you get a pet. You wouldn’t want to be getting a pet on your own and then say, “Look Mom! I got a puppy!” And then she says, “No, no, no! I will not let this filthy animal in my house!” So, to avoid situations like this, it would be a good idea to get permission from the adult who’s going to have to put up with some aspect of the pet throughout its lifetime. Of course, if you already live on your own, this step does not apply.
  1. Pray about it.
Ask God if this is what he wants you to do with your money. Feel a sense of peace about investing money and time in a pet, especially if it is very expensive.
  1. Save up for it.
There are different methods of saving up for something. You could put away a certain amount of money each month. Also, you could put away a certain type of dollar bill (i.e. $1s, $5s, $10s…etc.). In addition, keeping change in a jar has been a BIG money saver for me; it may take a while, but you probably don’t carry change around to spend, anyway. There are plenty of other ways you could save your money, but these are the methods that I use.
  1. Read up on it.
It’s good to know what you’re getting into when you save up money to buy a pet. You could look it up on the Internet, but there are many different sources with different opinions on how to care for a pet or what supplies a pet needs. I would suggest reading a book about the type of pet you’re planning on getting that was published after 2000, so that the information will be more current.

     5. Find stores that you want to obtain supplies from, and where you want to get the pet.
Unless you want to drive all around to find what stores you want to get supplies from, I would suggest looking on the Internet. To begin, you could search: pet stores in [your city]. Make sure the products have good reviews; sometimes they are falsely advertised.
In my experience, it is better to buy a pet from a breeder rather than a pet store. Animals in stores are often less friendly, not as properly cared for, and in some cases have been improperly bred, causing them to die sooner.
  1. Find out how much each item will cost, including your pet, and add up your cost.
Make sure you have enough money to buy your supplies and pet before you get to the store(s).
  1. Once you have enough money for all of your supplies, buy them from the stores you previously selected.
Buy your supplies before you obtain your pet. This way you will have all it needs when you welcome it home.
  1. Set up your supplies so that they will be in place when you bring your pet home.
If you are getting a small pet, set up your supplies so you won’t scare your pet when you move stuff around inside their cage.
  1. Purchase your pet and bring it home.
This step is pretty self explanatory.
  1. Take good care of your new pet and try to bond with it so that you will have a lasting relationship with one of God’s wonderful creatures.
Try to make it feel comfortable by talking to it, petting it, and spending time with it.
Whether you are going to be getting a hamster or a German shepherd, I hope these tips help you get ready for your new addition!

Did you know that Heather is crafty?!
Did you know that Abby loves to swim and dance?!

Photographs property of Lilies Among Thorns Magazine. Photograph taken by Abby Whear.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bad Hair Day~ Renee Arnold

Are you having a bad hair day today? Or are you prone to fizzy, messy, uncontrollable locks? If so, here are some tips that can help you keep your hair under control for many mornings to come.
If you use lots of heat on your hair like blow dryers or straighteners, you may be ruining your hair. You may think that drying and styling your hair with heat will help you keep it under control but that is not true. Breaking your hair with heat will only make it look worse and make it more unmanageable.
Flyaways are a common problem associated with bad hair days. The best way to control flyaways are to moisturize it using a deep conditioner and again, using less damaging heat products.
You may think there is some fancy science to keeping your hair picture perfect every day, but there really is none. Basically, stop using damaging heat and keep your hair moisturized with a deep conditioner.
Did you know that Renee has absolutely no pain tolerance?!
Did you know that Gina always wears mix matched socks?!

Photograph property of Lilies Among Thorns Magazine. Photograph taken by Gina Vasquez

Monday, January 16, 2012

Interview with Shari Braendel

In October, I had the great privilege to interview fashionista Shari Braendel! This women is the ideal modest women in my eyes. She encourages modesty and fashion and explains how they can go hand in hand. I bought and read her book "Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad" many times and I got more out of it after each read. I highly suggest you check it out! Read this interview with Shari and I'm sure you will love her as much as I do!

Love Always, Haylie Gregory

1)     Why should women dress modestly? Women should dress modestly to honor God, themselves and the guys around them. God’s Word instructs us to NOT trip up our brothers in Christ and immodest dressing does just that. The Word also instructs us to honor God with all our hearts and minds and by dressing modestly we do that. But understand that I believe that modesty doesn’t mean fuddy duddy, it can be stylish, fashionable and fun!

2) What inspired you to write "Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad"?   I never planned on writing a book but I started getting invited to churches all across the nation to speak and afterward women and girls would ask for a resource to take home so the book was born. Zondervan saw it as a great resource for Christian women and took a chance on publishing the first ever (and still only) Christian fashion guide for women in the marketplace.

3)What is your favorite fashion season? Fall, for sure. I wear warm colors all year round due to my coloring and having a plethora of hues to choose from that suit me is this fashionista’s dream!

4)What should every teenaged girl have in her closet? A great pair of jeans, lots of long cami’s and a pair of ballet flats.

5)What would you tell every girl who wanted to be more modest or live modestly? I would tell her to remember that fashion meets faith the minute she decides what to put on her body each day and that her clothing choices are going to show the world who she is and what she believes.  Society will try to teach her that dressing modestly isn’t fashionable and it absolutely can be. I would advise her to be creative with her clothes and show her personality thru her style but never compromise her values.

6) Who are your fashion icons? Why? The only book I keep in my living room (besides my bible which seems to travel from room to room) is a coffee table book called A Matter of Style . It’s a portrait of 10 women who changed fashion and so many of those women shaped my views of fashion and the industry. My favorites are Coco Chanel for her classic style, Katherine Hepburn because she was unconventional in her dressing by stepping out and wearing pants way before anyone else and Mary Quant because she had so much to say about style and the way it affected people. I read and re-read that book.

7)What is one of your fashion weaknesses? Only one? LOL. That would have to be handbags. I have a rule that when I buy a new one, I give one away, otherwise there would be no room for my clothes. I just bought a fabulous (I mean FABULOUS) Michael Kors classic huge bag that I’m planning on carrying for a very long time. However I just caught myself in the purse department the other day and made myself leave before I bought another bag.

8)What NEVER goes out of style? Hopefully my Michael Kors handbag!
And also, a classic blazer, ballet flats, silver or gold hoop earrings, jeans and a simple white t-shirt. Put them all together and you’ve got a great outfit.

9) What is one thing you cannot live without? I must have at least one cat at all times. Right now I have three, Belle, Lily and Olive. A girl’s gotta have limits, right? Okay, my husband limited me to three, but I will probably be the little old woman in my nineties who lives in a cottage by the lake with a dozen little furry friends! I just love them so much because they have amazing beauty and such individual personalities.

10) What are some tips you would give to a girl who wants to be a junior fashionista? Be true to who you are and don’t be afraid to show your style by wearing clothes the way that only you can. Only a fashionista would understand what I mean by that. Also, read every fashion magazine and style book you can get your hands on. I would live in the library if I could, just reading all the books on style, beauty and fashion that I could. I still do that on occasion.

Random Questions:

1) You never leave the house with/without...?  I never leave the house without my sunglasses. I never leave the house with: my cats! They have to stay home.

2) Would we ever catch you in jeans and a T-shirt? Jeans, yes; T-shirt, no

3) Muffins or Cupcakes? Cupcakes for sure, hopefully with lots of frosting!

4) Sour candy or Sweet candy? Sweet, especially white chocolate

5) Photographs or Paintings? Paintings

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

If you haven't seen the Mission Impossible series I HIGHLY recommend them. I absolutely love this series. It's action packed with a little romance here and a little saving the world there. It's a mix between James Bond and the Bourne series to me. This new Mission Impossible was just as great as the others if not better.
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) accepts another mission in order to stop the world from being destroyed. Him along with a team of three others accept this dangerous mission and risk their lives doing so. Along with the dangerous acts that await them there are also secrets being kept from each other. Secrets that can change a lot. Can they get past these secrets in order to stop the bad guys? Can they accomplish their mission? Watch this highly anticipated and action pack sequel with new twist and turns along the way. When Ethan Hunt accepts his mission and starts of on this mission though it seems impossible, many bad things happen. They get found attempting to break into the Kremlin a greatly guarded building in Russia. This ignites Ghost Protocol where Ethan and his team are threatened to be blamed for the entire thing by the U.S. Despite this act, Ethan and his team get away from the Russians and the Americans but they still have to stop a Nuclear Weapon from being used. A nuclear weapon that only they can stop. Do they succeed? Watch and find out.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is rated PG-13. This movie is very clean with little cursing. There was 1 s*** and 3 or 4 muttered d***s, and one guy raises his middle finger to another guy. Two agents kiss, it lasts like 10 seconds. There is low cut tops and some high cut skirts. I rate this a 4.8/5.
Did you know that Kari has read the the Twilight Series over 25 times?!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

To Often Forgotten~ Haylie Gregory

I sit here on your old nightstand,

Forgotten like a 60’s band.

Abandoned, neglected, cast aside

Discarded, over looked, not worth trying to find.

I’m collecting dust and growing old.

My pages yellowing at the fold.

I’m buried underneath your stuff

That you once thought would be enough.

How long has it been since you’ve opened me?

How long has it been since you’ve felt free?

Free from your worries? Free from your sin?

Free from your heartache and your fear within?

Open me. Let His Word come in.

Please! Open me! Let His work begin.

Did you know that Haylie loves spicy food?!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

YWAM~ A Be the Change Article by Emily Ciszewski

Loren Cunningham had a vision.

A map of the world laid out before his eyes - waves covering the continents - completely washing over them! He sat up in his bed - wide awake, but the picture went on; he soon realized the waves were people, kids really - some were around his 20 years and others even younger! The kids were talking to people all over, on the street, in front of bars, house to house - witnessing to the world!

20 year old Loren tried to grasp it - “Was it really you Lord? Why did you give me this vision?”

Loren was on a summer trip to the Bahamas, singing with a gospel quartet and sharing a home with some missionaries. He returned to college after brake with the vision and mission he’d received from God.
After college it started, in 1960. He became a minister and a youth director of activities. A missions trip to Hawaii proved to be an encouragement to the vision.

A vision for Youth with a Mission - sending out volunteer youth after high school - it would be a “prioritizer” for teens in search of adventure filled life with God.

In 1969 YWAM had it’s first year of school at a newly renovated hotel, with a total of 36 students. So Switzerland became it’s 1st base after Loren’s mission bought it.

Loren’s ministry was on perfect timing - many of the kids joining the School of Evangelism had no Christian back-ground - they had become Christ followers during the “Jesus Movement” of the 1970s.

Soon another school began, and this one would be for discipleship training. YWAM just kept growing, and kids just kept going for the Lord!

Soon Loren started a world-wide shipping ministry! The Anastastis was YWAM’s 1st ship to go out and distribute goods to the poor of the world! These Mercy Ships were working! Things just kept growing!

YWAM now has bases all over the world, in the lowest of places and the highest of capitals. Kids of all ages (the young at heart count as well) are preaching God’s Word - YWAMers are on streets, going house to house, sharing the gospel, and it’s just starting.

You can be apart of YWAM’s mission.1. Go help. You can go to a school nearest you and train, soon you can be changing lives!
2. Pray for YWAM - prayer is under-estimated these days! God has an anointing on YWAM and your words of petition to God can raise it’s steeple higher!
3. Send money - want to see people serving the Lord and following their passion for Him? YWAM could always use your help!

YWAM is not about money, giving everything away for the sake of Jesus is their true mission.
God’s Word is final say on everything.

And as it’s been said - the rest is history, although I think it’s better said this way - This history is making the future.

Want to know more? Check out

Mark 16:15 - check it out in your Bible, is God calling you?

Did you know that Emily has been in over 7 plays?!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

5 Fashion Do Not's~ Haylie Gregory

Almost every girl wants to know what is fashionable and in style. If you are reading this, you are probably one of them or you can simply be curious. What is ‘in’ and what is ‘out’ changes all the time, but there are 5 things that will NEVER be in style.

~Your Bra Straps: You may think that it’s a trend, but honey, it is SO tacky. Don’t ever go there. Bras are not to be seen so why go showing them?

~ Your TaTa’s: This should be a no-brainer. Keep the ladies hidden. This is a private part and private means ‘not to be seen by anyone but you’. Tell your tata’s ta ta and invest in some undershirts.

~ Your Hiney: I know it’s hard to find jeans that don’t ride down when you squat or bend over, but there are ways to cover it. You can wear a longer shirt that covers the often revealed area or invest in a belt. Now you have no excuses so no more hiney!

~Your Tummy: Ask yourself this, would you go to church wearing a shirt that revealed your tummy? Need I say more?

~ Your Underwear: This kind of goes hand in hand with covering your hiney. Make sure that you are not flashing your underwear at anyone. Also, if you can see the outline of your underwear or especially the color of your underwear, DO NOT go out of your house, better yet, don’t even walk around your house like that! If you can see the outline of your underwear your pants might be too tight or your underwear might be too big and are bunching up. If you see the color, wear a white or flesh-colored pair. Remember, they are called UNDERwear for a reason.

We dress modestly for a few reasons…

1)      To respect the temple that God gave us

2)      To help our brother in Christ not sin

3)      To show others that there is more to you than your body

If you remember these 5 Do Not’s, or what I like to call them ‘Don’t Your Ever or I’ll Find You’s, you will be off to an amazing start at being fashionable and modest!

Did you know that Haylie's two favorite flowers are lilies and daisies?!

Monday, January 9, 2012

With All My Heart: Waiting for the Man God Has for Me~ Hogan Stevens

Just the other day, I was talking with my father, telling him that if the time ever comes when a boy shows interest in me that I would like to be courted. I've had this dream for quite some time now, and whenever I voice it, many people give me skeptical looks or make a scoffing remark. Not everyone understands my desire to have and to give my heart to just one man in my life. I've even had some tell me, "Well, good luck with that" as if I am delusional in thinking that there are any decent young men left in this world that would share my beliefs.
When I told this to my dad, his simple response was enough to give me more hope in believing my future husband is out there, waiting just for me.
"There are lots of guys out there that feel the same as you, Hogan. Don't worry."
He said this with such confidence that I knew it must be true. Just looking at my kind, loving father I know that there are still men out there that are capable of giving that special, one of a kind love that I wish for my future. They are out there, girls; we just have to be patient and trust that God will bring them to us in His time.
Of course, there are many boys out there who see dating as an opportunity to get with as many girls as they can, to see just who they can sway with their charms and claim as their own. I know that may sound a little harsh, but it's true, and I am sorry for that.
Just as equally, there are girls out there who want to be with as many guys as possible just because it is "cool" or expected by their peers. They are willing to give their heart to any boy that gives them the time of day, and they are sometimes willing to even do whatever he wants just to please him for fear that he will leave if she refuses.
And then when that boy loses interest, her heart breaks...and she tries to find another that could be her Prince Charming, that could be "the One".
Nowadays, society deems such dating acceptable. Boy meets girl. Boy flirts with girl, asks her on a date. Before you know it, they're an item doing everything together, acting as though they are head over heels in love--when they are actually just acting upon infatuation, not love. And relationships based purely on simply a crush or lust is a relationship that will not last.
But there is another way.
Instead of going out with whomever you please and setting yourself up for disappointment when you realize you do not know a person as well as you thought, you can choose to go about the whole dating thing cautiously.
For me, I make it clear to others that I have standards. I am not just some girl that can be taken by whoever takes a fancy to me. No, I stay low under the radar, not going anywhere near dating. To me, the term for dating has been corrupted. To nearly everyone now, dating is simply a game, a way to pass the time. A way to lose your heart.
You see, by going from guy to guy, having your heart broken and in turn breaking hearts, a girl gives a piece of her own heart away to every guy she goes out with. And years from now, when she is married and with children she may come to a rough spot in her life and look back on those years she spent dating all of those boys...and she might long for another man that is not her husband.
I don't think any girl wants that, right? You must guard your heart most diligently, protect and keep it for that one man that God has chosen for you. Love is something sacred and precious and not to be given lightly.
That is why, with all of my heart, I would love to be courted.
Perhaps you have not heard of courting, so I will try to explain it as best I can--though I might not have all the details a hundred percent accurate. In my mind, courting goes something like this: A girl and boy become friends, nothing more. They get to know each other as any friend would and they develop a bond accordingly. And then over time, they might both acknowledge that they have feelings for one another and that they might be ready for a serious relationship. It is then that the boy might ask if he could start courting the girl to see if they would be compatible for a romantic relationship. By courting her, he would take her out to public places (most likely accompanied by friends or family members) and they would try to see if they would make a good couple. Everything would be taken slowly; they might not even choose to kiss--or even hold hands--until they were engaged or even married. They would pray about it, of course, asking God if it was His will they were together. Courting is not something that is taken lightly. The boy and girl would be thinking of this relationship in terms of the future, to see if they would do well as a married couple.
Obviously, this is greatly varied from how dating is perceived by most teens and even adults. Of course, I am not saying that everyone who chooses to date is going about it in the wrong way, but I believe that courting is so much safer. Safer for you. For him. For your hearts. Because when you take your relationships as seriously as that, it is much more difficult for you to lose your heart to someone that you barely know and who could not be the one for you.
Never let others tell you that your beliefs are a waste or that you should stop trying so hard to go by God's standards. Because He already has your story planned out..you just have to be willing to give all of your trust to Him, to give Him your whole heart for protection until you find that man that He has for you. And when you find him, if he truly loves you he will listen to your beliefs and not try to force you into something you are not comfortable with.
Someday, I hope to marry the man that loves me unconditionally and that loves God even more. I want to be able to tell him that I waited for God to bring him to me and that I saved myself and my heart--my whole heart--just for him. It's possible, believe me. Even if you have already dated others and maybe even given parts of yourself away, it is never too late to ask your Heavenly Father to guide you in the right direction when it comes to finding the right one for you. God cares--He truly does--and He will never lead you wrong.
All it takes is faith, trust...and a little patience.
Did you know that Hogan wishes she had a '73 Corvette StringRay?!
Did you know that Jess's favorite season is summer?!

Photograph property of Lilies Among Thorns Magazine. Photograph taken by Jess Mc

Friday, January 6, 2012

Owl City~ All Things Bright and Beautiful Review by Michelle Pell

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Owl City is an electronica musical project by singer/songwriter Adam Young. Like many bands started in the 2000s, Owl City gained popularity on social networks before being discovered by Universal records.
All Things Bright and Beautiful is Young’s third album, preceded by an EP, Of June, and his debut album Ocean Eye’s along with hit single, “Fireflies.”
If you’re looking for something new and fresh to mix up your current playlists, you must check this out. Every one of his songs is so fun and whimsical, they even make me laugh out loud sometimes. No matter what genre you tend to favor I’m convinced that this will be a new favorite for you.
Track List:
1. The Real World
2. Dear in the Headlights (my favorite!)
3. Angels
4. Dreams Don’t Turn to Dust
5. Honey and the Bee
6. Kamikaze
7. January 26, 1986
8. Galaxies
9. Hospital Flowers
10. Alligator Sky (Album Version)
11. The Yacht Club
12. Plant Life
13. Alligator Sky
14. How I Became the Sea
15. Shy Violet
Did you know that Michelle loves vintage jewelry?!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A New Beginning~ Rachel Melillo

I love starting new journals. Something about the fresh, never-been-tainted pages hits me and gives me an extra dose of joy. To me, the start of a new journal is a new beginning—it's God's reminder to me that His grace and mercies are new each morning. When I flip a page, it's clean and fresh; it's a new beginning.

As I page through my old journals, I note the variety of colors and emotion painted on the pages—tear drops smearing ink, sketches and doodles, brightly colored pens scripting the word “Yay!!!!!!!” in large capital letters. On my present journals, many of the same emotions are written in the used pages, but on the next page there's always a fresh start. A perfectly white, clean page.

Our lives aren't pretty. I've had my fair-share of disappointments and heartache. But at the beginning of the day, I've got to acknowledge that there's nothing that I can do about yesterday. I can't change the past. In Philippians 3, Paul offers the advice, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” There's nothing we can do about yesterday; it's over. Today is all we can change, and what we do today can change what happens tomorrow.

We've just entered a New Year. It's another new beginning. And with new beginnings comes the opportunity to make resolutions. This year, I'm going to base my New Year's resolution off Philippians 3:13-14 (quoted above). This year, I'm going to make my resolution to focus on what's going to happen today, not dwelling on what happened yesterday.

Did you know that Rachel's favorite time of the day is sunrise because it reminds her of God's new mercies?!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

15 Winter Date Ideas

1. Arts and crafts are always something fun and silly to do together. Your man might not be the most creative out there but making paper snowflakes or any other craft will bring out his playful/creative side!
2. I don’t know one guy who doesn’t like to go sledding at least once every year! This date is cheap and easy, all you need is snow, a hill and a sled. Now GO!
3. Visit a book store! Go to a book store together and pick out a book together that you both would like to read together. My boyfriend and I enjoy picking out couple’s devotionals and reading them together. It’s a great way to straighten any relationship.
4. Volunteer at an animal shelter once a week. Most people are huge animal lovers, so unless you or your date has an allergy to animals this would be a fun and free date idea!
5. Movie night with family is a safe date to do in the Winter. Find the nearest Redbox and buy a good comedy or drama along with a bag of popcorn. This is a great way for you and your date to get to know the others family.
6. Have a game night, take that game of Scrabble or Apples to Apples and play together or with family and friends. Game nights help to learn more about each other and make great memories to go alone with it.
7. Make dinner together. My boyfriend and I always find this one fun. You can cook something out of the old family cookbook or make up your own recipe!
8. Make fireplace s’mores! If either one of you has a real fireplace light it up and cook some s’mores!
9. Who doesn’t enjoy a trip to the mall!?
10. Ice skating is a great way to learn to trust each other a little more. If you’re like me and have never been ice skating and your boyfriend does this date could make for a good learning experience for you!
11. Have a video game tournament with him. Nothing will touch his heart more than plopping down on the couch next to him and challenging him to a game Call of Duty!
12. Bowling is also another way to challenge your man’s skills!
13. Museums a fun way to spend the day together. You can learn together and play together depending on what museum you visit!
14. Build a snowman! If you get snow in the winter like I do there’s nothing like going outside, being creative and making a snowman. Use food coloring or spray paint and give old Frosty some color. Visit a GoodWill or other thrift store and buy Frosty a hat and coat. Have fun with it! Paint him your favorite Football team’s colors or paint a bunch of different things on him.
15. Go see a sports game. This may be a bit on the pricey side, but nothing beats a local basketball (Sadly not this year) or football game!
Whatever you do this year remember to keep it safe and have fun with everything you do. Don’t take things too seriously, if something doesn’t work out the way you planned it make the best out of it. The messed up dates are normally the ones that make for the greatest memories!
Did you know that Haley loves all animals?!