Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Story of Joseph~ Short Story by Nataleigh Robinson

“I don’t deserve this.”
            My face hit the rough stone ground as the prison warden threw me into my new home, a prison cell, I didn’t deserve this.  I had worked hard for my master and mistress harder than all the rest of their slaves put together.  So why had my mistress sent me here?  I ran up to the grate in the door and shouted out to the wardens receding figure. “I’m innocent I don’t deserve to be here.” 
          “That’s what they all say.”  The warden laughed without turning around he turned a corner and a door slammed in the distance.  I was alone in this dank smell.  I take that back there were the rats who I found got more of my food than I did.  
          I slumped down to the ground and looked up at the single bright star that shone through the small window engraved in the wall.  “Oh God.”  I prayed.  “Don’t let me die here you know I don’t deserve this.”  I sighed as I thought about what I had said and then I added “But you know what’s best for my life and I trust you.”  With that I lay down and slept a long and peaceful sleep.
          You may be wondering how I got into this situation and why I don’t deserve to be here.  Well let me explain in order to do so we need to go back to when I was about 17.  No even farther for the year I turned 10 was when this story really begins
                             About 10 years before
          I came from a fairly large family.  I live with my mother, father and younger brother, Ben.  But beyond that my aunt and her seven children live with us.  We also have a decent amount of servants two of which have two children of their own giving us a grand total of 13 children and about 7 adults including servants. 
          My mother, Rachel was barren for most of my parents’ marriage and so it was that my father thought of my cousin Reuben as a son and even told my aunt that Reuben would get my father’s inheritance when he died.  So you can imagine my aunt’s sorrow when I was born and therefore her and all my cousins especially Judd found they were jealous of me. 
          My father worked as a farmer and when I was of decent age he had me help my cousins in the fields.  Thinking back I am certain that that was when my troubles began.  I well remember the first time I was ever to help them.  I was just about 10 and had a big mouth which my cousins hated. 
          “Well Joe it’s the first time you are to help your cousins with the chores.  Do you think you’re ready?”  My father asked me only days after my 10th birthday I nodded vigorously and my father handed me a small bucket.  “Don’t get in the way now you hear.  Just go over there,” He pointed to the field where I could barely see the top of my cousin Izzie’s head.  “And just hold the bucket for Izzie to put stuff in, all right” I nodded again and took off running toward Izzie.      
          I reached Izzie out of breath.
          “What are you doing here twerp.”  Izzie scolded me. 
          “Father said I could hold the bucket for you.”  Izzie narrowed his eyes at me unbelieving.
          “I’m 10 now you know that’s old enough to at least hold the bucket.” 
          “Are you sure?”  He jeered at me bending down to get close to my face.  “Once there’s stuff in it gets pretty heavy.  I don’t think a little shrimp like you would be able to carry it all the way back to the house much less lift it up to the table.”  I stuck my lip out and my eyes began to fill with tears.
          “Ahh leave him be Izzie.”  Reuben spoke up.   “He can hold the bucket if not for you then for me.”  Izzie crossed his arms and grunted. 
          “Fine then he can help you.  I don’t want a little snitch to be working with me all day.”
          “Why?  You got something to hide Izzie?”  I’d never seen any of my cousins speechless but especially not Izzie but Izzie was sure speechless right about then.  “Come on Joe you can come hold the bucket for me.”  I followed Reuben around the corner and for the rest of the day held the bucket for him while he filled it with different sorts of veggies. 
          I found myself going back and forth from the house to the garden with the bucket.  Izzie hadn’t been kidding when he said that the bucket was heavy.  But Dinah, yet another one of my cousins was a great help in getting the heavy bucket on the table and emptied and she even put the vegetables away in the cellar so I didn’t have to go down the rickety old stairs and into that dark and scary cellar.  Of course later in my life I would have to live in many dark and scary places but not for another 7 years. 
          I spent the next 7 years working alongside my cousins in different things.  But I got myself into quiet a bit of trouble when I was about 16, my cousins did some unmentionable things that I found impossible to keep from my father.  And so it was that I earned the name tattletale as well as some other unmentionable names.  Although I do have to say I was quite prideful and rubbed things in their faces.  Which I’m sure made them madder. 
          One day my mother called me and my cousins Zeb and Levi into the house.  Holding my three year old brother Ben on her hip she gave us her instructions “I need you three to go into town and get some things for me.”  She handed Levi a list and some money and me a bag to put things in. 
          While we were in town Levi and Zeb were window shopping as well.  Suddenly Zeb cried out “look at this Levi.  Look at this coat isn’t it beautiful.”  Levi and I walked over to the window that Zeb was looking into.  And Levi gasped.
          “It is gorgeous Zeb.”  And I thought so too it was a beautiful deerskin coat and it looked expensive. 
          When we got home I immediately asked my father for it.  My cousins all laughed even Reuben whom had taken quite a liking to me.  “its way too expensive you’ll have to raise your own money for something like that.” 
          “Besides,” Zeb said laughing uncontrollably, “It probably wouldn’t even fit you properly you’re as skinny as a stick.  That coat’s meant for strong men not weak 17 year old boys. I frowned but I refused to let their jeering get my hopes down. 
          Sure enough about a month later was my 17th birthday and I received the deerskin coat.  This was the worst thing that my father could have done for me for it made my cousins very jealous of me.
          About a week later my father sent me out to get my cousins who were working in the fields.  That was the last time I ever saw him.  The boys had gone out early in the morning with the cows to find fresher pastures.  I found them in a lush field they were doing something beside an old dried up well.  I ran up to them.  “Judd, Izzie, Levi, Zeb, Reuben what are you doin?”  What a stupid question.  If I had just told them what I had come to tell them instead of always butting into things that were none of my business then maybe I wouldn’t be where I am today.  But as it is I didn’t. 
          “Did your father send you here to spy on us Joe? You seem to be good at it.”
          “No he didn’t” I said getting closer and closer to them by the second.  As soon as I was close enough they jumped me Judd held a knife to my throat.  “I should just kill him now Reuben.” 
          “No we can’t kill our own flesh and blood throw him in the well as we agreed.”  Even then with the knife pressed against my throat, even at Reuben’s suggestion of throwing me into that terrible well, I am thankful of him that I am still alive.  
          I spent the rest of the day in that dark hole.  The sun was down and the moon high in the sky when they finally let down a rope to me.  But when I reached the top I found that it wasn’t my cousins after all but Bandit’s whom my cousins had sold me to.  As they tied me up and threw me on one of the horses.  I could see Judd’s yellow smile and the shine of silver as he counted the money from a bag that the bandits had thrown him and as I looked closer I saw 5 more faces surrounding him the faces of my cousins and a sudden laugh rent the air.  Simon’s laugh he had the most evil laugh of all my cousins.  The last thing that struck my mind as the bandits spurred the horses on is that Reuben was not with them and I hoped even then that he had not been part of that wicked plan.
          We rode for quite some time before finally getting to the rich town of Gaza . The bandit’s sold me to a man named Ishmael Potts.  I made the best of my status and before long I was Potts most trusted servant and his wife’s personal attendant, a job I would have much rather passed up. 
          One day Ishmael went out on business and I was left to care for his wife.  The only problem as I was soon to discover was that Ella had fallen deeply in love with my tan skin and strong arms.  I was out on the terrace overseeing some things when she came up behind me.  “Joe,” she whispered “As you know my husband is not here.  Come away with me to my husband’s chamber.  Ishmael will never know.”  I gasped in surprise.
          “My lady your husband trusts me with everything in this house including you.  None of the servants have as much authority as I do.  I have access to every room and possession in this house.  But you are his wife I can not do this evil thing.  It would be a sin if not against you then against your husband, my master and against my God.”  She was furious at me and when her husband returned she accused me of trying to seduce her.  I tried to reason with him but he wouldn’t hear of it and therefore had me thrown into this prison that I am in even now. 
          Although much has changed since you came in at the beginning of the story.  Now the warden respects me and actually lets me out everyday and I help him to feed the other prisoners.  So it is that I know that God has everything under control.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get out of this prison (although that cup bearer said he would do all he could to get me out) it really doesn’t matter anymore because I know He has it all under control.  I do hope to one day see my family again I forgave my cousins long ago and now all I want to do is give them a great big hug every single one of them.  I don’t know what God has in store for me but whatever it is, even if it’s staying in this old musty prison for the rest of my days I know that it’s part of God’s plan. 
          For a closing note I’ll just say this: Remember that no matter what life throws at you.  It’s part of God’s plan and he’s watching out for you.  And not to worry if dreams can tell the future I’ve got nothing to worry about.  After all one of the nickname’s my cousins gave me was “dreamer” But I must stop now for the warden is shooing me back into my cell.  The guards are coming and I must not be seen out of my cell.
          Story found in Genesis 37, 39 & 35:23-26
        Story continued in Genesis 41-45  

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Flip Side~ Zachary Tingle

Dear Zachary,
   Ok I really like this guy from my church. I only see him at church gatherings but he is the first guy that I like. To make things awkward he is my best friend’s brother. I know that he likes me, but how should I tell him I like him???
Need A Guy-Guide

Dear Need A Guy-Guide,

    Several things come to mind when you ask this and I think it will be helpful some of our other readers as well.
            The first thing that comes to mind is a story. One of my dear friends and a brother in the Lord had become good friends with a girl. They got to see each other several times per week and he had asked for prayer about pursuing her as a potential wife. We prayed with and for him for about two weeks when came to us and explained that the Lord had closed the door on this relationship fairly abruptly. We all congratulated him on answered prayer, but he shook his head. “No, I really still like this girl. She is beautiful, joyful, and her heart is totally sold out for the Lord.” The rest us guys were a little perplexed and asked what the problem was.  He shook his head sadly, “she approached me today and told me she liked me and that it would be nice to get to know each other better. I just can’t seek a woman as wife if she doesn’t trust me enough to allow me to initiate.” This is a true story and those two people haven’t talked since.
            The next thing that comes to mind is that attraction can be a dangerous companion (“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”- Jeremiah 17:9). Following your heart is so dangerous! The desire for a human companion (a spouse) was designed by God but it was totally corrupted when Adam and Eve sinned. When our first parents sinned it severed the relationship between all of us and God. This one action left a hole that each of us wants to fill. That hole is not made to be filled by a human companion!!
            Being attracted to someone of the opposite sex is normal and unfortunately unavoidable. Attraction was designed to be the first step toward marriage, not the first step in the meaningless high school dating game. I assume by the fact that this is your first that you are not yet at a place to be considering marriage; therefore there is no good to be gained by allowing this romance to blossom.
            The Bible has a lot to say about marriage but not much to say about courtship (it pretty much assumes that parents will arrange the marriage and then it is the responsibility of the couple to glorify God with the covenant that was arranged). In Ephesians 5:1-21 there are some great guidelines for life before marriage. I won’t break down the whole chapter for you, but the gist of it is that we are to live lives that are so much like the example of Christ that impurity cannot even be named among us. I do not mean we are to flaunt our purity (brag that we are better than everyone else) but rather we are to represent the Lord. The vast majority (over 98%) of romantic relationships started in high school do not end marriage, but they end in heartbreak.
            Now to answer your question directly; you as a woman should never tell a man that you are romantically interested in him before he chooses to pursue you. God ordained for men to lead where romance is concerned. This is neither demeaning to women nor empowering to men it simply the way God set things up. If your friend’s brother has not said anything to you it is because he is not yet ready to lead you in a relationship before God (though I would encourage you to tell him no even if he did so). Allowing romance to grow before both of you are honestly ready to leave home and live in covenant with one another is EXTREMELY dangerous. It allows two young people to have emotional intimacy without responsibility which will eventually lead to sexual immorality (which we are told shouldn’t even have to be named).
            I pray that you seek the Lord to fulfill the desire for companionship and love. The moment that you can honestly say that you do not need a man in your life because you are full in Christ is the moment you are ready to be swept off your feet. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33).


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Make-Up Shelf Life~ Renee Arnold

Makeup does not last forever. It might be hard to believe, but there does come a point when your makeup stops being effective and can do more bad to your face than good.

For example, mascara should never be kept more than two or three months. When the brush is used and put back in the tube it collects bacteria that lingers there and then is put back in contact with your eye the next day. Lingering bacteria can cause pink eye, redness or itchiness. If you develop any of these symptoms, makeup artist Pati Dubroff recommends throwing away all of your eye makeup that has come in contact with your eyes since the redness started, and if your eyes are still irritated two days later, see an eye doctor.

Foundation should be replaced at least once a year unless it's unopened – then you can hang onto it for a few years. Keeping foundation and using it for too long can reverse its effects, causing skim breakouts.

Eye shadows and eye liners stay good for about three months. These too can cause bad eye irritation if the bacteria comes in contact with your eyes because it has lingered for too long.

Lastly, makeup tools can last for years as long as they are still in good shape and not fraying. To keep your brushes in good condition, you should cleanse them every two weeks using a gentle shampoo and letting them dry upright. Cheap makeup sponges should be pitched after two uses because the little sponges suck up too much makeup and are home to bacteria pits. Disgusting right?

Now that you're aware, use these tips to make sure your makeup is helping you, not harming you!

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

Monday, May 28, 2012

How to Draw Rapunzel~ Hogan Stevens

**I use two different pencils: HB for the start, and then 2B when finishing the look.**
First, start with a circle. Make sure you use the HB pencil for starting out because the led is softer and therefore erases easily.
Now let's draw a rough outline of her jaw and chin...Her face will be turned slightly, so her chin will be more to the left. Leave the ear off for now. We'll get to that in a bit.
Sketch in her eyes. They sort of resemble orange peels, right? The one on the left will be slightly higher than the other, though they are pretty much the same in appearance.
Go ahead and fill in the eyes, drawing the pupils quite large. Make notice just how the orbs of her eyes are positioned.
Also, darken the upper lash line.
Add some eyelids just above her lashes. Now, notice I've also added a vertical line, which is in the middle of the face and curves from her forehead toward her chin, though it stops just below her nose. The horizontal line at the bottom of this vertical one helps me estimate where I'll put her lips in a bit.
When drawing the nose, make sure your strokes are gentle. Don't try to draw in the whole nose--with nostrils and tip and everything. Just adding the hint of an outline is all you need.
Now for the mouth. Starting at that line we used to indicate the position of her top lip, go ahead and sketch that in. The right will curve longer than the other and move slightly upwards. After you're satisfied with the top, fill in the bottom lip. Rapunzel will be smiling in this drawing, so her lips will be parted to reveal some of her teeth.
Instead of attempting to draw the teeth themselves, simply darken the shadowed area of her mouth, leaving white the parts that indicate her teeth.
Once you're finished with that, you can go ahead and erase your helping lines for the mouth and nose. I went ahead and drew a very faint line on her forehead to indicate where her eyebrows should go, and then I carefully drew them both in. Her left brow will be slightly obscured by a lock of hair, so go ahead and quickly sketch that in for later. Notice at the very top of the forhead where the hair starts from.
Go ahead and finish what you've started and draw in the other swoop of hair at the right, erasing the last of the circle. The right swoosh of hair goes down to cover her ear, which you can now draw in, connecting it with her jaw.
Finish up the hair. Rapunzel's hair is very flowy and long, so we'll try our best to convey that here.
I've sort of started on her neck and shoulders...
...and now I've gone ahead and drawn them out. Her gown has a bit of lace about the collar, and her shoulders and rounded.
That's pretty much it! Now, take your darker 2B pencil and begin the process of darkening her lines. Go boldly over your lines, erasing any of the mistakes you made earlier, and shade in her eyes and mouth nicely.
There you go! My version isn't a perfect replica by far, but at least you can tell who it is!
It's Rapunzel. :]
Did you know that Hogan doesn't like roller skating?!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lady in Waiting by Jackie Kendall & Debby Jones ~ A Book Review by Michelle Pell

Lady in Waiting ~ Jackie Kendall & Debby Jones
Becoming God’s Best While Waiting for Mr. Right
*Expanded Edition: Includes Journal and Study Guide

5 out of 5 Stars

Original Text:  Waiting for God’s best can be hard, but if your single days are spent preparing for the day you will marry, they can be some of the best years of your life. Using the story of Ruth in the Bible, authors Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones present practical advice about becoming ladies of reckless abandonment to our Savior, diligence, faith, virtue, devotion, purity, security, contentment, conviction, and patience. But obtaining all these virtues may seem overwhelming. That is why the authors depicted how to put each one of these virtues into practice through Ruth’s amazing story. This book opened my eyes to the amazing woman of God Ruth really was. I learned about her commitment to her mother-in-law, her diligent service, her faith in God, and her pure attitude toward the opposite gender.

Study Guide: In the back of the “Expanded Edition” is a powerful study guide. It takes each chapter and gives scripture references along with thought-provoking questions to help you dig deeper into the Book of Ruth and the rest of God’s word. Purchasing the “Expanded Edition” is worth it just for this aspect.

Forty-Day Meditational Journal: “The purpose of the meditational journal,” say the authors, “is to introduce you to a fresh and exciting way of enhancing your personal life and enriching your spiritual journey.”

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Keeping the Ropes Attached~ Rachel Melillo

When I was in high school, I went on a day-trip with my youth group to Gordon College to spend the afternoon with a select number of teenagers interested in leadership in their youth group. I went—excited about the prospect of being on the high-ropes equipment and learning more about becoming a good leader.
                When we got there, we were given a quick introduction to the equipment and how it worked. MY first quest was walking across a narrow bridge. I estimated it to be one of the easier tasks, so I chose to do it first. When it was my turn, I started climbing up the tree to get up there. About halfway up, I got stuck and couldn’t see a way to climb any higher.  I looked down trying to see how far I was away from the ground, only to see that I was a good eight feet away from solid ground. Feeling that there was no way to turn back and no way to press on, I panicked. A couple people on the ground tried to give me directions on what to do next, but I couldn’t figure it out based on what they were saying. Finally, I managed to get to the next step and up to the top with help from the trained leader holding my ropes so that I didn’t fall.

Lesson 1: Trust the One holding your ropes.

                I got up to the bridge and took the first step across. The narrow, wooden bridge wobbled and I panicked. However, with the coaching of the trained leader, I continued to walk to the other side.   A couple times, I started to lose my balance and he pulled my ropes tighter to make sure I didn’t fall.  The gesture felt like a distant hug, though the person making the effort seemed far away, the action still had the intended effect.  However, if my ropes weren’t on right or had some problem, I could have fallen about two stories and gotten seriously injured.

Lesson 2: Make sure your ropes are strong.

                Finally when I made it across, I was instructed to go to the middle of the bridge. At first, I looked at the guy like he was crazy—why had I made it to the other side just to go back to the middle.  Trusting him, I took the few steps to the center of the bridge.  His next words were even more difficult to swallow, “Now I want you to fall backwards in a sitting position.” What!? He wants me to fall? I thought. 
Sometimes we have to do things and go places that are hard. They don’t make sense and they seem crazy to us. But as long as your ropes are strong and attached to God, He’ll make sure you’re alright.

Lesson 3: Don’t be afraid to trust God and do what He says.

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
    for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
                                                Psalm 9:9-10

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Word From the Wise (The Wise Being God)

 Dear Nadia,

My parents are really over-protective.  Mostly my Mom.  I feel like I can't do anything without her watching me or telling me I can't.  There are a few things that I want to do that I don't see any harm in.  She says no.  I've tried talking to her.  She says I'm just too young and I need to adjust my attitude.  But I don't think I have an attitude at all - I'm just frustrated!  What should I do?  I can't just wait to get older! That takes too long!

 ~Not Old Enough for Anything

Dear Not Old Enough for Anything,

I know this sounds cliche, but your mom is doing what she does because
she loves you. You might not want to hear it, but it's true. With
regards to your attitude, keep on having a good attitude! 1 Peter 3:8
says, "Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, [sisterly]
love, a tender heart, and a humble mind." I challenge you: each time
you feel like you are unfairly judged as having a bad attitude and
every time you have to wait to do something until you are older, have
a joyful attitude! Like Proverbs 17:22 says, "A joyful heart is good

God has called us to be obedient to our parents and to go even
farther: to HONOR them (Exodus 20:12), which ties back into having a
good attitude. I think God is giving you a good opportunity to
practice even more your humility and patience. You can glorify Him by
continuing to strive to have a good attitude, and in the process you
will bless your mom and show her that you want to gain her trust by
displaying a patient, humble heart.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hot Topic~ Store Review by Renee Arnold

Hot Topic is a very popular clothing store for teenagers who are interested in punk rock and Gothic inspired clothing. Their most popular products are their licensed t-shirts, which feature many bands, movie studios, and pop culture icons. A big chunk of their revenue is also generated from accessories like sunglasses, body jewelry, and makeup. I visited their website to see what their clothes were like and to search for a cute spring outfit for a reasonable price.

Right off the bat, I noticed Hot Topic's suggestive advertising featuring bikinis, short shorts, and midriff-baring crop tops. Browsing through their clothing categories I black, black, and more black. There was not a lot of casual, spring clothing advertised. Also, a lot of their graphic t-shirts featured music artists with questionable lyrics, and some shirts even featured explicit words and violent sayings.

I couldn't find any full outfits here. I was rather desperate to find at least part of an outfit that was my style, but I honestly couldn't find anything!

Browsing the Hot Topic website was frustrating for me because I can usually always find something I like. For the first time ever, I have to say that in my efforts to review a store, I could not put an outfit together.

Comment and let me know what you think of Hot Topic and if you shop there!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Avengers~ Movie Review by Kari Willinger

It all started with The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Captain American, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. When brought together they form, the Avengers. Each superhero is different, they each have a past they need to get through, but can they do it in enough time to save Earth from Loki and his army? When Nick Fury of S.H.E.I.L.D. brings these superheros together he puts a lot of faith in their ability, but others dont hold that same faith. So, battling an army and people trying to stop them from doing anything has to be tough, right?
The Avengers was very good. One of the best movies i've seen in a long time. It was funny, action packed, and just all around good. The movie was rated Pg-13. There are some tight fitted outfits and we see a mans chest. There is 1 use of A**, 1 use of B****, and a couple uses of D***. I loved this movie and without the cussing I it would be amazing! Thank the Lord for TV Guardians rights?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Harmful Food Dyes~ Haley Oscar

Food dyes. They are in most of the foods we eat today and in the skin and hair products we use every day, many of you may know this, but do you really know how those dyes affect us every time we put them in or on our bodies? I’ve recently become really aware of the dyes in my food, and trust me; my heart has been broken many times because of it. My favorite gum is now no longer being bought by me, goodbye Mac-n-Cheese and many other beloved foods!
The bright side to all these goodbyes is relief of allergies and so many more sicknesses.  Here’s a list of all the dyes and the affects they have on your body.   

Blue #1 (Brilliant Blue)
An unpublished study suggested the possibility that Blue 1 caused kidney tumors in mice. What it's in: Baked goods, beverages, desert powders, candies, cereal, drugs, and other products.

Blue #2 (Indigo Carmine)
Causes a statistically significant incidence of tumors, particularly brain gliomas, in male rats. What it's in: Colored beverages, candies, pet food, & other food and drugs.

Citrus Red #2
It's toxic to rodents at modest levels and caused tumors of the urinary bladder and possibly other organs. What it's in: Skins of Florida oranges.

Green #3 (Fast Green)
Causes significant increases in bladder and testes tumors in male rats. What it's in: Drugs, personal care products, cosmetic products except in eye area, candies, beverages, ice cream, sorbet; ingested drugs, lipsticks, and externally applied cosmetics

Red #3 (Erythrosine)
Recognized in 1990 by the FDA as a thyroid carcinogen in animals and is banned in cosmetics and externally applied drugs. What it's in: Sausage casings, oral medication, maraschino cherries, baked goods, candies. Why it’s still allowed in our food and medicine makes no sense to me..

Red #40 (Allura Red)
This is the most-widely used and consumed dye. It may accelerate the appearance of immune-system tumors in mice. It also causes hypersensitivity (allergy-like) reactions in some consumers and might trigger hyperactivity in children along with anger and attention issues. What it's in: Beverages, bakery goods, dessert powders, candies, cereals, foods, drugs, and cosmetics.

Yellow #5 (Tartrazine)
Yellow 5 causes’ sometimes-severe hypersensitivity reactions and might trigger hyperactivity and other behavioral effects in children. What it's in: Pet foods, numerous bakery goods, beverages, dessert powders, candies, cereals, gelatin desserts, and many other foods, as well as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Yellow #6 (Sunset Yellow)
Caused adrenal tumors in animals and occasionally causes severe hypersensitivity reactions. All Yellow dyes also cause environmental allergies in almost everyone, so if you suffer from allergies, check the food you eat or the products you use. What it's in: Color bakery goods, cereals, beverages, dessert powders, candies, gelatin deserts, sausage, cosmetics and drugs.
Every year, food manufacturers pour 15 million pounds of artificial food dyes into U.S. foods -- and that amount only factors in eight different varieties, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
These dyes are so common in U.S. foods -- especially kids' foods -- which parents don't think twice about giving their children rainbow-colored cereal or fluorescent blue "juice," and adults don't consider bright orange cheese puffs out of the ordinary, either.
But you might do a double take if these food packages contained warnings detailing what these artificial food colorings may really be doing to your health, and that of your children.

Well, in the European Union at least, they do. As of July 2010, most foods in the EU that contain artificial food dyes were labeled with warning labels stating the food "may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children." The British government also asked that food manufacturers remove most artificial colors from foods back in 2009.
In the United States, however, consumers are still snatching up artificially colored foods with fervor, as most are completely unaware of the risks involved … and let me just say, hyperactivity in children is only the tip of the iceberg. . CSPI reported:

"The three most widely used dyes, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, are contaminated with known carcinogens … Another dye, Red 3, has been acknowledged for years by the Food and Drug Administration to be a carcinogen, yet is still in the food supply.
Almost all the toxicological studies on dyes were commissioned, conducted, and analyzed by the chemical industry and academic consultants. Ideally, dyes (and other regulated chemicals) would be tested by independent researchers.
Furthermore, virtually all the studies tested individual dyes, whereas many foods and diets contain mixtures of dyes (and other ingredients) that might lead to additive or synergistic effects.
In addition to considerations of organ damage, cancer, birth defects, and allergic reactions, mixtures of dyes (and Yellow 5 tested alone) cause hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in some children.… Because of those toxicological considerations, including carcinogenicity, hypersensitivity reactions, and
Behavioral effects, food dyes cannot be considered safe. The FDA should ban food dyes, which serve no purpose other than a cosmetic effect; though quirks in the law make it difficult to do so (the law should be amended to make it no more difficult to ban food colorings than other food additives).
In the meantime, companies voluntarily should replace dyes with safer, natural colorings."
When foods are processed not only are valuable nutrients lost and fibers removed, but the texture, natural variation and flavors are lost also. After processing, what's actually left behind is a bland, uninteresting "pseudo-food" that most people would find entirely unappetizing.
So at this point, food manufacturers must add back in the nutrients, flavor, color and texture in order to make them desirable, and this is why they become loaded with food additives.
Most commonly, additives are included to:
Slow spoilage

Prevent fats and oils from becoming rancid or developing an off-flavor

Prevent cut fruits from turning brown

Fortify or enrich the food with synthetic vitamins and minerals (which are lost during processing)

Improve taste, texture and appearance

In the case of kids' foods, bright colors are also added to attract kids' attention and make the foods appear "fun."  But in most cases, if a food comes in an outrageous color that is not found in nature, consuming it is not a good idea.
Let me make it clear that your diet should include a range of vibrantly colored foods … but these foods should be the ones that are naturally rich in color. Red bell peppers, purple eggplant, green spinach, blueberries and rainbow chard are all examples of healthy foods whose bright colors are signs of the important nutrients they contain.
These are the food colors you need in your diet … not the man-made varieties found in most processed foods. The good news is avoiding artificial food dyes is incredibly easy -- just stick to whole fresh foods and avoid the processed ones.

Also check your vitamins, vitamin companies use dyes in their products often. Make sure you are aware and always check the labels of everything you buy, don't trust the company with your health and your life. 
You're good if you can remember these:
Blue 1 —— Chromosomal Damage
 Blue 2 —— Brain Tumors
 Red 3 ——- Thyroid Tumors, Chromosomal damage
Green 3 —- Bladder Tumors
 Yellow 5 — Allergies, Thyroid Tumors, Lymphocyte Lymphomas, Chromosomal damage
Yellow 6 — Allergies, Kidney Tumors, Chromosomal damage
 Red 40 —— Lymphomas, Lymph Tumors 

Did you know that Haley is the older sister of Lilies photographer, Cassie?!?!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Safe and Sound~ Cassie Stout

 Bad experiences come and go,
But to everyone else, your scars don't show.
Only God knows what you feel,
And that to you, the pain is real.
When you're going through those dark times,
And you can't seem to hear heaven's chimes,
Just ask God to make it clear,
That there's no reason at all to fear.
Often read the Bible and sincerely pray,
And you'll start to know Him more every single day.
You might think you're all alone,
But God will make His presence known.
Lay all of your burdens down,
And in His arms, you're safe and sound.
Did you know that Cassie's favorite animal is a horse?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Never Gonna Stop: Jamie K~ Music Review by Michelle Pell

Jamie K  ~  Never Gonna Stop
3 out of 5 stars

This new, debut album from new Christian music artist and producer, Jamie K, is definitely for the hip hop, R&B, and rap-loving lilies out there. The songs on Jamie K’s record, Never Gonna Stop, are foundational truths straight from the Word of God. As young women of God, I think we should be filling our minds with what is pure and true. Jamie K does an amazing job of singing truth directly into the hearts of  her listeners through lyrics straight from Scripture, upbeat rhythms and fun voice tricks. Topics of her songs include: the personality of Christ, her commitment to praise, and sacrifice.

Find Jamie K’s alubum, Never Gonna Stop on iTunes and Rhapsody now!

Track List:
1. All I Do
2. Justified and Sanctified
3. Jesus Is
4. Never Gonna Stop
5. Have You Ever
6. Sacrifice
7. Gonna Fight It
8. Who You Are
9. Set Me Free
10. Just Wanna Fly

Jamie K had generously donated 3 copies of her new CD to us to give away to you wonderful followers!! To enter to win, simply leave a comment saying how much you want Jamie K!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Polishes, Stick-On's and Tricks.. Oh My!~ Hogan Stevens

Do you love painting your nails and designing them in the most beautiful/unusual designs you can think of? Well, I do! And if you're like me, then you're always looking for new things to try out. And here's the best thing: My mom's a beautician, so I have a few good ideas. ;)
The secrets I am about to share with you--Okay, okay. They're not really secrets. They're quickly becoming quite popular, actually.
I'll start out with the more well-known of the newer polishes, Crackle. It gives any plain coat of polish a creative, edgy look. Simply paint on a single layer of Crackle over a dry coat of any color paint, and voila! It instantly crackles into a shattered design! Very different, and very pretty.
Design fx Bling
I'm sure there are many brands of this nail stick-on, but Designfx has been the only one I've used so far. It comes as strips in a package, which you peel off and carefully place onto your nail. After it's positioned on the nail the way you think looks best, you simply file off the excess on the end. In the end, it looks like a really detailed paint job, while all you had to do was peel and stick!
Newspaper Design
This design is less costly than the previous two. In fact, all you need is some alcohol and a strip of newspaper! First, paint your nail any color you wish (probably a lighter color, though, so the lettering can be easily seen). After the polish is dry, dip your nail in any kind of alcohol, and then press a strip of newspaper over your still-wet nail! Make sure to pull the newspaper off slowly, and then there you go! An easy, very cute, nail design.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Keith Green Ministries~ Emily Ciszewski

Not too many people know who Keith Green is anymore, but if you do recognize the name you probably think of the guy who played the piano rather loudly and spoke even louder. Keith was no ordinary guy. One of his greatest quotes is this, “This generation of believers is responsible for this generation of souls.” Are you taking responsibility?
Here’s a great ministry you can stand by - and fulfill Jesus’ call to preach the gospel.
Want to read his story? Melody, his wife, wrote a whole book on their life! Here’s a link:
Keith and Melody started doing God’s work in 1975 - right out of their own home! They began housing friends, new believers - with them. They knew the best way to keep people growing in their faith was to be their for them, teaching them, daily. And what better way then to have them living with them? Soon they were renting home after home near them and meeting for Bible studies regularly. This launched Last Days Ministries, they chose this name because they realized the end of the earth is near and there are people to be saved.
They were going house to house asking their neighbors for prayer requests, sharing the gospel, and inviting random strangers to have meals with them.
The Newsletter After a concert Keith asked the crowd how many of them wanted a copy of his coming album, and 6,000 signed up. He wanted to get into their hearts and minds somehow, so he sent a newsletter along with each CD that was sent out. The Newsletter was born. You can still receive this newsletter by email with this link; The OrphanageIn 1982 Keith and his son Josiah and daughter Bethany, died in a plane accident on a sticky July evening.
Later on, still fulfilling what her and Keith had started,
Melody began an orphanage in Mexico. She called it “Josiah and Bethany Children’s Home. Her and Keith and Josiah had visited Mexico before and seen devastation and hungry children on the streets. A seed was planted in Melody’s heart and when Keith died - that seed came to life.
There are so many outlets in Last Days Ministries - you can give your time and energy and get involved, or if you can’t help in word or deed, you can give money!
They are currently making a movie of Keith’s life - I’m sure monetary gifts and prayer would be appreciated!
Thanks for reading my ramblings!
AAA Pro LifeStanding for Americans Against Abortion, AAA Pro Life.
Melody began fighting abortion in 1981. This became a big part LDM and many of the funds began to go toward stopping this.
Want to read Melody’s famous and eye opening article? I’d love it if you would.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

God's Type of Beauty~ Mikayla McMahen

Flipping through her magazine Lillie sighed to her self," If only I could look like them." Looking up, she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and thought,"Maybe I could wear different makeup or wear different clothes. What if I styled my hair differently? Then would I be thought more beautiful?"

I think at one point or another we all have or will feel like Lillie. Unbeautiful because of what were told through TV shows, commercials or even just the advertisements we see as we walk through the mall. We are told that unless we have long eye lashes, designer clothes, sleek smooth hair, and are skinny we aren't beautiful. That's when we need to slow down and think about what God says about beauty!

1 Peter 3:3-4 it says, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."(NIV)

It's not about how we look. God see's it's your heart, your attitude. So instead of trying to fit into what society thinks is beautiful, try to be what God thinks is beautiful!

Did you know that Mikayla is obsessed with Starbucks?!?!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Wandering Wonderings~ Nataleigh Robinson

Death, Pain, Anger, Humiliation
Why all of this complication?
Why must there be such devastation?
If God is a God of adoration
Then why is there such speculation?
I scream up to the sky
Begging for some kind of answer
But the heavens are silent
You refuse to speak
Refuse to let down an answer

I’ve done everything you’ve asked
But still you let this happen
In your love I basked
Now life’s all misshapen
Why can’t you just do what I first asked?
Then I hear your voice from up above:
“Have I not loved you with an everlasting love?
Did I not create you from the dust?
Did I not command that in me you trust?
Yet here you sit and fuss and fuss
Now I am reminded who is in charge
I know that his love is large
Though I do not always understand
He holds my life in his right hand
I will trust in him!
I know he treasures me
I know he values me
His love is beyond what I can see
But is it wrong for me to have these questions?
Is my anger a transgression?

Though his sight is better than mine
Though he sees my first and last
Though he knows things I cannot
Though he loves me a whole darn lot
Through all these things I can’t help questioning
Is it wrong to seek answers?
If so why do we think?
Is it wrong to be angry?
If so why do we feel?
Are these not gifts from God?
I think God must love our questions
Is he too big that he doesn’t care?
Or too small that he cannot listen?
Not at all! He can take it
I feel closer when I question
I will not be afraid to question
I will not be afraid to rant and rave
I will not be afraid to cast the blame
I will not be afraid to shout
My God is a big God!

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

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Party Ideas~ Heather Young

When planning a party, the first thing you want to figure out is what the theme should be.  If the party is being thrown for someone, like maybe a birthday party, decorate with their favorite color, animal, or any other things they would enjoy.  Matching streamers and balloons, cups, plates, napkins, and tablecloth will add a nice touch.

Second, either you or your guests should decide what games you would like to play.  There are numerous activities you can do, and here are a few ideas:

·         Board Games
o   Some of our family favorites are Apples to Apples, Monopoly, and Cranium.
·         Card Games
o   Whether it’s Uno or Go Fish, cards add variety to any party.
·         Group Craft
o   There are tons of creative things you can do with a large group around! All you need is some construction paper, scissors, and glue! Who knows what you can come up with? You can also buy craft kits from almost any store.
·         Coloring Pages
o   You can print designs off the Internet, color in a coloring book, or even create your own drawing! This activity is especially a hit with younger kids.
·         Charades
o   No props needed! This game is particularly enjoyable when playing with outgoing people.
·         Outdoor Games
o   Although the activities mentioned above can be played outdoors, the following are most effective when played outside: Hide-and-seek, sharks and minnows, various types of tag, etc… Sports are a great idea if you have the space for them.
·         Gift exchange
o   Last but certainly not least, gift exchanges provide a fun opportunity to get to know each other through giving.  You can choose to let people bring what they want, or you can set boundaries like no gross things.

Do you enjoy other games with friends and family? If so, please leave a comment and add your activity to the list! Thanks for reading!