Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Necessary Things

Yes. I'm doing a what's in my purse post. :P I actually like these, and when one shows up in my blog feed, I always click. For some reason I'm fascinated by the stuff other people deem necessary to carry around with them.  

So, here is my chosen "stuff". As you can see, I carry a lot of "paper" with me, hah!  I'm really afraid to go anywhere without a journal of some sort--because I'm sure I'll think of something to write down that I don't want to forget. I don't really like taking notes on my iPhone--I'll forget about it, but I check my notebook almost every day.
My journal is from VickiSheehan. She makes handmade journals with different pages and lace. They really are breathtaking. My tote is from my own shop, Silver Moon Creations. I love the orange fabric!

I also usually have a snack of some kind in my purse. I'm always hungry, and I don't want to buy something unhealthy when I'm out. This weeks snack is organic pumpkin seeds.

Whats in your purse? Or, are you like Rachel and loathe the female accessory?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Story Challenge

So, I've started participating in these things called "Story Challenges" on my friends blog. Its really cool. He gives you a scene and some characters and items and you write a story. It's great to be writing again. Go give it a shot if you want!
The Floating Circus 
Nolan was drunk again. I spied him in the corner, curled up around two empty burlap sacks, cradling a bottle of rum like it was his lost lady love. He'd barfed all over his shoes before proceeding to fall asleep, or I would have picked him up and taken him to his tent. At least he was snoozing near the tent pegs, far away from our "damn giant feet," as he dubbed men-shoes. Last time the halfling had drunk himself into a stupor near the girl's rooms, and tried to enter. That had ended badly. He still had scars.

"Matt!" My name was shouted, and the circus master came into view, toting a large cage of rabid chickens. It was closing time, and tomorrow we were moving on, or up, I suppose. Since we were an Floating Circus, I guess the general direction was up.

"Yes, Sir?" I answered, hoping he wasn't going to ask me to spell the cabins again.

He was. "Can you renew the spell on Sara's berth?" He said, continuing to chug past me with his cargo as I opened my mouth to reply. I cursed in my head as I watched him take the north catwalk out of the main tent.

I sighed. It was bad enough Mangas was still Asleep, leaving me to do all the bloody spell-casting. Now the tent spells were failing and it would take me all night to renew the thing. If I'd known Mangas, our resident magician elder, was so near his Sleep I would have journeyed on. Not that Lil has been any help--she had been the other magician apprentice, the one who had gotten herself pregnant and run off with our lion tamer shortly after Mangas had blacked out, leaving me with all the work. Oh, Fiddlesticks. Bollocks. Mad Pies.

Well, moping wouldn't get me anywhere. There wasn't anything to do but renew the spell.

Sara's tent was on the outskirts of camp, blue with white stripes. She and her troupe of girls ran the, uh, more red light district of the Circus. Twenty-one and older. Which meant that I technically shouldn't be here.

I tapped lightly on her door and tried to ignore the pamphlets that littered the ground around me. No answer. I knocked louder. "Hello? Sara?"

Suddenly the door flew open and Trick stumbled out, all knees and elbows, stammering apologies as he backpedaled like a madman. Sara was right behind him, half her makeup off, and half of everything else in disarray.

"The next time I'll just lock you in there and...Oh, Hi, Matt," she said, giving me a smile. "Go ahead in. I'll just be a minute."

I edged around her, towards the door. "If I ever catch you hiding in--" I heard her whack Trick somewhere, "my closet AGAIN, you sneaky little boy...." The sounds of her surgery voice faded as I closed the door behind me. I could just hear his muffled apologies and whimpers as Sara chastised him further. I knew it was all a show, and that he was enjoying every minute of it. But, I guess the spell was fading, if I could still hear them. This tent was supposed to be soundproof. For obvious reasons.

I headed through the main room, past the door spelled for the kitchens and the lavatory (every tent had them, so the staff could come and go easily). I didn't even bother to look in her bedroom. Trick was my tent mate, and he was in love with Sara. I'd already heard a very detailed description of her rooms and person. More then I'd honestly wanted to know. Trick had even offered me his whole weekly dues to put a spell on our door to lead to her tent. I hadn't. I wondered idly if Lil had--she would have needed the money.

In the back, I lifted up a flap under the tent and smiled--the basement was still there. So, half the spell was still in place, I'd only have to reinforce it a bit. That means my night was still mine, and I could go see Clarice.

Half an hour later I sauntered down to the main attractions, past the ten armed purple octopus and the rainbow cheshire cat and other assorted oddments. All made by Mangus, of course, but only we knew that. Most people thought he was just here to float the tent and perform. Hah.

Clarice lived with the owls. He was the one who recruited me, because he could see magic. Nifty talent, that. He didn't do much else except for tell stories of his homeland in the plains, about how he'd saved the world with his mother's bones, or something. He never seemed to get around to telling about how he tricked his mother into giving up her bones, through.

I needed him to tell me when Mangus was going to wake up.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mini Skirt Refashion

The story always starts out the same: Well, I found this hideous dress at goodwill, but I had an idea...
Anyway, I love anything with floral fabric, and that's how this first caught my eye. I envisioned a cute little skirt and perhaps enough leftover to make a bag or an apron! Yesterday I sewed up the mini skirt.
 Sadly, it was raining so I had to take pictures inside. I never know how to take pictures inside...hah.
 But I do love my new skirt :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Shop Update

Just a little update in my Etsy shop :) I love making things! Click here to check these out and more!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Music Suggestions?

Above is a picture of my favorite band ever, named Eisley. I own most of their work, except their newest one (or two?) albums.

I'll be honest and tell you the last time I bought new music was almost four years ago. And I'm getting kinda tired of hearing what I do have--even if I love it. I've also changed--in high school I liked some rock, like AFI and My Chemical Romance, but lets be honest, I really don't like that anymore. I've changed.

So. I need some music suggestions. Hmmm, what do I like? Well, I love love love Folk music. And instrumental music. Oh, when I'm in a certain mood I really enjoy listening to Techno; it gets my blood pumping and makes me feel ultra invigorated. I also love soundtrack music. I own all of the Lord of the Rings music, as well as music from A.I and Finding Neverland. My favorite bands are Eisley, Final Fantasy Music (from the 5th installment to 9), The Civil Wars, JJ Heller, Juli (German band), Birdy, the Celtic Women and Robin Spielburg. I listen to most of these on repeat. I really need some new music!

That's where you come in. Please suggest something for me to listen to, and I will! Anything you think I would like, or your favorite band, even if you are unsure.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sailor Dress

When I found this dress at Goodwill, it was love at first site. I actually paid more for the belt I'm wearing with it then I did for the dress. I bought this right before my honeymoon, because we were going on a cruise and this dress gives off delightful nautical vibes. 
Now that my hair is so short I've been trying to find new ways to style it. The half up seems to be my go-too look when I don't feel particularly inspired. Does anyone have any recommendations for short hair styles?
This park is one of my favorites. I have so many memories of hanging out on this swing and walking the grounds. I did my first photo shoot ever here, right after graduating from high school with two of my friends. Then we all went off to college and never saw each other again. Actually, I ran into one of them in Toys-R-Us when I bought my Nom Nom shirt, with her husband and kid. How life changes!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Open Letter to Gays and Christians

So, gay marriage. Hot topic, much? I've been hearing about the injustice and suppression of gay rights and the attack on traditional marriage for years, now. And you know what? I'm tired of it. That's right. Tired. Of. It.

So I decided to write a letter. There are two parts to this letter. The first is written to my gay friends, my fellow Americans who live a homosexual, transgender, bisexual, or other lifestyle. The second part is written to my sisters and brothers of the Christian faith.
Dear Individuals who Live a Gay Lifestyle,

Hi. My name is Carolynn. I am a Christian and I don't hate you. In fact, I find you just as interesting and fun and amazing and unique as any other human person who lives on this blue planet. Your hopes, your dreams--I love hearing about them. Your struggles, your trials--I encourage you to persevere though them.

I have read so many articles written by gays and bisexuals calling Christians bigots and hate-mongers and all sorts of terrible names because we don't support your cause. Listen, there is something you have to understand. I am a christian by choice. I choose to live a christian lifestyle. I firmly believe that as a Christian I am called to live differently. My God, the God of the Bible, tells me not to marry someone of the same sex. Gay marriage, to my God, is an affront against him, the same way not wearing a veil would be to many Islamic women. This does not mean I am any better then you. This does not mean that by my choice to live a heterosexual lifestyle that I am saying negative things about your lifestyle choice.

All this means, is that as a christian, I am called not to be gay.
Same as I am also called not to be Mormon, or Jewish, or Muslim.

Let's approach this in another way. Many women who are Islamic wear a garment called the Burqa. As a christian, I don't wear a Burqa.  (I do feel called to dress modestly, but I don't cover myself head to foot in a Burqa) Does this mean I hate women who choose to wear a Burqa? No. Does this mean women who wear a Burqa are less women that I, or that I am better then them? No. They live their life by their religion, doing what they feel in their heart is the right thing for them--their choice, and I live mine. They follow the precepts of their god.

Do I go up to a women wearing a Burqa and yell at her because I think what she is doing is wrong? No! I let her live her own life, and if she asks about mine, or about my opinion, I will tell her, tactfully, what I think about Islam and her choice, reminding her that I as an American stand for her right to live her life as she sees fit, as long as she breaks none of our laws. (I know some women are forced to wear a Burqa, but I am writing under the belief that many who don this garment do with reverence to their husbands and in alliance with their chosen religious affiliation).

Please understand, then, my friends, that when I say I am against gay marriage--I am speaking from a christian standpoint. I am speaking of marriage as a religious observance. However, there is another aspect of marriage in the world now--and that is not religious, at least not from a christian perspective. There is marriage in civil unions. There are covenants between two of-age people who are not Christian. Thus, I have no problem with gays being allowed to marry by or in non-christian methods. The USA is a free country. Everyone that has not broken a law deserves the same rights. We have a separation of Religion and State, because there are hundreds of different Americans who believe in a wide variety of different religions and because we don't force our citizens to hail one God over another.

Tragically, I've read articles about gays suing Christian pastors who refuse to marry them. When I hear of this I feel terribly sad. As a Christian, if I went to a Muslim or Jewish priest and asked them to preform my wedding ceremony, and they refused because I was not of that religion; I would not see this as a hate crime. They are a different religion then me. It might be against their religion to marry me in the way I wish to be married. I wouldn't sue them over this--I would see their refusal as their religious right, keeping with their conscience. Why do you sue my friends and family? We are only trying to live our life how we feel the Bible and our Lord calls us to live. I would never sue a gay pastor who worships Buddha because he didn't want to marry my husband and I, a heterosexual monogamous couple! Please understand that the rights you are fighting for--the right for the state to recognize your union with your partner, the right to live as you wish--that right falls to Christians too.  (source)

If you make cakes and want to sell to only same-sex couples, by all means, go ahead and do that. But, if I make cakes only for heterosexual couples, why am I suddenly called out and bashed for discrimination? This makes as much sense as a women who chooses to wear a burqa in public being suddenly sued for not wearing normal clothes or for refusing to make normal clothing for me, if she owned a burqa-sewing business. (source)

Those who live a gay lifestyle are usually the main supporters of tolerance and fair treatment--yet sometimes you guys are extremely intolerant to anyone who happens to believe different then you.
Tolerance does not only go one way. I, Carolynn of, fully support your right to live how you want and do what you want. Honestly, I don't think the government has a right to tell me who I can or cannot marry. If suddenly, I lived in a world where only same sex relationships were recognized by the government, I would still be with my husband, and we would marry in our church, in a purely religious ceremony with my pastor, surrounded by my friends and family. Then I would live the rest of my days faithfully to him regardless of the governments idea or law on marriage.

In closing, I love you all. I hope we can overcome our differences with civility and peace.


To my dear Fellow Christians,

I know. I understand. It's hard living in this world where everyone has a different idea of the traditions and values we hold so dear. Sometimes I, too, feel like everything is falling apart. Sometimes I, too, am unsure of how to approach a certain topic or speak tactfully to a coworker or friend.

There are two things we must understand. One, is that gay people are people too. They are just like us. They are struggling, hurting, working--they have goals and dreams and have walked through pain and suffering in their lives just like us. We should treat them like every other person, with respect in the workplace, and as a friend in the real word. I know, sometimes they don't treat us the same in return--but we must understand that they have suffered. How have the suffered? Well, many Christians have said some very hurtful things to them, about their lifestyle and their choices. Many of them have been turned out of their homes for following their heart. Is it any wonder why they don't love us? Is it any wonder they are skeptical and scared of opening their hearts to us?
It's not like we have it all together, is it, dear brothers and sisters. I mean, sometimes as a Christian I feel like my every fault is pointed out and picked over by those who don't share my faith, and then brandished like a flag as proof against Christianity, because of course Christians don't have faults, you know, we're perfect. If only they knew we are not perfect. And we should never pretend to be.

Two, we must be open. When asked, we should feel no shame in explaining ourselves in a kind and respectful manner. If the person living a gay lifestyle no longer want anything to do with us because we stand firmly on the belief that gay marriage, from a Christian standpoint, is wrong, so be it. Don't put the blame on them. Don't wag your finger in their face and admonish them for the fall of marriage, because you know what, Christians get divorced too. Christians are in unhappy marriages. We should look to our own plank before picking out their speck.

I know, as a Christian, marriage to me is extremely religious. However, there are those who get married who are not christian. We Christians must realize that marriage is now more then a religious ceremony. There are people who decided to live together, there are people who divorce after only a 24 hour marriage. I would say these two things don't keep with Christian teaching at all--without even adding gay marriage to it, and I would be against them just as much as gay marriage.

We as Christians need to understand that we can't make choices for people. All we can do is make our own choices and live our own lives and let those be an example to the world, and talk openly to any curious observer. It's not our job to be hypocritical judges of society--it is our job to show the love of God to the world though our life. (I know, there are a million different ways to do this. Just try to do it in a way that doesn't make you look better--that is not the goal)

In closing, my friends, don't ostracize people who are different then you. Don't cut them off from the comrades and family they've had--stand by them. Tell them you don't think they are making the right decision, but don't let that end your friendship. Tell them you love them, no matter what. And don't remind them over every phone call, every letter of the "mistake" they are making. If your mom was an atheist, and every time you called to tell her of your woes and pain, she reminded you of your "religious crutch" and made fun of your "church attendance," you wouldn't really want to call very much anymore, would you? We are called to love them, not to judge them. They are still the same person you met and became friends with. And they need you now more then ever.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that we, you and I, we were not put on this earth to point fingers at every sinner and call them out for their faults. You know, when you point at someone--there are three digits on your hand pointing right back at you. We are no better.

I hope as a Christian that we can stand together with kindness and humility for what we believe in--and allow no hate or bitterness into our speech against any of our fellow humans who live here with us.

Love, Carolynn

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

In my bag: a travel post

So you guys all know that last weekend I went to a wedding! It was super fun. So, what did I pack, as a guest at the wedding? Here is the lo-down of what was in my duffel bag!
The best tag-along? My flat shoes! I changed to flats after the ceremony so I could dance the night away with my love! :P I just stuck them in my purse and exchanged before dinner.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Fun Weekend

Last weekend my husband and I went to see two of his good friends tie the knot! He knew both the Bride and Groom! It was so much fun to meet many his friends from college and hear all the crazy stories! The bride was absolutely stunning and the wedding was amazing. What did you do this weekend?

Friday, July 19, 2013

So you want to use your iPhone as a DSLR?

There is much debate over this topic. Can your iPhone match the picture quality of a DSLR? Does it have the editing power of Photoshop? Well, obviously the answer to both those questions is a big fat no, but that aside your iPhone does have an amazing camera and you can do 99.9% of anything-- meaning, almost everything with it. I wouldn't recommend using it as your main source for photographing a wedding--but I would say the iPhone can do many things for everyday purposes, like blog photos or facebook photos and even marketing photos, like Etsy--and that it does these things very well. I would argue that if your doing it right only a professional will be able to tell the difference between your iPhone photos and say, someones DSLR photos. Oh, and did I mention it fits in your pocket, which is more then I can say for your DSLR.
First thing I would say about your iPhone is that different apps do different things. Many times I will shoot, edit, and decoupage my pictures using a different app for each step. I've downloaded all sorts of different photo apps, and I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't, and for what.

A DSLR really does one basic things--it shoots pictures. Then you have to edit them on your computer. A iPhone shoots and edits, all in a few moments. So, how can you use your iPhone as a DSLR? Very carefully, of course, and utilizing the apps I show below.
When I am taking a picture I use the basic "Camera" App that comes on every iPhone. If I am shooting a self portrait, I use a tripod and an App called King Camera. I use King Camera because it has a timer function built in. This means I can set my tripod, hit the timer, pose, and have it take a picture. King Camera has editing parts to it also, but I've never once used them. I only use it for the timer, and its the only app I've found that has a timer. You can set the timer from 5 to 30 seconds.
For editing a picture I use two apps depending on what I'm looking for. I use VSCOcam and Mystic App. These two apps have all the filters and light-and-texture tweaking functions you could ever want this side of photoshop. The only downside is that Mystic App will only allow you to create square photos. VSCOcam allows any size. 
After I've filtered the bananas out of my photo, sometimes I want to add text. The best text adding apps are Piction and Textmask. Textmask is unique in that it obscures the photo and shows only the text. Piction has the most amazing fonts, and you can add/change shape/size and color of the font(s) of your choice.

To frame my photo I use Moldiv. It creates these lovely square/framed photos you see above and below.
And that, my dears, is how you use an iPhone as a DSLR. It really can take amazing pictures and do almost anything with the right apps. What apps do you use? Please tell me--I'm like a photo-app-connoisseur. Seriously. They should pay me for this. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Are Mormons Christians?

Another title for this article could be: "Are Christians Mormon?"
I've met, and am friends with a few Mormons, as well as a common acquaintance with many, online and off. (Topic aside, why are there so many Mormon bloggers?) I harbor no qualms with any of my fellow Mormons who reside on this Earth. What I am attempting to do with this article is explain that a Mormon is not a Christian and a Christian is not a Mormon. I'm not trying to start any major religious debate or anything, just assert that Mormons are Mormons and Christians are Christians, and the two are not the same. They are separate regions and should be treated as thus.

What spurs this post, you might ask? Well, I have met many a person who lumps both Christian followers and Mormons together. In recent discussions, many atheists, Hindus, and even some Mormons and Christians have the erroneous idea that a Mormon is a Christian and a Christian is a Mormon. This assumption is simply not true; the two religions are not synonymous. Christians and Mormons do not hold to the same creed or religious belief systems and their foundational tenets differ widely.  For example, you must be a Mormon to enter certain parts of the temple. A Christian would not be permitted to enter. Their are also many other doctrinal differences, as follow:

The Basic Tenets of Christianity 
  • Jesus Christ is the Only Way to Eternal Salvation With God the Father
    • “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) 
    • Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
  • We Are Saved by Grace Through Faith – Not by Works. Salvation is free.
    • “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8)
  • Jesus Christ is the Son of God
    • “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest …” (Luke 1:31)
    • “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in Him, and He in God.” (1 John 4:
  • The Incarnation of Jesus Christ
    • “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” (1 John 4:1-4)
  • The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ From the Grave, raised from the dead.
    • “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is vain and your faith is also vain … For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-18)
    • Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” (John 11:25)
  • The Ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven.
    • “And He led then out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.” (Luke 24:50-51)
    • Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-10)
  • The Doctrine of the Trinity, three in one.
    • 1 John 5:7-8 "For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree"
    • John 10:30-36 "I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said..."
  • The Holy Bible is the Inspired and Infallible Word of God
    • “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
    • “… knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20)
  • We Are Baptized With the Holy Spirit at the Moment of Salvation
    • Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)
    • “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” (1 Corinthians 3:17)
    • “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” (Romans 8:9)
  • Regeneration by the Holy Spirit
    • “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7)
  • The Doctrine of Hell, that Hell is a real place that the unsaved will be condemned to.
    • “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6)
    • “But I will show you who you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:5)
    • “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)
  • The 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ Back to our Earth 
    • “And in the days of these things the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44)
    • “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His Kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13-14)
Sources & References: (One Two Three Four Five)

The Basic Tenets of the Mormon Faith 
  • Mormons read and get their doctrine from the "Book of Mormon".
    • The Book of Mormon is the word of God. 1 Ne. 13:26 (20–40); 14:21 (20–26)
  • Jesus Christ is not the only way to Eternal Salvation in Mormon doctrine.
    • We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first,  Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. (D&C 138:33; . (via)
  • God had a Physical Body, and was once a man like us. 
    • D&C 130:22 says, “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s.”Thus, man is made in the image of the body of God (Moses 6:9)
    • "As man is, God once was: as God is, man may be" (Lorenzo Snow, Millenial Star, vol.54).
    • Joseph Smith taught: "I will prove that the world is wrong, by showing what God is...God himself was once as we are now and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret...I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.345)
  • There is no original sin in the Mormon faith.
    •  The Articles of Faith 2 says, “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.”
  • Mormon salvation includes belief in God but also works and leading a sinless life.  
    • Alma 5:27 says, “Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble?” Moroni 10:32 says, “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind, and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you.
    • James Talmage explains: "...redemption from personal sins can only be obtained through obedience to the requirement of the Gospel, and a life of good works" (James Talmage, in A Study of the Articles of Faith).
  • Mormons believe in a Godhead, not a Trinity.  They believe in three different beings, not one God, but three distinctly different Godhead's
    • "And they (the Gods) said, 'Let there be light'...And the Gods pronounced the dry land...And the Gods organized the earth...And the Gods planted a garden in Eden" (Pearl of Great Price, Abraham 4:3,10,25; 5:8).
    • "Three separate personages---Father, Son, and Holy Ghost---comprise the Godhead...As each of these persons is a God, it is evident from this standpoint alone, that a plurality of Gods exists. To us...these three are the only Gods we worship" (Mormon Doctrine, p.576-577).
  • Mormons do not believe in hell.
    • John A Widtsoe, Mormon Apostle states: "The meanest sinner will find some place in the heavenly realm...In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is no Hell. All will find a measure of salvation" (Joseph Smith-Seeker After Truth, p.177-178, 1951).
    • Mormon historian B.H. Roberts explains: "Christians believed that to receive eternal punishment was to be punished eternally. This popular Christian error was corrected in a revelation" (Outlines of Ecclesiastical History, p.408).
    • One of the Mormon 'revelations' states: "Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment" (Doctrine and Covenants 19:6).
Sources and References (One Two Three Four Five)

This list is, of course, not exhaustive, nor can I cover all the many different interpretations of the Book of Mormon or the Bible. I tried to touch on the main tenets that a Mormon or Christian would believe in, and show how they are, in fact, very different.

Thus, while both Mormons and Christians throw around the name Jesus and God, they mean different things when the perspective parties use them. Mormons are not Christians, and Christians are not Mormons.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tote Party

Yesterday I threw a paint-a-tote party at my house! I made nine handmade totes and invited nine wonderful lady friends to come and paint the fronts while enjoying good food and fun conversation. Of course, I knew not all nine would come, because of schedules and life and such, but I had three wonderful ladies attend and one brought her husband (who works with mine) and her little boy. We had a TON of fun and painted totes and chatted.
all the unpainted tote backs with their cute pockets!
The fronts of the bags are plain for painting. Oh, and I didn't think to take pictures of the totes they painted until after they'd already left. So I only have mine to show! But oh well! :P
A tote before painting
I made all sorts of yummy vegan and gluten free food for the party. Two of my friends have a gluten intolerance, one is allergic to milk and two are vegetarian, so making vegan, GF food seemed the best option!
I made GF brownies with almond milk, a balsamic vinegar quinoa salad (via oh whimsical me), and an Indian dish with tofu and rice. It was a feast. I still have leftovers and will enjoy not cooking today! And yes, I did write out the ingredients just in case I missed something someone was allergic to.
Here is my bag. I love colorful, rainbow hearts! I also painted a tee to test out my brushes. :)
Tote parties are fun, and maybe I'll throw another one in a few months. This was the first party I've ever thrown as a married woman. I really enjoyed the experience! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Update Time

Hey guys! It's Monday! This evening I'm throwing a tote party at my house for some close friends (I'm SUPER excited about it). Not much more to show...yet. :P *mums the word*
This week my husband and I are planning on fixing our porch. I also really need to remember to water my tomato plant more. It's sad that a deer (or rabbit?) ate the top off of it. -__- I was really upset when my husband nonchalantly pointed it out.
How have you guys been? Lately I've been reading a lot. By a lot, I mean 6 books a week. And this week I'm going to finally go to the farmers market! I'm really excited about some fresh veggies...Of course, I'll do a blog post. ^_^
I feel as a young women that my interests are changing. Shifting. I don't know what that means for this blog, but I'm not worried. It's weird to move on from what you are to becoming something different. For instance, the last few weeks I've been really interested in studying Hebrew. This came out of nowhere. I used to think Christians that learned Hebrew were weird. Now I'm going to become one of them. O.o
Want to know a funny/odd/amazing story? When I went to buy groceries for my party today at Kroger's, they had a computer malfunction coupled with a power outage. I was still shopping when it happened and thought nothing of it. I figured it would be fixed before I was done. But when I went to check out the lines were 10-12 people long, apparently the problem still existed. I waited for about 20-30 minutes in line--and then Kroger's decided to close the store and give everyone in line their food for free. What? If that's not amazing customer service, I don't know what is.

I'm still in shock.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Have you ever Lived?

I have never passed a day in Spain, or wandered the hills of Peru. I have not seen the alps, in all their towering glory or spent a hour in their snowy recesses, enjoying the sunshine, or the snow, or whatever they have near the alps. Perhaps if I had, I might have lived.

I have never given birth to a child, heard a small voice call me mother, nor felt a tiny body burrow against me in perfect slumber, eyes winking out like small stars, a tangle of limbs and quiet breathing. I bet when I bring life into this world, maybe one day; at that hour my heart will break into a million pieces. Then, will I have lived?

Under pretense of life I have met strangers in coffee shops, climbed blue mountains near my home, and swam in muddy lakes where fish have bit my toes. Day by day, I have moved from infancy towards womanhood, like some kind of lapse of long-forgotten judgement.

And at last; I am myself. No more but that, myself, I--a part divided by curiosity and habit, a sum over parts; a dash of color on a masterpiece that spans time and space, small and hidden under some other pigment. 

It is here that I ask, Have I Ever Lived?

And what is living? I know nothing of England. How do they run their parliament? Do they even have a parliament? Why are people so factitious about the Queen? What is a day like in the life of a person who lives in England? I picture them all watching telly and dreaming of fish and chips, and using the loo.

Those mythical beings who live over land and sea in that faraway place called "England" don't even know I exist. They don't wake every morning and draw breath from my body and wonder, what will I do today? Nor does the thought of me ever cross their mind. And my ideas of what they eat and sleep and say and do are just shadows, just ideas of the real England--and I'll never capture it. 

Like a girl about to close her eyes in sleep, I view the world. But before I fall to meet my pillow in repose, sometimes I glimpse that which I never dreamed existed, silhouetted in the distance under the recesses of my eyelids. And I wonder, what if? Because, after all--

I am a quintessential afterthought.

And I'm still here. Living. Breathing. And thinking about you.