Sunday, April 28, 2013

Why Books are and are not Important

"...Why do they waste their time with futile plans?"
Psalm 2:1
 "A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry."
Proverbs 27:6-8

This blog post is a reply to a comment from Abbey on my previous post.  I haven't read Do Hard Things but I've heard a lot of good stuff about it.  My sister has read it and really enjoyed it.  I'll put it on my to-read list.

I was pretty close (and still am) to being a fan-girl of Doctor Who and have been theorizing even though it doesn't help, and I've been realizing that.  The Doctor's life isn't my life, I realized.  That made me happier because watching Doctor Who can be very depressing, and more so if you're watching it all the time.  I put on some music on my ipod (it was all soundtracks to movies) and I didn't feel fulfilled.  Those lives, in those fictional stories, aren't my life.  I was made to be different.  If we keep on filling our lives with too many stories of other people, we begin to forget that we even have a life outside those stories.  I've had to keep on learning this and it's sort of a theme in one of my books.

However, because classics are harder to read than modern day books, they are really good for our brains, to get us to think harder and know what we're reading.  That's one thing that separates them from easier-to-read books being written today.
Also, a lot of classics have only survived because they were memorable, because (most of the time) they had a good message.  I think it's good for both nonwriters and writers to read classics so that we can find out how books were written back then, and I think it's good for developing our own voice in writing.

So for school this year, my homeschool Christian co-op and I read To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies (because it was similar to the Hunger Games).  When we read books for co-op, we dig deep into their symbols and styles and messages, which makes the reading experience so much better than if we were just reading for entertainment.  So sometimes when reading a book, we read only for entertainment and don't think about the moral much.  But when we read a novel to learn, then you can get a much better reading experience out of it.  The author isn't supposed to do the whole job for the reader, but is supposed to let the reader think for himself/herself.
But there are many fictional books out there that were written only to entertain and not to teach readers.  Those books are basically only entertainment, sadly, and aren't as memorable most of the time.
Books shouldn't only be for entertainment, or at least not all the time.  Sometimes I pick a book because the genre suits me at the time, because it calms me and takes me away to a land long ago.  Sometimes I read a book because I wonder how it's written.  It isn't wrong to read books only for entertainment.  But we should be careful with how we're entertained, what types of books we put into ourselves.  A lot of books are really good.  Some books truly are trash, or as my English teacher calls them "pulp fiction".  But the same can be said of video games and movies, poetry, magazines, etc.
Do you have any thoughts to add?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Learning and Wasting and Important Things

It is pleasant to see dreams come true, but fools refuse to turn from evil to attain them.
  Proverbs 13:19

Disclaimer: I'm not saying that entertainment is evil.  Proceed. lol (:

I think that one reason why there are so many people out there not knowing what to do with their lives is because they never began or pursued any dreams when they were younger.  They were too busy texting (which I admit isn't evil), talking with their friends, hanging out with friends (which is not necessarily bad just depends on the friends), stuck doing school, watching movies, tv, tv shows, playing Facebook games (not that facebook games are altogether evil), eating and sleeping!  There's almost TOO much entertainment out there these days.  In fact, there are enough movies and video games to keep us occupied every hour of every day for the rest of our lives!  It's what one book or movie (can't remember which) calls being "entertained to death".
It's what we do for a living as teens and children.  It's like we live to be entertained by everything and if it doesn't entertain us, we go elsewhere.  But we forget to DO something worth the time, even little things like making crafts or baking.
When we grow up we don't realize till it's too late that we'll have to work and we won't know what we want to do.  I think that's one reason why chores are important for us when we're young.  Even though they're minor things, they give us something we know how to do when we're older that we can still do.
Life isn't about being entertained.  It's about living for God, following dreams, being a light.
Basically, we shouldn't be wasting our early years just to waste our later years trying to figure out who we are so that we can figure out what to do with our lives.  A bit of entertainment is okay but it's not essential for our living.
I read a comment on a Youtube video of someone playing the harp and it said "Why are you so talented?"
But anyone can play the harp if they learned and practiced.  Anyone could play the piano if they only listened and learned (but it's hard because it "gets boring" because you have to work at it...).
This generation, not many young people WANT to learn.  They associate learning with boring because public secular schools have made learning boring (and sometimes they don't even learn anything).  I love my homeschool co-op even though we're made to do a lot of work because we actually learn and my teacher loves what she's teaching which makes it all the more interesting!  We don't just read a book and learn the vocabulary from it.  We dig deep into the messages that the author is trying to tell us.  We learn about symbolism and different worldviews.  We don't just learn History.  We make timelines (cut out pictures that have information and the year beneath them and we put them in a book like a scrapbook). 
Learning is only important if what you're learning IS important!  And so we make it important and then it gets interesting.
Growing closer to God by reading His Word and thinking about it daily is important for us.  The book of Proverbs was specifically written for teens and I think everyone should read it and heed it!  I wish more people knew this.  It's sad that most of America claims to be Christian but the statistics make it doubtful.
What else do you think is important for us teens to do in our younger years?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spring and Storms and a Hobbit Party

 "I saw [a]in the right hand of Him who (A)sat on the throne a [b](B)book written inside and on the back, (C)sealed up with seven seals. And I saw a (D)strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to open the [c]book and to break its seals?' And no one (E)in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the [d]book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the [e]book or to look into it; and one of the elders *said to me, 'Stop weeping; behold, the (F)Lion that is (G)from the tribe of Judah, the (H)Root of David, has overcome so as to open the [f]book and its seven seals.'"
Revelations 5:1-5 
Those verses the Bible seem like a even more beautiful story.  No one could have told it like God has.  He is the best storyteller of all.  Just think: He creates living stories who make stories.  Everyone He created is a living story, and writers are living stories who make stories.  It's so complex and amazing.
There's a hobbit party going on at this blog: You can enter the giveaway to perhaps win a book. (:
There have been thunder storms lately.  The sirens went off but there weren't any tornadoes so I didn't see why they were waking people up in the middle of the night.  I wasn't afraid in the least (though I used to be, years ago).  But God is with us through the physical storms and the spiritual storms.  And the storms show his majestic power.  And Lightning is really good for the atmosphere actually.
This picture is really cool and it's from a storm in Nebraska Texas I found randomly online.
I am currently reading the book 13 Treasures.  It gets better when you realize the author is living in England and probably has an English accent.  The first chapter intrigued me and then it got a little boring but then it got really interesting.  I haven't finished it yet.  My sister's birthday is on Earth Day this Monday.  I have til then to finish editing my research paper.  Please pray I do well!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Trying not to think about Doctor Who.., and Failing

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8 (one of my favorite scriptures)

I'm sorry I'm doing it again.  I'm obsessing over Doctor Who and Clara Oswald theories but I won't say another word about it.  I wasn't going to but then I posted this verse and realized the word noble was in it.  Doctor Who references are everywhere.  You can't deny it.
I really should go to bed so I can get up and do school.  And finish binding the book.  It's bound, just needs the cover now.  Need to finish research paper on Fairy-stories.  It's really interesting and it helps me get my mind off of Doctor Who.  Also, I need to finish writing my book so I can get it printed.  But I only have two months left.
Please pray that I will use my time wisely (instead of checking for new Clara theories every single day).
I've only been a fan of Doctor Who for *counts* one... two? - years.  I love trying to solve a mystery and I bet the Great Intelligence knows the Doctor can't let down a good mystery as well.  Clara's character is a favorite.