11:51 PM my time, and for 9 more minutes it is a Happy Anniversary to my blog’s 1st year up and running, or shall I say up and writing? Hmm. ^^ Above there is a slideshow Kat and I made for our parents’ 40th anniversary. Included are some beautiful pictures from their honeymoon on a Holy Lands cruise. I also arranged my song “Kind Words” on piano for the special occasion. Enjoy!
Slain, on a cross, crucified,
Treated like a lamb, sacrificed,
By the very people who should exalt Him,
He was spit upon, punished.
Born to die, pure and true,
He was treated so badly, so cruel:
The Way, the Truth, and the Life,
But they didn’t listen, and He was sentenced to die.
They thought they were rid of Him, relieved,
But three days later He had victory,
A Lion transformed from a Lamb,
And Satan lost to God’s glorious plan.
Jesus, the Lion and the Lamb,
Our very Savior, the very hope of every man.
Now we can stand our ground against evil,
And never have to face that eternal destiny of Hell.
COCOA: Detective Snowy, Detective Snowy, where are you? (sniff, sniff) I smell trouble. (sniff, sniff) Something is wrong.
(HAPPY and FABLE enter)
COCOA: Has anyone seen Detective Snowy? We need to make tracks and find the last clue. I can’t find my detective.
HAPPY: No, Cocoa. I haven’t seen her anywhere. It’s not like Snowball to be late for VBS. Something must have happened.
FABLE: She was going to the mouse alley earlier this morning to visit her friends. But she should be back by now.
COCOA: Detective Snowy is not here. I’ve sniffed everywhere. I’ve got to get busy and find her.
HAPPY: I’ll help you find Snowball. She might need some help.
FABLE: Yes. Let’s go to the mouse alley and find her.
(SNOWBALL enters “mewing”, without her spy glass and hat.)
COCOA: Detective Snowy. There you are! But, what happened to you? You look like you’ve been in a cat fight!
SNOWBALL: Cocoa, don’t call me Detective Snowy. I’m just plain old Snowball.
COCOA: Snowball, what happened?
SNOWBALL: I went to the mouse alley this morning. I was with my friends Stuart and Fival, telling them about VBS, when the mean cats showed up. The cats started chasing all the mice in the alley.
FABLE: It’s not nice to bother the little guys.
SNOWBALL: Those mean cats hurt Stuart and Fival. I got really mad. I tried to hold on to my temper like Jesus would, but I got so mad. I started yelling at those other cats. They had no reason to be mean to my friends. And I got madder because they wouldn’t stop it when I told them to. They started calling me names and THAT did it! I started throwing things around. I scared all the ugly old cats away, and I don’t think they’ll be coming back; but I broke my spyglass and lost my cap.
COCOA: Wow, you’ve had a rough time!
HAPPY: We should have been there to help you defend the mice.
FABLE: Are you okay, Snowball?
SNOWBALL: I’m okay, Fable. You all are such great friends. You are loving and caring, and so faithful. You’ve got the characterprints of Jesus. I wish I had found the last characterprint before I got so angry. I don’t feel like I’m very much like Jesus. I didn’t find anybody who was brave and courageous.
COCOA: Snowball, Jesus did act like that in the temple. You missed our Bible story today. The Bible says that Jesus got angry with the ones who were being mean to others. God doesn’t like it when someone hurts others. Jesus showed us how mad God gets. He threw the table down and ran the mean people out of the temple.
HAPPY: That’s right. God gets very angry at evil.
SNOWBALL: Yeah. But I still didn’t find the last character print. I’m not good enough to be a detective. I needed to find someone who is brave and courageous.
FABLE: Snowball, I think we know who is brave and courageous.
SNOWBALL: Really? Who? Please tell me. Who is it?
HAPPY: It’s you, Snowball. You defended those poor little mice from the mean old cats, even when they insulted you.
FABLE: Jesus did the same thing.
COCOA: You are very brave, Snowball. Just like Jesus.
SNOWBALL: You guys can’t be serious! I can’t believe this. I have a characterprint like Jesus? Are you guys playing a joke on me?
HAPPY: No, Snowball. We really mean it.
SNOWBALL: Wow! I never thought I’d find any characterprints in me. I was surprised to find Cocoa was humble and loving, but me!? This is more than I ever expected! Are you guys positive I’m like Jesus?
FABLE: Yes, Snowball. We’re positive.
COCOA: So, Snowball. How do you feel now that you’ve found all the characterprints of Jesus? Are you proud of yourself?
SNOWBALL: Well, yeah. But not as much as I thought I would be. You all get the credit, too. A little. I did do most of it myself.
SNOWBALL: Let’s review the character prints we found. Cocoa, you were humble when you took a flea bath, and you were loving when you let me change your name. Okay, it was ridiculous to change our names.
FABLE: Happy was faithful. He didn’t stop liking you when you changed your names. He didn’t make fun of you either.
HAPPY: Fable was forgiving. He forgave Cocoa for what Cocoa said to him.
COCOA: You don’t have to bring that up, do you?
FABLE: Don’t worry, Cocoa. I forgive you.
SNOWBALL: And I was brave and courageous. I saved the poor little mice from the mean cats.
COCOA: Yeah! You’re not Detective Snowy – you’re Catgirl, champion of mice!
COCOA: Yes, you can be a super hero….and….I’ll be your dog!
SNOWBALL: No, Cocoa. Let’s just be friends. Let’s help each other be like Jesus. He’s the real super hero. Jesus Christ is the champion of the whole world.
COCOA: That’s right! Jesus loves everyone!
FABLE: And Jesus is forgiving.
HAPPY: Jesus is faithful.
SNOWBALL: Jesus is brave and courageous! He helps everyone who needs his help. He saves us all!
HAPPY: I hope everyone enjoyed VBS.
FABLE: I sure did.
SNOWBALL: So did I. I learned a lot and I hope I can come back next summer!
HAPPY: Well, bye everyone!
SNOWBALL: Yeah, bye everyone!
FABLE: I hope you continue to have the character prints of Jesus all your life.
SNOWBALL: Cocoa, why aren’t you saying goodbye to everyone?
COCOA: I’m thinking about changing my name to Champion.
SNOWBALL: Cocoa, say good-bye to the audience.
COCOA: Good-bye to the audience. Oh! Bye everyone. I hope you will go into all the world and make tracks for Jesus!
SNOWBALL: Hey, Cocoa, Fable, Happy, let’s go eat! I’m starving!
COCOA: Yeah! Let’s make tracks to my house! I’ve got some mice in the freezer!
SNOWBALL: Cocoa! Don’t make me mad!
COCOA: I’m just kidding, Snowball.
(All puppets leave stage.)
(Behind curtain) COCOA: Ow! I’m just kidding Snowball.
As a kid, I loved playing with puppets. I would always write my own puppet plays and play them out for Lacy or for my stuffed animals or parents (depending on if Lacy wanted to play puppets with me or if she wanted to just watch.) In 6th grade my best friend and I were the puppeteers for the school counselor, although that wasn’t much fun because the voices were pre-taped and we just moved the puppets’ arms around and their mouths according to the voices talking.
In Sunday school, I was a puppeteer when my parents taught the children’s Bible hour. It was loads of fun, and I loved helping my mom write the plays that would speak to the younger kids each Sunday. I would have even more fun playing the voice of one or two of the puppets.
In the summer of 2000, my church was holding a 3 day VBS, “Finding the Characterprints of Jesus”. There were 5 lessons:
Lesson 1 – Jesus was humble.
Lesson 2 – Jesus was forgiving.
Lesson 3 – Jesus was faithful.
Lesson 4 – Jesus was loving.
Lesson 5 – Jesus was brave.
The point of the VBS was to encourage the kids to be detectives and find out ways to be like Jesus Christ. I remember, the instigator of the VBS was trying to come up with a fun way to close out each day’s activities, and so my mom offered us to make a puppet skit and put it on for the rest of the kids (and adults, too). I had so much fun with VBS that year. Mom played the cheery Happy the bear, Lacy played the lighthearted Cocoa the dog, I played the sassy Snowball the cat, and we got another gentle-voiced woman from church to play the amiable Fable the panda. Needless to say, our skits were a hit.
An armored Knight galloped on a horse so fine,
A white horse: that milky, pale mare,
And the Knight, pure and refined,
He portrayed heroism, indeed.
Dark eyes watched enemies at abroad horizons,
Surveyed lands: lush, green grasslands,
Emitting a bright sword, so pious,
Its appearance was crimson-free.
His cape draped over the back of his mare,
A strong shield: a firm, polished helmet,
Those were all attributes he handled with care.
He had a character that was careful and clean.
His heart was saddened, though,
From an attempt, an awful, fatal attempt,
That a Princess had sworn by, she chose
To be bound by a deadly creed.
Dragon was fierce; he cared for no one,
Angry feelings: angry, livid rage,
He had a personality feared by everyone.
This Princess was a prisoner of his greed.
She had what he wanted: she had what he needed,
Her beautiful heart: a kind and gentle heart,
Yet timidity, her one weakness,
She was Dragon’s key.
The door to life, everlasting riches,
Promised to those who contained kind hearts,
He planned on killing her, hence,
To obtain what he needed.
Dragon had forced the Princess to surrender
Her life: Her precious and wholesome life.
So that he could be the one to live on forever.
He didn’t once take heed.
The Knight on the horse, that milky, pale mare,
Was going to tell Dragon what he should hear.
So he galloped on his horse, that milky, pale mare,
Day by day, battling both cold and heat.
He raced across plains, dashed through valleys,
The horse was always weary, but he was always brave,
Night after night for strength he prayed,
Dear Father, I don’t want to be too late.
As the Knight arrived closer, every step at a time,
Dragon pined for that lovely immortality.
He laughed and mocked, but the Princess never whined;
She tried holding onto her faith.
Dragon hated waiting, so he would linger no more!
Her heart he would take, that precious, pure heart,
From her, so he could live forevermore.
There would be no more wait.
The Knight galloped on, so fast and never stalling,
When envisioning death, of his beautiful Princess,
How could he even think about stalling?
No, it couldn’t be too late!
Dragon leered; he moved his claw across her skin.
The cackle was there, that crude, blunt cackling.
He began by pinning his claw to her chin,
And he knew then, that her skin soon wouldn’t be crimson-free.
As he neared her chest with his sharp weapon,
A noise, an approaching, tedious noise,
Like the prancing of hooves, it startled Dragon,
And he turned to look and see.
“Who is he?” Dragon sneered.
As he saw a bright and shining Knight.
He was mounted on horse, a milky, pale mare,
It was like this Knight was cloud sailing.
“I am a knight,” he replied, “and this is my bride.”
“You think you can take her away?”
“Snatch her from my side?”
His hands were bruised, from much laboring.
Even so, his bravery increased,
And he unsheathed a sword, so pious,
He dismounted his horse, and neared
The Dragon, who was glaring.
“You can’t take what’s mine away,”
“You’re fate still remains the same, Dragon.”
“Even if you take my bride away,”
“You are still dying.”
“Steal a heart, but you’ll remain in death,”
“Even if that heart’s full of kindness.”
“Change your own heart, and you’ll be free,”
“Life will be yours, and immortality.”
Dragon refused to listen, and the Knight shook his head.
The Princess would be set free, but Dragon’s fate was death.
The Knight cast his sword forward, a tear slipping, and falling,
He was hoping Dragon would change his mind.
But because of his stubbornness,
His foolish, stupid stubbornness,
Dragon would reap what he sowed.
His own vileness would heap and teem.
It would become millions of times worse,
Than it was before: all the evil he had boasted,
Would bounce back, and be his curse,
Dragon would gnash his teeth.
So it was done, the Knight pierced him:
Dragon cried in pain, a loud and mournful cry,
And he knew then, there would be no one to save him.
The knight blade was not crimson-free.
The burning fire he had treated others to,
That seething, potent pain they felt,
Was now engulfing Dragon, who,
Had the choice to surrender and yield.
The Knight bent down, and checked his bride,
To see if she was still humble.
He had saved her from death, and the Dragon’s pride,
Her heart, he had tried to steal.
Void, and abyssal,
Infinity is in the palms of God.
Our diminutive minds strain to see Him.
A speck, an atom,
But God’s microscope eyes can perceive us.
Can see His glory,
Through the Creation: God’s Infinity.
Is nature: cosmos,
The universe is a mirror of God.
At one point or another, I’m pretty sure everybody wonders what being filthy rich feels like. I never believed my mom when she said “Big pockets belong to big liars”, but after spending a week at the Bahamas with the richest scamp on the planet, I think I’m a believer.
As if that’s not shocking enough, this “rich scamp”? He might just be the ghost of a ruthless pirate.
I’m not crazy! Bahamian legends foretell about all the murderous things pirates are capable of. I have lots of evidence to back up my theory.
My suspicions all started after sitting in a squeaky clean limousine…
For anyone who knows me, they will tell you that I’m a meticulous person. It comes in handy sometimes, it’s not always a bad thing, to look at the details, but it can be annoying for my friends. On any given day, you can find me checking Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIN, Deviantart, and so on, for anything new that I need to read or check. New tweets, follows, likes, etc.
But WordPress truly cuts the cake. It broke the mold. It has a bulky interface that makes it difficult to track everything (follows, likes, comments, and email subscriptions), and now I feel a bit sorry that so many comments have gone unread. There’s nothing I can do except write this post saying sorry and asking for all my commenters to come again to sign the guestbook and comment!
What’s the point of having a guestbook if readers are barred from signing it? That’s exactly what I feel happened with my blog. Very sad!
I’ve had my blog since August last year. For 5 months, all comments were going to the spam inbox where they awaited moderation, which means if I do not approve them, each one individually, they automatically get deleted after 30 days. Since I didn’t realize this fact, and I didn’t know I had a spam inbox because I didn’t frequent the WP Admin part of my WordPress account, I just now learned that 112 comments got deleted without me ever seeing them!
Now maybe some of them were spam, although some of them were labeled under ham (the word for messages marked as non-spam). I feel a little horrible inside knowing I got over 100 comments that I was never able to read. Surely it would have made my blog experience less lonely, and it would have helped me be more encouraged to write.
As a result of this lesson, I am going to open up commenting on nearly all my past posts, and I ask for you to please try commenting again if you left a comment before that was never seen. Tell us how we’re doing, we’d love to hear from you. Hugs to all the commenters that posted forgotten ham.
A warm ray of sunlight shone brightly into the open-air window, almost like the sun was smiling upon a magical spot in a teenager’s room. The room was a young girl’s fantasy, with pink sheets and curtains, and small angel trinkets on display. On the shelves was a small assortment of books, and around the room were display dolls of all shapes and sizes. A woolly gray teddy, with round spectacles balanced upon his nose, sat on a corner table studying a chessboard. A small pocket watch was sewed to his vest, and he looked quite intelligent.
The cheery, warm sunshine peeked in among the row of potted plants on the windowsill. It spied a small beanbag fox, lying lazily among the plants. It almost seemed as if the small fox had been lost among the plants, and forgotten since childhood. He sat there staring intently at the blue jays and sparrows flittering around the yard with a dreamy, yearning sparkle in his marble eyes.
“I want to go outside!” Foxxie called out. “I’m gonna run away, and have an adventure!”
Professor Marble looked up from the chessboard, and gazed skeptically at Foxxie. Foxxie watched the teddy bear closely, to see how he would react. The small bear just kept gazing at his worn-out beanbag friend.
“Well, aren’t you going to say something?” Foxxie questioned. “I’m telling you that I’m running away!”
Professor Marble cocked his head. “Will you enjoy yourself?”
“Dah!” Foxxie shot back, nodding his head happily. He was proud to use his wonderful Russian word. He used the word with the Professor so that he would sound more intelligent, just like his friend. Foxxie thought the word sounded smarter, anyway. It was his way of saying “Yes!”
Professor Marble gazed at Foxxie before speaking to correct his friend. “The word is da, Fox. It’s said with an aw, as in paw.”
“Oh…” Foxxie mused. “Well, ‘dah’ is my own word. I made it up.” It wasn’t smarter, after all, but at least he was unique.
“Well then, bon voyage. Have fun.” Professor Marble took one last glance at Foxxie, and then went back to his game.
“Oh.” Foxxie let out an exasperated sigh. He was disappointed that Professor Marble didn’t try to stop him. “Well, goodbye!”
Foxxie hopped out the window, into the thick carpet grass. A cool breeze blew, wiggling his whiskers. “Dah, that feels so good. It feels good to be outside! Free and wild! Free to be me!”
Foxxie looked around at his new surroundings. There were lots of beautiful flowers scattered around the yard, but Foxxie especially liked the exotic red flower growing in the flowerbed. He felt that he just had to get that beautiful hibiscus flower for his favorite person, Jackie Jackson, the young girl who had grown into a lovely young woman. Foxxie could imagine the lush red flower in Jackie’s thick golden hair. Foxxie suddenly felt forgotten and lost to his only love.
“I have to get her that flower.” Foxxie said to himself. “My future with Jackie depends on it!” He ran over to the flower and tried to break off the stem, but it was too tough. He tugged at it again, when he noticed a large bumblebee buzzing around the flower.
“Stay away from the flower, you bee!” Foxxie yelled. He glared at it, ready to attack if it came too near the flower. “You can’t have the flower! It’s mine. I’m gonna give it to Jackie, and you can’t have it! Go find your own!” The bee buzzed around a few seconds longer, then flew off to another flower. “Dah! I scared it away!” Foxxie said proudly. Then he looked back at the flower. “Now, how am I gonna get it? Hmm… I know! I’ll go ask the Professor!” He climbed up an old lattice next to the window and stumbled back onto the windowsill. “Professor Marble, how can I get a flower out there? I can’t get it off the stem.”
Professor Marble gazed patiently at the worn little fox, and gently shook his head. “My friend, you’ve got to think wild when you’re an adventurer. Would Christopher Columbus have discovered America if he hadn’t dared to imagine that the world was round? Of course not. As an adventurer, he dreamed something different and made it happen. How do you suppose Thomas Edison, a great adventurer into science, created the light bulb, or Alexander Graham Bell the telephone? They imagined. You, too, must use your imagination. Imagine some very sharp teeth in that soft little mouth of yours, and that flower will be yours in one bite. Imagination can get you anything.”
“Oh, dah!” Foxxie replied, a little embarrassed that he didn’t think as wildly as that. Then he cheered up. “I just thought! I need to add a note to go with the flower!” Foxxie dashed to Jackie’s desktop and rummaged around in her letterbox until he found a small piece of paper. On it was scribbled the words: “To the beautiful Jackie Jackson; the angel of my life. From your secret admirer.”
“Dah, this is perfect! It doesn’t even have a name.” Foxxie looked around, but couldn’t find a pencil small enough for him to use. He walked over to Professor Marble and held up the paper for him to see. “How can I write my name on this?”
Professor Marble glanced down at the small note and chuckled. “Fox, I believe a secret admirer’s name is to remain a secret, isn’t it?”
“But how would she know it’s from me if I don’t put my name?” Foxxie shot back.
Professor Marble let out a small sigh. “Well, if you want your name on the note, why don’t you imagine? Before people had pencils, they used feather tips dipped in ink. They used their imaginations. Why don’t you use yours?”
“Dah! That’s a good idea!” Foxxie shot out the window and landed on the soft grass. He frantically looked around, but to his dismay he didn’t see any feathers. But he did notice that the bumblebee was back.
“Hey, bee? What are you doing back?” Foxxie shouted. That’s when he saw the point at the end of the bee. “Hey! I got an idea! Hey bee! Come here!” The bee seemed to ignore Foxxie. It seemed preoccupied with the flower. “Hey Mr. Bee! Don’t ignore me! I need your help!” He ran up to the bee and watched as it landed on the flower and turned to look at him. “Please bee, I need to use your stinger! I need to write my name on this note, and I was wondering if you could help me.”
The bee looked at Foxxie for several minutes. Then it spoke up in a small voice. “I’d like to help you, little fox. But how will you be able to use my stinger?”
Foxxie looked thoughtfully at it, then said, “We’ll use our imagination. I’ll imagine you are a pen. You’ll go dip your stinger into one of those berries on that bush over there, and then I’ll write with the berry juice as the ink.”
The bee thought for a minute. “Alright, but be careful. My stinger is fragile, and can break.”
The bee buzzed off to the blackberry bush and stabbed a small berry cluster. When Foxxie pulled it off the stinger, he noticed a little bit of juice on the tip. “Dah! You got some!” Excitement was in the air.
Foxxie gently guided the bee over the notepaper and started to write his name on the note. He soon ran out of his ink though. He was about to need more berry juice when he heard some voices on the porch. “Oh no, Jackie’s coming. I need to hurry and get the flower!” He glanced down at the note. All he had written was the ‘F’ and half of the ‘o’. “There’s not enough time!” Foxxie loosened his grasp on the bee and watched as it flew up into the air. “Thank you, bee!” He yelled. Then he turned and dashed over to the flower. He closed his eyes, breathed a deep breath, and took a big bite off the stem. It snapped in two, and Foxxie grabbed the flower.
Just then, a girl in her late teens walked up. Foxxie watched as she brushed a bang out of her beautiful blue eyes. Her shoulder length blonde hair was tied back into a large pink ribbon. She held a badminton racket in her hand.
“Where did that birdie go this time?” The girl looked around, and noticed Foxxie. “Foxxie, what are you doing out here?”
“Jackie!” Someone called out from the other side of the yard. “Come on! We’re waiting!”
“Hold on a second. I can’t find the birdie!” Jackie called back. She picked up Foxxie and glanced at her open window. She gently picked up the flower and read the small note with it. She noticed the letters “Fo” scratched out at the bottom of the note. She looked back at Foxxie with a puzzled look on her face.
Later, after Jackie had taken Foxxie back to her room and placed the flower in a vase on her desk, Foxxie was on Jackie’s bed examining a scrapbook she had out. The bee had buzzed in to hear the ending results of Foxxie’s quest. Foxxie had just finished reporting to Professor Marble and Mr. Bee all that had happened.
“What happened to your great adventure you had planned?” Professor Marble asked. “I thought you wanted to become an explorer, like Lewis and Clark? Didn’t you want to go out and find something great?”
“Dah.” Foxxie quietly said. “It wasn’t all that I expected it to be. It wasn’t as great as I thought.”
“Well, perhaps you shouldn’t let your emotions control your actions.” Professor Marble scolded softly. “You can’t lose control of your feelings like that. You need to keep your mind on your mission.”
“Dah, you’re right.” Foxxie agreed. “I totally lost control. Maybe I’m not cut out to be an adventurer. I’m not the right kind of person to be an adventurer. I’m more of the romantic type. I’m more ‘go for the girl you love’ rather than ‘go for the adventure’. I’m in love! I want to be Jackie’s Prince Charming. I will be the next Don Juan!”
The bee buzzed around the room with delight, obviously picking up on the excitement of the moment. “Yes, yes! You can star in the movie Gone with the Wind! You can play Rhett Butler and your friend Jackie can star as Scarlett O’Hara! You two can fall madly in love!”
“Or I could write letters to her!” Foxxie cried happily. “We could write to each other, and she’ll never know it’s me! Then we could meet sometime, and she’ll discover that I was the one writing the letters all along! She’ll realize that I’m the one she loved all this time!”
“Oh, what fun that sounds.” The bee exclaimed, then settled down and sighed a happy sigh. “Wow. What a romance story that would make.”
Professor Marble smiled kindly at Foxxie. “So, my little Romeo, have you learned anything new today?”
“Dah.” Foxxie said. “I didn’t impress Jackie by getting that big beautiful flower. She couldn’t read my whole name. She must not have known it was from me.”
“Good. I’m glad to hear that you have learned a lesson today.” Professor Marble gave a small sigh of relief and nodded. “Now maybe you’ll think twice before going out and trying to impress Jackie. After all, she’s grown up and doesn’t have time to play with small toys like us anymore. We are only for display now.”
Foxxie shook his head quickly. “Oh, no! That’s not what I learned. I learned that one flower wasn’t enough, and that berries don’t give enough ink.” Foxxie exclaimed. “I’ll have to use my imagination to think even wilder next time. I’ll have to think of something better to write my name with. And, I’ll just have to get her lots of flowers!”