Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nicole Nordeman --Brave

'Cause it's been fear that ties me down to everything
But it's been love, Your love, that cuts the strings

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

*graphics by Sofia C.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words"

Friday, February 24, 2012

Confused yet? I know I am!



Recently I have been studying the time period of the 1920’s. Besides the fact that it was the end of the war and the beginning of prohibition, it was also a major time period of “role confusion.”
A little background for you: During the war, many women had to take jobs in the numerous factories as to do their part for the war effort. Of course, this was because all of the men were fighting overseas and they were in desperate need of the supplies which the factories produced.
After the war some women didn’t want to give up their jobs. They had tasted this new kind of freedom, just as Eve had tasted the apple. Although this time they had a glimpse of man’s world and some of them didn’t want to give it up.
Another problem was the teenager culture. The fashion of the day was no longer designed with girlish frills, big skirts, and long flowy hair. Girls were now wearing knee length dresses, and bobbing their hair so short that on occasion, you could not tell the difference between a boy and a girl.
It was not just the outward appearance that had changed; it was the attitude. In the 1920’s girls became less feminine and were encouraged to try and be tough, and step into a boys shoes. Girls as well as boys were encouraged to not grow up, but be forever in the stage of happy youth.

All this has backfired!

Let’s pretended that you are accompanying me on a trip to town. Our first stop is the grocery store. We park our car and start heading for door. Uh Oh, our first problem arises. There is a young man standing awkwardly inside the door. Will he hold the door open for you on his way out, or will he hurry by, hands in his pockets because he is afraid that you will get the wrong impression by his courtesy? If he did open the door, would you say a polite “thank you” or would you take offense at his gesture? Clearly he thinks that you are too weak to open the door by yourself…
You enter the store. The flour you were looking for is on a high a shelf, but unfortunately you are too short to reach it. Your eyes search for an employee of the store and finally you spot one. That is when problem two comes to the surface: The employee has his/hers back to you can’t tell if it is a boy or a girl. Yikes. How are you supposed to address this person? The young adult is wearing incredibly tight pants, a baggy t-shirt, a short hair cut that looks like it might have once been died orange, and has two earrings.

Like the 1920’s, 2012 has its own set of appearances. Before the 1920’s, young women never smoke or drank in public. Unfortunately, that changed. During the 1920, it wasn’t all too uncommon to see women self consciously puffing and choking on cigarette smoke, or drinking along with men. Although at that time they weren’t allowed to be in the bars, as we can see, that came along later. Now there isn’t anywhere in the Bible that tells women not to drink or smoke, but to me it doesn’t paint the prettiest picture of how a true lady’s character should be upheld. Instead, it says “if men can do it I can do it.”

Now a days, we see a lot of this kind of attitude. We see women pastors, women in the army, we see them in politics. Not too long ago the navy’s submarines were accepted for only men. Then came along the all-achieving women. The military now has to spend 4 million dollars per submarine to re-outfit each submarine so that women can live, work, and die with the men standing by their sides.
So my fellow sisters, are you confused yet? Are you wondering what exactly your role is in this world? Are you wondering where to go from here?
I want to encourage you to step into the word of God. To discern for yourself what kind of roll God has for you, his precious daughter. In what ways can you best honor Him? How can you best serve the people around you? Most importantly, ask yourself this: What kind of attitude fits best with God’s original plan for His daughters?

Are you following that plan?

Here are a few scriptures that are encouraging to me.

Proverbs 31:10 a wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Ok so were not married but needless to say be someone with outstanding character.
Proverbs 31:20 she opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

Proverbs 31:27 she watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Genesis 2:18 the lord God said it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. Be a helper. If you don’t practice helping people now you can’t expect that character trait to spring up as soon as you become a wife.

Titus 2:3-5 likewise teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train that younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

1 peter 3: 3-4 your beauty should not come from outward adornment such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4 instead it should be that of your inner self the unfading beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit which is of great worth in God’s sight

Deuteronomy 6:7 Impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you wake up.

Don’t be confused. You are a daughter of your heavenly father. Study God’s word, diligently search for his commands, don’t take them lightly. God loves you and wants to see you grow in His image, His word is a love letter to you and He didn’t leave out anything important.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pillars Of Biblical Femininity
Sermon notes from our sweet Ella

In Hindu countries, women are images of liability, in Muslim culture women are used, in china women are viewed as less than men and are killed at birth. In Christianity, women are placed in position of high honor. They bore the one who crushed sin. You are made beautifully in God’s image.

You are a woman, not a man. There is a big difference between masculinity and femininity. We see more and more today of women stepping up and taking leadership in the family, in the churches, and in combat. All this leads to the making of weak men. How could a woman best help? By standing up and taking the man’s place, or by encouraging their husbands, building them up, and teaching their Children to follow after Christ?

Just as Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, so should we be continually learning from Jesus, studying his word, and growing into the beautiful young women God has intended us to be. We should have a hunger for Christ. The fruits of the spirit should be vivid in a biblical woman. There should be true evidence of a life changed by Christ. You should live as a disciple of the King.

True beauty starts on the inside and works its way out. If you will let Jesus shine though you, He will make you more beautiful than any earthly image. This does not mean that we should make ourselves frumpy or totally discard any every bit of care for outward appearances. However, we should spend most of our time with our hearts—leaning for follow Christ. Matthew 23:26b heeds us to “First clean the inside of the cup and the plate that the outside also may be clean.” (ESV) Your beauty should not come from your outward appearance instead, “let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (1 peter 3:4 ESV) One day when you become old and your skin is wrinkled, and your hair turns a whispy gray the world will tell you that your youthful beauty has perished forever. God says that you are always beautiful in your heart if you follow Him.

God has made you as a helpmeet, a servant to others. Man was lonely—incomplete when God created him. They had God with them, but as far as other human beings they needed something that only a woman could provide. Young women in our day shouldn’t be taught that by submitting to their husband or father they are being used. Instead, they should be taught to see the beauty of two people working together for the glory of God.

A young lady should be a keeper at home. (Titus 2:5) The word of God above all things is not to be blasphemed. When people throw off God-given roles then God is blasphemed. Without women, the home is venerable. Do not think that women are not allowed to work outside the home, they can indeed take an outside job unless that outside job causes her attention to draw away from her responsibilities as a wife and mother. Don’t think that staying home is something less than your potential, Working at home is a full-time job.

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Deuteronomy 6:7 Impress them upon your children talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road when you lie down and when you wake up.

Isaiah 4:6 it will be a shelter and shade from the heat of day, and a refuge of hiding place form the storm and rain.
You are to raise your children to the glory of God. You have been honored and appointed to raise your children as sons and daughters of the King.

all images copyright Sofia Collins 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Kisses from Katie, a lovely, enjoyable and heart-wrenching book is written from the standpoint of a twenty-one year old young lady, who makes the decision to always say “yes” to God. When Katie reaches the age of eighteen, she had to decide between two things: Going to a high-society college to honor her parents, or following the Lord’s tug on her heart to do missions work in Africa.
When the Lord leads Katie to teach a Kindergarden class in Uganda for a year, she falls in love with the country, and realizes that Uganda is where God wants her to be—possibly for the rest of her life. Saying “Yes” to God once is a hard choice. It is also an honorable one. But when faced with more and more choices, Katie finds herself continuing to answer God’s call and saying “Yes”.
Many people may say that by saying “Yes” to God, Katie ruined her life. Not only did she purchase land and a permanent home in Uganda, begin a ministry called Amazima, reach out to an extensively poor group people that many others were afraid of, but she also adopted fourteen orphaned little girls as a single mother. However, Katie finds that although sometimes answering God’s call can be a challenging thing, it also brings more purpose, more love and more joy into her life than she could have ever imagined.
Follow Katie through her journey of hope when she watches sick children begin to walk again, Faith as she journeys through each new and more challenging day, Courage when she braves not only the natives, but also rats the size of dinner plates, and the kind of Unconditional Love that only Jesus can bring.

Purchase Katie’s book here
Or visit her blog

*Photo copyright Sofia Collins 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mused by Piper....

My family is artsy

My family is big

Music, drawing, singing, you name it, we do it prolifically

Thus, whenever the members of our large family come for a visit, they insist on being shown around the house and seeing the new art work that we have done since they last came. Each new piece of artwork that we show or song that we sing is usually accompanied by a few ‘Wow’s or ‘you are so talented! how do you do it?!’ s. My sister, the famous artist in the family, usually responds with, “Do you want to see what I am working on now?” And it is even more incredible than the last beautiful thing was.

I was thinking about this in a spiritual context the other day. Have you ever been outside on a dark velvet night, and seen the fields of stars blooming above you? Have you ever gone out to the lake shore and watched the sun come up in a blaze of glory? Think of the most breathtaking scene you have ever witnessed.



“God, how do you do it?” we say. “You are so amazing. How big is your imagination to create something like this?”

And God says, “Hey, check this out! You see the moon, the stars, and the sun? I created them too. And all those sunsets you’ve enjoyed? I’ve painted a different one every evening since the beginning of time.”

And then He says, “Do you want to see what I’m working on now?”

It’s your heart.

And there’s nothing left to do but praise Him. God is so magnificent, so worthy, so holy, so pure, so creative, so awesome in His power, and He created the works that blow your mind. And the thing that He’s working on now is your heart. Isn’t God great?

Photo copyright Sofia Collins 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

This cake is definitely without a doubt my families all time favorite.
I made it today for my little brother (who did really well in his basketball game, by the way!)
Give it a whirl and tell us what you think!

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

2 cups of sugar
1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup of boiling water
1 bowl of homemade frosting


* Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

* In a large mixer bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes.

* Remove from mixer; stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30-35 minutes for round pans, 35-40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

* Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely, then frost.



6 tablespoons butter or softened margarine.
2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/3 cup of milk
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

*In small mixer bowl, beat butter. Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk; beat to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed). Blend in vanilla. Makes about two cups of frosting.

Have fun! I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, February 10, 2012

The average American family has an income of $63,000 per year, 8,000 of which they spend on unnecessary goods or services.

“Americans spend about 15% of their household incomes on things that they do not need to satisfy their vices or to keep themselves amused.”

"A person who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day in New York state will spend more than $4,000 a year, which is roughly 10% of the average American income before taxes."

More than 800 Million people will go to bed hungry tonight. 300 million of them are Children.

Every 3.6 seconds another person dies of starvation and the large majority are children under the age of five.

Every year six million children die from malnutrition before their fifth birthday.

What are YOU doing to help?

*First three photos copyright Anna K, all other photos by Radwa photography

*All American facts from Douglas McIntyre, Michael Sauter, Charles Stockdale, 24/7 Wall Street

* poverty facts from millenium project

Friday, February 3, 2012

Our musings...


Before I die I want to….

*Share the gospel with a famous person

*Dance and sing in Kroger

*Live in a lighthouse

* Be a true friend to someone

*Get arrested


Before I die I want to….

*Go on a missions trip to South Africa

*Drive a four-wheeler

*Hike the Appalachian trail from one end to the other

*Take a ride on a submarine and conquer my fear of deep water once and for all

*Adopt children from the U.S.


Before I die I want to….

*Go on a long-term missions trip overseas

*Lead a friend to Christ

* Be a really good photographer (Note from Sofia: Come on, seriously? She already IS!)

* See the prayers that I pray every night answered

* be able to recite the book of James


Before I die I want to….

*Stop world hunger

*Follow God with every step of my life

*Lead someone to Christ through a book I write

*Make someone laugh so hard that they cry by using only facial expressions

*Be a missionary in Israel or Africa

What are some things you want to do before you die?

Photo copyright Sofia Collins 2012