Sunday, May 27, 2012

I finally finished The Hunger Games trilogy

Camy here, and I just finished Mockingjay yesterday.

Overall, a highly entertaining trilogy. I don’t always think Katniss is a very likable character, but I really felt for her struggles. I could wish she did somethings and not others, but then again she’s a seventeen year old girl and her government and the Capital society is cold-hearted and corrupt. Who am I to say I wouldn’t make some of the same choices? Because I think that I probably would.

Heather over at OurAdvocate pointed out something I hadn’t noticed before--throughout the entire series, there is not one word about any type of religion in Panem. That’s something worth noting, because I think that we as humans are created to believe in something. We’re built to have a spiritual hole that we try to fill, but can only be truly satisfied with Jesus.

I’m not going to try to attribute any type of Christian themes to the Hunger Games trilogy, because I don’t think that was the author’s intent anyway. But it was a good commentary on our society, and more importantly what we could be capable of.

We are all human, all fallen short of the glory of God. But thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord, that where my sin increases, His grace for me increases all the more (Rom 7:25, 5:20).

And where your sin increases, His grace for you increases all the more. Peace out, chicks.

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Out now is the first book in her new series, Protection for Hire, which is like Stephanie Plum meets The Joy Luck Club. She is a staff worker for her church youth group, and leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she ponders frivolous things like knitting, running, dogs, and Asiana. Visit her website to sign up for her quarterly newsletter.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stepping outside ourselves...

Betsy here!

Do you ever get the feeling your world has shrunk?

That somehow, suddenly, your world is nothing but homework and pop quizzes and fights with your best friend?

Or if you're a mom, your world is suddenly nothing but diapers and Cheezit crumbs and Nick Junior on TV?

I think we're due for a wake-up call.

It's good to get outside our own world. Up close, things look overwhelming and blurry. But when we shift our perspective, and lean back to broaden our view, things come into focus. We see more, and see more clearly.

Challenge yourself this week to wake up and ask God how you can bless someone else during your day. Maybe that's through sending a card or email or text message to a friend on your mind. Maybe that's complimenting a girl who you don't typically talk to at school on her clothing or hairstyle. Picking up something for someone that they dropped. Taking cookies to a new neighbor or a neighbor that just had a baby or a sickness in tnheir family. Smiling at strangers in the hallway. Doing a chore for your parents or sibling without being asked.

Trust me - small, random acts of kindness go a LONG way, especially in today's self-centered world. 

You'll be amazed at the results, and at the way taking your focus off your own problems brings peace and compassion and growth in your life.

Maybe you want to take it a step further and really embrace a bigger world. Go online to World Vision ( and sponsor a child for an affordable monthly payment. You'll develop a relationship with this girl or boy in a foreign, poverty stricken country and exchange letters and pictures with them for years. Nothing gave me a wake up call more than when I sponsored two girls, one in Colombia and one in Lebanon. I swear they blessed me more than I ever could them.

So think about it. Step outside the box, and not just that, step outside your world. There's a lot going on out there, and when we participate in something bigger than ourselves, we change. For the better.

So bad hair day or not, broken nail or not, broken relationship or not, broken heart or not - how can you help someone ELSE today?

I'll be doing this challenge with you! Please comment and let us know what you did to help someone this week. No good deed is too small.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Messed Up!

I found this on Facebook recently and saved it as my desktop display:
If you keep a journal, you can probably relate to the fear of having someone read it and find out how messed up you really are—what you honestly think and feel when you have the freedom to not hold back. I know I do! Today, seeing this kitten's face triggered a different thought: There is Someone who knows the contents of my journals and knows how messed up I am. He knows my thoughts before I scrawl them out in frustration upon the page. When I mask my feelings for others, I am not hiding a thing from Him. Unlike the idea of a family member or friend snooping a peek at my diary, the idea that God knows the contents of my heart brings deep comfort. He knows me to the core, yet what He sees does not keep Him from adoring me. Ponder that for a moment. Consider the mess your life would be without Christ. Thank Him for loving you no matter what the contents of your journal reveal.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Habakkuk 2:20 - thots from Camy

The LORD is in his holy temple;
Let all the earth be silent before him.

I forget so easily how powerful and holy God is, then I read something like this in my daily Bible reading and I have to stop and mediate on it. Somehow remembering how holy He is makes me feel closer to Him.

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Out now is the first book in her new series, Protection for Hire, which is like Stephanie Plum meets The Joy Luck Club. She is a staff worker for her church youth group, and leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she ponders frivolous things like knitting, running, dogs, and Asiana. Visit her website to sign up for her quarterly newsletter.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Living with Purpose - Accidentally

It's neat to see how our lives tie together, isn't it? How the threads of things we enjoyed when we were younger are woven into the tapestry of our later years.  :)

For me, it was reading and writing. I used to sit on the floor in my room surrounded by books and literally crying because I wasn't old enough to read yet!!

Now my daughter shares that same frustration at 3 years old. I wonder if she'll go on to be a multi-published author and freelance journalist one day like me...

Or will other threads in her life be woven brighter into her tapestry, such as the ballet class she graduated from tonight and performs her first recital next week?

Or the way she doctors her stuffed animals - will she be a vet?

Or the way she is mama to her baby dolls. Will she grow up to homeschool her 5 or 8 kids?

God knows. I don't, but He does. And He's working in her life to weave that picture right now.

He's doing the same for you my friend!

We all have a purpose, and sometimes, we find this purpose by "accident". Meaning we didn't realize the impact this particular hobby or thought or idea or dream would have in our lives - but God knew. There are no accidents or surprises with our Heavenly Father! EVERYTHING in our lives is with purpose and reason, even when we don't see it or understand it. At 4 years old I didn't know that me desperately wanting to read my baby Disney books would carry over into a life spent in love with words and novels and stories. Looking back, it's clear.

What threads are you weaving today to bring glory to your Father tomorrow? Next year? In 10 years?

What do you think will happen, where will you be? Please share! :)

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Need to Work off Your Aggressions?

Baking cinnamon rolls for my son’s birthday doubled as working off frustration after one particularly stressful day. “I need to Knead!” I announced on Facebook. My sweet friend Lois responded by posting a recipe for Aggression Cookies. Yes, it is just what it sounds like; you are actually encouraged to take your frustrations out on the cookie dough. I plan to make them this afternoon. I haven’t had a bad day, but beating up cookie dough does sound like fun. If you’d like to join me (maybe you have some emotions to vent), here is the recipe: Aggression Cookies Combine: 1 cup light brown sugar 1 cup margarine (= 2 sticks -good quality stick margarine, softened NOTE: I don’t like margarine so I plan to use butter.) 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp. baking soda 2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal Mix all together until evenly distributed. THEN begin working it with your hands. Poke, knead, punch, squeeze, take out your aggressions on it. The more you punish it, the better the cookies. The margarine softens from the heat of your hands and finally gets all the dough soft and slick. Roll into small balls, place on cookie sheet and press down with heel of hand. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until done. Sometimes it helps to have a safe, healthy outlet for blowing off steam.