Life or Something Like It

Courageous The Legacy by the Kendrick Brothers

Courageous The Legacy by the Kendrick Brothers

Courageous The Legacy by the Kendrick Brothers

It is the 10th Anniversary of the movie Courageous by the Kendrick Brothers.  In honor of the movie, they are re-releasing the movie with an extended ending.  Courageous The Legacy by the Kendrick Brothers is celebrating in a big way!  I’m so excited to reintroduce the movie to those who have seen the original.  Also, to introduce this movie to a whole new generation who may have never seen it!

Did you ever wonder what happened to Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, Javier Martinez, David Thomson, and Shane Fuller?  Well, now is the chance!  Courageous is coming in hot with the 10th anniversary special that features and extended ending!  It does not disappoint.

I cried the first time I watched it and I cried during this extending anniversary addition.  They did such an amazing job!

THE MOVIE YOU LOVE, AT A WHOLE NEW LEVEL

Ten years ago this fall, COURAGEOUS opened in theaters across the world.  Filled with heart-pounding action, laugh-out-loud humor, and powerful inspiration, COURAGEOUS has entertained and impacted families across the globe for the past decade.

Now, from the Kendrick Brothers, creators of the No. 1 box-office movie WAR ROOM and OVERCOMER, comes COURAGEOUS LEGACY, the remastered, special-edition release for a new generation. This updated version of the film includes an enhanced look and sound along with impact stories, new scenes, and a new bonus ending you don’t want to miss! Mark your calendars, gather your friends, and spread the word.

It’s time to head back to the theaters!

IN THEATERS NATIONWIDE SEPTEMBER 24, 2021

• Watch the Trailer HERE

• View the Heart Of Courageous Legacy video HERE

• Download the Resolution HERE for free! This is a great way for fathers to take the next step and make a commitment to their wives and children.

• Watch another fun video from the Kendrick Brothers HERE

Buy Links

• Buy Tickets Here: https://tickets.courageousthemovie.com/
• Official Website: https://www.courageousthemovie.com/

Giveaway Information

The giveaway for this 10th Anniversary extended ending movie is 2 free tickets to see the film!  Please like/comment on any of my social media platforms for a chance to win.  You will need to respond to my email in order to get your free tickets.  If you do not respond, I will be choosing another winner.

2 free Fandango codes to see Courageous Legacy in theaters
Note: This giveaway is limited to the US only. Please send your winner’s full name
and email address to me by Monday, September 27th.

Disclosure:

Many thanks to Sony Pictures for providing this product/product information for
review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I
did receive the product in exchange for this review and post.

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Pure Flix Series Vindication Review

Pure Flix Series Vindication Review

Pure Flix Series Vindication Review

While I am down with Co-Vid19, I took the opportunity to binge watch the show Vindication.  This show is a police drama that is set in the suburbs of Dallas.  Detective Gary Travis is the lead character that is portrayed.

First off, I know this sounds harsh, but I say it when I review most Pure Flix shows.  The acting is good but not great.  The first episode didn’t snag me.  I had to get past that one issue.  The moral of the show was good and it was squeaky clean, which makes me happy.  It was just a struggle.

Then, I watched the second episode.  By the end of last night, I watched all 10 because I was invested in the lives of these characters.  You forget that the acting isn’t great and you see the storyline.  Then, you see the grace of God and how He moves throughout all situations, regardless of if it is good or bad.  He is glorified at the end.

Adult Subjects

Another impressive thing was that Pure Flix did not shy away from tough topics.  I do not suggest this show for 12 and under.  I do encourage that parents watch with their children because the themes of each episode are pertinent to the issues we have today.

Dark web, sex trafficking, drugs, rape, infidelity.  Those are a few of the topics that were written for this show.  There is no nudity, swearing, or anything of that sorts BUT the topics are tough ones.  Please be mindful of that when you watch this (which I highly encourage).

Living the Life

I am a cop’s daughter.  There were things that were definitely relatable as Det. Travis deals with his own family.  He can’t separate “the life” from home life.  It weighs on him, but the wife in this show reminds me of my Oak, my mama.  She is steadfast with her prayers and faith, always trying to reach deeper into him and point him to the cross.  What a beautiful depiction.

I am not super excited about Co-vid19 but I am super excited that season 2 is out 🙂  So, I’m heading over to Pure Flix, signing in, and getting ready to watch it to see what happened to the storylines I was so vested in last night.

Season 1 Episode Themes

E1

THEMES/PLOT POINTS/REDEMPTIVE MESSAGES

–          Affairs / Temptation

–          Grass isn’t always greener

–          Self-control and self-mastery

–          Unanticipated consequences of sin

E2

THEMES/PLOT POINTS/REDEMPTIVE MESSAGES

–          Parenting teenagers

–          Public school relationship challenges

–          Teenage relationships / sexting

E3

THEMES/PLOT POINTS/REDEMPTIVE MESSAGES

–          Missing persons: adult/father

–          Money/Marriage conflicts…

Keeping up with the Joneses / wealth/income

  • Insurance fraud

–          Fake friends, infidelity

E4

THEMES/PLOT POINTS/REDEMPTIVE MESSAGES

–          Autism/Disability

–          Assuming the best in people

–          Misunderstood odd behavior

E5

THEMES/PLOT POINTS/REDEMPTIVE MESSAGES

–          Drug addiction/relapse/recovery

–          Marriage challenges

–          Female small groups / prayer request mistakes/assumptions

E6

THEMES/PLOT POINTS/REDEMPTIVE MESSAGES

–          Human trafficking/Prostitution

–          A man/couple who have made it their personal mission to save those caught in this

E7

THEMES/PLOT POINTS/REDEMPTIVE MESSAGES

–          PTSD/military

–          Drug abuse

E8

THEMES/PLOT POINTS/REDEMPTIVE MESSAGES

  • relinquishing control
  • Budding romance
  • Stressed parent/child relationships
  • Repaired parent/child relationship

E9

THEMES/PLOT POINTS/REDEMPTIVE MESSAGES

  • Making decisions to turn your life around
  • Telling the truth about hard things
  • Dark web and buying people

E10

THEMES/PLOT POINTS/REDEMPTIVE MESSAGES

  • Relying on prayer
  • Deliverance
  • Closure
  • Admitting wrong
  • Sex adiction

Media

Vindication Website

Press Release

Facebook

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Show Me the Father by the Kendricks Brothers

This documentary, Show Me the Father, is by the Kendricks Brothers.  They also created movies such as Flywheel, Fireproof, Courageous, Overcomer, and War Room.  I am telling you, they get better and better.  Everytime I think they can’t top themselves in bringing the Truth of Jesus and His love for us, they do.  This documentary is no different.

There were several aspects of this that touched my heart on a deep deep level.  The story of adoption and how God orchestrated such a thing.  There were beautiful stories of loving relationships and then there were stories where it wasn’t so great.  The Kendricks Brothers were able to point every single story to the Cross.  The gospel was spoken in a mighty way.

I encourage everyone to go and see this film.  It is worth your time.

Buy Links

Show Me the Father

Trailer Links

Downloadable file: LINK

Social Media

Show Me The Father Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShowMeTheFather
Disclosure: Many thanks to Sony Pictures for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

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Tips for Turning Your Yard into an Inviting Living Space

Tips for Turning Your Yard into an Inviting Living Space

 

Photo via Pixabay

Tips for Turning Your Yard into an Inviting Living Space

If you’re blessed with a yard, make the most of it! Spending time outside is great for the health of your family, kids and pets included, so it’s important that your yard space is both safe and inviting for everyone. From outdoor dining areas to living walls, there are numerous ways to make your backyard a relaxing and welcoming space for the whole family! Here are some ideas to inspire you, presented by Barefoot Faith Journey.

Make it Kid-Friendly

Create an outdoor space where you can feel good about letting your children and furry friends romp around.

  • Use educational activities to turn your backyard into a fun outdoor learning center for kids.

  • If you have a pool, ensure that it’s well-maintained.

  • Avoid using chemicals on your lawn that could harm kids or pets.

Grow a Garden

Gardening is an excellent form of exercise and can help your kids develop a connection with nature.

  • If you’re new to gardening, learn how to get started and earn your green thumb.

  • Start small with herbs and leafy greens that you can use in the kitchen.

  • Expand your garden with bright blooms and fresh vegetables.

  • Search “fence contractors near me” to find trustworthy contractors to help you build a fence around your new garden.

Build an Entertainment Space

Create an outdoor patio space where you can lounge with loved ones and entertain guests.

Ready to give your yard a makeover? Whether you decide to go all out and build a covered patio or keep it simple with a kitchen herb garden, there are plenty of great ways to transform your outdoor space into a place where everyone will want to hang out—rain or shine!

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3 Reasons to Proceed with Your Startup Business

Barefoot Faith Journey is a faith-based blog by marriage and family counselor Brandi. Read more informative and entertaining articles today!

3 Reasons to Proceed with Your Startup Business

Image via Pexels

3 Reasons to Proceed With Your Startup Business Plans Amidst COVID-19

If you were going to start a business before COVID-19 hit, you may have chosen to put your startup plans on hold in hopes that the pandemic would be short-lived. But now that it’s been more than a year since COVID-19 became a reality, you may be thinking about whether you should finally proceed with your startup plans — or give up on your entrepreneurial dreams for the foreseeable future.

Below, Barefoot Faith Journey shares three reasons why you should move forward with your plans of starting a business during the pandemic as well as some of the things you can do to turn your entrepreneurial dreams into a reality. Now, let’s dive in!

1. Low-Cost Startup Loans

Starting a small business doesn’t come cheaply, as common startup costs include everything from web and marketing expenses to the purchase of inventory, business equipment, licenses, and office space. Plus, you need to factor in ongoing expenses, including payroll, advertising, and insurance coverage. There’s also the cost of hiring specialists to oversee customer support, accounting, and human resources advisors you’ll need to consider, although these professionals can be hired as freelancers rather than permanent employees to help you save on startup expenses.

But this is where grants and startup business loans come in. And thanks to the pandemic, many lenders are offering low interest rates, making it the perfect time to finance a new business.

2. Discounted Startup Equipment

According to USA Today, U.S. businesses, especially transportation, travel, bars, clothing retailers, spas, salons, and fitness studios, have taken a real hit since the pandemic began. And as unfortunate as this is, there are a few ways aspiring entrepreneurs can benefit from these business closures. For one, it provides new entrepreneurs with access to discounted business equipment, office furniture, and other essential supplies.

To find discounted equipment and supplies when starting a small business during the pandemic, use websites like Ebay to search for new, used, or refurbished inventory. You can also keep an eye out for businesses that announce their closure to purchase their discounted equipment. Companies often advertise the sale of equipment in order to help recoup losses from closing down.

3. Affordable Business Ownership Tools and Services

In addition to securing affordable startup business loans and purchasing discounted equipment and supplies from liquidating companies, an abundance of free or discounted business tools and services are available amidst COVID-19 — helping your startup capital to go even further.

A few of these affordable startup business tools and services include:

  • Communication and collaboration apps. Whether you’ll be interviewing potential employees or collaborating with your staff online, free or low-cost communications tools can help you to successfully run your business remotely. The team at Tameday recommends free apps like Slack, Troop Messenger, Microsoft Teams, and Flock.
  • Online business formation services. When it comes time to register a business name, you can choose to run your operation as a DBA (“doing business as”), which is beneficial as part of your marketing and branding strategy. A DBA name is essentially a pseudonym for your registered, legal business name. Many business owners use it to avoid using their own surname (if the business entity includes their name) or, for corporations, an assumed name makes expansion easier, as it’s not necessary to create a completely new corporation. You can use ZenBusiness.com to simplify the registration process for a low cost.
  • Online marketing tools. To reach your target audience and boost your online visibility without spending a fortune on professional marketing services, you can use free digital tools. MobileMonkey recommends tools like Phantombuster, Zapier, HubSpot CRM, Ubersuggest, and Canva. But if you’d prefer to hire a professional to handle your marketing, you’ll save money if you look for a freelancer on Upwork, Fiverr, or Contently.

Don’t Wait to Start a Business

If you’ve been waiting to launch your startup business, there’s no need to hold off any longer. With affordable interest rates on business loans, discounted startup equipment from liquidating companies, and free or low-cost business tools and services, the pandemic could be the perfect time to pursue your entrepreneurial goals!

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When We Last Spoke Review and Giveaway

When We Last Spoke Review and Giveaway

When We Last Spoke Review and Giveaway

 

Here is my newest When We Last Spoke Review and Giveaway.  When We Last Spoke is an award-winning, heartwarming story of faith, family, and forgiveness, based on a book by Marci Henna.

Trigger Warning  This movie is wholesome yet depicts abandonment, war, and death.

My Thoughts

Let’s set aside that Laura Ingalls Wilder portrays a grandmother in this film for a moment.  Corbin Bernsen, yes, I can see him as a grandfather.  Cloris Leachman, yes, I can see her as a wacky great grandmother.  Yet, Melissa Gilbert threw me off a bit.  Then, there were the fiddle scenes.  I can see her learning what she knew through her Pa in Little House on the Prairie.

I digress.

Let’s Dive Into the Movie

It was so freaking good.  There were moments that were hard for me to watch, as it triggered emotions of losing my Lady.  I cried, more than I probably should have.  There was no sex, no swearing, nothing.

Cloris Leachman was a star in this movie.  Her wit, humor, and beauty was a thing to behold.  I enjoyed the parts that she was in very much, especially towards the end when she was dancing with her family.

Family

This is what we do, in families.  Well, what we should do.  We take care of each other and no one should ever feel alone.  Even during the hardest parts of life, forgiveness, grace, and mercy should always try to be extended to those we love.  Taking care of each other, even when it is hard and we flush our underwear down the toilet.

Excellent movie.

Movie Info

• Watch the film on Amazon Prime or visit our website to find all the ways to view this
powerful movie with the whole family

• Starring Melissa Gilbert (Little House on the Prairie), Cloris Leachman, and Corbin Bernsen

• When We Last Spoke recently won Best Picture, Best Narrative, Best Supporting Actor, and
more at the Crown Awards at the National Religious Broadcasters 2021 Christian Media
Convention!

Trailer:  When We Last Spoke Trailer

Buy Links

• All Viewing Options: https://www.whenwelastspokemovie.com
Giveaway: You’ll be offering a free digital code for When We Last Spoke. Please send your winner’s full name & email address by Friday, August 20th.
Note: This giveaway is limited to US residents only. 
 
Disclosure: Many thanks to Last Spoke Partners for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Press Release

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 8, 2021) – WHEN WE LAST SPOKE celebrates big wins at the 2021 ICVM Crown Awards held June 23 in Grapevine, Texas. The film received awards in each of the five categories it was eligible for, including the titles Best Picture and Best Narrative.

The WHEN WE LAST SPOKE cast received three individual awards – the late Cloris Leachman was awarded Best Supporting Actor, the Silver Award for Best Actress was given to Melissa Gilbert and the Bronze Award for Best Actor was awarded to Corbin Bernsen.  “We are so grateful to the wonderful team that helped make this film a reality,” says Marci Henna. “So many
years of love and hard work have gone into this movie. I want to thank the NRB and ICVMs for recognizing us and placing us with such an amazing group of nominees.”

Past wins include “Audience Favorite” at the Austin Film Festival and the film’s official selection at the Heartland International Film Festival.  Following the lovable and nutty family of sisters Juliet and Evangeline, WHEN WE LAST SPOKE gives viewers an insight into the beauty of the Cranbournes as they journey through the ups and downs of their unexpected situation.

Life for Juliet and Evangeline changes quickly after their father James departs to fight in the Vietnam War and their mother, who feels ill-equipped to raise two daughters alone, leaves them with their grandparents, Walt and Ruby, to pursue her own singing career. Together, the family learns how to overcome heartbreak and uncertainty by holding tight to the most important aspects of life – family, friends, love and forgiveness.

Inspired by the novel from Marci Henna, director Joanne Hock and screenplay writers Rick Eldridge and Jimmy Hager pack WHEN WE LAST SPOKE with humor, heartbreak and triumph. Audiences will leave grateful for the gift of family, the relief of laughter and with a newfound appreciation for the often kooky relationships with friends and family.

Follow us on Facebook/Twitter @WhenWeLastSpoke, Instagram @whenwelastspokemovie and online at http://whenwelastspoke.com/

When We Last Spoke Review and Giveaway

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Show Me the Father by the Kendricks Brothers

Show Me the Father by the Kendricks Brothers

Show Me the Father by the Kendricks Brothers

SHOW ME THE FATHER is the first documentary from the Kendrick Brothers (Overcomer, War
Room, Fireproof).  SHOW ME THE FATHER shares powerful true stories and wisdom from fathers like Jim Daly (Focus on the Family), Sherman Smith, Stephen Kendrick, and Dr. Tony Evans.

This documentary is highlighting the fatherhood of God, it is an inspiring film that EVERYONE needs to see to remember to lean into God’s goodness.  This film is releasing in theaters on September 10th – go see it with your whole family!

Everyone has a Unique Father Story

Whether positive or painful, it’s always personal and can deeply affect the core of our identity and direction of our lives. SHOW ME THE FATHER is the first documentary film from the creators of WAR ROOM, OVERCOMER, FIREPROOF, and COURAGEOUS Legacy.

Featuring a variety of amazing true stories, this captivating movie takes audiences of all ages on an inspiring and emotional cinematic journey. Providing a fresh perspective on the roles of fathers in today’s society, it invites you to think differently about how you view your earthly father, and how you personally relate to God.

Let Me Just Tell You

I watched the trailer of this documentary and I was in tears.  Luckily, I have a father that I know loves me though he wasn’t around much while I was growing up.  He worked.  He had to provide for his family.  Then, I didn’t get it.  Now, I do and I can respect what he sacrificed for us.

On the other hand, I have personally seen the complete opposite.  Either someone didn’t have that father figure, or there was abuse involved, orphans (orphaned young and older), or just straight up dysfunctional relationships.

Regardless, this documentary points you to the Father and gently reminds you that you were never forsaken and always unconditionally loved.  I have goose bumps just thinking about it.  The Kendricks Brothers did another amazing job.  I look forward to seeing the full documentary.

Reviews

“Amazing!!!”
– Dr. Gary Chapman

“SHOW ME THE FATHER is the film our nation needs to see. We have become a society that
devalues and mocks fathers, but God created the role of fatherhood for a very specific
purpose. Many of our children feel unwanted and unworthy because half of their identity is
absent. Fathers are necessary for the next generation to heal.”
– Nona Jones, Author, Pastor, Speaker, and Executive

Giveaway Coming Your Way

SHOW ME THE FATHER is a film your whole family needs to see together. There is
something for everyone. Get your tickets today at showmethefathermovie.com and
join me and my family at the theater beginning September 10th!

I will be doing a giveaway soon, so be on the look out!  Those who “like” or comment on any of my social media platforms will be eligible to win.  This is limited to those in the United States.  You will have to respond to my email to gather your information in a timely fashion.  If you do not, I will proceed to the next person.

Buy Links

Show Me the Father

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2021 Update on Reuben Schwartz

2021 Update on Reuben Schwartz

2021 Update on Reuben Schwartz

I recently called Mountain Air Herbs to get some updated info on my favorite Idirodolgist.  So, here is the newest 2021 Update on Reuben Schwartz.

First of all…I DO NOT WORK FOR REUBEN.  I was simply a client of his (well, my family and I).  It has such and impact on me, that I have chosen to share my experience in hopes of helping others.

This is my story, I cannot speak for anyone else’s experience, this is my and my opinion only.  I CANNOT MAKE YOU AN APPOINTMENT.  Sadly, I live about 5 hrs from Hestand.  I have been able to keep up with my friends at Mountain Air Herbs, to help keep everyone updated, as I can.

Mountain Air Herbs

This time, I spoke to the long time manager Carrie Beason.  She, and the owners, are a wealth of information.  They have the supplements/oils that Reuben (now Jake Shirk) do not carry.  If you would like to contact them, you can click here and it will lead you to their website.

They are ENGLISH and not AMISH.  They work closely with the Amish because of their deep love for their Vernon community.  They CANNOT make appointments for Jake (formerly Reuben).  Their hours of operation are Monday and Friday from 8-4 pm and on Saturday from 8-12, so their hours are a bit different from Jake’s hours (formely Reuben Schwartz).

They take cash, checks, and credit cards.  They are very good at telling you what you need off of the list that is provided by Jake (formerly Reuben).  Also, what are duplicates and what you can do without.

Again, they are a wealth of information.  They can answer some questions, but not all the questions.  They do have access to a phone because they are NOT Amish.  You can get all the information from heading to their website at Mountain Air Herbs.

A HUGE thank yout to Carrie Beason for answering all our burning questions 🙂

As for Reuben

Reuben has RETIRED.  Due to an eye injury (ironic, huh) and the death of his sweet wife, Reuben has officially retired.  Jake Shirk has officially taken over.  He has worked under Reuben for about 15 yrs (according to Carrie Beason from Mountain Air Herbs).  Jake is fully capable and prepared to take care of all the needs you may have.

Jake’s services are still free (though donations are accepted).  Also, the supplements/oils do cost money and you can buy using several different options.  You can buy what you need for the moment, you can buy until your next appointment, should you make one.  Also, you can do once a year.

Please bring your bottles back, as they can be recycled and you refilled to save on the environment.  Try and remember your paper that they give you, because they will reference back to that and add to it, delete from it, as needed.

Address and Information

1205 Radure Rd

Hestand, KY  42151

Remember, they ARE AMISH.  They have no access to computers, emails, phone, or electricity, for that matter.  You will need to WRITE A LETTER in order to get an appointment.  A reply letter can take anywhere from 7-10 days.  You can request a better day/time for you, otherwise, they give you the first available.

You can walk-in.  They will always give preference to those with appointments over walk-ins.  They do stay busy, so keep that in mind.

There is no PHONE NUMBER for you to call.  Amish.  They ONLY TAKE CASH.  I would, just for security take about $300 though you may not spend anywhere near that amount.  It is better to be safe than sorry.

I did spend that much because I bought for 3 months.  Again, better safe than sorry.

Hours and Days of Operation Have Changed

The NEW HOURS are

Monday and Friday 7:30-3:00

Saturday 7:30-11:00

For Me

I welcome any and all questions, but again, I do not make the appointments.  If you have any stories to share positive or negative, you can leave them on any post.  It is good to have a well-rounded view of holistic care, which this is.

Reuben is a good man, as is Jake.  I got the pleasure of meeting him the last time I brought my children.  Reuben looked at half of us and Jake looked at the other half.  Both men are very kind.  Also remember that they sell their amazing breads, fruits, produce, popcorn, quilts, and other things.  You can get some stuff at the store.  Otherwise, you will see them outside, ready and willing to sell you their beautiful bounty of goodies.

 

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Faith Journey

Through the Fire

Through the Fire

I heard this song, Through the Fire, at church for the first time.  Oh, my word…this speaks to me on so many levels, I cannot even articulate.  Our sermon, Sunday, was on John 9:1-7.  I have read this a thousand and forty-five times.  From this perspective, however, I have never heard it.

It is about the man, born blind, and the disciples ask what sin he did (in utero) or his parents did to cause his blindness.  God allowed his blindness.  In verse 3 He says “Jesus answered, neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”

Wow

That is a verse that may be tattooed on my person.  It struck me in a way that gave me a sense of peace about Hunter.  Did he sin in utero?  Well, we are born sinners, but I don’t think that is what caused his condition.  Did his parents sin?  That’d be a giant heck yes.  Yet, we have to think that the sins of the father come down on the children in the Old Testament, not the New.  Again, different.

Maybe, Just Maybe

I should lean back on that verse and think that he has this condition because God allowed it so that the “works of God” could be revealed in him.  I think that is what I will cling to right now because A) I can.  B) I want to C) who is going to tell me different?

Through the Fire Lyrics

So many times I’ve questioned certain circumstances
Or things I could not understand
Many times in trials, weakness blurs my vision
And my frustration gets so out of hand

I am Reminded

Its then I am reminded I’ve never been forsaken
I’ve never had to stand the test alone
As I look at all the victories
The spirit rises up in me
And its through the fire my weakness is made strong

He Never Promised

He never promised that the cross would not get heavy
And the hill would not be hard to climb
He never offered our victories without fighting

What He Did Say

But He said help would always come in time
Just remember when your standing in the valley of decision
And the adversary says give in
Just hold on, our Lord will show up
And He will take you through the fire again

Within Myself

I know within myself that I would surely perish
But if I trust the hand of God, He’ll shield the flames again, again
He never promised that the cross would not get heavy
And the hill would not be hard to climb
He never offered our victories without fighting
But He said help would always come in time
Just remember when your standing in the valley of decision
And the adversary says give in
Just hold on, our Lord will show up
And He will take you through the fire again
Gerald Crabb. © 1999 Lehsem Songs

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What Fireworks Means to a School Shooting Survivor

What Fireworks Means to a School Shooting Survivor

What Fireworks Means to a School Shooting Survivor
Authorities investigate the scene of a fatal school shooting Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. Kentucky State Police said the suspect was apprehended by a Marshall County deputy. (AP Photo/Stephen Lance Dennee)

I despise fireworks. I think that some of them are so pretty, but the sound triggers me. Every time a firework goes off, I can feel it in my chest. The breath gets knocked out of me, and I freeze. At that moment, I am transported back to School. I am back in the classroom with my teachers and fellow student.

At that second, I can see the fear in my teacher’s eyes as he looks down the hallway at the commotion. “Run,” He says with complete fear in his eyes. The look in his eyes will forever be etched into my brain. Confused, I run down the hallway and watch as a freshman falls and slides into a locker. I can’t bring myself to stop and check on her, and I’m pretty sure that makes me a bad person. I’m doing what my teacher said. I am running, from what I don’t know.

 

As I Get Outside

As I get outside, I stop running. I just assume that it was a fire and that I am safe outside. The fire can’t get me here. “Someone brought a gun to school.” A stranger says behind me. At that point, I can’t think. I take off sprinting. I almost get hit by a car, it was literally centimeters away from hitting me. I can hear the teacher yelling at the students to get into a classroom in the tech building because it’s safe. I sprint into the building.
I almost enter the first room as soon as you walk in the door, but I decide that that classroom would be the first to get shot if the shooter comes up here. I run a few classrooms away, and set against the wall, and wait for any information. Students and teachers start piling in. I look around and realize I can’t trust anyone. At this point, no one knows who the shooter is. Finally, the teachers shut and lock the door.

Calling my Brother

The first person I can get a hold of is my brother. He tells me that there’s been a shooting at the school and that someone has died. My heart sinks, and all I can think about are my friends. Fear courses through my veins as I struggle to get a hold of them. Luckily, they’re all okay. I go on Twitter, and desperately try to find some information. Someone sitting close to me tells me who the shooter is. I am completely shocked and In denial. I’ve known this kid since seventh grade, there’s no way he did this. I was wrong. He did do it.
We are sitting and waiting to be told what to do next when a student starts banging on the door. He was banging on the door so hard, and asking to be let it. Fear overcomes my body. I remember begging God that they wouldn’t open that door. Luckily, they didn’t. We sat there until like 9:30, and then we are told we must get on a bus.

SWAT

They let us out of the room, but we all must go in a single file line. Teachers and Swat line the walls and make a pathway to the buses. The look in the eyes of the swat member will be in my head forever. We get on the bus, and we sit there forever. I remember looking out the window of the bus and seeing a news helicopter flying over us. I just remember being angry that they were already swarming. I mean, people just died to show some respect. It was insensitive.

Transporting Us

At around Eleven, they gave us a police escort to the nearest middle school. We took the back roads there.  They piled us all into the gym and waited for our names to be called so we could leave with our parents. I remember getting home at noon, and my family had the news on. I hear them reporting things that didn’t happen, so I just go to my room. I couldn’t sleep that night, my adrenaline was pumping. My friends can’t sleep either. We all stay up and talk.

Going Back to School

I was battling anorexia at the time so I didn’t eat anyways, but at this time I go the longest I ever have without eating. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep. I was terrified. Going back to school, was horrible. We went back on a Friday. We all met in the gym for a moment of silence, prayer, and to hear about all the resources we had available. The school was never the same. We jumped at every dropped book, we were constantly looking over our shoulder. We were all wary of strangers. We enjoyed the service dogs that came to the school, that was the best part. We played card games to pass the time.

Fear

I always told myself that If something like that happened to me I would never go back to school, and I finished my year out there and then became homeschooled. I couldn’t bring myself to sit down in that school and worry about who was walking through the door. I couldn’t sit there and continue to jump at every dropped book. I’ve only been to the school twice since then, and I still struggle with going there.
I keep in contact with the teachers I was in the classroom with that day. You will hardly ever catch me in sandals in public because they aren’t good running shoes. Every year, I plug in my headphone and blare my music so I don’t hear the fireworks. I can hear gunshots, and I can shoot guns (I’m a pretty good shot), but there’s something about fireworks that I can’t handle. I just wish people would be more considerate of people like me every year.

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