Archive for the ‘My Thoughts and my Reviews on…’ Category

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Since Christmas is coming, I thought I might ask a simple question. What does Christmas mean to me? If I had to write three things about Christmas that was from the top of my head, they would be;

  1. Jesus Christ
  2. Presents
  3. and Family

Yet, yesterday I was asked that question at Youth Group and I thought about it quite deeply. What is the true meaning of Christmas? I answered the question saying ‘The Beginning of Salvation.’ That is really, what Christmas is really about.

From his very birth, Jesus was carving the path for us to follow to salvation. From the very beginning he was living a perfect life, a sinless life so that he could die on the cross and be our perfect sacrifice, cleansing our hearts from sins that a simple lamb couldn’t do.

What does Christmas mean to you when you think hard about it?

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I want you to close your eyes and focus on that blank board in front of you. If something pops into your head, accept it and move on. Now, breathe. Breath in, breath out. Again. And again, breathe in and out.

Mediation, a helpful focusing tool, and in Japan mediation was done in Zen Gardens, built with pure nature materials. They can be quite calming and peaceful. Zen Gardens also be created by just sand, gravel, and stones. The sand would symbolize water, and stones symbolized clouds or mountains.  An apprentice would rake the sand, creating ripples in the sand, symbolizing flowing water.

In Zen Garden, they often built teahouses, where they drink tea in Tea ceremonies. Inside the Teahouses, everyone who entered by the three-foot tall door was equal, everyone from the Shogun to the Samurai’s. Before entering they left their thing outside, anything that would show authority or power. Inside they were quiet, drinking their tea peacefully.

The Samurai inside a teahouse weren’t allowed to think about the battles or war’s that were happening or happened outside, yet in a battle they often think about their Zen Garden’s. There was once a Samurai who stopped fighting to cut a bamboo which he thought would make a lovely vase for his Garden. These Samurai’s are crazy about how far they would get a vase for their garden!

martial-arts-291051_1280The Samurai are the Japanese warriors, who were created in the first place to serve the lords  in a time when they couldn’t raise enough warriors by villages. Samurai’s were born into their place as a Samurai, yet the first Samurai’s were all men from the upper classes, all educated in the world . As years passed the Samurai’s became more powerful and after a battle between them one Samurai became shogun, the ruler of Japan yet they kept the Emperor as the figure yet the Shogun held the real power over the small country.

A Samurai lived by a code called Bushido, which makes them live by;

  • Honour
  • Loyalty
  • Benevolence
  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Rectitude
  • Courage

Samurai’s were also well educated, also peaceful yet they were also a dangerous. They are like a two face coin, one side peaceful, writing poems and mediating. The other side they held their battle sword, the Katana in hand and beheading their enemies or peasants who offended them.

They were the only people in Japan who were allowed to carry both of their swords, the Katana and their shorter sword the wakizashi in public. They were born into their class, the Samurai’s class and also what daimyo (lord) they serve. As I said before they lived with loyalty, and they were. No amount of money or rice (a form of payment in Japan) could bribe them to serve another daimyo.

Their swords were specially made, by noble, one of the very few trades a noble would do. Their sword was given to them as a baby, and as they grew up they kept that sword and if their sword broke or if they lost it, it would bring great shame to him.  When they died their swords were buried beside them. It makes me think of loyal companion, created to be with them and together they were buried. They were so loyal to them that, their swords killed them so not to bring disgrace upon them rather to let them live in humiliation. Such as sad story.

The Samurai are amazing breed of warriors, their first weapons were the bows and lances and swords and then later became deadly at swords. When guns came to Japan they became excellent shooters, they had three times more marksmen men than the Spanish. They were great warriors for their times yet the ravager’s of time caught up with them and took them into the past, now only a martial art and history of a small country.

the coral island

The Coral Island, was written by R.M. Ballantyne for boys who enjoy adventure. He wrote in his preface; “If there is any boy or man who loves to be melancholy and morose, and who cannot enter with kindly sympathy into the regions of fun, let me seriously advise him to shut my book and put it away. It is not meant for him.” Wow, ok… I’ll give it a spin.

The book took some time to finish yet on 26th of October this year I’ve finished it. The book was all about these three boys who were shipped wrecked on an island in the Pacific Ocean where they battled to survive. They battled salvation, sharks, and one of them got captured by pirates.

I found the book interesting and hard at first to start reading because I’ve haven’t really read a book written like that before. It took some time to get it yet I eventually got the hang of it.

The reason’s I enjoyed it was because they spoke on how life was back then, and how the Gospel was slowly reaching the islands where the cannibals lived. Another reason I liked it was because they showed plants that grew on their island and they also showed how they survived. It was very interesting reading it as a writer and I was able to see a few more things for my writings, although it just simply good just to read something in that format of writing.

If you want a book that’s full of adventures this is a good book to read for that.

My family and I recently watched Inside Out, an newly released Pixar movie about emotions who have… well, feelings. Emotions having Emotions… what’s next! But I’ve found it extremely well made. The story plot and the characters were done to perfection, these Emotions characters live inside a girl’s head whose name is Riley. I also liked how Pixar made memories so important to Riley personalty, showing that emotions and memories make who you are. The whole story plot is quite complex so I won’t go explain the movie, I’ll just introduce the Emotions to you.
Riley’s main emotion she feels is Joy.

I got: Joy! Which Inside Out "Emotion" Do You Channel?The giff above this is the character/Emotion, Joy.Happy, chatty joyful Joy. Ever since Riley was born Joy has always tried to keep Riley happy and joyful and give her lots of happy memories.

The bubbly texture of the characters’ skin cost a fortune to animate. | 19 Super Interesting Facts About Disney's "Inside Out"

The Yellow balls are happy/joyful memories

Now, please welcome…  Sadness. A blue, sad, unsure what to do emotion.

I got: Sadness! Which Inside Out "Emotion" Do You Channel?

She was the second emotion we saw in the beginning of the movie. Since the beginning of the movie Joy was unsure what to do with Sadness because she wants to keep Riley happy, yet the only thing Sadness can do is make her sadness. Through out the movie Joy finds out more about Sadness and how Sadness effects Riley’s happiness and joys.

 

 

 

 

Boo!! *high pitch scream* …. Meet Fear.Writers originally drew six emotions: the current five, plus “Surprise.” | 19 Super-Interesting Facts About Pixar's "Inside Out"
Fear here is the fellow who keeps Riley safe, from tripping on cords to being afraid of being called to the front of class. Now, Riley’s father Fear Emotion is funny.

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Riley’s dad Fear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Omg from like every inside out quiz I get anger

Mr head-on-fire is Angry (I think you could guess that.) He does all the angry stuff. He’s angry. He has control over the rude, angry stuff..

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Now this is Disgust, she’s the one who keeps Riley from being poisoned, both physically and socially.I Love Disgust! XD

 

Now that you’ve met the characters I would like to show you the reason I like the movie so much. The reason I like this movie was because there never been anything like it. Not what I’ve seen before. Have you heard a story through the eyes of our emotions who live inside you heads? And a lot of people can now see what emotion their going through and already people are using these characters to help kids discuss their emotions.

I’ve really enjoyed watching this movie and I do recommend it for others. I would watch it again and again if I had it… well, Christmas is coming!

Iron man Series 2I’ve just finished watching the series Marvel Anime: Iron Man, a twelve episode series where Tony Stark (aka… Ok, never mind we all know who he is) is building an Arc Reactor in Japan to supply the world with pure and unlimited free power. From the very beginning Tony had… difficulties. At the beginning we also find out that he was retiring from being Iron Man. He donned the armour back on after his Iron Man replacement’s test-suit started going wild.  Through the series he fought dozens of robots who were built by a terrorist group called the Zodiac.

I enjoyed watching this series because of its storyline (Iron man is one of the few heroes I enjoy watching) and the slight tension you feel between the breaks. My favourite episode in this series was no doubt the eighth episode, Daughter of the Zodiac. This episode cracked me up at Tony and broke my heart as well; it did both so well and so evenly, I’ll give it a 10/10. It was that good. My second favourite would be the last one… it broke my heart at a few points. *sob* =’(

I really enjoyed this series, it was very appropriate for an Anime show (I know that not all Anime shows are inappropriate but there are a lot of bad shows out there, and this show could’ve been worse as this had Tony Stark as the main character.) I would watch it again if/when I had the time.

are you really going to let fear control your life

I’ve recently discovered that there are two types of fears. Fear is a force inside of us that wants us to be in control of things, like we might fear that the plane we’re on might crash. One of my fears is the fear of the dark, mainly because I don’t know what’s in front of me. We want to be in control and we want to keep ourselves safe from the future.

The first fear is a good fear, which keeps us safe from doing; let’s say just say stupid things such as putting our hand in a mixer. We know it will cut us and hurt us so we keep our hands back. Good fears are supposed to keep us safe and does so even if we don’t realize it. Another part of the Good Fears are knowing what/who to fear, fearing God for example is Good Fear, because that’s where he belongs. If we aren’t afraid of him as God and all-powerful we won’t fully understand him and see how awe-inspiring and all-powerful he is. Fearing the wrong thing can lead to disaster in our life, like fearing we’re going to hurt someone if we’re with them.

The second fear is of course a Bad Fear, which promises to keep you safe but they really ruin your life. It lies to you to make think you’re in control or safe from things you’re afraid of.

A good example of this and how it destroys lives is Elsa from the movie Frozen. She was afraid of herself and hurting someone she love. Her fears lied to her that she would be able to protect the ones she love if she lock herself in her room and close the door to others, not experience their love for her. The movie nearly ended with her fear to protect others was hurting herself and the people she loved.

Love; we learnt in the movie is more powerful then fear. Like the saying says, “Great things comes in small packages” which in this instance it means love can be shown in small ways and in ways that aren’t romantic. Anna showed her love for Elsa by being there outside Elsa’s door for her for years and coming to her when Elsa showed her feelings and telling her everything can be alright. She showed a type of love I don’t believe people see or experience often.

Bad Fear brings pain to others and to ourselves, yet Good fear brings safety and respect. Love brings joy, happiness and family together. We need to know who/what to fear, and that love binds family and friends together.

According to Dictionary.com, Normal is ‘conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.‘ But Normal isn’t always normal for another person. I found this on Pinterest the other day, ‘Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.’

For the spider, catching a fly for food is normal. Yet for the fly, getting caught in a spider’s web is bad. It means the end of their life is near. This I found a very great saying because it tells us that other people will have a different opinion/life/choice then we do.

Example: I wouldn’t invite myself to a friend’s house without checking out if its OK because they might have another commitment. We all have different lives and different life-choices to other people and we need to be considerate their lives and choices.

There is no normal, only what we experience and are comfortable with is our own standardI’ve home-schooled my whole life and never been in an actual class at school. Life at home is friendly and kind. We think of each other a lot, I do chores in the morning (or throughout the morning depending on what job it is) and at night. People say I’m lucky to live in such a family as I do, yet I normally don’t understand how else a family could work. That’s my  normal. I don’t know how another family would be like because I’ve been part of only one family.

Normal is as normal as your experience in life.

iboy

On Friday my brother, my dad and I flew up to Darwin for the Northern Territory Taekwondo Championships (Which I will talk about another day) and I had heaps of time to read so I picked up a book I grabbed at the library on Thursday. The book, named iBoy, was written by Kevin Brooks about a sixteen year old boy who was given some cyber powers after an iPhone hit him in the head. There were moments where I found this book fun and laughed at its humor, but near the end when he was heading towards dealing with the big boss the language got really heavy and was used a lot.

Although, from the start, there were things that I felt a bit humphy about, such as how his girlfriend was raped (the book didn’t go into any details at all, just that said she got raped). I kinda got over this because that’s what happens in this world, and they showed how it affected his girlfriend. She was scared to be outside, and she didn’t come outside her house for nearly the whole book.

Anyway, the boy, whose name was Tom Harvey, was hit by an iPhone in the head, cracked his head open wide and he was sent to the hospital. The hospital was unable to get rid of all of the iPhone bits out of Tom’s brain.  He discovered that the bits fused to his brain and his brain evolved, giving him access to the Internet, take photos or videos, hack into any database or phone without physical contact, and make large electricity shocks and also could create an electrical force field around his body. When he found out about his friend getting raped, he secretly heads out to find the people who did it and find the big man, nicked name the Devil.

I found this book, as a Christian, kinda disturbing. With all of the swearing and the constant mentioning of rape and the life in the bad neighborhood, I felt disturbed. I didn’t put the book down because I wanted to get an idea of other writers and at the time I picked the book up off the shelf at the library it seemed interesting. The reasons I don’t recommend it for other readers are:

A. Constant bad language.

B. I didn’t really feel refreshed after I finished reading it.

C. The few mentions of rape and sex (This should be A. but I put it down for third because it wasn’t used a lot-a lot, yet used enough to get near the top.)

D. There were a few things I disagreed with, (he wrote some sayings famous people had said at the beginning of each chapter, which I didn’t really agree with so I just skipped them.)

There are some things I enjoyed in this book, such as:

A. The special humor.

B. The Story Idea (it has a great story idea.)

The thing I picked up from other writers were that description is very handy. I already knew that but I never read such great description before, as he explained what was happening in Tom’s head with i-powers and how Kevin describe such a complex story idea.

So, there are some good and bad things about this book, and it was hard for me to write such a post on such a book. There are things I don’t like and there things I enjoyed about it. It’s hard! But, in my heart, I think that it’s not the greatest book to read, there are better books to read than iBoy.