Wednesday, June 27, 2012

that one thing || Addressing the Issue of Pride

There is not a single fault which makes a man more unpopular and which we are more conscious of in ourselves. This vice I speak of is Pride or Self-Conceit. Pride is when sinful human beings aspire to the status and position of God and refuse to acknowledge their dependence on God. It lifts up ones heart against God and contends for supremacy with Him.

Pride is indeed the root vice from which many other sins spawn. He who wishes to glorify himself and not God thereby attempts to deprive God of something only He is worthy of. It is no wonder than that God opposes the proud. And because God cannot bear with arrogance, He reveals Himself in scripture as actively opposed to Pride: “God opposes the proud…” (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5). And although Pride takes on innumerable forms, it has only one end: Self-glorification. 

As C.S Lewis stated in Mere Christianity, “Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: [for] it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind” (Lewis 122). Furthermore, as long as we are proud we cannot know God. In God we come up against everything that is in every respect immeasurably superior to ourselves. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and as long as he looks down, he cannot see that which is above him. Humility, in Christian morals, is the exact opposite of Pride.

As the rest of James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5 say, “…but [God] gives grace to the humble…” If anyone would like to acquire humility, here is the first step: to realize that one is proud. Granted, this is not an easy step: but a very important one nonetheless. Nothing whatsoever can be done before you acknowledge that you are an utterly prideful human being. If you think you are not proud, you are very proud indeed.

The point is God wants you to know Him: wants to give you Himself. 

Seek Him First,
All Text © 2012 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2012 Charity Klicka Photography

Monday, June 4, 2012

BE || 3 Tips to an Amazing Blog

There are a few important tips, ideas and useful knowledge to keep in mind if you have a blog or are considering starting one. I am gleaning from a few of my other favorite bloggers to compile this list of insightful information. 

Don't compare. As much as you may want to compare yourself to others when you first start out, or even well into your blogging journey. Fight the temptation to be someone else. As Gillian from The Closet Diaries said, "You need to come to the realization that there will always be someone out there with a nicer blog than yours. Someone will have more experience, better connections, more money or a talent that you don't have." Comparison is truly one of the most crippling things to someone who has taken the risk to share personal happenings in a public way. Now don't get me wrong here, inspiration can be a good thing. But you have to know that there is a definite line between  good and going too far. If you were not inspired in some way by the starting (soon to start) of your blog, I think I might be worried. You'll start comparing yourself to that other blog[s] and soon you'll feel that you are not quite good enough. Be yourself (although so cliche, it is the gospel truth). You were made "fearfully and wonderfully" by your heavenly creator. Live that way. To write a truly great blog, you must come to the realization that you will never be perfect, there will always be someone with more money, more followers, better designs, but there will never be anyone just like you. And you have that amazing opportunity to be yourself. And the very best self that you can be.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask yourself questions about your blog. Your experience, what your vision is. Jonathan from Blogging Your Passion explains the "The Hedgehog Blogging Concept". If you want to apply this principle to your blogging journey, then it requires you to ask 3 questions. What are you deeply passionate about (Passion)? What are your natural strengths (Skills & Abilities)? What can you be the best in the world at? What drives your economic engine (Profitable Business Model)? Jonathan explains how you will soon see "where the magic happens". "...[T]he magic happens when you combine all three of these concepts (Passion, Skills & Abilities, and Profitable Business Model). Getting all three of them going is how you move your blog from good to great. Now it is your turn to evaluate yourself with the questions above" says Jonathan. Don't be afraid to ask yourself questions about your blog and where you want to be headed, or where you are headed. Be honest with yourself. 

Find Your Corner of the World. Find the place where you feel at home. Think about what you want your blog to be about, and then stick to that plan. There are a gazillion people out there who blog, so give your blog a name. Something unique to you. Be sure, though, to incorporate the vision of your blog into the name. My blog is Footprints in the Sand, ///a blog of compilation of posts, photos and inspiring muses that tell the story of my walk with Christ. In this blog, I post under a few categories, but specifically it is my walk with Christ and the adventures I encounter along the way. The Footprints in the Sand title is based off of the poem, Footprints in the Sand. Keep a consistent theme for your blog. Fashion, food, design, photography, or lifestyle and stick to it. You will ever a more consistent following of friends. Your followers want to know what to expect from your blog. If it is a specific category, they'll come back again and again. As Gillian said, "If I am interested in seeing a recipe, I don't want to sift through months of random posts to get to it- most likely I would just go somewhere else. So take time to think about the kind of blog yours is." Also be sure to come up with a creative design/theme to your blog. :) Have questions in that area, I can help! (For most of my blogging needs, I have learned it all on my own without any help. So I have a wealth of information to share.)

Those are the main three things to keep in mind when you blog or want to start a blog. Overtime I will be adding to it, so keep looking.

In the meantime, do you have any ideas to share? And blunders committed that have taught you valuable lessons about blogging? I would absolutely love to hear all about it. 

Hope you are having a super day.

All text © 2012 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2012 HislightPhotography

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Writings of Captain Jas. Hook || SHORT STORY FICTION

The Writings of Captain Jas. Hook
Fiction Short Story

            *Clunk*clunk* rang the boots of Captain Jas. Hook as he strode across the Jolly Roger. Cap. James Hook, the bo’sun of Blackbeard himself. The only man Barbeque and Sea-Cook feared. In person, Hook was a cadaverous and vile, the blackest jewel of the whole lot o’ pirates.

            His hair, among other things, gave a singularly threatening expression to his handsome countenance. Dressed in long curls, at a distance his hair bore the resemblance of black candles, with eyes of the blue of the forget-me-not and of a profound melancholy. When most polite, Hook also became most sinister; surely showing the truest test of breeding. Hook possessed indomitable courage, afraid only of a certain crocodile; of which we shall hear more about presently. Yet, though all I have mentioned may chill you to the soul, the worst is yet to come, for Captain Jas. Hook’s most forbidding part is undoubtedly his hook.

            As Hook strode towards his cabin, the grim song of the pirates could be heard throughout the boat, as they tied up the lost boys and that Wendy, John and Michael:

   Taking his last stride, Hook entered into his quarters through a large door, slamming it shut with a crash. At that same moment Smee, Hook’s bo’sun, ordered the crew with an air of unattended importance:

            “The Cap’n shall not be disturbed.”
All knew the consequences if they did not obey.

            Once inside, Hook slouched into a high back arm chair, putting his elbows on a large mahogany desk before him. How has this happened? Hook plagued himself. Not near three hours hence Hook had been fighting tremendously against that confounded Peter Pan. What went wrong? Hook then grabbed a quill, ink-well and a piece of parchment and decided to document that great defeat.

“Surely, Hook said to himself, “If I write the last course of events, I may then see what went wrong.”

“Aaha!” Hook exclaimed, “Peter Pan, by your own faults shall I end you!” Hook emphasizing his “P’s”, smiled. A look of sheer malice enveloped his face as he eagerly scribbled away.

            “What?” Hook looked up from his writing. Pounding echoed through the oak door between his quarters and the deck. Hook rapidly stuffed the parchment in a drawer, along with the quill and ink-well. If anyone caught him writing, of all things, well let’s just say it wouldn’t end well for that unfortunate bloke. Hook strode to the door and thrust it open.
            “Yes?” a tone of anger entered Hook's voice.

Smee stood outside the door, pathetically rubbing his hands together.
            “Tis Pan Sir, been spotted just off the starboard side.”

   Hook needed no more for this was the moment he had longed for; to conquer, at last, Peter Pan! With haste, he strode out on deck and began to bark out orders. The gleam of Hook’s eye, once lost by that Pan, returned again. Two red spots appeared in his eyes and lit them up horribly. Nothing could stop him now, nor should anything stand in his way. Hook was unstoppable.

            Hook never fought again after that day. Peter Pan fought Hook on the rail of the Jolly Roger, and with a swift kick, he sent Captain Jas. Hook to the crocodile’s waiting jaws. Pan stayed in Neverland forever, as far as I know, and still lives there. Wendy, John, Michael and the lost boys all returned to England were they lived happily ever after with the Darlings, until they grew up. As for that parchment stuffed inside the drawer, I believe it is still there. Never again to be written on by Cap’n Hook. Though possibly, by the reading and finished writing of that parchment and the tale it told, Hook may have furthered his days. Had he but noticed that he fought against a boy, not a man; well things would have turned out quite differently. But then this story wouldn’t be what it is.

            I’ll wager that if you travel second star to the right and straight on till morning, you may find that parchment. Perhaps it is floating on the rolling sea, above the sunken Jolly Roger. Or perhaps even washed up on the very rock Tiger Lily was to be tied to in Mermaids Lagoon, basking in the sun. But, it’s not for me to say, you’ll have to find out for yourself. 

All text © 2012 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2012 photographed, drawn, or created by Charity Klicka