Adventure is 10 Steps Away…

I’ve read so many wonderful blogs about Peoples travels, adventures out of the country, neat new foods, and experiences some people will never have. I admire these people soooo much!

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I don’t get to travel every weekend to crazy places, but I’ve learned that some of the greatest memories you could make in your life are right outside your door!

Today was spent with good friends, a hammock for two, pretty flowers, good books and music, and it ended with a bonfire! I wouldn’t trade days like today for a trip to Egypt! The laughter is priceless and anywhere you look, Gods beautiful creation is staring right back at you. Embrace it, cherish it, love it… Be You!!

“Sometimes you will not know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”     Dr. Seuss

Be Young and Blonde

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10 Truths for Navigating the Modern Dating Culture as a Christian

I L-O-V-E this!!!

BeautyBeyondBones

We are living in unprecedented times. At least for those of us trying to navigate this nauseatingly complicated travesty thatisthe modern dating culture.


The noncommittal guys, the “rules for communication,” the necessity for seeminglike you don’t care, the casual approach, the ‘swipe right’mindsetof romantic relationships.

But for me, there’s a whole ‘notherlayer to navigating this -LetsBeHonest-toxic dating culture: and that’s my faith.

It’s confusing. It’s frustrating. Add to that the fact that I live in NYC,and it can seem just down right hopeless.

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So here are my 10 Truths for Navigating the Modern Dating/Hookup Culture as a Christian:

*And let me just preface this: I am not suggesting thatall guys fall into this camp. This is just a satirical look at some “norms”I have come across in NYC.

#1. Cut the Casual Crap

One of the most frustrating things about “dating” is that…

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What is Church to YOU?

Real Church According to Gods Church…

So I ask the question… What is church to you? To some people it’s a time filler, a “to do” thing, something to make you appear as a better person. To some it’s to rawly worship their creator, to praise his name, somewhere to gather with other sinful believers.

Church to me is a rock.

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I attend Gospel Misson Worship center. Gospel Misson is a traditional/modern non-denomonational church. Let me stress, there are multiple denominations here and we welcome everyone. We can basically be broken down into 4 main parts

  1. Sunday Mornings- We come together as a large group… It a priority that you are here weather you want to or not (Just kidding, but it seems that way to some!)
  2. Sunday Night- We come together as a smaller group here and it tends to be more up close and personal. Have you ever been asked, “Where were you Sunday night?”
  3. Wednesday night- We come together once again as a small group to learn about God’s word. This is the night we fellowship over delicious food and we also have Youth group
  4. Sunday School- This is for the people who wake up a few hours earlier than “required” on sunday mornings for more small group discussions

The Church is NOT Dying

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (NIV) -Matthew 16:18

We won’t spend long on this topic because it’s this simple. When God says, “…the gates of Hades will NOT overcome it.”

It’s that simple… The “Church” building may rot, fade away, be torn down, or split up… but The Church, Gods Church, is not a building my friends. The Church is the believers, Gods children, YOU are the church.

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Rock=Church

The word “Rock” is mentioned in the bible up to 142 times.

The term “rock” seems boring at first. When you actually think about it, rocks are used for sooooo many reasons: buildings, painting, statues, driveways, sturdy foundation, and even rock climbing (If God wanted you to climb rocks your feet and hands would have suction cups!!!)

Rock of Refuge

The Church should be your physical rock of refuge at all times. You may be caught in deep sin, messier than you think anyone could ever be, but take hold of the face that you can always have this through God.

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (NIV)                    -Psalms 18:2

How amazing is this verse. Let this sink in: God is you ROCK. Not only is he going to be there for you when you go through the trials and tribulations this world will throw at you, he will walk right through the storms with you while holding your hand. He is your deliverer and your safe place to go when you have no where else to go.

Let the Church by our physical safe place to go. Let the people in our churches be welcoming and pour the love and of God over everyone who walks through the door. YOU are Jesus in disguise.

Rock of Righteousness

“He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” (NIV) -Deuteronomy 32:4

This is The Lord Jesus Christ

When you see the cross and think of what Jesus has done for each single one of us, you come to realization that anything and everything you can do for the Lord, all of your works of righteousness, are equivalent to a filthy rag. I know what you’re thinking… I go to church when required, I read my bible, I do this and that. That’s true… but none of that will add up to the grace that is poured over you every minute that God blesses you with in this life that you and I do not deserve. That is true love.

With saying this, HE IS GOOD! And you and I can sink ourselves in this God and ask for forgiveness and look like him, we have an opportunity to be an image of Christ! Jesus’s blood covers a multitude of sins, so when God looks at me he sees not sin, but sees a covering of Jesus Christ.

So the Church should come together as one, like a hospital, and take this righteousness and treasure it forever.

Rock of Repentance

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (NIV) -Romans 3:23

Repent. Repent. Repent. RUN. Run into the grace of God and let him pour his love on you. Church, share this with everyone you can.

“What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:

“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”” (NIV) -Romans 9:30-33

You are saved THROUGH faith and by being saved through this you will produce the fruits of the spirit. You are NOT saved by your works. When you are saved through Jesus Christ, works are produced like baptism and the fruits of the spirit. In this case, Jews and Gentiles, being circumcised.

It is not by what I have done, but by what Jesus has done.

As a church we need to repent and accept this. We should not be judges of one another, but “fruit inspectors”. By NO means am I perfect… If I was I wouldn’t be on this Earth, but in Heaven with my perfect creator. He is still working and chipping away imperfections everyday in my life and when he is done I will be with him.

Rock of Restoration

Now that I’m saved my life has been perfect! Being a Christian and being apart of a church is the easiest thing ever!! Said nobody ever!

Even though I am saved, I need restoration daily. You can’t have restoration without discipline. Discipline is not to make you mad and upset, it is to improve your life, to restore you and bring you closer to Christ.

““This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (NIV) -Luke 8:11-15

there are 4 different types of salvation found in the church today:

Verse 12- The harden hearts of people simply reject The Gospel

Verse 13- A “Roller Coaster” faith

Verse 14- These things like worrying can lead you far away from your faith

Verse 15- These people are the ROCK because they

  1. Hear the word
  2. Retain the word (The book never changes, the more you fall in love with the author, the more interesting it becomes)
  3. Preserve the word (You testimony and witness)
  4. Produce the word

What are you producing in this world and your church through your faith? That’s the church… We are called to hear, retain, preserve, and produce the word. It’s that simple!

Be Young and Blonde

Summer Readings

“She Reads books as one would berate air, to fill up and live.” -Annie Dillard

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I’m currently still in high school, but in a year I will graduate! Our summer began about a week ago and my goal this summer is to read as many books as my brain can take. There are soooo many different types of books out there: romance, comedy, true stories, breath takers, etc. It’s hard for me to even know where to start when looking when I walk into my local library on my own. (Not to mention… It’s hard for me to find the book I’m looking for because I always get lost or distracted!!)

I just recently finished three totally different books,

  1. “The Longest Ride” by Nicholas Sparks
  2. “The End of Everything” by Meagan Abbott
  3. “The Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline

“The Longest Ride” by Nicholas Sparks

“You made me happy and you made me laugh, and if I could do it all over again, I would not hesitate. Look at our life, at the trips we took, the adventures we had. As your father used to say, we shared the longest ride together, this thing called life, and mine has been filled with joy because of you.”

Wow. Wow. Wow. I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book to pieces! I finished it in two days tops and I honestly am going to have to go purchase it for my own because I want to read it again.

The book is a lovely story told gracefully and emotionally by the romantic writer, Nicholas Sparks.

The book is about a guy named Luke and a girl name Sophia. Luke is a bull-rider, full-time farmer, with a warm heart. Sophia is a girl with an artistic passion, broken heart, and doesn’t let anyone see inside her. Luke and Sophia meet at one of Luke’s Rodeos that Sophia’s sorority friend talks her into going to after a bad breakup with a guy who has cheated on her multiple times.

As the story goes on, it’s hard not to fall in love with Luke and Sophia. They are carefree and loving each other with all they have through most of the book. The way Sparks writes about their times together drew me in and I couldn’t stop reading and wishing I was dating Luke! I caught myself feeling feelings that Sophia felt when she fell in love, when she met his mom, and most of all when Luke told her the truth about his condition and why his mom doesn’t want him riding anymore.

Another main character in this story is Ira. At the beginning of the book Ira, and old old man, had ran off the side of the road and is trapped there for several days in the freezing cold with no water or food. The whole time Ira he is having flashbacks and hallucinations of his previous wife. The story-telling about his longtime romance is heart-warming and tear jerking.

I’m a sucker for love letters and words… So of course I fell in love with these characters.

I don’t want to continue telling you about this book because I don’t want to spoil anything. So go find it at your local book store or library and READ IT.

“The End of Everything” by Meagan Abbott

This book was not one of my favorites. The way Abbott wrote it made me feel like I was reading more of a poem style book rather than an actual novel. The book is told from a very young girls perspective and it’s almost so serious that I couldn’t take it serious. The plot line about two best friends and the abduction of one and why everything happened was pretty good I would have to say.

The book was pretty short so I finished it in a day, but It wouldn’t be my first recommendation to anyone currently.

“The Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline

This was also a great book! The book took you through the history about kids/orphans and how they went through life. I learned a lot of history yet it was through storytelling and I loved that. I found it very intriguing how the story was told from two perspectives years apart. One part of the story was told from a young girl, Molly, in 2011 and the other from an younger/older women in the 1900’s.

This was an easy to follow read and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn something and read a good story at the same time.

Young and Blonde

I love to read and this is my first blog so I honestly don’t know much of what I’m doing! If you have any suggestions or even just book/blog reccomendations please comment below! I hope to hear from you!

Be young and blonde

Costa Rica 2016

Spring Break (April 2016)

I got the amazing oppurtunity to travel with the company EF tours to Costa Rica last month. Myself along with 13 others traveled through so many places while on this 8 day extravaganza! We started off by headed to Nashville, Tennessee to fly to Atlanta where we then flew into a very known city of Costa Rica, San Jose. So here is a break down of the trip…

Days 1-2 (Nashville, TN -> San Jose -> Liberia Guanacaste, Costa Rica)

So day one was mostly spent traveling, flying, eating, laughing, and sleeping in uncomfortable airplane seats. (The service was amazing I’d have to say!)  Once we arrived in San Jose, around 10:30 pm, it was one of the scariest moments in my life. I guess I forgot to mention that this was my first trip out of the U.S.A and my “small town” I mentioned in my bio could be defined as: no diversity at all town. It was all so new to me so just bare with me for a few minutes! So we are in the airport late at night and there’s a swat team, people speaking a language I wasn’t familiar with, and people pulling on me and asking me questions. I was freaked. It all got so much better when our tour guide, Allen, showed up about 20 minutes after our arrival. There is began, we hoped on the bus and rode for about 2 hours on a bumpy dirt rode all the way to our destination where we showered and then slept peacefully. Day Dos (see what I did there) was packed with exciting adventures I never thought would end. We woke up that morning, put on our Chacos, and went. Well, first we had breakfast (which was soooooo amazing)IMG_9047

and then we went. The beginning of the day consisted of learning basic spanish so we could communicate with the locals. We went out on our “resort” area and asked the workers things like, “How are you?” and “What is your name?” in spanish. Soon after this we went and hiked a verrrryyyy long trail to a beautiful waterfall in Guanacaste… (The ACTUAL aftermath of Chacos and hiking) IMG_9533          But the view was so worth it (pictures don’t do some things justice), IMG_8893                                                    After this adventure you probably could have guessed how tired and gross we were. Allen (the tour guide) surprised us all by continuing the walk to a natural hot spring where we got to swim and give ourselves natural hot mud masks all over our bodies. IMG_8903.JPGIMG_8885

After this we were all ready to go back to our unique rooms and go to sleep.

Day 3-4 (San Carlos -> Tilaran -> Aljuela -> Heredia and Guanacaste)

Day three was mostly used for transportation to our next place we stayed. While traveling, we stopped on the way to take a few pictures of a very famous and still active volcano in Costa Rica (The most active one today)IMG_8958IMG_9015

I don’t know how to explain how amazing it was so here you go… This was the view from our cute little hut.

Also while we were traveling to our sleeping destination we got to enjoy the oppurtunity to zip-line. I will attach my Go-Pro video for this trip at the end. There you will see footage of the amazing views we had while experiencing this.

Imagine waking up to this every morning to read and steady your soul…IMG_9043.JPG

Day four was one of the most touching and humbling experiences I’ve had at the age of 17. We got to go to an elementary school in Costa Rica and experience their culture and school life and then we got to show them a little bit of ours. It was such a heart-warming experience when we drove up to the school and all of the little girls and boys were smiling so big and each one grabbed one of our hands and escorted us to our seats. Then they continued to sing us their national anthem and the we sang them ours. They did ritual dances and we showed them things like gymnastics. The difference in our cultures are outrageous, but they are all so beautiful.

 

When we left the school we continued our travels to our third sleeping place… It was rather interesting, but breath taking! We stayed in literal tents in the middle of the rain forrest! This was quite odd and scary for one who likes the comfort of her own bed and constant air-conditioning. IMG_9337.JPG Both nights we stayed here we could have sworn there were birds in our tent!

Day 5-End (Sarapiqui -> San Jose -> Alajuela)

To be honest, the rest of the days all kind of blended together. After staying in the tents and having amazing salsa dance lessons the night before, we left and headed for the city. On the way there we stopped at a All Natural Chocolate Farm, a coffee plantation, and we got to taste test multiple fruits and vegetables!

After a day full of fun we knew our trip was coming to an end. Allen took us to a sponsors home where they cooked a home meal for us and treated us like family. I don’t have any pictures from this event, but it was so amazing how someone could invite 14 total strangers into their home just so they could experience the Costa Rican culture. The last day before we took off back to Nashville we stopped on the way to our hotel in San Jose for so peace and quiet and of course a picture or two!

When we finally made it to our hotel in San Jose we were physically and mentally exhausted. But Hey!!! We graduated!! IMG_9542.JPG

Be Young and Blonde

In conclusion, the trip was more than I could have ever imagined it being. It was a very good starter trip for someone who had never been out of the country! (A.K.A- Me) I would recommend EF tours to anyone who is interested in traveling abroad and wanted someone to show them culture and the loops around the place. Now you didn’t think I made it through this trip without some blonde moments did you? Not only was this trip culturally enhancing and physically exhausting, but it was a trip where I made relationships with many people that I will never forget. The thing I will probably remember most about this trip is all the laughing that went on. The changes that happened in me will forever be present and I will never forget the people that made this trip possible and helped make it so incredible. From not knowing who Joe Biden is, all the hilarious spanish lessons,making all the power in one of our resorts turn off, the long bus rides, the speaker, and when we played Justin Bieber and sang to our bus driver Mariso. Times like these are to be cherished forever. Cherish memories, not things. Be You.

Be Young and Blonde.

To watch the Go-Pro video of this trip do the following:

  1. Go to Youtube.com
  2. Search for hannahturner21
  3. The video is called COSTA RICA 2016