The “Randomness” Award!

Here we are, back to another episode of “Africa Boy Awards”. This award, the Randomness Award, was created by Jesse just a few days ago. Essentially, there are only three rules.

  1. Thank the person who nominated you. THANKS, JESSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. Then you gotta answer the questions that the person who nominated you… asked.
  3. Then you must nominate 5 people and ask them 10 questions.
  1. Have you ever played a sport? Yes! I am currently a starting member of my local High School basketball team, the New Hope Stallions.
  2. What’s your favorite movie? Either Lord of the Rings, Avengers: Endgame, or Ender’s Game.
  3. If you had to choose one thing to do for eternity what would it be? Uh probably just shoot basketball. It never really gets old- I could do it forever.
  4. Who is BY FAR the best book writer in your opinion? J.R.R Tolkien, easily. Sorry J.K Rowling, but Tolkien had better Worldbuilding and Character Creation skills.
  5. If you could own ANYTHING in the world what would it be? A Lamborghini lol. It’s easily the coolest car in the world.
  6. If you went to another planet and found an alien what would be your first thought? “Wow, there really is intelligent life in the universe (cuz we aren’t intelligent)
  7. What’s your least favorite movie? Uh, that’s pretty hard, considering the fact that I usually don’t remember lame movies. To be honest, it’s probably the VeggieTales “The Penniless Princess”.
  8. If you knew you were going to die in a week unless you went back in time to prevent it what would you do? I would go back in time and write a hidden message to myself because if I saw myself coming from the past I would think I have gone crazy.
  9. Why do you love to blog? Because it gets a lot of my thoughts on paper (computer?), gets a lot of critique from you guys, and allows me to hear your awesome comments!
  10. And last, do you personally think that video games “rot the brain”? Absolutely not. Video games are a fun past time, as long as they are not abused.

Alright, that was a ton of fun. Thanks so much, Jesse! Guys, make sure to check out his awesome blog here. Alright, now for the nominations and questions.

I nominate

Ariana at https://arianasflyinglife.wordpress.com/

Keziah E at https://keziahe.home.blog/

Newblogger20 at https://newblogger20.wordpress.com/

Isabel Eleison at https://chasingfantasia.wordpress.com/

Joshua Swanson at https://joshuamakotoswanson.wordpress.com/

Here are my questions.

1: What is, in your mind, the best sport to watch.

2: Do you follow the NFL? If so, what team?

3: What is your favorite time of year?

4: If you could be anywhere, right now, where would you be?

5: What superpower would you want: Invisibility, flight, teleportation, or super strength?

6: What’s your favorite drink?

7: Who’s your favorite artist?

8: What genre of music do you prefer?

9: If you could work anywhere, where would you work?

10: Do you believe coffee rots your teeth?

 

Alright, that was truly epic. Thanks again, Jesse! Guys, as always, if you haven’t clicked that “Follow” button, make sure to slap it hard and join our community! Peace out!

Ranking the Top 10 Marvel Avengers

Warning! There will be spoilers ahead! Read at your own risk.

While I expect much controversy on this subject, I want to rank what I believe are the top 10 most powerful Avengers. Having seen every single Marvel movie, save for the Incredible Hulk, I know a decent amount on this subject. As such, here are the top 10 most powerful Avengers.

10: Winter Soldier. While not (yet) receiving an individual movie, the one-armed Super Soldier has gone through quite the ordeal, mostly involving fights with four different Avengers. Despite his rough past, Bucky Barnes, aka. the Winter Soldier, has finally become a force for good, as seen during Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. Fighting alongside his best friend, Bucky Barnes and Captain America prove to be quite the duo. Armed with super strength, enhanced speed, reflexes, stamina, and agility, along with semi-immortality and a lifetime spent learning battle tactics and martial arts, Bucky Barnes is a force to be reckoned with. Also, I’m sure that metal arm comes in handy when opening bottles.

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9: Black Panther. The king of Wakanda, son of late King T’Chaka, T’Challa finds himself thrust into the role of King after a failed attempt to save his father from a bomb explosion. Reprising the role of the “Black Panther”, T’Challa, with the help of the Heart-Shaped herb, is gifted with enhanced speed, durability, strength, agility, stamina, and reflexes. He is a gifted tactician and martial artist, having trained in these areas for his entire life. Supported by his general, Okoye, and his genius sister Shuri, T’Challa is an extremely powerful man.

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8: Iron Man is, in his own words, a “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist”. It also goes without saying that he is quite humble (sarcasm). Born to super-scientist Howard Stark-developer of Captain American’s shield- Tony was raised in a home of geniuses. After being kidnapped by the “Ten Rings” in Afghanistan, Stark put that genius intellect to good use and created a suit to help him escape. Instead of forgetting about the suit like a normal, sane human being, Stark continued to update and develop the armor, eventually installing upgrades such as Nano-Tech, remote control capabilities, and near invulnerability. As CEO of Stark Industries, Tony Stark is quite possibly the richest man on earth and the main funder for the Avengers. The only reason I ranked him above Black Panther was that Iron Man successfully went toe-to-toe with Captain America, while Black Panther found it difficult to even keep up with the Star-Spangled Avenger.

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7: Captain America. My favorite Avenger, for, in the words of Ultron, he is “God’s righteous man”. Born in 1918, Steve Rodgers attempted to enlist in the US Army during World War II, only to find himself rejected because of his lack of physical strength. After meeting Abraham Erksine, Steve found himself the only (at the time) man with a successful Super Soldier Serum administration. The Serum gifted Steve with enhanced intelligence, strength (it is said he was able to bench press 1,000 pounds as a warmup), durability, speed, agility, stamina, reflexes, healing, and senses, as well as insane skills in hand-to-hand combat, and the ability to use almost any weapon, including rifles, swords, spears, Mjolnir, and, of course, his shield. Captain America is a superhero of epic proportions.

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6: Vision. An Android with a body made of Vibranium, Vision is nearly invulnerable. His body was created to be the ultimate body for Ultron, although this plan did not work, as the Avengers stole the body, and Tony Stark and Bruce Banner incorporated the remainder of J.A.R.V.I.S’s conscience into the body, thus creating Vision. Vision’s abilities include superhuman strength and durability, as well as density manipulation, flight, energy blasts, synthetic skin, and computer interaction. Vision would be higher on this list if not for his abysmal attempts at fighting during Avengers: Infinity War.  Because of the fact that he had to be babysitted like Peter Parker, Vision only ranks 6th.

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5: Scarlet Witch. The girlfriend (and wife, in the comics) of previously mentioned Vision, Scarlet Witch, aka. Wanda Maximoff, is the twin sister of Pietro, or Quicksilver, who did not make this list. Wanda received her powers as the result of H.Y.D.R.A’s experiments on humans using Loki’s scepter. Wanda’s abilities include (but are not limited to) telekinesis, levitation, psionic force generation, telepathy, and mental manipulation. Wanda almost killed Thanos during Avengers: Endgame, breaking his sword and armor. In the original comics, it was actually Scarlet Witch that played the main role in defeating Thanos and restoring the Earth. Because of this, she receives number 5.

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4: Pre-Endgame Hulk. Obviously the Hulk from Avengers: Endgame doesn’t even make the “Top 20” list, owing to his general dislike of combat. However, the Pre-Endgame Hulk is quite powerful, proving to be completely invulnerable. Mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner did not want superpowers, but after being doused by a large amount of Gamma radiation, he found himself in (partial) control of his other personality: the green, muscular beast known as “The Hulk”. He eventually learned to contain his power, calling upon it in times of need. When his superhuman strength, speed, leaping power, and intellect are combined with his penchant for combat, Hulk is easily the most difficult Avenger to kill.

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3: Dr. Stephen Strange, the only Avenger to keep his given name, had everything going for him. M.D, Ph.D., accomplished neuro-surgeon, he had almost everything he wanted. When a car accident left his hands crippled, Strange eventually came under the tutelage of the Ancient One, who trained him in the mystic arts. After the death of his teacher, Strange became the “Sorcerer Supreme”, leading his group in the protection of Earth from many outside threats. Strange also helped Thor to find his father, Iron Man to defeat the Black Order, and the Guardians of the Galaxy in an attempt to defeat Thanos on Titan. His abilities include transmutation, atmospheric manipulation, flight, dimensional warping, teleportation, astral projection, conjuration, duplication, and time manipulation. Because of his many powers, Strange receives number 3 on the list.

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2: Captain Marvel. Not much is known of the blond-haired, space flying superhero. We have only seen her in two movies, although the first was completely about her (see Captain Marvel: the movie). Captain Carol Danvers was an Air Force pilot until an accident exposed her to the powers of the Tesseract. After having her memories wiped by the Kree, she received an infusion of blood from Yon-Rogg, turning her into a Kree-Human mix. This combination proved to be nearly unstoppable, as Danvers became the Kree’s most valuable weapon. After learning of the Kree’s deception, Davers befriended a young Nick Fury, who was the sole reason for Danvers’ joining the Avengers. Captain Marvel is gifted with superhuman strength, durability, reflexes, speed, agility, flight, speed-healing, longevity, cosmic energy manipulation, and highly honed combat skills. Captain Marvel is an insanely powerful superhero, receiving a well-earned number 2.

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1: Pre-Endgame Thor. “The strongest Avenger”, as he calls himself, is a literal god (lower case G) of thunder. The son of Odin, the All-Father, and Frigga, the Queen of Asgard, as well as the brother to Loki, the god of mischief, Thor is part of a family of gods. Being one of the core three members of the Avengers (Captain America and Iron Man are the other two), Thor is an important member of the group. He is easily the most powerful Avenger, armed with INSANE strength (he was able to rip apart Hela’s berserkers with his bare hands), durability, healing, speed, reflexes, agility, longevity, weather manipulation (including calling down massive blasts of lightning), flight, teleportation, energy projection, armor generation, weapon summoning, and near-resurrection, as well as a mastery in hand-to-hand combat, hammer, sword, spear, and axe mastery, Thor was able to go toe-to-toe with Thanos, nearly killing the Titan in Avengers: Infinity War and actually killing him in Avengers: Endgame. Thor’s powers are not limited to his weapons, however, as he shows in Thor: Ragnarok when he blasts Hulk with lightning after Mjolnir was destroyed. Later armed with Stormbreaker, the indestructible weapon created to combat Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet, Thor becomes an unstoppable force and is quite literally the god of thunder.

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Alright, that’s it. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you thoroughly enjoyed this post! As always, if you really like my blog, please be sure to click that “Follow” button on the side of the page. Thank you so much, and have a blessed day!

 

 

 

The Top 10 Imagine Dragons songs

Imagine Dragons is an awesome band. I absolutely love their songs, and because of that, here are what I believe are the top 10 Imagine Dragons songs.

10: Radioactive

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9: It’s Time

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8: Whatever It Takes

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7: Demons

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6: Warriors

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5: Zero

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4: Bad Liar

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3: Thunder

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2: Believer

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1: Natural

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Alright, that’s the list. Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day!

 

Also, as always, if you enjoyed reading and haven’t yet clicked that “Follow” button, make sure to smack it and join the community!

 

 

Animal Award!

Hey again! We are back with another award! This time it is… (drumroll please) the Animal Award! Oh, wait, you already knew, because of the title. Oh well.

Anyway, I have been nominated for the Animal Award! Thank you so much to Newblogger20 for nominating me! Make sure to check out her awesome blog here!

Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
  2. Answer the questions given by the person who nominated you
  3. Nominate at least three or more bloggers!
  4. Tell the person that you nominated them!
  5. Come up with fun animal questions!
  6. Get up and pet your animal! (if you have one)

I’ve already done number 1, so now on to number 2!

  1. Animal you’re scared of? Hyenas. Those things are freaky, and, frankly, are rather un-natural.
  2. Animal you love? My dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Mounty.
  3. Animal you want to see in real life? A Golden Eagle. I’ve seen MANY different types of animals, but never a Golden Eagle.
  4. Animal you DO NOT want to see in real life? Again, I’ve seen tons, so answering that is fairly difficult. Honestly, it would probably be a King Cobra, because those things are insanely freaky.

Nominations:

Lydia

Faith

Ezra

My questions:

  1. What is an animal you would dream to own?
  2. What is an animal you are intensely scared of?
  3. Do you have a pet? If so, describe it!
  4. Describe what, in your mind, the ideal pet would be.

Alright, thank you so much to Newblogger20! I had a lot of fun with this. Thanks for reading, guys, and have a great day!

 

Did you like this blog? If so, make sure to click that “Follow” button on the side of the screen! Thanks!

The Top 5 KB songs

Welcome back to another episode of “McFarland song rankings”! I am a huge fan of the Christian Rap artist KB, member of 116 Clique and friend/colleague of Lecrae. As such, I have decided to rank what I believe are his top 5 songs. If you haven’t heard him rap, go check him out! I will also post links to the youtube videos of each song.

5: Long Live the Champion (feat. Yariel, Gabriel Rodriguez EMC). Coupled with a Spanish theme and a wonderful beat, this song is by far the most creative song written by KB. Find the song here.

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4: Tempo. I love the chorus, and the beat is really good too. Find it here.

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3: Monster (feat. Aha Gazelle). I literally feel like this song describes me. Find it here.

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2: Not Today Satan (feat. Andy Mineo). The rhythm for this song gets stuck in my head for literal weeks. Also, I love the Nacho Libre reference. Find the song here.

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And finally, number 1.

1: Hold Me Back. Freshly released on YouTube just last month, this song has an epic beat with lightning fast lyrics and, as if it wasn’t enough, a hat-tip to Thanos. I mean, what more could you ask for? If you haven’t listened to this, make sure to! You can find it right here.

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Alright guys, thanks for reading, and as always: if you liked this post or a few of the previous ones, make sure to click that “Follow” button on the side of the page. Have a blessed day! Peace out

 

Beautiful People

I am blessed to know many beautiful people in my life. I know so many, in fact, that it would be impossible to name them all. As it is, I have chosen to name the 5 most beautiful and influential people I know. However, because I have not gotten permission to use their names, I will have to keep a few of these anonymous.

5: The ****** kids. The oldest, a senior, is a wonderful man of God, and I actually consider him as one of my major role models. He speaks respectfully, doesn’t get angry easily, and is always seeking to help others. His sister, a junior, is one of the godliest people I know. Once, when I spent the night at their house, I woke up very early in the morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. Looking around, I saw that one light in the house was on- hers. She was up at 5:00 in the morning, spending time with God. That, in my mind, shows extreme dedication to God. Both of these kids are wonderful people, and I am privileged to call them my friends.

4: The Britton family. Jeff and Mary Britton have known me since I was 5 years old, and have seen me go through intense stages of immaturity and stupidity :). I consider Jeff as a sort of second father, for he is one of the wisest men I know. I have grown up with their three children (who I should probably not name or else they might get mad), and all have earned my eternal respect through their constant desire to build relationship. They never hold sin against me and are always ready to forgive.

3: My sisters Hannah and Betty, ages 18 and ** (Betty doesn’t want me to put her age lol). Although they are not my legal sisters, I consider them such owing to the fact that I have grown up with them. Betty has known me since I first came to Uganda with my parents in 2004, and Hannah has known me since she came to New Hope in 2008. Both know me inside and out, and I love them both.

2: My grandparents on both sides of the family. While being totally different in character, both sets of grandparents (Bill and Cecilia McFarland, Jerry and Kathie Soen) are the most beautiful people I know, besides the people in the #1 spot. Each and every one of them has given me invaluable advice, and all have supported me throughout the years. My grandfathers have shown me how to be a man, both spiritually and mentally, and my grandmothers have shown me what I want in a wife. Because of this, I hold them in the highest possible respect.

1: My parents. Yes, a predictable answer, but a true one. Out of every human being on this planet, I hold my parents in the highest respect, for they are the most beautiful people I know. My father has shepherded me and counseled me since I was old enough to talk, shaping me and guiding me in my walk to manhood. He, to me, is the epitome of the human man-while sinful, still managing to be the absolute best man he can be. My mom, along with her mother and mother-in-law, has, through her example, shown me what I want in a future wife. She has continued to love me and support me, even though my arrogant and immature stages. Not only that, but she has managed to put up with my terrible jokes, which really says something, considering they can really drive people nuts (I’m looking at you, Josephine Lee). I praise God every day for my parents.

Alright, that was an emotional post, and I’m sure it wasn’t a picnic for you guys either. Anyway, thanks for reading, and as always- don’t forget to click that “Follow” button. See ya later!

Pictures of the Greater Story Inside the Lesser Story

I just finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.

I know, I know. I am WAY behind in this area, considering the final book was written in 2007, and the movie was filmed in 2010 (part 1) and 2011 (part 2). However, I recently realized something- Jesus is present in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the book).

Towards the end of the book, Harry sacrifices himself to Lord Voldemort in an effort to achieve two things: rid himself of the Horcrux Voldemort unwillingly left in Harry, and to protect the people he loves, who would otherwise be slaughtered by Voldemort. In accomplishing this selfless act of dying willingly at the hands of his enemy, Harry does even more than he had hoped for: even as he destroys the Horcrux inside his body, Harry’s loving sacrifice covers the people he sacrificed himself too.

“Haven’t you noticed how none of the spells you put on them are binding? You can’t torture them. You can’t touch them” (Rowling 2007). Because Harry gave himself up to the Avada Kedavra curse, the people he sacrificed himself for were shielded from Voldemort’s attacks. Voldemort could not touch them, torture them, or even kill them. Does this remind you of anything?

Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice. Because He went willingly into the hands of death, He has covered those he sacrificed himself for. It’s almost scary how much similarity there is between the two scenes: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, chapter 36, and Luke 23. In Harry Potter, we see Harry sacrifice himself so his friends might live, and Voldemort’s immortality will be removed. In Luke, we see Jesus sacrifice himself so that anyone who calls on him will live, and Satan’s power will be broken. Voldemort’s power over Harry’s friends is broken, and Satan’s power of Jesus’ followers is broken. Harry’s willing sacrifice covers his friends, and Jesus’ willing sacrifice covers His followers.

1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (English Standard Version). In Harry Potter, we see that love can conquer death, as seen here: “Dumbledore’s favorite solution, love, which he claimed conquered death” (2007). In both stories, love can conquer death. Harry’s loving, willing sacrifice saved his friends, just as Jesus’ loving, willing, and ultimate sacrifice will save all those who believe, for ” if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans. 10.9). In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, redemption is only found in the death of Voldemort, the ultimate enemy. In real life, redemption is not only found in the destruction of Satan but also in Jesus Christ, whose blood covers us.

Even though the comparisons between Harry Potter and Jesus may seem to be isolated coincidences, I believe that all stories are part of the greater story- the story of Jesus.

 

 

 

Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter, And the Deathly Hallows. New York, NY: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2007.’

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Crossway, 2001. Print.

The Top 10 Lecrae songs

Aaand we’re back to another episode of the “Top 10 Ratings, by Elisha McFarland Africa Boy. I absolutely love Christian Rap, especially when it comes from NF (as we saw in Ep. 1 of “Top 10 Ratings”), Lecrae, or KB. As such, I want to post what I believe are Lecrae’s top 10 greatest songs.

10: Round of Applause. Awesome chorus. I used this in a video slideshow once.

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9: Cry For You (feat. Taylor Hill). This song literally made a friend of mine cry. Raw emotion throughout the entire thing.

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8: Broken (feat. Kari Jobe). Wonderful song with a wonderful singer. This gets in my head all the time.

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7: River of Jordan (feat. Breyan Isaac). Wonderful chorus, and it was featured in the movie The Shack. This song is my dad’s favorite.

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6: Rebel Intro. This song has an amazing take on being a Rebel.

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5: Just Like You (feat. J. Paul). This song is so full of raw emotion, it’s almost scary. Lecrae compares his desire for an earthly father with his desire for God as his father.

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4: Get Back Right. The top song in his new album, Let the Trap Say Amen, this song packs a serious punch with an even better beat.

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3: All I Need is You. With a sweet music video and a catchy chorus, this song easily makes the top 5.

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2: I’ll Find You (feat. Tori Kelly). Absolutely beautiful. No other words.

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1: Don’t Waste Your Life (feat. Dwayne Tryumf). This rap easily bests every other Lecrae song. He rhymes like a maniac, and his chorus is SICK. If you haven’t heard this one, you should definitely check it out.

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The Sunshine Blogger Award!

Hey! I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Thanks so much to Keziah E.  and Hannah for nominating me! That was really nice of you! Make sure to check out Keziah’s awesome blog here,  and Hannah’s epic blog here.

Anyway, here are the rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • List the rules and display an award logo on your blog post.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and notify them by commenting on any of their posts.
  • Ask the nominees 11 new questions.

Alright, I’ve already done the first two, so now on to the third. Here are the questions Keziah asked me.

  1. How long have you been blogging? For a long time, actually. I’ve blogged on another Blogger website since September of 2017. However, I recently switched to this blog, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the switch!
  2. What is your favorite color? Red! I love wearing red shirts 🙂
  3. What fast-food restaurant do you enjoy the most? Hmm, it would have to be a toss-up between Wendy’s and Portillo’s. Wendy’s hamburgers are awesome, but Portillo’s has epic fries.
  4. If you could be in any movie, what movie would it be? Probably Lord of the Rings. I would be able to sing with elves, eat with dwarves, and try the famous beer of the South Farthing (joking obviously).
  5. If you could have a certain amount of animals, how many would it be? Probably two, because I would want two dogs.
  6. Would you rather sneeze cheese or cry chocolate? Oh, definitely chocolate, since I am allergic to cheese.
  7. What is the farthest you have ever run? 8 kilometers, which Google tells me is 4.97097 miles. Basically 5 miles.
  8. Do you play any sports and if so, what? I absolutely love to watch every sport and can play football, soccer, and baseball if needed, but basketball is my true love. I am currently starting for our local high school basketball team, the New Hope Stallions!
  9. What is your favorite TV show? Sherlock! I literally take notes, because I want to be as observative as he is.
  10. Can you stand on your head and if so, how long? I sadly cannot, though my little sister Elliana is very good at it.
  11. What is your goal/s for this year? My goals are these, in order of importance: 1: Mature in my relationship with Christ. 2: Learn more about Him. 3: Be a better friend. 4: Work on my vertical until I can dunk.

Alright, that was fun. Thanks Keziah and Hannah! I don’t follow as many blogs as you guys, but I will try to nominate as many as I possibly can.

Ariana Evans at https://arianasflyinglife.wordpress.com/

Arabella at https://sparksofara.wordpress.com/

Ani at https://anisbooks.com/

Faith on the Farm at https://farmgirl4jesus.wordpress.com/got-any-nominations-for-me/

Isabel Eleison at https://chasingfantasia.wordpress.com/

Mary Elizabeth at https://memary145.wordpress.com/contact/

Here are my questions

1: Which college would you love to go to and why?

2: What inspired you to choose your blog name?

3: If you were to get married and go on a honeymoon, where would you want to go?

4: What are your opinions on High School dating?

5: Describe your family.

6: Would would be your ideal birthday gift?

7: Who is the most influential person in your life?

8: Are you related to someone famous?

9: What, to you, is the hardest part about blogging?

10: What does your blogging schedule usually look like?

11: What is your favorite book?

Alright, see ya guys!

 

 

 

Morning Routines

I am often a creature of habit. Because of this, I usually do the same things in the morning.

6:15- Wake up

6:20-6:50- Drink coffee, spend time journaling, spend time reading the Bible.

6:50-7:30- Set the table, make my bed, fill the water filters, etc.

I usually stick to this plan, save for the mornings that I go for a run. As it is, this habit proves intensely useful in a world that rejects Bible reading. When we, as Christians, take the time to spend thirty minutes in Jesus, our days and hearts are affected. Guys, I cannot emphasize this enough. Reading the Bible in the morning is crucial to our life as Christians. There. I tried to emphasize it. Setting a Biblical reading goal and sticking to it is the best way to get closer to Him.

The Effects of an Angry Heart

Anger takes its place in many of today’s situations. Fueled by hatred, strife, envy, jealousy, and many others, anger has become almost commonplace today. Many hold anger in their hearts, allowing it to affect the relationships in their lives. What many do not realize is just how unhealthy anger is.

Anger is physically harmful. In fact, “One study found there was a three times higher risk of having a stroke from a blood clot to the brain or bleeding within the brain during the two hours after an angry outburst” (Strong 2015). Anger can greatly increase your chances of having a stroke or seizure. Not only that, but “simply recalling an angry experience from their past caused a six-hour dip in levels of the antibody immunoglobulin A, the cells’ first line of defense against infection” (2015). Anger lowers your immunity, and can even cause you to have a shorter lifespan.

Anger is also mentally harmful, as it points to depression. “Numerous studies have linked depression with aggression and angry outbursts” (2015). Anger has been scientifically connected to depression, and as such,  it should be carefully navigated. Holding anger for long periods of time will result in many consequences.

Happiness, on the other hand, has shown to have the opposite effect. “Happiness and laughter have been shown to increase natural killer cell activity in blood and free radical-scavenging capacity in saliva, as well as lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol” (Dobson 2008). Happiness and laughter can literally help increase your immunity, therefore reducing your chances of contracting an illness.

Instead of holding anger and risking depression, stroke, or even lower immunity, make sure to release all anger and remain happy, for “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil” (English Standard Version, Ephesians. 4. 26-27). Even the Bible tells us to release our anger. Who knows? Maybe God’s purpose for this verse was keeping Israelites healthy! 

 

Strong, Debbie. “7 Ways Anger is Ruining Your Health.” Everyday Health, 29 May 2015, https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/ways-anger-ruining-your-health/

Dobson, Roger. “Want to Live Longer? Carry on Laughing!” Independent, 16 December 2008, https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/want-to-live-longer-carry-on-laughing-1097285.html

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Crossway, 2001. Print.

 

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Death by Rock

“We’ve found a snake!”

The call sounded from outside, to my direct right. Early this morning, Monday the 13th of May, 2019, I was sitting at my desk studying Biology. Just as I prayed for a distraction from the monotony of soil, the answer came: a snake hunt.

Grabbing my wooden sword (picture enclosed to show WHY I grabbed it) and bb gun, I dashed outside, closely followed by my dad and two little brothers: Noah, age 13, and Isaiah, age 11. We surrounded the tree that the snake had climbed, shooting the bb gun, yelling, and throwing sticks. Finally, in the greatest shot of my life, I managed to hit that sucker directly in the head. Stunned, it forward and down, directly onto the roof of our tree-house. Well, this was a predicament. Nobody would risk climbing up there, for this was a (small) 4 ft. Green Mamba. (No, we do not find ONLY Green Mambas here). My brother Noah, un-cowed by the height of the roof, climbed up on top of an adjacent house to try to spot it. No luck.

I, being the idiot I was, started throwing rocks up to the top of the roof. Met with little success, I (stupidly) continued throwing. Inexplicably, one of my rocks went totally over the roof and hit my brother Isaiah. Isaiah, who had been wandering around the tree-house, suddenly clapped hands to the forehead, blood streaming down his face and hands.

Euphemism alert: “Oh crap.”

My dad and I brought him inside, where my dad, ever the caring doctor, bandaged Isaiah’s head with butterfly bandages. The bleeding stopped and we could finally get a good view of the wound. Thankfully for me and my social life, the wound was small. However, I have now learned a valuable lesson: when you have little brothers, make sure they stand clear before you throw rocks.

Also, we still haven’t found the snake.

The Power of Prayer

Recently I have started a “prayer list”. This, while starting small, has grown into something quite large, as I write down the prayer requests given to me by my family, friends, and acquaintances. This, by itself, has no real meaning- after all, writing down the prayers does not solve them.

What many of us do not realize is the power of prayer. Throughout history, millions of afflictions, fears, doubts, and more have been healed through God’s power. Now, because God already knows the desires of our heart (see Jeremiah 29:11), He already knows the problem before we even pray it. It is by His eternal grace that he listens to us and our complaining 🙂

But if prayer has no power, then what hope do we have? The answer: EVERY HOPE! Even though prayer in itself has no power over God, as He doesn’t have to listen to us, prayer is a way of showing God that we love Him so much we are willing to talk to him. Talking to God is one of the best ways we can build our relationship with Him. In the same way a child babbles to its father, so too must we talk to God. This communion with God is holy and precious, and should never be underestimated.

 

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A Mamba in the Bushes

It was a hot afternoon the day we found a Green Mamba. Now, before I go into this story, I must explain something- Green Mambas are NOT common sights around New Hope, Uganda. Black Mambas? Yes. Green Mambas? No, because they are usually afraid of humans and detest dogs. As it is, the only Green Mambas that we ever find around here are small, six-inch snakes. Never, in my (at the time) 14 years in Uganda, had I ever seen a Green Mamba of that size.

Ok, back to the hot afternoon. The sun was shining, I was drinking a nice iced, slightly sugared coffee in my Pittsburgh Steelers tumbler. My parents were outside, sitting on a couch located on our porch. I, being the social person I was, was talking to them about some colleges they had thought about going to. Suddenly, my little sister started screaming. I ran around the corner of the porch, close to the steps up to the house, and found her, her hands over her ears. Oh, by the way, if a little sister is screaming with her hands over her ears, that usually isn’t a good sign. As such, I did what any good brother would do.

“Are you ok?”

Looking back, I realize that was a stupid question. My parents took a better, more specific route in their questions.

“What happened? Is there something in your ears?”

She shook her head no. After a few seconds, she calmed down enough to say a few words.

“There’s. . . There’s a big, green snake on the steps.”

….What? My dad and I went over to the porch steps and cautiously checked. Inexplicably, there was no snake. There was only a lone chameleon, crossing the steps. This is not an uncommon occurrence- chameleons are quite common here. We turned back to her.

“Ellie, are you sure you didn’t just see a chameleon? They are pretty long, and the tail can look like a snake.”

“No! The snake was biting the chameleon.”

We looked again. There, on the chameleon’s back right leg, was a small wound, bleeding slightly. My dad and I looked at each other. There was now no doubt that her story was true, but where was the snake?

Now, I must confess, I did not expect to find the snake where I found it. My dad and I searched the ground and trees near the steps, but nothing. We knew it was likely in a tree because Green Mambas live in trees. Despite this, we knew our chances of finding it were slim, for they blend in with the trees very well. Just as we were about to give up, I decided to double-check the bush near the steps. My dad had already looked into it, but he hadn’t found anything. So, I (being so, so stupid) put my face right next to the bush, peering inside. Sure enough, there was the snake- a big, bright green fellow with his face about six inches from mine.

If anybody had been watching me, they would have thought I had seen Satan himself (which, of course, is possible, considering Satan took the form of a snake). I sprang back and yelled for my dad, scrambling away from the bush. When snakes are THAT size, you don’t mess around. My dad yelled and called over a man who was working for us, Mr. Kabogoza. He ran over with a seven-foot pipe in his hands, ready for business. Together, we surrounded the bush, waiting for the right moment. Then, just as the snake started to leave the bush, Kabogoza swung his pipe. WHAP! He smacked the snake right out of the bush, literally sending if a dozen feet. Instantly, we were on it- I had a machete, my dad had a large walking stick, and Kabogoza had his pipe. The snake didn’t stand a chance. Head crushed and severed, it was dead.

We later measured it. It was almost seven feet long, and the brightest, most beautiful color of green I had ever seen. My sister now has a deathly fear of snakes, but I know this- if you are looking for a snake, you probably shouldn’t put your face near its face. Your nose might prove very tempting.

A Collab with Hannah Gaudette!

Next up in my “Collab” series- Hannah Gaudette! Hey Hannah, welcome to the show.

“Aw, thanks, Elisha. It’s an honor to be here.” (I’m making this up).

Anyway, make sure to check out Hannah’s epic blog here! The proceedings are the same as always. Ask 5 questions each, answer all 10. Mine are in bold, and hers are in italics. The questions are underlined.

1. What is your favorite part of blogging? The feedback! Lots of people write to me with appreciation, advice, and much more. I absolutely love hearing from you guys!
Probably the interaction between like-minded people. I love connecting with followers and seeing what their blogs are like.
2. What are three of your hobbies? NFL Fantasy Football, Pokemon cards, and knife collecting.
Training dogs, playing dodgeball, and writing. I. Love. Dodgeball. 😉
3. Describe one of your favorite memories. Hmm. There are many, but the first to come to mind is very recent. I was hanging out with a group of friends, one of which is a good friend of mine. He and I were talking about his college choices, and I really appreciated the time with him, because we don’t get to see each other often. Then, the girl that I liked (yeah, sue me) looked over at me and started talking with us. All in all, the afternoon was really fun, and it was great to hang out. 
One of my favorite memories is of the first and second time I went to my youth group. Everyone was so welcoming, they just made me so happy to be there.
4. You have a choice between buying a cow, a dog, and a hedgehog – which do you pick? A cow! Then at least I could sell the milk 🙂
A hedgehog. 😉 They’re easier to take care of.
5. What is your blog about, and what can new followers look forward to? My blog is about some of the crazy stuff that happens here in Africa. I get to share a lot of my stories, dreams, and experiences, as well as some other random stuff. As I get more creative, I can tell more about the stuff that happens here! 
My primary blog is about living with food allergies. I use this platform to raise awareness as well as encourage and equip other young people dealing with severe allergies. I want this blog to be a place where people can feel that someone has come alongside to inspire them on that road.
6: Is there a specific person that you would say is your role model, besides your parents and God? Hmm, probably Lecrae. That guy has seen it all, and I love reading what he says and listening to him rap about God. 
I wouldn’t be able to pick one person, because so many people have inspired me. But I would say a huge inspiration for me has been the people involved in my youth group. They make up an amazing clan. :
7: Do you have a pet? Yep! My dog, Mounty (short for Mountaineer. My dad is a creative West Virginian). She is an 11-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback. 
*mirthless laughter* Too many, in fact. Four dogs, three cats, a few goats . . . Goats don’t count as pets, just don’t tell that to my cousin.
8: What’s the hardest thing about blogging? Probably coming up with new topics. I usually need to ask friends for ideas.
Without a doubt – deciding on new posts. 😉
9: What’s your favorite thing to do during your free time? BASKETBALL. I love playing basketball, and it takes up about 75% of my free time. 
Hang out with friends (i.e. youth group), play dodgeball, read the Bible and write in my journal.
10: What genre of music do you prefer? Christian Rap! I love Lecrae, NF, KB, Trip Lee, Andy Mineo, Derek Minor, and more! 
Christian is the only one I listen to, so . . .  But specifically, I like Integrity Worship and Young and Free.