Books, Inspirational, Non-fiction, WRITING

Good. Love. True.: 365 Days Through God’s Inspirational Word

This is a devotional book chronicling one of my 365-day journeys through God’s Word.

Good Love True book cover

Good. Love. True., a yearlong devotional journey through God’s Word, is designed to help you read the Bible with an open heart, a clear mind, unplugged ears, and focused eyes.

Within the pages of God’s Word, you will discover light for dark times and hope for troubled days, healing for broken hearts and peace for conflicting moments, mercy that is new every morning and faithfulness that is great every day. You will find the way, the truth, and the life. But above all, you will find love and you will meet God.

Whatever you’re facing in life and wherever you are, Good. Love. True. will give you new faith or reaffirm your old faith in three things: the goodness of God, the love of Jesus, and the truth of Scripture.

AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON.COM

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LEARNING, Pixar in a Box

What If…

“Pixar in a Box” is a collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios and Khan Academy, sponsored by Disney. It explores how Pixar artists use math, science, computer science, and humanities to create amazing movies. Check it out here: https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/pixar.

pixar-in-a-box

Topic 1: The Art of Storytelling

Activity 3 – Exercise 3: What If…

What if you could rule an entire land and all its peoples with the possession of one ring?

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What if your brother was a caterpillar?
What if your childhood stuffed animals transformed into monsters when you went to sleep at night?
What if you were nine-years-old and unable to read?

Photo credit: Khan Academy / Gif credit: Tumblr

Books, Inspirational, Non-fiction, WRITING

Dead Girl Blooming: Thoughts on God, Faith, Life, Love, and Each Other

This is a devotional book I wrote with the help of my younger sisters over the course of several years on our old blog, The Virtuous Girls, which we started as little girls. It is rather random but, hopefully, someone will find it inspirational. 

Dead Girl Blooming book cover

This devotional book, first written as posts on The Virtuous Girls blog, has been edited and organized into nine sections:

1. God with Us
2. Jesus the Christ
3. Inside Faith
4. You and I
5. We Need Each Other
6. All You Need Is Love
7. Try. Fall. Rise. Repeat.
8. Sunshine and Bubblegum
9. Lots of Light

This devotional is designed to inspire readers to love themselves and those around them, to try again when they want to give up, to place their faith over their fears, and to never forget that God is with them.

AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON.COM

CREATING, Graphics (Photoshop)

Gore > Grave > Glory

These are some simple designs I was planning to create and post for Easter this year…but, alas, my laziness got the better of me, so I’m just now getting them done. You know what they say though, better late than never. Besides, Easter isn’t a one day a year event. It’s an every day of the year lifestyle.

On Good Friday, there was GORE

easter-GORE

In the garden of Gethsemane, agony and prayer. Take the cup, Father. Take the cup. Drops of sweat like blood.

For thirty worthless pieces of silver the ultimate betrayal has been carried out. A kiss. Then remorse and grief. But the deed cannot be undone. Death by hanging.

Hundreds of armed soldiers coming for one perfect man like a common criminal. The remaining disciples flee, save two. But one denies the Christ three times. Now only one remains.

A trial before Herod. Before Pilate.

The soldiers – mocking and jeering, spitting and slapping. Crown of thorns. Robe of purple.

The chief priests – riling up and falsely accusing.

The people – insistent and demanding, shouting, Crucify Him! Crucify Him! But, why? What has He done? Still they cry, Crucify Him!

A guilty conscience. Hands washed of innocent blood.

A long, brutal walk to Golgotha. Feet pierced. Hands pierced. A Son forsaken. A thief saved.

Then an earthquake and death. Yes, truly this was the Son of God.

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On Holy Saturday, there was GRAVE

easter-GRAVE

A silence and sadness on earth.

But a great rejoicing in Hell for the Divine is no more. The Light of the world has been extinguished. Mankind is doomed to sickness, death, and hell for all of eternity.

Wait, what is that thing that never dies? It has been bruised and beaten, but not destroyed. That thing called Hope. It seeks out the grieving disciples and the faithful women.

Remember, Hope whispers. He said He would rise again.

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On Easter Sunday, there was GLORY

easter-GLORY

They come cautiously to the tomb, only to run away with joy. The stone has been rolled back. The grave is empty.

He is risen! Just like He said He would.

He has gone to Heaven now, but He is coming back again. Prince of peace. Lord of lords. King of kings. Righteous and holy. Light, life, and living water.

What does this mean for us?

Death and the grave have been conquered forever. Evil, though it still spreads, has already been defeated. Fear has departed. Faith has come. All have a chance to be redeemed.

LEARNING, Pixar in a Box

Three Favorite Films

“Pixar in a Box” is a collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios and Khan Academy, sponsored by Disney. It explores how Pixar artists use math, science, computer science, and humanities to create amazing movies. Check it out here: https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/pixar.

Topic 1: The Art of Storytelling

Activity 2 – Exercise 2: Your Three Favorite Films

This is easy. The three films I would take to a deserted island are The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

I think I connected with these stories because in the face of a great and powerful evil and amid much despair and death, it is the smallest people – the Hobbits – who change the course of the future.

My world is vast and deep and large, full of powerful and smart and difficult people, burdened with impossible situations and hopeless events. I often feel inadequate. I don’t think I have what it takes to succeed, to make a difference, to leave a mark, to live a life that matters.

But whenever I read or see the Hobbits’ stories, I am given the courage to keep on.

The three films that make up The Lord of the Rings trilogy have much in common – the same main characters, one strong story line, a consistent theme, memorable soundtrack, stunning effects, etc. Yet, they are different in that they make up the beginning, middle, and end of a complete story.

Photo credit: Khan Academy / Gif credit: Tumblr

CREATING, Graphics (Photoshop), Poster Design

“Black Panther” Character Poster Art

These poster designs highlight nine characters from Marvel Studios’ highly anticipated Black Panther movie.

Black Panther was directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige and David J. Grant. The screenplay was written by Ryan Coogler, Jack Kirby, and Joe Robert Cole.

*** After the death of his father, T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king – and as Black Panther – gets tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people. ***

Check out the trailer below:

Created in Adobe Photoshop. The main font is Panther Scratches.

T’Challa / Black Panther. Chadwick Boseman.

black-panther-tchalla
Erik Killmonger. Michael B. Jordan.

black-panther-erik-killmonger.png
Nakia. Lupita Nyong’o.

black-panther-nakia
Okoye. Danai Gurira.

black-panther-okoye
Everett K. Ross. Martin Freeman.

black-panther-everett-k-ross
W’Kabi. Daniel Kaluuya.

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Ramonda. Angela Bassett.

black-panther-ramonda
Zuri. Forest Whitaker.

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Ulysses Klaue. Andy Serkis.

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I’m so excited for this movie! Black Panther officially hits theaters on February 16!

Photo credit 1-9: Disney / Marvel Studios

LEARNING, Pixar in a Box

Expressing Memories

“Pixar in a Box” is a collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios and Khan Academy, sponsored by Disney. It explores how Pixar artists use math, science, computer science, and humanities to create amazing movies. Check it out here: https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/pixar.

Topic 1: The Art of Storytelling

Activity 1 – Exercise 1: Expressing Memories

The memory that I remember most vividly is watching The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy for the first time. One Christmas, my younger siblings and I watched High School Musical (2006), Shrek (2001), and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) back-to-back in that order. An unusual combination, I know.

This was back in the day when Netflix mailed out DVDs in its signature red envelopes.

Placing an order for a DVD online and then waiting in eager anticipation for it to come in the mail was one of the highlights of my childhood.

While it was well after 3 a.m. in the morning on the day after Christmas when my younger siblings and I finally went to sleep, the vast mythical land of Middle-earth and the epic struggles and triumphs of its peoples remained very much on my mind. I wanted to know how the story ended. Did Frodo and Sam make it to Mordor? Were they successful in their quest to destroy the One Ring? What happened to Gandalf who fell into the abyss with the Balrog? And what became of Gollum? What were the journeys of the other members of the fellowship? Did they perish like Boromir or did they survive?

To see the answers to all of these questions and more, I had to wait two weeks…because, first, I had to send back the old red envelopes containing the DVDs for High School Musical, Shrek, and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Then, I had to wait for Netflix to send new red envelopes containing the DVDs for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

It felt like an eternity…

…but the wait was worth it.

Joy is the emotion I connect to this memory because after watching the movies I knew that storytelling, script-writing, and film-making was what I wanted to do with my life. I was—and still am—fascinated by the story and world of J. R. R. Tolkien’s imagination and by how Peter Jackson brought both to life in such a believable manner.

Photo credit: Khan Academy / Gif credit 1: Favim / Gif credit 2: Gifs Gallery / Gif credit 3: Giphy