Tournaments, Talking, and Tired

Hello, my wonderful readers!

Just a quick update on what’s been going on. 🙂

Saturday, I have a speech and debate practice tournament all. day. long. As if the time change doesn’t make me tired enough, I have to get up around 5:00 a.m. or so in the morning on the one day I am able to sleep in. Yay. But it’s all good. I really enjoy debating. 🙂 I’m a member of NCFCA (National Christian Forensics Communications Association) and I’m a proud LDer. For more information on that, click here. 🙂 Also, Mom signed me up for impromptu. And I didn’t know that until a few weeks ago and I haven’t practiced for that or anything. O__________________________O Thanks, Mom. Very impromptu.

I’ve been spending my time doing school, cramming cases for both aff and neg (though mostly neg), and I’m proud to say that I have been getting in a little more than 1,000 words a day (with a few exceptions) in the third book of Desensitized. ^_^ I’m not doing NaNo, though I wish I could. Good luck to all of you involved though! 😉 I’m sure you’re doing great!

I’m a bit hesitant about sharing my writing with people… so… I’m going to swallow that fear and give y’all a snippet of book 3. *hides* Only, like, 2 people are reading it so far (big thanks to Una and Lisa) and they’re really nice. So don’t kill me. I’m still learning and I could be classified as an old newbie. 😛

So, here is the beginning of chapter 2:

Kody and I arrive at a small, quiet neighborhood a week later. I glance down at the paper in my hands.

“It says… 3805 Peck Street… I think. This penmanship is atrocious.” I look out the window and through the rain drops obscuring the clear glass. Kody and I both check the numbers on the houses and mailboxes and yawn. “Can’t wait to get there. I’m exhausted.”

“Yeah, I think I’ll crash too,” Kody responds, peering through the rain coming down like a thick blanket onto the windshield. “Ugh! This stupid rain!”

I nod. “It ain’t helping me stay awake any.”

“Same here.”

“Hey, how’d you find out where they were anyway?” I ask in the hope that a conversation would keep us both awake. We’ve been taking turns driving for the past three days, only stopping for food and bathroom breaks.

Kody glances over at me and grins. “I like to eavesdrop. When they were leaving, they told Cael where they were going and gave him their addresses in case something really bad happened. I wrote it down.”

“Oh. I guess you skipped out on the beautiful penmanship gene then, huh?” I smile, continuing to keep an eye out for the house numbers.

“Yeah. Skipped me an went to Ca- hey, there it is!” Kody pulls the car into a driveway. The rain is coming down so heavily that I can’t even see the house only a few yards away.

“I think we should wait until the rain lets up a bit,” I suggest, unbuckling my seatbelt. Kody does the same, nodding.

“I think this one is Blade’s house… Or, it’s one of his relative’s houses anyway. Bill Ferguson, I believe. He’s renting it. Core went to live with his cousin, Ryan Peterson.”

I turn my head slowly to stare at Kody. “I’m really disturbed now.”

The young man adopts an innocent look. “Why?”

“Dude, how do you even know that information? It’s pretty personal too. Do you know my number too?”

“Which number? Your cell phone number or the one on your wrist?”

My jaw drops slightly. I clap my hand over the scannable tattoo. “Wrist,” I challenge.

“Uh, I’m not great at numbers. But it’s 33092608, right?”

“Nine,” correct.

He grins cheekily. “I know. I just wanted to mess up so it wouldn’t totally freak you out.”

“Okay, that’s just-” My hands flail about as if that would convey how utterly terrified I am. “You’re such a creeper!” I manage to say at last.

Kody lets out a short bark of laughter. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”

“It’s not one. Creepers are… creepy. I don’t like them.”

“But you like me.”

“Not anymore.”

“Oh, come on. Yes, you do.”

“Nope.”

“Yes.”

“No.”

“Liar.”

“Creeper.”

“The fact’s already been established, weirdo.”

Aaaaaand now I have something fun for all of you! 😀 A video! It’s by a singer named Christina Grimmie and her friend. Christina is a 19 year old Christian who started homeschooling in 2010. Check out her music — it’s fantastic! ^_^

Here’s the vid (watch all 6 of them — they’re hilarious)! I hope you enjoyed the writing snippet! 🙂

God bless!

Rana

P.S.

If y’all could pray for the tournament to go well, I’d appreciate it. 🙂 It’s a long day and my club is hosting the tournament and there’ll be, like, a lot of people there. I think it’s 100 – 200 kids. I think. Anyway. Thanks!

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A Message on Peace

Hey, everyone!

So, a friend (she hasn’t updated that in a while, so…) sent me an email and I almost freaked. XD You know how I just did a post on peace? Well now I get an email on it! And you want to know who it’s by? The Pope! He’s asking us to be praying on September 7, 2013 for peace. Here’s the letter.

Seriously though. You don’t need to be Catholic to pray for this. We’re all humans, we all live here. What happens on end end of the world affects the other. Never is one person or nation solely responsible for the destruction that happens on this planet. Like Einstein said, The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch without doing anything.”

Without further ado, here’s the letter. 🙂

POPE FRANCIS
ANGELUS 
Saint Peter’s Square
Sunday, 1st September 2013
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Hello!
Today, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to make add my voice to the cry which rises up with increasing anguish from every part of the world, from every people, from the heart of each person, from the one great family which is humanity: it is the cry for peace! It is a cry which declares with force: we want a peaceful world, we want to be men and women of peace, and we want in our society, torn apart by divisions and conflict, that peace break out! War never again! Never again war! Peace is a precious gift, which must be promoted and protected.
There are so many conflicts in this world which cause me great suffering and worry, but in these days my heart is deeply wounded in particular by what is happening in Syria and anguished by the dramatic developments which are looming.
I appeal strongly for peace, an appeal which arises from the deep within me. How much suffering, how much devastation, how much pain has the use of arms carried in its wake in that martyred country, especially among civilians and the unarmed! I think of many children will not see the light of the future! With utmost firmness I condemn the use of chemical weapons: I tell you that those terrible images from recent days are burned into my mind and heart. There is a judgment of God and of history upon our actions which are inescapable! Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence.
With all my strength, I ask each party in this conflict to listen to the voice of their own conscience, not to close themselves in solely on their own interests, but rather to look at each other as brothers and decisively and courageously to follow the path of encounter and negotiation, and so overcome blind conflict. With similar vigour I exhort the international community to make every effort to promote clear proposals for peace in that country without further delay, a peace based on dialogue and negotiation, for the good of the entire Syrian people.
May no effort be spared in guaranteeing humanitarian assistance to those wounded by this terrible conflict, in particular those forced to flee and the many refugees in nearby countries. May humanitarian workers, charged with the task of alleviating the sufferings of these people, be granted access so as to provide the necessary aid.
What can we do to make peace in the world? As Pope John said, it pertains to each individual to establish new relationships in human society under the mastery and guidance of justice and love (cf. John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, [11 April 1963]: AAS 55, [1963], 301-302).
All men and women of good will are bound by the task of pursuing peace. I make a forceful and urgent call to the entire Catholic Church, and also to every Christian of other confessions, as well as to followers of every religion and to those brothers and sisters who do not believe: peace is a good which overcomes every barrier, because it belongs all of humanity!
I repeat forcefully: it is neither a culture of confrontation nor a culture of conflict which builds harmony within and between peoples, but rather a culture of encounter and a culture of dialogue; this is the only way to peace.
May the plea for peace rise up and touch the heart of everyone so that they may lay down their weapons and be let themselves be led by the desire for peace.
To this end, brothers and sisters, I have decided to proclaim for the whole Church on 7 September next, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world, and I also invite each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative.
On 7 September, in Saint Peter’s Square, here, from 19:00 until 24:00, we will gather in prayer and in a spirit of penance, invoking God’s great gift of peace upon the beloved nation of Syria and upon each situation of conflict and violence around the world. Humanity needs to see these gestures of peace and to hear words of hope and peace! I ask all the local churches, in addition to fasting, that they gather to pray for this intention.
Let us ask Mary to help us to respond to violence, to conflict and to war, with the power of dialogue, reconciliation and love. She is our mother: may she help us to find peace; all of us are her children! Help us, Mary, to overcome this most difficult moment and to dedicate ourselves each day to building in every situation an authentic culture of encounter and peace. Mat, Queen of Peace, pray for us!

© Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

God bless!

Rana

Peace

Hey, everyone! 😀

So, everything going on in the Middle East is pretty unsettling. =S

I have family over there and things are pretty messed up. I’m half Lebanese, half American, and I’ve got Scottish, Irish, Native American, German, and a few different other cultures mixed in there.

But I don’t think one needs to have ties with those countries to be concerned. We all live in one world. And it’s the only one we’ve got. We need to be taking care of it and each other. Using gas bombs, missiles, and other weapons against each other isn’t the way to achieve anything but war, hate, and death.

If that’s what our goal is, then do carry on.

I don’t think it is though. I think we were made for so much more. I see faces in the newspaper. Beautiful faces, scarred faces, young faces, old faces, fair skinned, dark skinned, red skinned, yellow skinned… It makes no difference. I see these people, I read what they’re convicted of, and it makes me sad.

We were made for so much more.

I think we need to start a movement. Let’s be the ones to change this world for the better. Who cares if we don’t achieve world peace? Who cares if we don’t change the world? If we can change even one person’s life for the better, it’s all worth it.

So, I challenge you. 

You’re reading this. I want you to smile at someone today.

I want you to smile at the cashier in Publix.

I want you to ask them how they’re doing.

Be genuine.

It’s apathy that’s killing our world. We are slowly becoming Desensitized.

No one cares anymore. Let’s change that. Okay?

Write a nice, encouraging note and leave it in a public place (a library book, sticky note on a public restroom stall, anywhere you want) and in that note, ask the receiver, whoever it may be, to spread this.

It doesn’t take much effort. An encouraging quote, Bible verse, or statement on a little piece of paper, on a sticky note.

Let’s be the change we wish to see in this world. ❤ Let’s pray for peace. 🙂

Now here’s something from me to you. This is my note:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God and faith in Me. ”

~*John 14:1*~

(If y’all want, we could start reblogging this and make it a thing. 🙂 )

God bless!

Rana