Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday sale - Great selection of Christian Indie Books!


It’s that time of year. The time for buying presents, making wish lists, and planning New Year’s Resolutions. If any of those activities involve books for you, Indie Christian Authorshas a perfect event for you.
From Nov 25 (that’s today!) through Nov 28th, more than 70 independent Christian books are on sale. You can find free shipping$0.99 ebookspackage deals, and more! And if your budget is depleted from Christmas shopping, they’ve got you covered with some freebies!
Think 70 books is overwhelming? Narrow it down and find the perfect books for you or someone on your Christmas list by using this quiz to generate a customized book list.
What awesome reads of 2016 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?
A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as "Sold Out." This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks. Also, some of the authors this year chose to not sell their paperbacks directly through the site. Those books are also marked "Sold Out" but if you click them open, you'll find a link to the site where they are on sale and a discount code for you to use at check out.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good and Kendra E. Ardnek for their work organizing this sale, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

One On Being Thankful

I know I'm a month early... but right now, I felt the need to take a step back from my situation, and acknowledge the people who are helping me through Satan's attacks.

These past few weeks... months... I've been overwhelmed with the support I've been getting from my friends and family. From a trip to the track, then dinner with dad. To a skype chat with a friend when the smallness of my bedroom becomes encroaching.

I have to admit, being cooped up in the house 99% of the time isn't easy. I'm not the type of person who can really just sit still. And after six months of it... I'm feeling it.

This is why I'm so thankful for people who are willing to help. I've always struggled when it came to asking... or accepting for that matter. I'm independent and kinda aloof. It takes a lot for me to trust. And once you do have my trust, I'll stop at nothing for the care of those I love. I've always given... as much as I could for those around me. I guess it started out of guilt. Guilt... for how much my family required help growing up. Mom doesn't drive and we live out in the country.... so after Dad's heart attack, I aways felt very guilty for how much help we got from our families and friends.

From that point on, I always felt like I had to go above and beyond in order to pay back to the world the gifts I'd been given.

Right now, with how my family and friends are helping me... It's tough. It's tough because I struggle with accepting help, but it's also tough because I feel like I'm burdening others.

But something that's come to me as a... realization as it were, as long as I continue to strive to pass it on, every chance I can... and am gracious... I'm not wrong.

My own spiritual gift is lifting up the weak... and right now, that talent is severely hampered. But not missing... completely as a few of my friends have helped me realize.

So to all of you out there who have been a part, are a part, or will continue being a part... Thank you. Keep me in your prayers, this battle isn't over yet.

VK Out.

Surprise Gift from Lee. Thank you

(This image is my Pony Persona... Really captured me here.)

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Hallway of Life

Lord, It's dark!
I can't see!
Are you there Lord?
Can you see me???

I am sitting in the hallway of life.

When did it all happen?
Why did it go wrong?
What are you saying?
Could you be gone?

You've tied my hands,
You've tied my feet,
The doors are locked,
Within this keep.

I can't get out!
I can't be free!
I can't run,
While you hold me...

I'm sitting in the hallway of life.

I've tried the knobs,
I've forced the latch,
Pushed the windows,
But none would crack.

You've tied my hands,
No longer I'm free,
I can't go farther,
While this holds me.

Where is your direction?
When the darkness looms?
How do I keep going?
When all goes up in fumes.

I'm sitting in the hallway of life...

I'm sitting in the hallway of life!

Loosen my hands,
So I can be,
The healing hands,
The world sees.

Loosen my feet
 that I may go,
And free the ones,
Held by the foe.

Help me stand,
When arrows fly,
And support my heart,
When I sit and cry.

The hall is dark,
It's length so long
But when the darkness comes,
You alone are my song.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Child Perspectives: The woods

When I was younger, one of the many things I used to define myself by was my 'walks in our woods.' Now, this is one area that has REALLY changed for me over the past five years. Especially true since I fainted three years ago.

First off, if I'm honest, I wasn't really in the woods. I had this tree that was just barely 'in' the woods, but I never went past that tree. The four Tree. This tree was literally three steps into the woods. I had to step off the path behind the barn and there it was. Beyond this point, I never went unless I was with an adult.

Second, why. I have asthma. And one of my top five triggers is mold. I couldn't play in the leaves on the game field, and I couldn't' go walk through the leaves in the woods. If I did, I had to bring along my emergency medication and suffer the consequences over the next week.

My third why, fear, has only gotten stronger with age, to the point where me going into the woods... It only happens if I'm on a cement pathway, and only if I have someone with me.

About fiveish years ago we had a drought kill many of our trees. Including the four tree. Yes, guys, it's gone. And I had a few near misses with some of these branches. I was hit twice, once moving branches and dislodged one and it hit me, the second time I was working on pushing over an almost down tree, kicked it, and it snapped about half way up and hit me. I'm glad BOTH of these were respectively small. Neither one larger around than my arm,  But the combined effort did dislocate my left shoulder. but this only made me conscious of danger, it didn't stop me toying on the edges.

What really made these adventures into the edges of our woods stop was what happened while walking back home from the barn that one time about four years ago. It was a pretty normal walk back, I was on one of those months where I was avoiding being seen if at all possible.  I really try to avoid people who have short tempers. I don't handle being yelled at well. I'd rather ride low and just not be seen, and not go anywhere close, than risk the smallest possibility of some short tempered person venting that wrath on me.

So I was going the long way home, Walking from the barn, through a narrow strip of trees on the edge of our property, around to our driveway, and then back to the house. This is about a quarter mile. Suddenly, the animals around me spooked, the chickens and geese raced back to the barn, and my dog got UNDER me. All around me was suddenly deathly quiet. Toffee started growling. My eyes went up, above me, about twenty or so feet, and to my left about ten was a MOUNTAIN LION. I don't think it was quite full grown, but it was definitely big enough to spook me pretty bad. I yelled at it, it vanished and then I took for as fast as I could back up to the road, then to the house.

It took a week, and several more sightings before I admitted to it. It was such a brief moment I saw it, there are still moments I wonder if it was my imagination. My aunt had been telling me horror stories about such things for almost a year, and some had been seen in our area. On top of a car, on game cams, and the like. Imaginary or not, I won't go into any woods at all without a large group that includes older adults that I trust.

After that, I was sitting on the path beside the goat pen whittling. This is something I previously did a lot. I'm not great, but I'm comfortable doing it. When suddenly I had an urge to go walk. I stood up and started walking back up to the barn. I hadn't gone very far when there was this crash behind me. I turned around to see a branch longer, and almost as big around as I am, laying right where I had previously been sitting.

It later took two men to move it... My guardian angel really had to work overtime back then.

Only twice since this time I've been back anywhere close to the woods. Once with my father to go hunting for the three mountain lions we saw in the middle of the night... We saw tracks and a bunch of fur where they obviously bedded down for the night. And then a ton of claw marks... but thankfully they'd moved on before we got down there to investigate. Talk about REALLY freaked out now. If the other events hadn't been bad enough.

Then the second time a group of ten of us went down into the woods with two adults to be shown our property line. After much argument, and a couple of threats, I reluctantly joined them and stayed in the EXACT center. Holding onto two younger cousins for comfort. (I'm still teased about it.)

After that, My line was the rabbit hutch. But a year ago now a dog got in and murdered my rabbits. I'll never forget the sight. Traumatized isn't the word for it, watching as they one by one died from their injuries. Rabbits that I'd grown to love and cherish. Four died that way, another to a heart attack, then the last was sent away to my aunt's and died comfortably in my cousin's arms of old age months later.

Since then, the front yard, and the road have been my areas to roam.... well, up until this summer.

I won't go into it. But I had another traumatic episode with the forces of evil and now I don't even want to go up to the road. Not that I have time for such frivolity anymore. With everything I'm trying to do, a walk is often the last thing on my mind.

So yeah, That's one area in the past few years I've changed.

To be quite honest, I want nothing to do with the woods. Well, if there is a cement path, and other people... like at a park, maybe. But I'm not doing that alone. You don't have two near misses with a mountain lion and then be careless.

The first time was in the woods, the second my uncle saw it in our play yard... and then I went with my dad to investigate... that story I've already mentioned.

Nope! Brave I pretend to be, Dumb not a chance.

So that's my confession here, I'm going to bed. I'm way too tired to try to think up a way that is clever to call this to an end.

VK out.

Monday, October 3, 2016

So... Where have I been?

One day turns into two, turns into a week, months... then finally you find it's been years. I sit at my desk just looking at this blank page, my stomach churning to figure out where to begin.

I'm not the same person who left here. I'm a leader. I'm a teacher. I'm a poet... and I'm a high school graduate. I'm an artist...

There is a big part of me that doesn't want to do anything here. Not right now anyways. This year I've been bashed by Satan so much that I would much rather duck my head inside the hole and leave it there. But to be honest, that wouldn't be me. To hide from my issues isn't the way I am. I once did. I once would brush things under the rug, try to hide my faults from others... but that isn't what God wants. So I'll strive, I'll press on.

The past three years I took a step back. I had another blog completely invisible to the rest of you that I have been using to figure out MY voice. I didn't want to forever be Kendra's little sister. I wanted to be ME. I wanted people to see me for who I was.

So who am I? I don't think anyone can ever pin that down. How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? Well, in fantasy you could always just say that you have wings and people with wings can just do that... but this is the real world folks. It doesn't just work that way.

So right now, I'm not going to tell you, but if I can keep on top of this too... on top of leading an art group with 23 members, co-hosting a radio show where we review fan fiction and go on what works, and what doesn't. Teach two subject, write probably 20-50 hours a week, (Transcribing and stories) play the piano and violin. as well as try to keep on top of the normal house  chores. If I can juggle it, I'll try to also start posting here again as well.

Sometimes I see the scared little girl I've always been. The child within a great storm with the rain beating on her... lost within the storm and only wanting the comfort of her father. Other times I see in myself the woman I've become. Whatever this is.

So, with the storm around me, and the lion within... I'm going to keep pressing. Despite the storm, despite the snares. The only way out is up. The only way out is to fight your way out.

Right now, I'd rather bury this blog and my friends, and family away. Hiding under a nice warm blanket until Satan leaves me alone. But that will only allow him to win.

So with that said, you guys should expect posts again... I'm keeping a log, so if I don't spend time in some area of what I need to be doing, I'll be able to see it.

This is VK signing out.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Introvert VS Extrovert

For the last few years, I've been putting some time, effort, and study into understanding people; from external, like clothing and body language, to deep down who they are.

There are many levels to people. There are likes and dislikes, what their family situation was at home, who they inspire to be, and deep down, who they are.

All people were born with a core personality programmed into their DNA. This is at the heart of every individual, and can help us to understand what makes them tick.

Today, I'd like to go into MBTI, Myers Briggs Type Testing, to show you one level in which we can understand people. MBTI categorizes people by four main things. Introvert/ Extrovert, Intuitive/Sensor, Thinker/Feeler, and  Judger/ Perceiver.  Today, I'm just going to cover the first.

Introvert, Extrovert is probably the hardest to pin down. Why? Because it depends on how good a person is at going into their 'Growth' state. (I'll get into this completely later) The four letter code is just a key, there is WAY more to it than just a bunch of letters. And with I vs E you switch between them as you go into your different mindsets.

For example; I'm an INFJ. This basically tells you that I'm most comfortable when I'm seeing the world through Introverted Intuition; This is my 'Flow' State, where I feel the most comfortable. However, I can also go into my 'Growth' state, which basically acts like a co-pilot. This, for me is EXTROVERTED feeling. This is true of all types, we all switch between our first, and second mindset. And they are ALWAYS opposites on the I vs E account. Because of this factor, it's often hard for people to pin down whether they are an introvert, or an extrovert.

Now that I've explained this, let me explain what the difference is between the two. Most people think this is the difference between 'shy' and 'not shy.' If you believe in this, you have been misinformed. Often times, extroverts have been labeled as 'shy' and introverts have not. It is a good way to get a clue, but it hardly gives you a decent picture of the concept.

I personally think of Introverts/ Extroverts as givers/takers.  This might sound harsh for a few of you, but it is closer to fact.

I think the best way to explain this, is to take you back in time to the oldest known personality tester known to exist; DISC. Despite being the oldest, this is probably the simplest one to learn, and the best one to use to understand introversion and extroversion. (DISC is it's modern name. It has an older one that I can't recall of the top of my head.)

You see, instead of asking four questions, DISC asks two. This tester asks first, are you an introvert, or are you an extrovert? Since this is what we are trying to figure out, we move on to the second question. 'Are you more concerned about the task, or about the people?'

You see, not all introverts are anti people. Not all extroverts are pro- people. This is where most people get stuck, and therefore miss type themselves and strive to be someone they are not.

Let me move on to explain the four letters of DISC. You see, instead of MBTI's shortened form, DISC stands for it's actual types labeled in the test. D= Determined; D's are known for their ability to lead a job. They are extroverted, task-minded people. While people don't make them tired, they also forget they have feelings. Young D's are often times bullies, they like to be in charge. Unfortunately, because they are not people minded, they tend to abuse those around them.

The second letter is I. The I stands for Involved. I's are extroverted people-people. They LOVE being around others. They are energized by helping. The more they are around crowds, the happier they are. They go shopping, not to shop, but to rub shoulders with a town. These are the people MOST people label as extroverts, it is also only half the story.

S. S is the third letter of DISC. The S stands for sensitive. These people are the Introverted people-minded individuals. While being around others wears them out, they still go out of their way to make others happy. These are often miss- labeled. Because if they get hurt, they become WORSE bullies than the D's. Why? Because they are so aware of who you are, they know how to hurt you the worst. They are not concerned about jobs, they are concerned about you. If overwhelmed, they become mean and nasty, or scared and broken. However, when they are at peace with themselves, they can calm even the darkest of arguments so it benefits both sides.

The last, and final letter is the C. C stands for Calculative. These are your introverted task people. The don't want to see you, they don't want to be around you... and they don't want you to disrupt their 'work'. This is your most well known introvert. But as you have already seen, it's again only half the picture of the introverted spectrum. C's LOVE books. They love math, ledgers, knowledge... They like to know the task, and there can be people in the room for an hour and they not know they are there at all.

Now, let me get back to this topic. Introverts give. They give time, they give knowledge, they give compassion, they give energy, they give. Their energy comes from within. When they are around others, they feel drained. Some even can feel their life energy being sucked from them. Most HATE small talk, because it's a waste of their already low resource.

I've heard of pastors who are introverts unwilling to talk to their congregation because "They are afraid of taking up too much of the other person's valuable time." Many introverts struggle with the idea of gifts. We see it as bribery. I am almost scared of a present, because that means I've got to give something back, or show that I like it. Even if I don't. Then, because of my 'F' nature, (Feeler) I'm also afraid of hurting the other person's feelings. (For those who are wondering. On the DISC test I tested an S.)

Extroverts take. They have to be reminded to slow down, and be considerate of other people, even the I's. Because their energy comes from other people, they need others in order to have energy. This doesn't mean they won't ever feel tired around others, we all get tired eventually, but it does mean they want to go back out and party soon. Extroverts love to go. They will find excuses to be around others, they will call attention to themselves.

Now, this doesn't always mean they are front stage. I' know plenty of extroverts who are stage shy. They don't want you to just watch them. It's not satisfactory, they want to be one on one controlling your life. They want to feel like you revolve around them. They need this, they crave this... and if they don't get it- Ol' Mister D shows up and you have a bully.

When an extrovert is wronged, the extrovert squeaks to everyone. Nothing is private. They'll gossip about what happened until the cows come home. Sometimes, even destroying the person who originally did the action.

For example,

This is classic for this type. Not always do they say WHO they are talking about, but it will be public. 

Introverts don't like being in the limelight. When they talk, it's normally bout themselves, or if it is about another person, it's to help the other person understand the issue. They never mean it to cause harm, and it's only to people they trust deeply. Most Introverts listen more than they talk. And if they talk it gets deep fast. 

Introverts/Extroverts, they are not what you expect are they? Not always are the people you think are introverts.... introverts, or the extroverts, extroverts. 

There is way more on this topic that could be said, but I'd be typing for a month. 

This is VK signing out. 

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