Thursday, August 19, 2010

Celebrating Wednesday (on Thursday)

Dear Readers,
Yesterday was a very exciting day for the Shraders! Mom and I got up early and went to the beauty shop to get our hair cut. (As you know from that photo.) I got my pony tail cut off to make into a wig for someone with cancer. This was such a rewarding thing.  It just makes me smile to think of the little girl who will get a pretty wig from my pony tail. Well, mine and a few others. It takes 6-10 pony tails to make one wig. Start growing those locks out, ladies!

 Here's the other bit of exciting news:  My brothers have just joined a theatre group that will be performing the musical  Snoopy!  Benjamin will be piano-playing Schroeder, and Mason (in a smaller role, ha) will be CHARLIE BROWN! I'm so  excited for them, and know they are excited as well.  ( Please keep scrolling...there's a little more...)
Cutting it all off...

Ta Da!

 I'm at the end of this post, but just wanted to share a little bit of the inspiration for my hair. I was powered to cut my hair for different reasons than the style yesterday.

 "The king will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Matthew 25:40 (Jesus)

Wow. Pretty powerful stuff right there. This is what I did to try to show God my appreciation for all He has, and does, do for me. What will you do?
Your blogger Claire

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Musical beginnings

Dear Readers,
Yesterday a very exciting thing happened! I had my very first piano lesson and my first violin lesson in a long time. My mom and I found a lady, Laura Syjud, to teach me piano and violin back to back. First of all, I need to tell y'all that my violin has a name. My first strings teacher,  Mrs.Carlson, told all of us violin players to name our violins boy names because the cello players named their cellos girl names. The whole reason I was inspired to play the violin was because of Charles (Pa) Ingalls, in the Little House series, playing the fiddle. So, naturally, I named my violin Charles. Well, my new teacher's name is Laura, so even if she was mean (she's very sweet) I'm sure I would like her any way because of her name! So, I truly enjoyed my violin lesson. It was great to get my violin  tuned and sounding good, and also great to practice and correct things that need to be corrected. My piano lesson was amazing as well! I learned a lot in that half hour slot, and am excited to progress!  Thanks for listening to all that...I know it's not a subject all of you, dear Readers, are interested in, but I needed to share. It was truly a fantastic afternoon that I will always remember.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"The Highest Words"

    Nikolai Khamara
                            " "What kind of men are these?" wondered Nikolai Khamara. "They show joy while suffering. They sing in very dark hours. Morning and evening, they fold their hands and speak to someone no one can see. As they do, their faces shine." For months, Khamara had watched the Christians who shared his cell in the Communist prison. Unlike the believers who were in prison for refusing to deny their faith in Jesus, Khamara was there for crimes he had committed.
    One day, two of the Christians sat down with Khamara. He told them the story of his life and finished by saying "I am a lost man." 
   One of the Christians asked, "Suppose somebody lost a gold ring. What is the value of the ring when it is lost?" "What a foolish question! A gold ring is a gold ring. You have lost it, but somebody will have it." Khamara replied. "Then what is the value of a lost man?" the Christian asked. He continued, "A lost man, even one who is a thief or murderer or an adulterer, has the value of a whole man. He is of such value that the Son of God forsook Heaven for him and died on the cross to save him."  Khamara understood.
  The Christian said to the robber, "God loves you. You are valuable to Him.
    When Jesus met people of great sins He never asked them what sins they had committed. Instead, He told them, ""Be of good cheer. Your sins are forgiven.""  "You are forgiven because Jesus died for you. You only have to believe. " Khamara became a Christian. "
    Dear Readers,
 That's a pretty amazing story, isn't it? I got it out of the book Jesus Freaks by dc talk and The Voice of the Martyrs.
  After Khamara had served his prison term, he joined the underground church. When his pastor was arrested, Communist guards couldn't get him to give any information on his church. So, they stopped torturing him and brought Khamara in.
  They stabbed Khamara's eyes out in front of his pastor. The pastor could not endure someone suffering for him. "What should I do?" He asked Khamara. Khamara replied "Be faithful to Jesus and do not betray Him. I am happy to suffer for the name of Christ." "When my eyes are taken away, I will see more beauty than I can see with these eyes. I will see the Savior. You remain faithful to Christ to the end." 
  When the guards prepared to cut out Khamara's tongue, he said this; "Praise the Lord Jesus Christ. I have said the highest words that can be said. Now, if you wish, cut out my tongue."
   Khamara died a martyr's death.
   Wow.  Christians all across the globe are suffering like this for their unshakeable faith in Jesus Christ. I've determined that if these amazing people can pray for the people who kill their families, friends and themselves, the least I can do is share Jesus's love with the people I come in contact with every day. Even if it means going out of my comfort zone - isn't it worth that to watch a friend come to know Jesus? That's my goal. Will you join me?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The wonderful world

 Dear Readers,
As all of you know, I'm sure, this world has many many problems. Some days, it's so easy for me to focus on all the bad parts of the world, and I forget that this place is something God created. No, it's not without fault, but still, God said it was good didn't he? None of us is perfect - we all have difficult times and do things we regret. But, let's forgive as God does and look at ourselves as our Creator can - wonderful and made in His image. I'm going to share some of the things I think are beautiful in this world we live.
Horses. One of God's finest creations, in my opinion.  Smart, strong animals, capable of running faster than a car. Roaming free, they are a sight to behold. Bucking and playfully nipping others in their tight family-like herd. Or bridled with rider cantering through showy arenas or grassy fields, the feeling of freedom bursting out of their breast, one with the horse, racing the wind. Oh yeah, and with me in that photo is my brother. Brothers- need I say more? Always your defendant when you need it, yet they pull your braids and tease you at home. You've gotta love 'em! Here's the whole gang - Benjamin, Mason , Claire(me), and Cate. Plus the horses, Marki (with me) and Tyrone (with Mason). On this particular travel to River Ridge Farm (affectionately referred to as Mrs.Rosie's to us) Benjamin was so sweet and defendant of me when another girl was very mean to Marki and I. Thanks, boys! My siblings are some of the most important people in the world to me. They're so supportive - I mean do you see Mason saddling a horse and Benjamin patiently enduring 2 hours of barn time? They're the greatest.

Here's another thing that is beautiful. Music. Sweet and soft, or loud and energetic, music touches my soul.
I took this absolutely angelic picture of my piano to try and capture the music onto this page.  Can't you imagine wonderful melodies pouring out from deep within this amazing instrument? Yes, music is a gift from God. I am taking this oppurtunity to share some good news with you. I love music, yet there are some people who can't hear  the beat of a drum or sway of a fiddle. I learned American Sign Language for people like this, and have been blessed with the oppurtunity to share music with people in Sign Language.
 My Mom recently signed me up for a ministry called Arizona Friends in Sign. There I will be part of a group that performs songs in sign and teaches Sign Language to people who have the desire to learn. I'm very excited and can hardly wait!

And here's my family! The most amazing and fun people in the world! They are very important to me and are my best friends. I love them all!  They are DEFINITELY the most beautiful things I can think of in this world!
I encourage each of you, my sweet readers, to look through fresh eyes at the beauty and splendor of my Father's World!   
The beautiful spring  roadside of Mississippi