Importance of Christ in College

College is the most advanced kind of school that there is. It is not easy at all because the classes are so detailed and tough. Taking tests are much harder because questions are more complicated and usually the test is covering at least three chapters. It is also is hard due to the independence you gain. There is no one to tell you when to study and it is all up to you. Despite the burdens of college, there is a way to survive and it is one of the best experiences of my life.

Part of what makes me survive college is Christ. Getting good grades requires a lot of determination and handwork, but also helps to have faith that you will pass. College is a good time to let Christ guide you. If you do that, college might be a bit easier. I do not leave Christ out of my college life. Every week, I attend the Gathering, a student-led worship service. It is full of singing and a sermon. It is a perfect way for me to connect to Christ. It gives a break and it tells you that listening to Christ is important to the college journey. The songs represent who Christ is a person. They say that he will never give up on you and will always love you no matter what. Being at a Christian school helps me feel his presence. When I see the sun set, I know that Christ will help me through the burdens of college. Even seeing signs of nature help me know that Christ is near. I once in a while write a prayer to him and he usually answers. These prayers make me know that everything will be okay. Listening to Christian songs also helps.

Christ is a part of you. If you listen to him, he will always be there for you. He is part of your soul, which is why he can help you through college. If you come to college with a positive mindset, you will succeed. I have become an honor student because of my handwork, determination, positive attitude, and the presence of Christ. Before college, I never offered prayers to him because I never could find the right way to do that. I discovered through writing, it was easier for Christ to answer. It also was the right way because I love journaling, which is part of why I started this blog. Just remember Christ will always be with you and will put you in the right direction in life. He can help you get out of rough situations and can make you a stronger person.

Frozen and Wicked

“Frozen” and “Wicked” are two different musicals, but they are so very similar. I noticed this connection after I saw the movie, “Frozen”, for the first time. I see similarities between two of the characters and the relationship among them.

Anna from “Frozen” is the outgoing sister. That is very similar to who Glinda is, but there is still a difference. Glinda is funny, but just like Anna she has the outgoing personality. Anna acts before she thinks and is the younger sister. There is a bigger similarity between Elsa and Elphaba. Both Elsa and Elphaba have magical powers that they have a hard time controlling and they are both misunderstood. The friendship between Elphaba and Glinda is very similar to the sister relationship between Elsa and Anna.

Another big similarity is how similar the songs “Let it Go” and “Defying Gravity all. It has nothing to do with the fact that Idina Menzel originated both Elsa and Elphaba. Those two songs are exactly just as powerful and happens during a breathtaking moment. They also are almost about the exact same thing. “Defying Gravity” is the moment when Elphaba flies for the first time and finally finds a use for her powers. Elphaba decides to stay more true to herself. In “Let it Go”, the same thing basically happens. In that song, Elsa finally gets to be who she is and makes an ice castle by using her powers.

I think the reason why I ended up loving “Frozen” was because of how much it reminded me of “Wicked”. Because of my strong love for “Wicked”, it makes sense why I love “Frozen” like I do. “Frozen” is basically a simpler version of “Wicked”, but at the same there are still obvious differences.

Bristol Pilgrimage

Last year, I went on a Pilgrimage to England over the summer. This pilgrimage was the best part of the summer. Our church choir was invited to sing at the Bristol Cathedral. The trip allowed us to go to castles, multiple church services, and spiritual places such as Stonehenge and Tintern Abbey.

My family decided to go to England two days early in order to enjoy more of London. During those two days, the best part of the trip happened, which connected to the spiritual world of the pilgrimage. The best part was seeing the West End production of Les Misérables with my mom. I had seen the stage show three times already, but I had never seen it professionally. It was a dream come true and I knew it was becoming a reality once the lights went off and the music began. Just through the first couple of notes, I knew it was more than I originally excepted. The London production was the most epic powerful emotionally felt experience I ever had with the musical. The emotions were spot on that night and the cast was brilliant. Most of the leads had only been in the cast for about one month when I saw them. I also had an understudy for Jean Valjean, the protagonist of the show. During this production, I finally felt something for Javert, which I thought would never happen because I do not like the character. The show’s plot is story of compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity, hope, and redemption, which is why the show is so inspirational. I also got the chance to meet the actor who played Vajean and I got my picture taken with him and he signed my playbill. Another thing that made this experience special was that I got to fulfill my dream in the middle of the show’s 30th year.

The day after the show was when the group finally met up. The first thing the group did was visiting Windsor Castle. In all, I saw three castles and the most spiritual one was Chepstow Castle. Each castle brought something special to the pilgrimage. At Windsor, I saw the changing of the guards, which made me feel like a kid again. At Berkley Castle, I dressed up with one of the chorister students. At Chepstow Castle, I saw areas which reminded me of stained glass and I saw areas which looked like crosses.

In total, I went to ten church services. Most of them were at Bristol Cathedral and those were the most special, but it was still enjoyable when we went to services at Westminster, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Salisbury Cathedral. The reason why seeing the services at Bristol Cathedral was the most special was because my church choir was singing and their songs were gorgeous. The best one was at the very last evensong and when the solos began, I was speechless.

I also loved visiting Tintern Abbey. At first, I did not think there would be anything interesting about the ruins of an old Abbey. But I learned to love it quickly. Exploring it was spiritual to me because at one point, I saw a dove in a corner and I associate a dove with a story in the bible. Both Tintern and Chepstow are in Wales, England.

The big “mountan-top” moment of the show was Stonehenge. I still cannot believe I actually saw that famous place. I quickly noticed how sacred it was. The place was very windy and the windy I felt made me say that the wind was God’s energy passing through me. The clouds also reflected how transforming it is. As you walk around, each view is very different.

It was also the smaller memories that made the trip matter. One of them was hunting for Shaun the Sheep in Bristol. One of the early memories was getting my picture taken at platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station. Going to Bath was not a huge favorite part of the trip, but it was more than I thought, but added to the meaning.

Overall, I think that the best part of the pilgrimage was the fellowship among everyone. That was a huge reason why everything was spiritual. The bond the group created was special. It made each memory worth it and made England the best part of the summer. Without the bond, the trip would not have been as spiritual and meaningful. This trip had make me more spiritually strong. I am so glad I got to go on this trip. In total, there were 72 people on the trip.

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Christianity of Narnia

One of my favorite movie series is “The Chronicles of Narnia”. One of the things I love about them is how Christian they are. Each of them has things that represent Christ. I ended up watching “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe last night and that is where I know what the Christian elements are.

I see Aslan as Christ because that is who he is. He has the power to destroy the white witch and loves unconditionally. Aslan died to save Edmund just like Christ died to save us from our sins. Aslan also died a violent death which is similar to Christ’s. Just like Jesus, Aslan rose again.

The White Witch is very similar to Satan. She wanted to stop the prophecy from coming true and to do that she wanted to kill Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. She first tried to do that by tempting Edmund when she first met him. She had him sit with her under a warm coat and gave him something to eat and drink. She than pointed out where her house is. She was very manipulative, which made Edmund believe she was the good guy. Later Edmund actually walked to the white witch’s house and doing that made him bait. The siblings realized what he had done and why the white witch wanted all four of them. Edmund was captured by the white witch and he realized that she was really the bad guy. Edmund saw how she was turning animals into stone. The white witch left Narnia in an eternal snow and wanted to rule Narnia forever.

There is a deep magic that is always talked about in this movie. I think the deep magic is love. Love has the power to heal and makes humans feel connected. Because of Christ’s love for us, he is always able to forgive us for our sins. Love encourages humans to do the right thing and makes us compassionate towards the needs of others. Another sign of Christianity in the movie is the lamppost. For the longest time, I did not know what it meant. I think the lamppost represents the light of Christ. The light of Christ can give us hope in the darkest of times and also in the lightest of times. Also the wardrobe was inscribed with the tree of knowledge.

Winterlight Meaning

Five years ago, I attended my very first Winterlight. At that time, I was in 11th grade. For those that do not know, Winterlight is a high school youth conference at Kanuga, an Episcopalian Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC. Winterlight was one of the most important times of my life and one of the best parts about high school. In all, I attended two Winterlights.

The first time I went, I did not know fully what to except, but I had an idea. I knew about all the singing because of the Winterlight 24 CD that my family owns. I knew there was a service project and a banquet on New Years Eve. That was all that I knew. At that Winterlight, I made a tiny amount of friends because I only had one roommate because Louisiana was snowed out. My roommate was not the only friend I made that year. During the first program, I made other friends and for one week, I was close friends with two people. I also discovered my favorite Christian song, “Prince of Peace”, and the moment I started singing it, I knew the song was something special. I loved all of the energy put into the songs because we would clap at high energy songs and put arms around each other during the slower songs. I also attended a concert and talent show. One of the funny things I remember at this Winterlight was all of the dorky dances that we did and that was one of the best parts. I spent a lot of time with my small group. The service project of this Winterlight was making blankets for migrant farm workers, and I did this project with my small group.I remembered that we honored the blankets at our New Years Eve church service, and we honored the seniors because it was their last Winterlight. A highlight about the the New Year’s Eve Dance was that we sang along to the songs such as “Don’t Stop Believing”.

My second Winterlight was very different than the first, but so similar. At this Winterlight, I made more friends than my first. My cottage had more people, and my small group had a stronger bond. I ended up with seven roommates that year. I prepared to be part of the Talent Show because I knew that there would be one. I think this concert was different than the first because during parts of it, we sang along. The service project this year was Stop Hunger Now, and it was treated as a competition. We packed about 20,000 meals that day. This Winterlight was more emotional for me because it was my last. The seniors ended up being honored through a candlelight service at the New Years Eve dance, and I cried as we sang the last song, but at least I got to attend two wonderful Winterlights.

The reason why Winterlight meant a lot to me because it helped shape my spirituality. I ended up developing a mini obsession because of the event. That was all I could think and talk about for two years. It turned my interest of Christian music into a love. There was something extra special about being around high school students at that event. Winterlight was a nice break from all of the stress that high school creates. I still am really close friends with one of my Winterlight friends, and we still have the special connection we had when the two of us first met. Listening to the songs that I sang during Winterlight are very special to me. I decided to write this post now because it is that time of year when Winterlight happens. I went from December 27th-January 1st and I feel like Winterlight was the best part about high school.