Tag Archives: Kiale P.

Thankfulness: A Lesson From Samwise Gamgee

Thankfulness title
was a Wise Man

Once, there was a ring. A ring which caused pain and hurt and death. A ring which led a few scruffy hobbits to a long path of orcs, elves, fire, darkness, death and a whole lot of other things which I’m sure nobody wishes for me to recount. Then after all that, these hobbits won out. After all the pain, they reached the end. As Sam put it,”It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do underst
and, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.” Sam was a wise man. He knew more then anybody that you can’t have light unless the darkness comes first. Without Frodo’s journey, the ring never would have been destroyed. Without the danger, victory was impossible. We can be thankful for the good because we understand how much it cost. That is what we hold on to.

thankfulness turkey
“Be Thankful.”

That’s one of the most over-asked and least understood subjects in the English language. Sam would know. Every little kid has their own go-to answer. What are you thankful for?…my family…church…Jesus dying on the cross. Always the same answer. Largely the same indifference. We know the right answer like the back of our hand. It’s only the ones who’ve gotten pushed around by life and perhaps glimpsed the dusky cloak of death around the next corner that understand its meaning. Thankfulness, that attribute advertised on every street window around this time of year, is far bigger then much of the world can ever know. To most, thankfulness is just a form of gratitude for the stuff that is wrapped in pretty bows and some nice gestures. We live by a mantra which calls us to ‘be thankful at all times…or at least when things go right.’ When asked the question, we answer things like raspberries, Christmas, snow, and falling leaves. I would instead call you to answer with paper cuts, crying children, a rusty nail, or even maybe the dried tears on your pillow. I Thessalonians 5:18 calls us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” We have been put in a world which is certainly full of snowflakes, cocoa, and books, but we also live in a world of bruised knees, flat tires, and death. When we thank Christ for our redemption, we cannot simply be thankful for the resurrection and Easter for before that joy came his necessary death. I would say God demands us to be thankful not only for the stone rolled away from the grave but also that spear in Christ’s side, the tears on his face, the sour wine dripping from his lips, and the cold nails biting into his raw skin. Without that suffering, no salvation could have ever happened. Only the people who understand that can truly be thankful for sunrise the next morning.

So the next time the question is popped or perhaps when the scent of turkey passes by, remember all the good things in your life, all the blessings in your life, but also look back to your trials, your tears, and your pain. For they are the things which make beauty and joy even more beautiful. They are the things that cause hope. Without sin, we would never have known God’s grace. Without the cross, there could never have been an empty grave.

-Kiale P.

What are you thankful for? Let us know down in the comments or tweet us @shineforhimsite


Muddy Fingers and Frightening Adventures

girl flowersI was twelve at the time. It was nerve-wracking, standing there in the hospital room, the monitor tracking my mom’s pulse in little blue lights. Dad brought my small hand to her belly, and I felt the heat, and then, the small kick. I smiled and sat at her side. Nurses came and went, as frequently as the minutes did. It’s all very blurry now. I remember only my mother’s face, pale, eyes shut, and my father’s hand in hers. I remember the nurse standing at the base of the bed, inviting me to see the small head of my sister and her mop of damp hair. I remember coming, slowly, hesitantly, my soul dancing. I remember my sister’s tiny body, naked and warm, lying on the scale, crying. I remember the feeling of ink on my skin as the nurse stamped the baby’s footprint on my arm.

It’s been five years since those memories. Five years since I held the bottle to her mouth or smelled baby’s breath on her lips. Now, I watch her count pennies and scrawl my name on napkins. I see her shape mud into pies and I help her lay flowers in small fairy gardens. When I go off to a new adventure, a new school, I will miss most of all her laugh in the morning, her whispered I love you’s, her tiny hand clutching my own. I will miss her muddy fingers, her careless smile, the songs she sings in my ear. My father once told me that those five years are all I’ve got. Those years are mine to create the memories she will have forever. When I first heard those words, I despaired. Five years is hardly enough time to leave your impact on a young heart. Going off to college is a frightening adventure, one which will take me away from my dearest loves. So perhaps it is not dear little Ellie who has shaped my character the most. Perhaps it is the thought of leaving her. As St. Augustine wrote, “Our character is usually judged not from what we know, but from what we love.” The five years I have with her taught me to make memories, to play in the mud, and to hear her happy laugh as many times as I could.

-Kiale P.

Just Do It

runner feet Junior High. I’m sure you just groaned. Yes, that was the year when everyone hated you and your life sucked. Your classmates each had that one thing that ticked you off and nobody could shut up. Well, guess what? I’m in eleventh grade and, sure, it has gotten better, but to be honest with myself, I still feel unpopular and overlooked.

In 2011, the Denver, Broncos had a 1-4 record and a back-up quarterback who threw like a girl. People still called for Tim Tebow to take the field. The former star of the Florida Gators began in week 7 and won the game 18-15 in overtime. After that, the Broncos went on a streak of miraculous victories to end the season with a 7-4 record. People hated Tebow not just because he stunk but because he had the guts to speak up and take his underdog team to victory.

It’s always intrigued me that almost every great main character or player is unpopular and overlooked. They’re always the underdog: Harry Potter, Tebow, Frodo, even Christ. But we all sympathize with them because we feel like them at times. We just can’t seem to realize that we’re in The Story, The Game and we’re the main characters. When you look at it in that light, being an underdog is actually essential to the story sometimes. It’s hard, but God has given you the challenge to ‘just do it’ as Nike would say. We’re called to have dominion over everything in this world (Gen. 1:28) so go out and take it.

One of the key factors in Tebow’s success (besides a miracle) was the fact that he didn’t care what other people thought about him. Even if he threw like a girl and even if he was a Christian, Tebow still made that gutsy move to play his hardest and speak up for his faith. G.K. Chesterton once said, “…how much happier you would be if you only knew that these people cared nothing about you! How much larger your life would be if your self could become smaller in it; if you could really look at other men with common curiosity and pleasure; if you could see them walking as they are in their sunny selfishness and their virile indifference! You would begin to be interested in them, because they were not interested in you. You would break out of this tiny and tawdry theatre in which your own little plot is always being played, and you would find yourself under a freer sky, in a street full of splendid strangers.” Tebow realized that everybody is interested in himself. They don’t care about your looks or failures because we all live in our own little lives. Once you know that, it’s easy to get excited about other people and to be gutsy.

So next time you’re feeling a little low, be gutsy and ‘just do it.’

Kiale P.

Shoot Me, Please.

booksA guide on surviving school by Kiale P.


Anxiety. Stress. Tests. Shoot me now. Ah, the joys of that wonderful establishment called school. Yes, I am one of that overwhelming crowd of students. School. Stress. School again. There. My life in a nutshell. But what on earth are we supposed to do with it? Freak out? Ask our classmate to shoot us? Ignore it and procrastinate?

Let us start with step one. Identify your stress and the reason for it.
You shouldn’t be stressed, especially when it’s for a bad reason. If it’s a test, you’ve got to realize why school is important. As a student, I know how hard that is. I’ll be blunt. Often, school is a pain. But you’ve got to realize why school is so burdensome. For some, it’s laziness, for some it’s an interest in other things. But in every case, the problem originates with you and your approach.
We can be troubled about a ton of things, but Christ Himself has said that all our needs are nothing compared to the greatest need of all. As Luke writes in Luke 10:41-42, “And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” ”

Step 2: Consider the author of your play: God.
How can we think he would ever stop caring for our every need?
Matthew 6: 25-34 tells us,

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

A good dad will never let his child go uncared for, so how could the greatest Father in history ignore his? Even the smallest things like tests are under His control. Your Dad up in heaven wants you to talk to Him because he will always answer. Philippians 4:6-7 exhorts us,

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The only way to get peace is to trust your Dad and rely on His help.

Step 3: Read.
Yes, read. Read Scripture. You just groaned. Admit it. I should know how hard those two words are, me being one of a couple million teens in the world and all. The Bible is hard. It can be boring and hard to understand. But again, this is all because of how you approach it. Try your best to read it anyway. It helps. I don’t know how, but God’s word is just as comforting as some tea and a book if you really try to understand it.

Psalm 94:19 says, “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comfort delights my soul.”
Oftentimes, we have a billion different thoughts running around in our heads, but the Psalms tell us to turn to our Dad’s words for comfort. Let them comfort you and stop being a stubborn teenager who refuses to listen to her father.
Next time you feel the need to shoot yourself, try trusting Dad.

We’d love to talk to you! Leave a comment down below telling us your favorite and least favorite part of school!

Kiale P.