Thursday, March 29, 2012

Give Help Without Getting Up

One of the latest trends with Twitter and facebook is posting statuses and tweets labeled "first world problems". Here are a few examples I pulled from Twitter:
  • I just laid down and got comfy... then realized I left the remote just a little too far out of reach.
  • I bought so many groceries that I can't close my freezer drawer.
  • My mother-in-law served a great dinner, but I forgot to take my Beano.
  • My key-less remote died, so I have to open the door with a key.
  • The elevator was broken so I had to take the stairs.
  • There's not enough vanilla in my vanilla latte.
  • I can't decide what color iPhone to get.
  • I made too big of a sandwich and now I'm too full to finish it.
  • I knew something was wrong with me today, my bracelet is on the wrong arm.
  • I'm hungry, but I don't want to walk to the kitchen.
  • The Domino's pizza tracker is not working. Now I don't know when to put my pants on.
  • I have 52 pairs of shoes and not enough space.
  • Definitely just got brain freeze cause I drank my mango, passion- fruit frap too quickly.
Some of them are funny. All of them are sobering when put into context. I can't help but think of some of the places I've visited in which the people had so little. A great example is the story that goes with this picture from Haiti. You can read about it here.

I want to return to Haiti, and I hope God allows me to go soon. My first two trips were with BGM (Brent Gambrell Ministries). Brent and his team are just amazing. You should check out their WEBSITE

Brent's good friends, Mike and Missy Wilson, have also started their own work in Haiti through their ministry myLIFEspeaks. Theirs is a phenomenal and passionate story. I recommend taking a few minutes to read about their LIFE together. Their website has a great blog post by their friend Hillary Scott (Lady Antebellum) and her involvement with Mike and Missy's vision. 

Mike and Missy have started an orphanage with an emphasis on caring for special needs children. They have rented a facility in Neply (in the Leogane region) to house the orphans. They have also started a feeding program to provide hot meals to over 100 children! 

I dream of the day I can see the myLIFEspeaks campus, but making that trip isn't possible for everyone. If you would like to get involved from home then you are in luck! myLIFEspeaks has a wish list that makes it easy to help. All you have to do is click on the link and make a purchase. Easy schmeasy! 

What more wonderful way to share God's love than to love the helpless and unwanted. 

(Feel free to link this page. We need to spread the word!)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

focused on Glory (beautiful, obvious glory)

There is something about the sky that captures my heart and thumps at my creativity. It is never the same. Even when I see a clear blue sky, I know it isn't the exact shade it has ever been before, and it looks different to someone a few miles down the road. 

The sky is amazingIt fascinates me. It can transform me into a wide-eyed child filled with wonder and awe.

I'm most fascinated by storm clouds. They are beautiful. Clouds add so much character to a blank canvas. 

The clouds I saw a few days ago where the best. They had all the interest and quality of storm clouds but without the threat of storm. 

It's a pity that a picture is such an inferior representation of God's actual creation, but isn't that always the case. We are called to be an image of Christ, but my picture is poor in quality. (And I'm not going to stop trying to mirror Him!)

Here is a shadow of the beauty I saw.

Be sure to stop by Jennifer's BLOG. She has posted some great stuff lately.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

focused on Glory (unexpected outing)

I called my friend Kristi Sunday afternoon because I missed her. We talked for half an hour and were talking about when we could get together. She mentioned how she wanted to go to Garvan Woodland Gardens before the tulips were gone, so we decided to jump in our cars and go. It was to be my first trip to GWG, and I adore spontaneous trips. THANKS Kristi!

Jennifer (who is also part of focused on Glory) loves tulips and told me last week that she wished she could have  visited Garvan Gardens for the tulips this year. While I am sad she missed the display, I hope she will enjoy the pictures that follow. 
 Inside the bell tower near the chapel.

 This ruffled variety was my favorite!

 Such fun company for the day.

 OBU colors.

 Even as they were beginning to decay they took my breath away.

 Inside the pavillion.

 The Japanese Maples were stunning- and fun to touch.

Inside the chapel.
I can't wait to see what Jennifer posts this week on her BLOG.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

focused on Glory (unthinkable genius)

Last Sunday during class, a lady mentioned that she is fascinated by all the thought God put into creatures like animals and insects. That connected with me because I can get overwhelmed when I think about the human body and the intricacies of its design.

Call me corny, but I am amazed by what we are able to do. And I'm not even talking about our mental prowess and staggering achievements as mankind. What slays me are things like moving our fingers in sequenced order to produce letters and words at the rate of 60-100 words per minute, or the fact that we can tear open our bodies and it can heal!

Am I alone here?

Seriously! Have you stopped to think about the fact that we are able (with practice) to move our limbs and appendages in such a manner as to perform fantastic feats as seen here. God gave us the ability to do these things if only we have the discipline (in most cases). 

And what about the way He gave our bodies an immune system? That's so. stinking. cool! Provided that we have common sense (eat right, engage in regular aerobic exercise, and get enough sleep) our bodies are able to keep an enormous amount of pirates from invading our systems. When something does get through, we have the ability to fight. I don't know about you, but I think the inclusion of white blood cells was ingenious! On top of all that is the ever expanding knowledge we have to aid in fixing our bodies. 

Granted, this is a simplified look at what God has done for us. There is so much more. I have a bunch of observations that make me shake my head in awe.

Despite a perfect design, we allowed sin to enter the world and corrupt God's creation. Because of this our bodies (and lives) aren't always in order. Thankfully we can lay all at the feet of Jesus. 

This week's picture is of the beautiful hands that God put on my mother. The fingers are beginning to knot and get crooked, and they have several "touches of color" that Mama would rather not be there, but how I love these hands. They are generous and loving.

Mama's hands have fed me, soothed me, loved me, and corrected me. EVERY day these hands pray for her family by name. Of all the things we can do with our hands, I think clasping them in prayer is the most worthy. 

Father God, thank you for what You have made.

(Now if she will just stop burning or cutting these sweet little hands as noted HERE. hahaha) 

Be sure to check out Jef's BLOG!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Day With Jake

A couple of weeks ago I got to spend a Saturday with Jake. Believe me, I realize hanging out with your middle aged aunt isn't the coolest thing a 13 year old boy could do. Jake was a trooper, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I just love that kiddo.

We started by taking a few pictures of course. The wind was biting cold, and we were in the shade thus doubling our chill. Even so, Jake sat on cold  stone and metal, and he stood in frigid alleys for me. (My kids will do whatever I ask, so I can practice. They are the BEST!) I have to say that my fingers were stiff, little ice shards as well.

Once we were too cold to take any more pictures we went to the el-Cheapo theater and saw the second Sherlock Holmes movie. After Holmes and Watson saved the world from war, we were ready to eat. We had a late lunch at Blue Coast Burrito... yum, yum, and YUM!

Here are a few of the shots from that morning.

What a good looking kid with a good heart to boot. We are so blessed.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

focused on Glory (out of season)

It's winter, but you wouldn't know it. The weather has both man and nature convinced it's spring time. There is an abundance of new growth and beauty, and it's a visual feast.

What I said in my last foG post was true. I am making an attempt to find beauty in a place that has seemed so desolate for me. I don't want to miss anything God wants me to see. And what I'm seeing is beautiful to my soul.

God is reminding me that He is not confined by time. He can act within any season He chooses. If He wants to produce new growth, He can. God can choose to make my life bud and bloom in my winter.

What a beautiful, loving God we serve.

As always, Jen's blog can be found HERE.
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