Sunday, January 31, 2010

Warmth n Winter 2010

Kyle was MIA for the picture, working hard to help make it all happen!

Despite the snow and ice...We did it!

The Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil was our speaker...Pocket Full of Rocks provided the music. It was a great weekend!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Life is...

Drawing from: Asbo Jesus

Why do we spend so much of our time thinking if only...I were somewhere else, I had more resources, I had more connections, I had a better job, and on and on?

Life is here, Life is now. Use it or loose it!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Warmth in Winter

Is a conference wide gathering of Youth and it's this weekend! It's always a joy to attend and we've been looking forward for weeks now! Would ask your prayers for our travels as we've got a major snow storm headed our way...we're there for the weekend so once we hit the doors, all is well!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What's wrong with pink?

(not the actual student)

Back on the soapbox...The attached story tells of a young man wearing a pink shirt to the first day of school. A couple of other young men with a little too much testosterone decided to bully him...well, you can read the rest here.

It disturbs me just a little that someone is judged by their disturbs me a lot when it's just because of the color.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Never forget...

65 years ago today the Soviets liberated the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz...

In the second movement of Henryk Gorecki's Sorrowful Songs (Symphony No. 3), the words of an 18 year old girl are used...they were found on the wall of a Gestapo cell.

We must never forget...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Have you ever "heard" joy? I believe I have...many times. How can anyone hear the laughter of a child and not be instantly entranced? Can you hear it and not smile yourself?

See what I mean?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Grace is not...

my middle name. Never has been. By that I mean that I am not a graceful person...I'd like to think my soul is, but the body? Never! I have always been envious of anyone who could dance in pointe shoes...and so, I had to add this...

I once read an article that Ballet dancers are the most "fit" athletes. Now I really doubt they want to be called athletes but, the strength on display is amazing. Bravo to any who have spent hours in the studio perfecting their "tour jete" or any other position. I can not physically do it with you but oh, I can enjoy the beauty of watching you!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

It all depends....

on how you read it...which do you see? Now read it again...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy Birthday!

To Wyatt...there's nothing like turning 6 years old and having a party at Chuck E. Cheese! Of course it gives the adults an excuse to play the games too...after all, the kids need help, don't they?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We will rise...

Stefan Youngblood wanted to give hope to Haiti. First he donated money. Now he's donating a song. We will rise...

"We will rise once again,
From the place that we're in.
Hand in hand with faith we will stand
And with God as our guide, side by side
Together we will rise.”

--“We Will Rise”

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

God Speaks

Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pain. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
CS Lewis

I read this quote sometime back and, as usual, filed it away for future reference. Today I saw it again and was struck by the timeliness of seeing it in light of recent events. I say I was "struck by" but that does not mean I was surprised. God any way that we will allow. Everyone knows of the tragedy of Haiti...and while those of us who are not actually there cannot fathom the destruction and desperation, we cannot ignore it.

He will not tolerate our deafness any longer...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti Updates

Continuing coverage on the situation in Haiti from UMCOR

God calls us to help those in need, UMCOR is one avenue...

A link for Compassion International is in the sidebar...

Send up your prayers and give all you can...

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Our family has sponsored a young girl in Haiti for almost 7 years now...In April she'll be 12. News from Compassion this morning is that they have not yet located her but will let us know as soon as they do. Please pray for Lourdie, her family and all who have been affected.

So many in Haiti live in crushing poverty even in the best of times and now, what little they have is gone. What can we do? It's virtually impossible to help with our hands but we can help with our hearts, with prayers and money.

Contact one of the following to make a donation...they do good work!

United Methodist Council on Relief (UMCOR)

Compassion International

Another old favorite...

Who doesn't love "Somewhere over the rainbow"? This young man's version is hauntingly beautiful...take a moment:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Except you...

by: Asbo Jesus

Many struggle with issues of self esteem. We do not see ourselves as others see us. We do not see ourselves as God sees us. We buy into the lie that we are unattractive and
unlovable. For whatever reason, it is easier to believe the "bad" about ourselves. Even if we have to make it up in our own mind, or distort a comment we may have heard.

Think how sad it must make God when we take this attitude...He tells us we are "fearfully and wonderfully made". We look around nature and see all the marvelous things God created...would He have put any less effort in you? I think not.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Miep Gies

"This is very unfair. So many have done the same or even more dangerous work. I am not a hero."

These words are from the woman who hid Anne Frank and her family for two years and who saved her papers and diary after she was taken. The same "Diary of Anne Frank" that has been read my millions over the years.

Mrs. Gies passed away this past Monday at 100 years old. If she had been caught, she would have been severely punished...probably sent to a concentration camp herself and yet when Anne's father asked if she would hide and feed them she said "Yes, of course".

Spend a couple of minutes with her here.


Have you ever watched an entire year in 120 seconds? Check it out here...

Monday, January 11, 2010


Machinery is such a part of our everyday lives...what a unique idea...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

This is Daniel in the Lion's Pit by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). It is on display in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. It is a huge picture - more than 7 feet high and almost 11 feet wide. Several times while I was in seminary in Washington, I would take the bus/subway to the Art Gallery and sit in the room where this hangs (seating provided). It is an awesome picture to behold. The lions seem life size and quite fearsome. It overwhelms me.

This is a Lion I met in Africa (no cage, no zoo). He appears playful, but I assure you in person he is also quite fearsome.

There is much in life that brings fear into our hearts. We who believe in and follow Jesus are children of the God who is more powerful than anything in the universe. We can trust that whatever happens to us in life our Father in heaven will give us strength and courage to face our worst fears. He will stand with us in life and in death. Nothing can, nothing will ever separate us from his love. This is what truly overwhelms me. --Rich

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tell Me Why...

The young man performing this song wrote it as well...a deep subject for one so young. Tell me why he should think to ask these questions when we (adults) do not...

Tell Me Why - Declan Galbraith

In my dream children sing a song of love for every boy and girl
The sky is blue and fields are green and laughter is the language of the world
Then I wake and all I see is a world full of people in need

Tell me why (why) does it have to be like this?
Tell me why (why) is there something I have missed?
Tell me why (why) cos I don't understand.
When so many need somebody we don't give a helping hand.
Tell me why?

Everyday I ask myself what will I have to do to be a man?
Do I have to stand and fight to prove to everybody who I am?
Is that what my life is for to waste in a world full of war?

Tell me why (why) does it have to be like this?
Tell me why (why) is there something I have missed?
Tell me why (why) cos I don't understand.
When so many need somebody we don't give a helping hand.
Tell me why?

(children) tell me why? (declan) tell me why?
(children) tell me why? (declan) tell me why?
(together) just tell me why, why, why?

Tell me why (why) does it have to be like this?
Tell me why (why) is there something I have missed?
Tell me why (why) cos I don't understand.
When so many need somebody we don't give a helping hand.

Tell me why (why,why,does the tiger run)
Tell me why (why why do we shoot the gun)
Tell me why (why,why do we never learn)
Can someone tell us why we let the forest burn?

(why,why do we say we care)
Tell me why (why,why do we stand and stare)
Tell me why (why,why do the dolphins cry)
Can some one tell us why we let the ocean die ?

(why,why if we're all the same)
Tell me why (why,why do we pass the blame)
Tell me why (why,why does it never end)
Can some one tell us why we cannot just be friends?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Prayer is not...

Prayer is not simply a petition to God for things or a quick fix to a problem. Prayer is a life force, like breath and water. Our ability to communicate with God is one way we know we are alive. Ciona D. Rouse

I'm not sure that I've ever heard prayer called a "life force" before...but it is truth. This quote was one of those times that I recognized and believed what was was an "ah-ha" moment. If prayer is as essential as breathing (and I believe it is), it is no wonder so many of us struggle through life. Hurting those we love with our actions and our words, never reaching our potential as Christ's brothers and sisters...if the avenue for communication is blocked, it's hopeless!

I first heard of "Breath Prayers" during a study of Richard Fosters' "Celebration of Discipline" several years ago. It can be as simple as breathing in, and breathing out...with a word of petition, with a word of praise or with a word of truth on our lips. Breathing is essential to living, so is praying.

Many have studied "A Purpose Driven Life"...this link is to their teaching on breath's just one of many.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


An Epiphany Prayer

Father, we thank you for revealing yourself to us in Jesus the Christ, we who once were not your people but whom you chose to adopt as your people. As ancient Israel confessed long ago, we realize that it was not because of our own righteousness, or our own superior wisdom, or strength, or power, or numbers. It was simply because you loved us, and chose to show us that love in Jesus.

As you have accepted us when we did not deserve your love, will you help us to accept those whom we find it hard to love? Forgive us, O Lord, for any attitude that we harbor that on any level sees ourselves as better or more righteous than others. Will you help us to remove the barriers of prejudice and to tear down the walls of bigotry, religious or social? O Lord, help us realize that the walls that we erect for others only form our own prisons!

Will you fill us so full of your love that there is no more room for intolerance. As you have forgiven us much, will you enable us with your strength to forgive others even more? Will you enable us through your abiding Presence among us, communally and individually, to live our lives in a manner worthy of the Name we bear?

May we, through your guidance and our faithful obedience, find new avenues in ways that we have not imagined of holding the Light of your love so that it may be a Light of revelation for all people.

We thank you for your love, praise you for your Gift, ask for your continued Presence with us, and bring these petitions in the name of your Son, who has truly revealed your heart. Amen.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year Blessing

A New Years message from Britain's King George to his embattled people at the beginning of WWII:

I said to the man at the gate of the year, "Give me a light that I may go forth into the unknown." And the man replied, "Put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light, safer than a known way."

Best Wishes for a Happy and Blessed New Year!