why canned meat is disturbing...

This photo is disturbing.....for the following reasons......

Reason # A) It is just disturbing
Reason # B) Meat should never be in a can....EVER, EVER, EVER......
Reason # C) There is a whole section dedicated to this at Walmart, granted it is Walmart and if there were going to be a store with a canned meat section, Walmart would probably be it.....
Reason # 4) It is disturbing
Reason # 7) I like to be able to identify my meat by looking at like...for instance, chicken looks a certain way and steak looks a certain way....when ground up and smashed into a can meat becomes unidentifiable and that is not okay.....
Reason # next) Vienna sausages fall into this category...enough said......
Reason finally) it is disturbing


The Rend Collective Experiment

I recently discovered this band through one of the women that works at Grace. They are called the Rend Collective Experiment. Below is a video of them singing one of their ridiculous songs.


a view and a way.

Our drive down to Petra and the Red sea was a beautiful scenic route through the Jordanian desert, and though driving through desert sounds utterly boring, if you have never seen it, it is beautiful. As we were driving I did a lot of window gazing and I kept noticing these piles of stacked stones. The desert is pretty rocky, so one might assume that these were naturally occurring piles of rocks, but after seeing so many of them I knew that these were intentionally stacked and of course, began to wonder why....what did they represent. Here is what they look like.

While at Petra, we hiked up to the "high places" and there they were again...more stacked stones. We sat on the rock that the pile pictured above was on and as I looked down I noticed a cliff covered in them. As I was wondering what this could mean a native man came over to talk with us, so I asked him what it meant. He said, "It means there is a view and a way." It means that not only can you see this place, but there is a way to get there....you don't have to just stand at a distance....you can go. The Lord has really kept this picture in my heart since I was in Jordan, but I had no idea why, no insight into what it was a picture of deeper than that. Then I was reading through Hebrews and it came to me.
"These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from a distance, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city." Hebrews 11:13-16
In Hebrews 11 all of the biblical "greats" are listed; Moses, Abraham, Noah, etc. and it speaks of their great faith and how they showed it. Then it gets to verse 13 and it almost makes me sad when I read the first part; "These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them from a distance." They only had "a view" and the promise of "a way" in the future, but they never saw its fruition. When I was in Jordan I stood where Moses stood, on Mount Nebo, when he saw the realization of all he had been walking towards, the Promised Land, and then God tells him he will not enter it and I wondered what that would feel like. To have been given a promise, to view it from a distance, but not be able to get there.
We do not live then. We live in what Hebrews calls "the last days," the days after Jesus, when the work has been finished, the way has come and all of history has been changed. We do not stand on a mountain and view the promises from a distance. The promise has come and now, not only can we see it, there is "a way" to get there. Jesus is the way. We can live in the fulfillment of the promised rest and redemption through Christ. There is a view and a way for us today...Praise be to God.


my dog with a bag for a head.

My dog could be a walking advertisement for Panera. She, like me, is a lover of their delectable Honey Walnut Cream cheese. She likes it so much she decided she would put her entire head in this bag in order to consume some of my leftovers. If given another chance she would do it again, even though her head got stuck. HILARIOUS!!!!!


the faces of appreciation

Appreciation is a funny thing. I thought about appreciation a lot this week because we spent the week planning and getting ready for our annual volunteer appreciation banquet we held last night. Here are a few definitions of appreciate that I really like.

to grasp the nature, quality, worth, or significance of : to admire highly : be fully aware of : to recognize with gratitude

We can appreciate different things in our lives; as in I appreciate air conditioning in the summer or I appreciate it when slow drivers choose the right lane over the left or when people hold the door open for you in stores instead of letting it slam in your face. Things like these are all fine and well to appreciate, but the above definitions seem to lose their power when talking about air conditioning and slow drivers. What they really make me think of is people. Last night's banquet was all about showing appreciation for people. I want to be a greater appreciator of people; not just for what they do, but for who they are. I want to make sure I grasp the true quality and worth of others, always remembering that others are not there just to serve me. I want to admire others highly and recognize them with gratitude. I want to be fully aware of who they are and appreciate the way the Lord has made them and allowed me to know them.
So, in honor of that, here is a quick list of just a few people in my life right now I can say with all sincerity I feel a deep appreciation for.

I appreciate my sister because of the amazing way God has made her, because of how graciously she loves me and others and because she is someone to me admired.
I appreciate my brother-in-law because he is a man chasing hard after the Lord, because of his heart towards people and because of the great influence he has had in my life.
I appreciate my mom for too many reasons to list.
I appreciate Amy Lahey for her welcoming and loving heart towards me, for providing spontaneous fun and a safe space.
I appreciate Jody Hoffman for the challenging way she lives transparently in order that Christ would be made known through her.



This morning I was eating some breakfast and drinking my coffee, while looking through some coupon magazines that were on the table and I ran across this advertisement below....and maybe, just maybe, I have never laughed so hard. I hope it amuses you as much as it amused me.
Butt Paste? Really?


random Jordan videos part II

This is a video of some of the sites at Petra...pretty ridiculous. The last shot is from the High Places, where ritual sacrifices took place.

This is just me recounting some funny things seen and experienced on our trip...


my sister.

I posted this a few weeks ago, but I am re-posting it because I think it got lost in all of the posts about Jordan and because my sister and Trey just launched their cycling website and it is amazing. Check it out here.

The beautiful girl on the right, making the funny face, is my sister, Lauren. There are few people in the world that I admire more than her. Our birth order does not keep me from looking up to her in so many ways. She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last September. In many ways this disease has brought great pain to our family. My father and uncle had it and my brother was diagnosed when he was 13. Lauren has recently decided to fight back against it all. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation puts on rides for the cure all over the country and you have raise around $4,500.00 to participate. These are road bike races at different mileage levels. Her and her husband, Trey, will be riding on September 12th at Lake Tahoe. Click here to view her website that contains her picture, her story, and a link where you can help. They are spending the next several months training and raising support. She is actually planning a massive 2 day yard sale in May and collecting other's "treasures" to sell to raise money.
I am proud of her for so many reasons. I am proud because of the amazing woman she is. I am proud because of she has faced this huge challenge with grace and strength and I am proud of her for having the courage to fight back. Love you sister. You are the greatest sister in the whole world!


a good laugh.

If you are ever having a sad moment or bad day and need to laugh the below 2 videos are guaranteed to do the trick. The first one is the funniest....Enjoy!


death and taxes.

Below is a list of things that made me laugh yesterday while unsuccessfully doing my taxes...

1) A category that said "Life Situations" and read like this...

Check all that apply
0 Blind (not sure I would know I needed to check this if I was blind)
0 Disabled
0 Died in 2009.......DIED IN 2009???? Now I realize that this means you are filing for someone who is deceased, but when you are doing your own taxes and run across this question it is quite funny...it is also funny that they call dieing in the previous year a "life situation"

2) I had to enter a w2 where I made $75.00 and they withheld $1.00 and I actually watched my return amount lower when I entered it in...

3) What the heck are railroad retirement benefits?

4) The fact that you have to report bingo winnings......who wins that much money at bingo....i thought they just played for the satisfaction of getting to yell, BINGO!!!!...really?

5) My total salary for 2009 might be the most laughable part of it all. How was I not begging for bread on the street corner?

6)I actually quit about halfway through because of my 15 part time job W-2's and random non-taxed income I had made enough "guesses" while entering in things that I figured the IRS might come after me because surely some things were incorrect. Now I must find someone who knows what they are doing to help me.....Anybody know a good CPA?


random Jordan videos

A video of the evening call to prayer.....and a dead frog.

A Big Mac and a camel ride...

A view of the city from the Citadel in Amman...


Jim's resurrection.

One of my first weeks here my boss, Brian, forwarded me an email to respond to from a man named Jim. He informed me that Jim use to be a very wealthy man and that recently he and his wife had lost everything. Jim was also not a believer. He and his wife were interested in this chronological bible study we were doing called Stranger. Jim and I began emailing back and forth and I just got the opportunity to really encourage him about coming to the study. The first night, he and his wife came and I got to put a face with a name. They came every week. Then I started seeing him at church every Sunday morning. He would come up and hug me with a huge smile on his face and we would talk for a few minutes and he would walk off and I would pray that God would continue to work in him. Towards the end of the study he was still not a believer yet, but every week that went by I could see more and more of the Kingdom in his eyes.

This morning, on Easter Sunday, we had a sunrise baptism out in front of the church. As I walked up I saw Brian in the pool and heard him saying, "I baptize you......" and when I saw who it was I almost began to cry....It was Jim. And as I watched him go under I had a deep sense of the depth of the power of God to save and bring new life. And as if that wasn't enough....his wife went next....and as if that wasn't enough.....his granddaughter went after that and as she stood in the pool, Jim came to the microphone and said, "I couldn't be more grateful that you and I came into the embrace of Jesus on the same day."

After he watched her, with gladness in his eyes, he walked over and gave me a huge, soaking wet hug, and I have never in my life seen a greater picture of the Kingdom of God and the Resurrection of Christ at work.

To the glory of His name forever and ever.

He is risen indeed.

1 Corinthians 15

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain.

3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born,he appeared also to me.

12Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For "God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "all things are put in subjection," it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. 35But someone will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?" 36You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain.

42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

50I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

"Death is swallowed up in victory." 55 "O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"

56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.


farewell to the country whose name I share.

I am leaving Jordan in a few hours. I have been asked several times in the last day or so if I was ready to go home or if I wanted to stay. My thought has been that I feel satisfied. I am satisfied with my time here; with what I have experienced and with what I have gotten to see. I am satisfied with the things that God has shown me and with what I have gotten to see. I am excited about getting back to Atlanta....about all that God has been doing at Grace since I have been gone....some really crazy stuff.
Though these trips are always great and I love international travel, but the coming home is always sweet. I have hundreds of pictures and a lot of neat stories that I will be posting over time as I process my time here.

May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal encouragement and good hope by grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good work and word. 2 Thess. 2:16-17