Friday, November 30, 2012
Now Israel had previously sworn that they would not give their daughters as wives to the tribe of Benjamin and here they are left with a predicament. Do they watch a tribe of Israel die out or do they help? Judges 21 tells of how they worked, fought, and saught out a way to provide wives to their brothers.
The rest of the tribes could have stopped at what they couldn't give and left it at that, but instead they worked to find a way to give.
So many times we stop at what we don't have and we end up not giving anything at all.
Israel had to get creative. They had to think outside the box, outside the limitations. If they really wanted to help, which they did, they would have to find a way. Do we do that? Do we look until we find a way? Or do we hesitate at 'The Borders of Can't'?
Watch this video and see how this guy embraced his "can't" and turned it into something beautiful.
Don't stop at what you think you can't do, what you can't give, and look for what you can give. Don't settle for only supporting someone else's way giving, although good. Giving to someone else's means of loving their neighbor and brother will never fulfill you like you loving your neighbor and brother as only you can would.
Look beyond. Get creative. And find a way to help if you really do indeed care.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Thursday, October 4, 2012
We have this unspoken idea of what the new earth will be like and within that idea lies an assessment of what we will be like; we will be perfect in a perfect world. Well what does that look like?
What if the new earth is a blank canvas left to our creating? If that's the case, have we been adequately preparing ourselves for life in the new earth?
In the forests of Belarus during WWII thousands of Russian Jews fled to the forests and lived there in hiding. It came to be that intellectuals became of less value than the tradesmen. Learned men who had looked down on the common men now found themselves fully dependent on those "lesser" skills for their survival. It was the upperclass, educated men and women who were found to be of less use in this new life.
Building a house or a shelter, hunting, fishing, collecting water, gathering, making our own tools, etc. What if all these skills will be necessary in the new earth? How useful will we be?
Or do we expect that, in our perfection, we will be equipped with the knowledge to perform any task we might face?
Is that God? Is that like Him? To just instantly endow us with everything? Or is that our "cultural theology" talking? The culture that performs for us. The culture that has spoiled us. Handicapped us. Stifled us.
So if this new earth will have need of such things, oughtn't I be preparing beyond, what we compartmentalize as, spiritual? In my preparations, striving to be a good steward of my time, on this earth for the next, will I not also find a better me here and now? In seeking to be better for what lies ahead am I not becoming better for the present? Learning to farm, to sew, to build- tapping into the Creator's intimacy with creation- rather than buy, buy, buy.
He told us in this next life the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Could this be the exchange; that we would find ourselves without the skills and the abilities to be co-creators in the new earth because we wasted this life for ease?
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
So here's my How To:
1. Rip off the cover of the sketch book being careful not to mess up the already existing glue binding. Then reinforce the binding with elmers glue using your finger or a brush to smooth it out. Leave it until it dries.
5. Draw away!
Thursday, September 13, 2012
I find myself carefully framing, taking my time with each shot, making sure that it's going to be frame-worthy. Truth be told, I have no idea what kind of pictures this camera is going to turn out; they may be total crap (hence why I found it for 99 cents) and the film could be so old that it doesn't develop at all. I have no idea what the end is going to look like.
But that doesn't stop me from wanting the best.It doesn't change the rarity of it all. It could totally bomb and I could end up with a roll of useless negatives OR they could be INCREDIBLE. It's a chance worth taking because what if...
Bottom line, this life is rare. And if I played my life like I took my pictures then I could probably end up with some pretty INCREDIBLE moments. I don't know what the end is going to look like, but that shouldn't stop me from wanting the best. Because what if...
What I LOVE about this project is how utterly heavenly it is. It combines sound, light, movement, color, community, simplicity, rest and more into one thing. The fact that it requires that you lay down your felt need to hurry in order to sit down and swing, which then entrances you into a new pace, almost a new realm, is a wonderful thing in and of itself. But, I find it to speak infinitely more.
We all have 5 senses and while much of our history has developed the art that entices these senses individually, now we find ourselves seeking to combine the arts to bring about something even more spectacular. It's no longer just about visual, or audio, or texture, taste and touch, it's about how we can combine them and join in.
We know that God is the Creator of these things. We recognize His artistry in creation's marvels; but have you ever really thought of God as an artist? Have you ever thought of God as a musician? He created sound and gave sounds to many things but did you also know that He wrote songs? (One such example is in Deuteronomy 31:19,21) And have you ever thought of God as chef, director, curator, designer, etc?
If God is the I AM, not a singular thing can define Him except the name which encompasses all of His qualities, and if God is not a human being which experiences things through their senses; what if God is Himself a sense to be experienced. What if God is as much to be found in smell as He is in feeling? What if God is to be found in taste as much as in hearing? ("Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!.." Psalm 34:8) Just a thought.
One of my favorite scenes in literature is the creation of Narnia in The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis. Aslan sings Narnia into creation that brought about light, movement, color and unison. Another example of what I'm talking about can be found in The Shack by WM. Paul Young. In Chapter 15 the character's eyes are healed for an evening to see as the trinity sees, that the world around him interacts through color and light; that people exude colors from within themselves and relationship creates an array of light and colors. It paints a picture of a redeemed world where our senses reach their full potential and we interact on sensory levels we have not yet reached nor known.
I think anything that brings together different aspects of creation is a glory to behold. I think that whoever created these 21 swings was very in tune to the feelings and wantings of man; his need to rest, to be inspired, to tap into those child-like thrills, his need for simple refreshing, his need for community and others. One man on a swing makes one sound, but together they make another sound; should they seek different rhythms they would find different sounds altogether.
I see God's character, His artistry, written all over something like this. It challenges me as an artist and also as a human raising the bar in how I interact with this world God gave us. What do you see? What do you feel? What do you think?
Friday, August 31, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Now Jesus comes and takes His place as our High Priest (Hebrews 2:17, 3:1, 4:14-15, 5:1-10, 6:20, 7:27-28, 8:1,3, 9:11, 9:25, 13:11-12) calling us into His royal priesthood (1Peter 2:9) to become co-heirs with Christ and partake of His portion- Himself (Romans 8:17). Now the Lord is our inheritance also.
That's such a simple statement with profound and exquisite consequences. He came to establish an inheritance that we could share in!
Back in Numbers and Deuteronomy, the Lord takes time going into great detail describing the portions that were to be allotted to the Levites. He provided completely for them, they had no need. Nor do we who call ourselves His. What an inheritance.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
It is a thoughtful piece of artistic worship that can be found on 34th Street as you head to 441. Next time you drive by it, flash your lights and see for yourself.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Call it a fad, call me a hipster; I don't care. Last year I tried my hand at pinhole photography and really enjoyed the process of making my own camera and then playing with exposures, shutters, frames, and manipulation of film. So now I'm playing around with 35mm toy cameras, 110 film cameras, and Polaroids.
So why do it when you can get the same, if not better, effects by using an iphone app? Because anyone can use an app, but there's something about creating something with your own hands. It's no longer about the quickness with which you can take a photograph, alter it to your liking, and post it for the world to see; it's about the patience and the mystery of not knowing what it'll look like. In a fast-food culture, it's nice to slow down and submit yourself to waiting.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Sunday, August 12, 2012
The cover art carries a story that I don't want to pass on without sharing. One day I came outside to see the makings of a gorgeous sunset. The sky was very pretty, but it's beauty was not so irresistible that I felt obligated to run and grab my camera (as I had felt so many other evenings before). Some time later I glanced out the window and saw how the colors had progressed and at that moment I had to run and capture the moment, it was too beautiful to pass up. That's when I had a revelation. God does not find one moment more beautiful than another, it's the total sum of all moments that He loves and that's how He loves us. He doesn't pick and choose moments by which to define the means and the measure of His love. He loves us simply because we are just as He most complexly is. He looks at the whole display and unfolding of our life and finds it totally and exquisitely beautiful.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Why do this? Why not? We all need love and although they won't get it from ripping off a tab, it may get them to thinking- which is one of the main purposes of art in the first place.
My version of the concept has a hash tag attached to every tab. It'll be interesting to see if people tweet in response to why they took a tab from the Love poster. #L247
I did meet one guy while I was putting the posters up. He came up to me and said, "So you're the one hanging the posters. Well since you're spreading some love; do you want to pet a bunny?" In his arms he had a little white baby bunny that he let me pet.
The photos were certainly beautiful with excellent placement, angles and contrast, but more than being aesthetically pleasing, these were someone's stories. Come to find out from the antique dealer, a man came in one day with all of these photographs and asked the lady how much she'd give him for them. As much as she tried to dissuade him from selling them, he threatened he would throw them away if she didn't want them and therefore she resolved to take them off his bitter hands.
It's sad. I took these photos because they were $1 a piece and beautiful, but these are someone's stories and someone's history that will never be told or passed on. Who knows what happened to that man that made him so adamant about disposing of his history. But it's made me a bit more respectful of mine and far more mindful about how my stories will be passed on.
"But I know we're all made out of shipwrecks, every single board. Washed and bound like crooked teeth on these rocky shores. Come on and let's wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief. And fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach. Come on and sew us together, just some tattered rags stained forever. We only have what we remember." - 'Wooden Heart' by Listener
Friday, June 15, 2012
Here's how you vote:
- Click Here
- Click on the red button under the title that reads, "VOTE FOR THIS IDEA."
- And simply fill in your info to register your vote.
- If you would please, after you are done voting please share the page via Facebook and/or Twitter.
Thank you so much for being willing to help The Home of Hope and Dreams and supporting this project.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Thursday, May 10, 2012
When I first read Leviticus all the way through, my revelation was, "Thank You God for Grace! Thank You that I don't have to do all this stuff to atone my sins because I think I'd go to hell." But this time around, I am just in awe of the God of detail and care that we serve. This time around, I see how God's not dishing out a bunch of legalistic rules because He wants to create a stage for people to appreciate His "coming" grace, but God was teaching His people how to live. He was teaching them how to live!
There's so much grace in this book. The time, the detail, the patience, the care and understanding that God takes to give clear teaching so that He can make for Himself a people. He brought them out of bondage of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness as like a long honeymoon before the promise land; getting used to each other, getting over the awkwardness so that they can comfortably move forward as one. He wanted them to prosper, but after living for hundreds of years as slaves there had to be a lot of re-teaching and learning of how to be people again and how to live well. Leviticus 20:22- "You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My rules and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out." And the rules He gave them aren't as ridiculous and painstaking as we tend to picture.
Take Leviticus 15, for example, "Laws About Bodily Discharges." The whole chapter goes into detail about washing and cleaning and basic hygiene (as we now know it). Now you could read this chapter, indeed I have, and be overwhelmed by the rules and guidelines. But look and see how He is teaching them how to take care and save themselves from disease and death. Did you know that 5,000 children around the world will die today because they lack proper hand washing education? Did you know that in India alone 1000 children die everyday from diarrhea and half of those deaths could be eliminated by hand washing with soap?! Now look at those facts, how in the 21st century people are still lacking basic information that was given to us almost 4,000 years ago? Tell me that God was not being gracious, merciful and kind?
Look at human trafficking and the issues of sex slavery. Can we find valuable information about that in Leviticus? Yes. Leviticus 19:20-21- "If a man lies sexually with a woman who is a slave, assigned to another man and not yet ransomed or given her freedom, a distinction shall be made. They shall not be put to death because she was not free; but he shall bring his compensation to the Lord..."
There are answers for caring for the poor, the divorced, the widowed, the refugee, the slave, the sick, etc. Answers can be found all through Leviticus. The heart of God is all over this book. So before you dismiss and skip over this book, think again and dive into such a rich book of our faith and Christian lives. Let's be thankful for Leviticus and let's live it.
Monday, April 16, 2012
My next step is to share this Justice Cam Challenge as much as I can and really help it spread. Hopefully now that I've done it, people may feel more inspired and empowered that they can do it too. Also to keep sharing and spreading the song that I wrote and recorded for an orphanage in Uganda called the Home of Hope and Dreams.
Thanks for everyone who shared and/or liked these posts this past month. I look forward to seeing yours.
Awareness makes you stop and check your direction. You gotta look around and see how you continue with what you now know.
"Having heard all this you may choose to turn and look the other way but you can never again say that you did not know." - William Wilberforce
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Compassion Fatigue- fatigue, emotional distress, or apathy resulting from the constant demands of caring for others or from constant appeals from charities (dictionary.com).
Whether you are the one getting too much or the one giving too much, there is a need for relief and restoration; there is a need for hope.
Isaiah 35:3-6 "Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, 'Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.' Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert."
When we are weak, we are no help to anyone. It's only when we allow someone greater to come in and be our strength that the very things were were striving to see, come about.
Friday, April 13, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Over a billion people lack access to clean drinking water.
I took this picture in a slum in Chaing Mai, Thailand. This boy and his family were refugees from Burma. The whole community got their water from this dirty spout. Not having clean water opens a door for so many barriers that can prevent people from leading a full and healthy life.
To learn more watch:
It's the small things that often have the biggest impact. Malaria, though such a small thing, has a huge impact on its host, claiming the life of a child every minute. "Malaria is an infectious blood disease caused by a parasite that is transmitted from one human to another by the bite of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. Malaria symptoms, which often appear about 9 to 14 days after the infectious mosquito bite, include fever, headache, vomiting and other flu-like symptoms. If drugs are not available or the parasites are resistant to them, the infection can lead to coma, life-threatening anemia, and death."
Malaria has been in this race a lot longer than we have and it's time we join in this race that can be won.
Check out Malarianomore.org
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Diarrhea is the 2nd most common cause of child deaths worldwide. In fact, diarrhea is the cause of 4% of all deaths worldwide and that adds up to around 2.2 million people each year (according to the WHO).
When you see a large crack in the wall, you have to be careful because you never know if the crack has gone down to the foundation. When impoverished people get diarrhea, it could just be a week long, surface level sickness, or it could have tapped into their foundation and be the thing that kills them.
Diarrhea is 100% preventable.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Female Genital Mutilation refers to the procedure involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or injury to the female genital organs. The term covers a range of procedures, which are also referred to as female circumcision and introcision. "Among communities that practise FGM, the procedure is a highly valued ritual, whose purpose is to mark the transition from childhood to womanhood. In these traditional societies, FGM represents part of the rites of passage or initiation ceremonies intended to impart the skills and information a woman will need to fulfil her duties as a wife and mother (In Depth: Razor's Edge... Article)." The ultimate function of the practice, however severe the case, is to reduce the a woman's sexual desire and ensure her virginity. If she refuses she is ostracized from the community; she will be considered as a child and will never inherit the roles, rights and status of a woman so long as she refuses. In practicing communities, there is no place for a woman who has not undergone the procedure.
Female Genital Mutilation poses as both the lock and the door. It's an open door into womanhood and the lock so that sexual immorality can't get in, but depending on which side of the door she's been shown it could look like that or it could look like an open door for disease and pain and the lock that keeps her separated from her freedom to say "no."
It only takes one wrong move for the whole thing to come down.
There are around 40 million people around the world living with HIV/AIDS today; more than half of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Everyday around 7,000 more people become infected with AIDS and everyday around 6,000 people are claimed by the disease; killing more than 3 million people every year. (statistics gathered fromSteps of Justice)
Friday, April 6, 2012
There are an estimated 100 million kids living on the streets.
Around 2 million women and children are said to be trafficked for sexual exploitation each year, some as young as 5.
16,000 children die everyday from hunger.
Around 15 million children have lost one or both of their parents to AIDS and there are around 2.5 million children who have the disease themselves.
Around 12,000 children are forced to work as slaves in the Ivory Coast on cocoa plantations.
Everyday around 26,000 children under the age of 5 die mostly from preventable causes. More than 1 third of children die in the first month of their life.
And they are more than that. You see? Children are at risk and it's our job to protect them. To find out more about issues and how you can help go to www.wcacentre.org and click on "issues"
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Last year I was in Phuket, Thailand and during my 6 weeks in Phuket, I really got close with the kids that lived in the neighborhood where I was. These kids completely stole my heart, but especially this little girl.
One night her grandmother came over to me and, with the same ease that she would display if she were offering me a potatoe chip, she offered me this little girl.
There are an estimated 100 million girls missing from the world. (Half The Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof) This kind of disaster starts with the devaluing of women. Devalue them enough and then it doesn't seem so bad to deny them education, to exploit them, to sell them, use them, or kill them.
Go tell a woman in your life how much you appreciate and value her.
Human trafficking is not Europe's problem. It's not India's and the rest of Asia's problem. It's not The America's problem or the Southern Hemisphere's problem. It's OUR problem. It is a global issue of injustice that has covered our globe and distorted our world. This is not a problem to be ignored or even shoved off to God. God's answer to the cry of a broken world is His children. It's OUR problem and we see the infected fruits of it every day. What are you gong to do to be that answer?
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Restoration is welding pieces together again. It's not easy, like welding, it takes One Who has the ability and understanding to make something whole again. But even though restoration is painful and difficult, just look at the beauty that comes from it.
I saw these two birds fighting with each other. The magpie was attacking this other bird. For what reason, I'll never know; I can assume, but I'll never truly understand why one was trying to destroy the other. From this picture, the birds don't look all that different from each other; they look the same. At the end of the day, they're both birds. No matter their differences, they're birds. Their feathers may look different, one may be stronger than the other, one may live differently than the other, but they are made the same way.
I'll never know why these two birds were fighting and why one was trying to destroy the other; and likewise, I'll never understand why humans try to destroy humans because of petty differences. But if injustice made sense, it wouldn't be injustice.
For more information about genocide visit Genocideintervention.net
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Shooting them before they can fly.
The UNICEF estimates that there are some 300,000 children (boys and girls under 18) involved in over 30 conflicts around the world. That means that over 300,000 children were abducted, manipulated, brainwashed, and were robbed of their childhood, their innocence and their free will. They were taken at the moment they are most vulnerable. They were "shot" before they could fly.
Thanks to Kony2012 the world is more aware, than ever before, about the horrors of child soldiers. You can join their movement to help bring a man responsible for a good percentage of the 300,000 children abducted,Joseph Kony, to justice.
Also check out Emmanuel Jal and his work to protect and save Africa. He himself was a child soldier and now uses music to tell his story and encourage positive action.
There are certainly more organizations and people working toward justice for these children; don't stop at just these two, but don't ignore them either.
Photos that didn't make it:
Open hand. Fist.
Spread out. Compressed.
This is the reversal that occurs when a person finds themselves in a refugee camp. They left their home where they were free, they had space, it was theirs to open or close; to find themselves in a camp where they are cramped with thousands of others, like themselves, but everything about their life has now become like this fist. What was once open and relaxed is now locked in this defense mode. They left freedom to escape a fight and now find themselves in another fight all together; the fight to survive with more than just ability but to maintain your will and dignity to do so.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
I was watching this baby boy who has eczema. He kept reaching up to scratch his neck and the person holding him kept having to pull his arms away. The little boy didn't realize that he was actually hurting himself more; by indulging in his felt need, he was causing himself more pain in the long run. Then I realized, I do the same thing.
"A refugee is legally defined as a person who is outside his or her country of nationality and is unable to return due to a well-founded fear of persecution because of his or her race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. By receiving refugee status, individuals are guaranteed protection of their basic human rights, and cannot be forced to return to a country where they fear persecution."
This is my song called, "A Refugee's Plea" that may be able to help you understand what over 15 million people go through everyday.
"Run away. It's not safe here anymore. Runaway my child, we've got to go. We can't stay here another night. We've got to pack our things and flee our home.
My homeland is not my own. My nation is a different place than the one I've known. My country has turned against me. Wisdom and fear are what keep me running. I'm a refugee.
Run away. I can't stand it anymore. Run away. I'm not gonna settle for less. Cause I'm hungry but I'm starving for peace. This camp is not what I left for.
My homeland is not my own. My nation is a different place than the one I've known. My country has turned against me. Wisdom and fear are what keep me running. I'm a refugee.
Thought peace was a fair compromise. Leave to live or stay to die. But I lost my heart when I left that night.
This country is not my home. I long for the place my fathers are from. My nation was beautiful before the war. 'Refugee' is not my nationality or my identity."