August 31, 2008

Tammy Goes Back To School

Labor Day. Rob is excited because he doesn't work tomorrow, the bakery is closed, the kids are out of school, and guess what, I am going back to school and my first day is Labor Day, so when my family is hanging out I will be learning. I am just auditing, so I am not actually responsible for tests and such, but I will reap the benefits of Christian Spiritual Formation being taught by Dr. David Wray for the bargain auditing price of $35 plus books, 6 books to be exact.
I am very excited, and nervous, I am so glad that Denise will be taking the class also. One of my college age friends said that I should just make a point to not be one of those kind of "old people" (thanks for that by the way) who raises their hand and asks the professor to re-explain what was just stated. I assured them that I would not be calling any attention to myself and will sit quiet as a mouse.

The written purpose of the class is:
This course primarily challenges graduate students to become alive with what we believe about Trinitarian living. It is the thoughtful and obedient cultivation of life as worship on our knees before God the Father, of life as sacrifice on our feet following God the Son, and of life as love embracing and being embraced by the community of God the Spirit.

Does that sound awesome or what??!! People come from all over the world to gain an education from Abilene Christian University and it is only 10 minutes away from my home. All the Bible related classes are available for audit and I am glad that I have finally taken the step to start partaking in the learning. Wish me luck on my first day.

We are still loving the word SPECTACULAR and flying high on Jack's latest and greatest results. Thank you Jesus.

August 28, 2008

Mighty Spectacular

Here it is Thursday night. Jack and I got back home today from Dallas. He had an MRI early Wednesday morning, then a visit to a new opthamologist for them to do a baseline exam on him to follow his cataracts. We spent the rest of the day just hanging around the Ronald McDonald House. Jack's eyes were dilated at the opthamologists and even now 36 hours later are still so dilated he has to wear his sunglasses when he is outside. Those were some serious eye dilation drops. This morning we woke up, packed up and cleaned up then checked out of the Ronald McDonald House. We arrived at the clinic and not too much later we were escorted to our exam room. One of Jack's doctor's came in and said that Jack's MRI looked "SPECTACULAR." Everything is healing up, all the past tumor areas still look amazing. There is nothing there that looks like tumor.

I don't know if anyone who hasn't gone through this or something very similar know how these visits tend to bring out the fears and anxiety that you don't even think you have inside. I can speak back to those fears with my faith and God always gives me the mercy and grace I need to hold on to His mighty sovereignty, but nonetheless those fleeting thoughts fleet in and out. I have learned to not let them stay praise God, but they certainly try their best.

I was thinking of words that we have been told by our doctors over the last 3 years...

I am sorry to say, brain tumor, emergency room, surgery, pilocytic astrocytoma, 96% removed, he can't talk, eat or open his eyes, half a smile, posterior fossa syndrome, e-stim might help, he said his first word...(scooby)doo, mediport, chemo, strabismus, low blood counts, no immune system, wear a mask, eye droop, foot drop, it's almost gone, maybe plaque or scar tissue, it's back, gamma knife radiation, halo, brain swelling, facial paralysis, steroids, strabismus again, hyperbaric, a swollen mess, doesn't look so good, maybe next month it will look better, still swollen from the radiation, see you soon,

words from a friend who received a word from God for us....God has healed your son.

The next day...MRI again...Amazing results, things look great, don't see tumor, didn't think it would disappear, see you in 3 months....looks even better, we couldn't have hoped for such good results...then today "Spectacular."

The journey to spectacular has been a long and winding road. I would say that what has happened inside of me through God's mighty transformation is more than spectacular. I have surrendered...me surrendered to a life of sufficiency through Jesus. A life that has transformed to see the intricacies of blessing when there is such pain. A life that could scream thank you and mean it when things are unbelievably difficult. I have found the meaning of life through Jack's illness, a life surrendered. I have screamed, felt forsaken, cried until there were no more tears, shook my fist in anger, questioned, felt confused but I didn't turn away, I fought my innerman, the part of me that wants things my way, the part of me that is selfish and flesh driven, the part that was my ruler for so many years, and she did not win. To the outside world and to myself I might have looked at the messiest days in my heart as being days filled with defeat and failure, but those were the times where God was refining and pruning, growing pains. There is nothing good in me without Jesus, I have not done any of this on my own, I have just tried to run the race without quitting and God has blessed that. He has given me grace and mercy each day and He has shown me His power that lives in me when I surrender to Him. I have worked hard calling on Him and devouring scripture, I have sought Him and He has made a cleft in the rock for me to stand. Today I feel like I have almost been allowed to see His back after He has walked by, and it was more than spectacular.

I am mindful that in this instant, there are other people who have not gotten the results that they have called out for. There will again be times that I will call out to God, my prayer for myself and others that struggle are that they keep lifting their eyes to Jesus. He is the one who loves us most, He is the provider of all we need to get through this world that is filled with evil and disease. There is a place that one day we will experience pure joy, happiness and there will be no more cancer, no more pain. That place is real, sometimes it seems like heaven is not real, but scripture says that we are living in but a shadow of the things to come. Heaven is real, and it is a place where all who follow Jesus will find their everlasting reward. I know I have learned that this life is fleeting, one day everything is great and the next things will never look the same, the Lord is the only thing that stays the same through the ages. He loved us yesterday, today and tomorrow. Thank you God.

Mighty to Save...my favorite song.

This song has been on my heart all week. We sang it last weekend at the Beth Moore event.

August 26, 2008

Adventures de Marcelain's

I finally downloaded my camera after a bit too long. Why don't I take you through the last month at our house....as seen on my baby camera which I call my G9.
I went to Dallas to a photography seminar by David Jay. It was so nice to see a couple of friendly faces who I knew from a previous seminar in Orange County. That's me in the middle of course and Justin Wesbrooks on the left who lives in Amarillo with his wife and daughter. Then on the right is the infamous Kenny Kim who was touring with the bus as the official photog.

The date of the seminar couldn't have been planned better because just a mile away was Dallas Children's Hospital where I was to pick Jack up after his week at Camp Esperanza. Here he is coming out of the bus. He had a great time.


Then I came up with a new dessert that reminded me of something I ate one time during high school. I think it was hostess that made the larger powder sugar donuts and for a very brief stint they filled them with raspberry filling. I remember I was on my way to Rocky Point, Mexico with my friend Shannon and her family. Shannon had bought a box of these donuts to bring along and they were yummylicious. Never again did I see them. So I decided to make up my own version a couple of weeks ago. I bought the small powder sugar donuts then put a dollop of raspberry jam on top, think thumbprint cookie but donut style. They were very deelish.

Jack had a consult appt. with a doctor in Dallas about a week and a half ago. It was a very quick trip, but we made time to stop and eat on our way home at Pappadeaux in Ft. Worth. Here are the kids in front of the restaurant.

Last week the kids and I decided to spend the afternoon in Downtown Abilene. We at lunch at Bogey's, which Derek thought was totally fun that the entire menu was dedicated to Humphrey Bogart film names. Then ofcourse we went across the street to eat a pastry from McKay's Bakery. I do have to say that my kids felt like traitors eating at Bogey's the entire time. My husband works at McKay's Bakery and normally if we are downtown to eat lunch it is at McKay's. But Bogey's Countess sandwich was calling my name, sprouts and avocado...yum.

Then we headed to the 12th Armored Military Museum. Derek went with school last year and has mentioned at least 100 times that he wanted to go back. He loved leading the way and showing us around. I might post some additional pics of the museum later this week, it was cool. I love how my kids height is shown while they are sticking their heads up through the top of the tank, (or trying in Sophie's case).





Then there is our girls trip to San Antonio to hear the amazing Beth Moore bring the house down with her love for Jesus. She is so fun to see in person, she is even more animated and wild in person. Love her. Here is Sarah who was our wonderful driver, she made a sign for the car to remind us all to bring our wristbands for entry to the venue.

Here is a pic of Beth. We sat in the "bloggers Siesta Fiesta section" which was the first level above the floor. This pic is pretty far away, but there were big screens so we could see her up close.

After the Official Event was over the bloggers were invited to a question and answer session with Beth and her daughters Amanda (left) and Melissa (right). Both of her girls have a love for God's word and work for Beth and Lifeway.

August 25, 2008

My Fresh Word

I wrote here about some great truth's God spoke to me this weekend. Will I finally take hold and committ?

August 24, 2008

A bit of San Antonio, and Refresh rocked the house.

Sunday night. What a weekend!!!
Friday morning several friends and I drove down to San Antonio to hear Beth Moore speak at a Living Proof Live Event. The Alamodome was home to about 10,000 women on Friday night and Saturday morning. I could have turned pages in my bible all night and into the morning listening to Beth speak words of God's Inheritance, but alas it ended at 9:30 on Friday night. We went and grabbed a bite to eat on the Riverwalk, some yummy Mexican food. Then we were up pretty early to get back to the venue for the 8am start time.
I am still so emotional about the whole weekend. Travis Cottrell led worship and their were some women up on the stage in the worship team that brang the house down with their amazing voices. A couple of times I just listened to what it sounds like to have 10,000 women sing praise to God at the same time in the same place and it was as close to hearing angels sing this side of heaven. So powerful.
I will write a post about the fresh words I received this weekend. I would like to say they were totally fresh, but God used this weekend to hammer home some areas he has been convicting me of over the last bit of time that I haven't fully submitted to. All of us Coffee Group gals will write a post over on our Espresso His Love Blog and will link it when we do. I am thankful that God is so patient with me, but never allowing me to hover in the same place for very long. He wants more for me than I do.
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Today at our church we went back to two services; our early morning service is called Daybreak (the traditional service) and late service is Refresh (outreach, contemporary service). We have always been early servicers, but decided to give the very first Refresh a try. It was amazing, it was a powerful service and the Spirit was thick. One of the differences besides the fast pace is there is alot more interaction between the worshippers. We all walk forward to tithe and are encouraged to visit with those around us. Communion was similar to the new tithing process. Couples were asked to stand in different areas around the sanctuary. Some couples walked around with the bread and juice to carry to people who were older or disabled and would find it difficult to make their way in the crowd. One of my sweet friends told me that she and her husband would be serving communion today in Refresh. This is a new thing to my church, men have always passed the plate. We break off a cracker and pass it to the next person. But in Refresh they decided to have married couples serve, one holds the bread and the other the juice and the church comes up to them to partake.
Right as church was starting today Rob told me as he slid past me in the pew that they needed one more couple to serve and that they asked him if we could. He told them yes, and in that same moment worship started and I didn't really think about it again. Time for communion came and we went back to get the bread and juice and went to our spot when we were called to do so. I was really nervous. Do you remember the part from above that I said we hadn't done this before at our church? So I was standing there holding the two plates of unleavened bread and then people started to break off their piece and before you know it there are tears streaming down my face. It was so personal, like looking right into their eyes and heart as they remembered Jesus body. At times I felt like it was just too much and I would lower my eyes, but then I would lift my eyes to theirs again and each time I felt such a strong bond of love with each person who broke bread. Many people blessed me with their words, many people looked at me and started crying too, it was such an honor to serve and also to be filled with emotion that I didn't expect was an extremely humbling experience. My heart is full of gratitude for that experience. I praise God for our new service.

August 21, 2008

The Glass Castle - Review

Thursday morning. The kids and I are heading to the pool today, can't wait to get there, today could very possibly be our last day of swimming this year. Tonight the kids get to find out who their teachers are and attend meet the teacher. Big doin's.

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I stayed up too late last night thanks to the 2 glasses of sweet tea I drank at Rosa's for dinner. I finished "The Glass Castle." This book was a true story about a very poor family who moved around alot, the kids overcame their raising and made good lives for themselves. The writer Jeannette Walls is currently a contributor for msnbc. The father was an alcoholic and the mother, even though she was never given a "diagnosis" in the book had some emotional or mental problems. This book was filled with so many ironic situations, the parents were allowing their kids to live in horrible conditions, but by the end of the book you find out the mom had money in land and jewelry worth over a million dollars. And the intelligence of the parents was startling, they both were geniuses but were homeless or about homeless all through the raising of their kids. I can't say that I recommend this book, I didn't not like it, in fact it was hard to put down, but it is not for the faint of heart, and that is what I am faint of heart. So if you read it be prepared for some rough language and some hard to read situations.
Part of the book hit close to home, the kids might not have food, but there was always cash for the dad to go to the bar. Reminded me of my childhood in so many ways. Maybe that is why it was so hard to read.

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So excited - several of us girls are going to San Antonio this weekend to hear Beth Moore. I am looking forward to some fresh words. I will probably twitter through the weekend.

August 18, 2008

What?

Just saw an exert of the Rick Warren interview with Barak Obama and John McCain.
Rick Warren questioned each separately. When does a baby become viable during the pregnancy? When does he/she have rights?
Barak's response: "The answer to that is above my pay grade."
McCain's response: "At the moment of conception."

You wont see much about politics on my blog. Politics bring tension and tension causes me to be anxious, so I just don't enter into political conversation. I just try and make an informed decision and vote.
The fact that a possible future president will not answer a question directly about when a baby becomes a baby just shocked me.

Say what you believe and let the chips fall where they may.

You can find the entire interview on you tube.

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Now back to your regularly scheduled programming....

August 16, 2008

Book Review - 90 Minutes In Heaven


I started 90 Minutes in Heaven late last night. Thanks to the rip-roaring storm that came through Abilene this morning I started reading again at about 4am. It was a good read. The reviews on this book are mixed, some people I think only want to hear about heaven in this book and feel misled when it goes into Don Pipers Heaven experience then into his recovery. I didn't feel like that at all. This book is a memoir of Don Piper's life over the course of several years.
I was visiting in a bible class a couple of weeks ago and one of the women had heard Mr. Piper speak the day previously and spoke highly of him and his book. I thought it was worth a read, so I picked it up at Lifeway. This book confirmed to me much of what was written in the book called "Heaven," written by Randy Allcorn. Randy's book was a scripturally based book on heaven, what the bible says about it. Many of us get the whole living in the clouds picture in our minds when we hear the word heaven, which Randy says comes from Roman mythology. Both of these books talk about heaven being a real place.
I love how Don Piper was so open (maybe reluctantly at first) to share his own weaknesses while recovering. Who after all would want to stay put in a body that is in excruciating pain 24 hours a day for months and years when they had seen Glory. He couldn't understand why God would allow him to see heaven then come back in a broken body, he really wished he would have been allowed to stay in heaven. But God had different plans for him, in his own pain, he would comfort others. He would lead others to Christ through his own experience with suffering.
When he was describing heaven I knew before he even made the point in the book, it is impossible to describe heaven in earthly words. There is just no way we can comprehend or even imagine the glory that awaits us. But his attempt to put words on paper to share with others his experience will just have to do until we get to see it for ourselves.

August 14, 2008

Plastic Surgery, Book Review and Olympic Pics

Sarah and I had a great time as guest speakers at Wesley Court giving a review on the book, Same Kind of Different as Me. We loved sharing our favorite quotes from the book and our own reviews. Only one person in the audience had read the book so far, I hope that we sparked the interest for some more to pick it up and read it. I don't know what the dynamics are when you live in a retirement home, do you just run out to Lifeway and buy it off the shelf? Or do you wait for the little downstairs gift shop to stock it?
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I guess the big news for our family is we are heading into Dallas at some point to take Jack to his plastic surgery consult visit in the morning. The surgeon will assess Jack's face and decide if he is a candidate for surgery to move some muscles and tendons around in his face that would give him the ability through speech therapy to use the right side of his face. Please pray for our safe trip and for Jack. The Dr.'s name is Dr. Ha, like in, "Ha! I fooled you."
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We finish up our ladies Sunday night Bible study this Sunday. Discerning God's Voice by Priscilla Shirer. The subject matter drew women in with record numbers, but the most important thing is that it touched hearts and the Lord drew us closer to Him. Wonderful study.
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Marcelain Photography, that is me, will be the featured artist in the Cockerell Galleries, Thursday, September 11. 1133 N. 2nd. My office space is located in the Cockerell Galleries and each month they feature one artist from the gallery, September it will be me. So if you haven't come out to Artwalk lately, or you are a regular, be sure and visit us on the 2nd level in the Cockerell Building. Artwalk is always the 2nd Thursday of each month, but my images will be on display until the following Artwalk, so feel free just to come by and look around later in the month if you can't make it to Artwalk.
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I enjoyed the article yesterday on "Living in Fear of the Pool Guy," by Vincent Laforet, talking about underwater Olympic photography. You can find the link on yesterday's post. Another one of the photographer's who is keeping up with Newsweek's blog on the Olympics is Donald Miralle. His posts are full of unique angles and great images. It is like art meeting sports photography. Enjoy a couple of shots I have of his below, then to see more you can click over to his Newsweek Blog
Click on his name on the sidebar once you get to the Newsweek Blog.



August 13, 2008

Olympic Underwater Photography

Rob and I had a great anniversary doing what most other Americans are doing, watching the Olympics. It was a sweet day. I always tell Rob that all I want for my anniversary is a love poem. He always looks at me like I am from a foreign land. But yesterday he showed me what he was made of and wrote me numerous poems for our anniversary. He wrote different versions of anagrams. A couple were funny, a couple made me tear up. Words are such a gift.

Thankful heart
A sweet child of God
Mercy filled
Mentor
You are a servant to all

I am thankful for my poems.
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Has anyone wondered how they are getting all those cool underwater photographs? I thought maybe they had a scuba diver at the bottom of the pool with an underwater camera...I really had no clue.

I grabbed this from Vincent Laforet's blog. The article is called "Living in fear of the Pool Guy" and talks about the heirarchy of all the hundreds of photogs at the Olympics. Some have free reign because they are representing so many different people/companies/newspapers...Now you will know how they get those underwater shots. Click over to Vincent's blog, he is a Newsweek photographer. I tried to link the article directly but I have a linking problem, not a drinking problem, but a linking problem....

August 12, 2008

Michael Phelps Rocks the House

We have Michael Phelps fever in our house. What about you?

Happy Anniversary

I talked with Allison, Brendon's mom briefly yesterday. She said that Brendon is about the same. No major changes. Please keep on praying for Brendon and his family.
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Today Rob and I are celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary. He is a wonderful husband and dad, I am so blessed to be his wife. Here are some pics from my computer camera that we took a couple of months ago.


We went out to dinner last night to celebrate, actually we went out to dinner to Carino's which is our favorite Monday night place to eat. Monday night family meal deal, Sophie went with us and she wanted something with shrimp, so we ordered the scampi for the meal price of $14.95, the family meal deal comes with bread and salad and the meal which serves about 4 people. So we had a nice dinner, with our daughter who talks constantly, but we were never lacking for conversation no matter how one sided it was. We splurged on dessert and had the Chocolate Cannoli, we were celebrating our anniversary after all. I said "leave the gun and take the canolli," atleast 5 times. It is standard for me to quote the Godfather when I am eating canolli.
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My friend Sarah and I are reviewing the book, Same Kind of Different As Me, at Wesley Court tomorrow, so I picked it back up to re-read yesterday. I will hopefully finish it today.
I will leave you with a couple of sentences from Page 90.

"Often driving up to the mission, we'd see Dallas standing alone in a parking lot across the street...., his face a stone slate. A couple of times I overheard people saying this loner was crazy and not to mess with him. Deborah wrote his name in her bible, next to Ecclesiastes 9:15; "There was found in a certain city a poor man who was wise, and by his wisdom he saved the city.'"
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I think to be able to see people from God's perspective and not the worlds perspective is a great gift. Father let my eyes see like you do.

August 09, 2008

Circus Hamster

Our crazy hamster....Oreo. During the night time we take out the wheel in Oreo's cage. Jack is a light sleeper and even with the hamster in a different room Jack would still wake up to the sound of the wheel. I can still hear Oreo crawling around in his cage but never really knew what he was doing, just scratching around I figured. The other night I was up late editing images on the computer. I walked into the kitchen and turned on the light and Oreo was upside down hanging from the top of his cage. I couldn't believe my eyes, then he did the monkey bars all the way across the top of the cage. I grabbed my camera for some shots of this circus hamster.
He don't need no stinkin' wheel, he runs circles without the wheel. In the obligation of full disclosure, Oreo was more interested in my camera and me than his gymnastics, so to entice him to show his antics I put a little cracker on the roof of his cage to give him a reason to get back to business.

The first 2 pics are of Oreo just climbing up the side of his cage, then he takes off with the monkey bar skills.







Here is Oreo checking out his reflection in my camera.

Upside down walking on the roof of his cage.


Update on Brendon

Thanks for praying for Brendon Coates. I talked with his mom yesterday and she told me that Brendon has been having numerous seizures. They come right after he is given his dexamethasone which is a steroid that keeps the swelling in his brain down to alleviate headaches. The doctors decided to take him of the dex, which is a weaning process as with any type of steroid. So he should be off after tomorrow. One of the side affects of dex is that it can cause seizures.
Brendon is non-reactive and has not spoken in about 4 days. Brendon's mom said she wanted him to be in water again, so with the o.k. of hospice she held Brendon in the bathtub and just let him be in the water for a while.
Brendon is a precious 5 year old, his pictures are all over the house and in his room, big smiles and life shining through his eyes.

I haven't told a wonderful story about Allison on the blog. Allison has been raising Brendon by herself for many of his 5 years. They were like two peas in a pod. Last year Allison and Tony met and fell in love. Tony has a 5 year old daughter. They decided to be married later this year. Brendon talked about wanting to be a part of the wedding, the ring bearer. When Brendon's cancer came back with a vengeance this year, Allison and Tony decided to move the wedding up. So just over one month ago Allison and Tony were married. Brendon was able to be a part of the ceremony along with Tony's daughter who was the flower girl.
My friend Deborah and I went over to pray with Allison and Tony on Wednesday night. Deborah told me that God showed her that Tony has a Warrior's Heart. And I say to that, yes and amen. Any man who would willingly walk through this time IS a warrior. His shoulder is the perfect height for Allison to lean her head on, his hand is there for her to hold, his heart is large enough for his sweet daughter, his bride and sweet Brendon. His smile brings warmth and hope to those around him.
Allison has been an outstanding mom and caregiver for Brendon for years. I am just glad she has her warrior to stand by her side, and be willing to fight with her through this earthly battle.
The Lord shone bright on this family to bring them all together.
Brendon is still a fighter, he still has family, friends, and strangers praying for him. This story is not over, but we know that no matter how it ends, the most important battle has been won, Jesus is our King. Our hope is everlasting.

August 07, 2008

Derek ; ) Baptized today.

Derek was born again, today August 7th, 2008. He was SO excited! We all were. He asked me before we went up to ACU if I was excited and nervous before I got baptized. I said I was. It is the biggest and most important decision of his life, he will be a new creation. God's Spirit has now taken up residence in him and each day He has the gift of a Mighty Counselor to guide him in his journey. I am so blessed by my son, he is truly filled with kindness and love for others. Children and babies love him, he loves them, he can talk to anyone, he can make all of us laugh at the drop of the hat, and on top of that he knows everything there is to know about football. This is a great day for Rob and I, all three of our kids now have decided to follow Jesus by asking Him into their hearts and following in Jesus' example to be baptized, to die to self and live for Jesus. In this I rejoice.


My Uncle Phil and Aunt Sue with Derek

My grandfather, Derek's great-grandfather and Derek

This is Jacob's Dream at Abilene Christian University

Rob reading from scripture.

Rob baptizing Derek



Here is Derek, and alot of our family.

Derek's First Communion. After Derek was baptized we came home and took communion as a family. The little blue cup with the grape juice (or fruit of the vine, however you would like to say it) belonged to my Nana. She would have cried and rejoiced right along with us today if she were here. I imagine the Lord told her all about it.



Here are a couple of pics of my sweet grandfather. He has always been an awesome example of great character and love for others. He really doesn't care for his picture made. He was gracious enough to stand still long enough for me to grab a shot with him by the cross.

August 05, 2008

Pray for Brendon

Good Tuesday morning. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Sometimes those words are easy to type and sometimes they hurt a little. Last night I was checking email and saw the latest update on 5 year old Brendon Coates who lives here in Abilene.

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/brendoncoates

Unless the Lord does a last minute miracle for Brendon, he will be going on to Glory in the near future. God knows exactly what will happen and what everyone needs to make it through this, that is why we can rejoice, because even in the midst of a broken heart Jesus continues to walk us through the turmoil. He is in the career of mending broken hearts, one gentle stitch at a time.

I know that the most powerful thing we can do for Ally (Brendon's mom) and Brendon is lift them in prayer. If you could write their names down and stick them somewhere so you will be reminded to lift their names to God, He will know just what to do with that merciful gift you sent through Jesus for sweet Brendon and Ally.

Please pray for them.

August 04, 2008

Where is Matt? Dancing all over the world.

Not sure where I have been for 2 years, this is the first time I have seen this video. Sorry about the h.e.double-toothpicks. I really enjoyed this video, then just spent some time looking around on his website to learn more about it all. On the About Matt page he is giving a lecture where he talks about some of the different countries, and the experience of one of his favorite 3 places to dance, Rwanda. Then he talked about taking pics of some sweet kids in Africa a couple of years ago, using a printer back in his hotel room to print them out, then taking the prints back out to the streets to give to the kids in the pictures. From that he was invited into their homes to meet with the family and elders of each family. He said he got some great pictures from those gatherings, then lost them all when his laptop was stolen out of his car when he was back in the states. He loved being able to give the kids a picture of themselves. One more thing, he talks about his experience dancing on a rock that fell between two rocks in Norway (I think) and was over a canyon. Think Grand Canyon with a big stuck rock between two walls and stepping onto it...eeek, not only talks about his but gives raw footage of the process of getting out onto the rock.



Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

How cool is his job?

August 03, 2008

Hug Raid

One of the crazy fun activities that Jack did last week at camp was called a hug raid. Remember this is a camp that is for kids who have had or are currently battling cancer, so it is all about bringing joy. 2 different times the boy's counselors would lead the boys in Jack's cabin (about 10 boys) into the girls cabin. They would all hide and wait for the girls to come in. When the girls would come in to the cabin the boys would jump out at them then give them each a present and a hug, then head on back to their own cabins. How sweet is that?

So far Jack said that the Zip Line was his favorite thing, but he talked a lot about pillow fight championships, that he missed out on by "that much." He came home with a great medal for participating in the week, and some fun memorabilia, like a pillow case and army bag all with Camp Esperanza on them. He swam, rode horses, fished, cooked, played, mixed martial arts, pillow fights, flour tower, and a big party the night before they came home. Flour tower is a game where they mound up flour and then put a marshmallow on top. Without your hands you have to reach down and grab the mallow with your mouth. And if the mallow falls into the flour tower you have to dig into the flour with your face to get to it. His camp shirt was covered in paste consisting of the flour and the water used to wash off the flour from his face, so I guess he had to dig around a bit. He did say that flour tastes much worse than it looks. ; )

My boy is home and we are all glad to have Jack's presence back. We missed him terribly and many times through the day would try and guess what he was doing. Welcome back Jack.

(see the post below if you want to get the link to the "bloggers phone conference" with William P. Young, author of The Shack.)

The Shack / Bloggers Conference Link

Here is the link to the podcast of the "blogger's phone conference" with William P. Young, the author of The Shack. The interview is about 35 minutes long. Full of good info and interesting facts. I will try and link it but here is the web address just incase it doesn't work. (can't link it for some reason, so you can just cut and paste the link)

http://cwahm.com/podcast/teleconference.mp3




Here are the website addresses of the other bloggers who are on the podcast.
Camy Tang: http://www.camys-loft.blogspot.com/
Cara Putman: http://carasmusings.blogspot.com/
Christy Lockstein: http://christysbookblog.blogspot.com
Gretchen Geyer: http://dreamwriter07.blogspot.com/
Jill Hart: www.CWAHM.com
Joe Wikert: http://jwikert.typepad.com/
Leslie Sowell: http://footprintsinthesand.us/blog
Natalie Nyquist: www.ylcf.org
Nicole Petrino-Salter: http://hopeofglory.typepad.com/into_the_fire/
Patti Chadwick: http://bookbargainsandpreviews.com/blog/
Patrick Sullivan, Jr.: http://editweapon.com/
Peggy Phifer: http://www.sipsncupscafe.com
Shawnee Goodnight: www.readinginappalchia.blogspot.com/
Tammy Marcelain: http://tammymarcelain.blogspot.com/
Ted Reyes: www.poptimesagazine.com