Wednesday, August 29, 2007


It's easy for me when I am sick to feel sorry for myself. I think how it would be nice if I could have someone come take care of my 5-month old so that I could sleep longer or how I wish my husband could get home earlier from work or even stay home with me to complete the daily housefold tasks, like cleaning and dinner. I think how I wish that my refrigerator was full of "get well" food like pudding and jello.

And then I remember another time of when I really felt sorry for myself....We were living in Kenya and I had a stomach bug, which is not fun to have when your toilet is wedged in a corner that barely gives room for your legs when you sit down or when you can't even lay on the couch because you just have a love seat and chair in your ~300 square foot apartment. Not to mention there were not even crackers on our shelves or Sprite to ease my upset stomach or a doctor close by to help me if the "bug" thing got worse.

But then I stop and remind myself AGAIN of how rich and easy I have it to be sick. For one, I have a husband and plenty of friends and family who would drop anything to help me if I really needed time to recover. I also have access to medical care and medicine that I can afford and easily jump in my car and drive to the pharmacy to pick up. I have a bed (actually we have two in our home) and a couch (two of those as well) that I can lie on. And, even when I was in Kenya it was easy to be sick.

I can't imagine what it would be like to be sick and be a single mom. I can't imagine what it would be like to be sick and be a single mom and live on the streets of Nairobi, Kenya. I mean how bad must it feel to have to lie on the side of the road (or if you're lucky on a make-shift bed in a shanty that you share with your seven children) and not know where you can even get clean water. How bad must it feel to know that the tuberculosis you are suffering from is curable with daily treatments that is now free in your country but you cannot afford the daily bus fare to take you to the clinic that has it. How bad must it feel to know that no one is going to come at the end of the day to take the child from you to give you a break but instead you must find a hiding place to keep the man who may come by from raping you.

So as I sit here in my nice home feeling a little under the weather, I no longer feel sick.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Mother Theresa

I once heard Randy Harris say that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but apathy. Faith requires actions based on that faith. Or as James said, "Faith without works is dead."

Now word comes out that even someone as looked up to as Mother Theresa had here own doubts, as Time Magazine has reported. I know that there are many who have doubts about many things that we've believed or been instructed to believe. However, my prayer for myself and for all of us is that those doubts will not stagnate us into apathy, but that the actions that we take to bring God's justice and peace into His world will continue in spite of the doubts and not "feeling" God's presence.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Featured Family Friday

Larry and Hollye Conway, Missionaries in Kenya


Have you ever had the experience like I have where you were hesitant to invite someone in or over because things were not 'just right' in your home?

We often visit our friends who live on a garbage dump. The stench greets you long before our friends do. Most steps are accompanied by a ?squish? which you would rather not identify?

The welcome is always warm and genuine. Each visit is accompanied by a moment of uneasiness as they search out the right seat for you ~ a cement block, an empty radio casing or a old tin paint bucket. Greetings, news, stories are exchanged. Words of encouragement and Bible lessons are spoken. Prayer requests shared and lifted up.

I always hate to leave. They have made me feel comfortable and at home.
Wonder if I can learn from them and handle awkward moments of hospitality more graciously???
Don't you think Jesus would be delighted by a warm and welcoming invitation into our day, no matter what the state of our hearts or our lives?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

ONE Campaign in Nashville

The ONE Campaign has been working closely with the leaders of the Nashville group to put together a plan of action for the coming months, and is announcing it's first Nashville ONE Volunteer Meet-up. Here are details:

When: August 31 at 6:00 PM
Where: Hardrock Cafe, 100 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37201
Why: Find out about what the local ONE Campaign Nashville is doing, things you can do to make a difference, upcoming events, our legislative agenda, member recruitment drive...and more!

They are requesting your RSVP here if you can make it. >carrie.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Green Power Switch

If last week's record-breaking electricity consumption has got you thinking about NES's Green Power Switch, consider this:

At 3:45 p.m. last Thursday, the NES grid was pumping out 2,673 megawatts. According to NES spokeswoman Laurie Parker, to convert that whole lot to sustainable energy would require 17,280 “blocks” of green power—in just that one moment.

But in the month of July, Nashvillians purchased a meager 422 blocks of green power.

So, we've got a long way to go. But if you want to give green a try, $8 a month will buy two blocks of green power, enough to convert approximately one-quarter of the energy consumption of the average Nashville family.

(content taken from the Nashville Scene blog.) >posted by carrie.

Monday, August 20, 2007

john wesley

John Wesley, the 18th centurey leader of the Methodist movement, had a few things to say about how much a Christian should give. He said that Christians should give away all but the "plain necessaries of life" -- that is, plain, wholesome food, clean clothes and enough to carry on one's business.
Wesley stated that capital need not be given away but that all income should be given to the poor after bare necessities are met.
"Any 'Christian' who takes for himself anything more than the plain necessaries of life," Wesley insisted, "lives in an open, habitual denial of the Lord."
"If I leave behind me ten pounds," he once wrote, "you and all mankind bear witness against me that I lived and died a thief and a robber."
Do you think Wesley goes too far?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Here are two new websites to check out!

This website gives you the environmental impact calculator and great ideas for green projects around your home.

Even if you do not have a child, this website is helpful to having a healthier home. Also check out the 5 easy steps under the Featured Programs. These give some helpful tips for around the house.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Benefit Yard Sale - Sept. 21 & 22

Mark your calendars for the Yard Sale to benefit Made in the Streets , Friday 9/21 & Saturday 9/22.

Can You Help? Why yes you can! Here’s what we DESPERATELY need!
1) Your House Decluttered. Your Stuff…to Me
2) Your Help on Sale Day & Before – Pricing, Organizing, Sign Making & Posting, Watching Children, Placing Ads & Publicizing the Sale, Getting/Making Lunch on Sale Day…
3) Borrowing – Your Tables, Portable Clothing Racks (Do you know anyone with these?!), Garage Sale Flags
4) Your Plastic Bags – Oh, I can’t stand them. But they will come in handy for our shoppers!

Please contact Carrie for more info.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

mother teresa

A few thoughts from Mother Teresa:

It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.

There should be less talk; a preaching point is not a meeting point. What do you do then? Take a broom and clean someone's house. That says enough.

There must be a reason why some people can afford to live well. They must have worked for it. I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use.

The more you have, the more you are occupied, the less you give. But the less you have the more free you are. Poverty for us is a freedom.

There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic. We believe our work should be our example to people.

Not so long ago a very wealthy Hindu lady came to see me. She sat down and told me, "I would like to share in your work." In India, more and more people like her are offering to help. I said, "That is fine." The poor woman had a weakness that she confessed to me. "I love elegant saris," she said. Indeed, she had on a very expensive sari that probably cost around eight hundred rupees. Mine cost only eight rupees. Hers cost one hundred times more.Then I asked the Virgin Mary to help me give an adequate answer to her question of how she could share in our work. It occurred to me to say to her, "I would start with the saris. The next time you go to buy one, instead of paying eight hundred rupees, buy one that costs five hundred. Then with the extra three hundred rupees, buy saris for the poor." The good woman now wears 100-rupee saris, and that is because I have asked her not to buy cheaper ones. She has confessed to me that this has changed her life. She now knows what it means to share. That woman assures me that she has received more than what she has given.

I guess I need to go pick up a broom...
- David

Friday, August 10, 2007

Featured Family Friday

Five years ago Dr. J. Matthew Sleeth and his family lived in a big house, had two luxury cars, loads of money, and lots of stuff. As chief of the medical staff at a large hospital, Sleeth was living the American dream—until he realized that something was terribly wrong. As he saw patient after patient suffering from cancer, asthma, and other chronic diseases, he began to understand that the Earth and its inhabitants were in trouble. Feeling helpless, he turned to his faith for guidance. He discovered how the timeless lessons of personal responsibility, simplicity, and stewardship taught in the Bible could be applied to modern life.

Excerpt from Serve God, Save the Planet by Sleeth:
"Over the past five years, my family and I have made significant lifestyle changes. We no longer live in our big house; instead, we have one the exact size of our old garage. We use less than one-third of the fossil fuels and one-quarter of the electricity we once used. We've gone from leaving two barrels of trash by the curb each week to leaving one bag every few weeks. We no longer own a clothes dryer, garbage disposal, dishwasher, or lawn mower. Our "yard" is planted with native wildflowers and a large vegetable garden. Half of our possessions have found new homes. We are a poster family for the downwardly mobile.
Because of these changes, we have more time for God. Spiritual concerns have filled the void left by material ones. Owning fewer things has resulted in things no longer owning us. We have put God to the test, and we have found his Word to be true. He has poured blessings and oppurtunities upon us. When we stopped living a life dedicated to consumerism, our cup began to run over. We have seen miracles."
I am currently reading Serve God, Save the Planet and have found it to be very convicting. Others who are recommending this book include: Brian McLaren and Shane Claiborne.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Paper or Plastic?

It seems that neither are without fault. Paper bag production is expensive, requires more energy to recycle & they take up more landfill space. Many plastic bags are not biodegradable, and require more oil used for production. Not to mention all the plastic bags littered across the country. So more people across the country are bringing their own.

In March, San Francisco became the first city in the country to ban non-biodegradable plastic bags in large grocery and drug stores. Similar bag-banning measures are being considered elsewhere across the country.

Locally, there are a handful of grocers who give money back when you bring your own bags. Kroger is the latest to offer savings, with $.04 off your bill for each bag you bring.

I’ve been bringing my own bags now for almost a year. After unloading my foods, I immediately put the bags by the door or right back to the car. That way, they are always in the car when I make an impromptu stop by the store. It is so easy to do & you will not believe how sturdy these bags are. You can put much more in these bags than either plastic or paper.

Where to find them? Tote bags overflow at your local thrift store. Or you can find a great selection at >carrie.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Peace Counts

Peace Counts aims to discover role models for peacemaking around the world and to bring them broad exposure by creating fascinating features and photo essays. Peace Counts is looking to provide answers to the question: How does an individual actually “make peace”?

Peace Counts publications focus on role models for peace throughout the world. Peace Counts depicts people, groups, and institutions that have supported peace processes with especial creativity, credibility, long-term commitment, and success.

The following is an excerpt from ... and on Earth Peace to Men of Good Will:

Peace has come to the once unruly streets of New Haven, Connecticut. Today children play where the bullets of gang shoot-outs once flew. Geraniums bloom in the window boxes of former crack houses. Many gang members are either behind bars or have become upright citizens who sweep their sidewalks on Saturday mornings. Since the 1990s, crime rates in New Haven have fallen by more than 60 percent. The success can be credited to an unusual style of police work – “community policing.” “Community policing” sounds harmless enough, but it was a cultural revolution. It began in New Haven’s police academy, a former precinct house on Sherman Parkway.

Along with law, criminology, and firearms practice, the future cops learn standard English, read poetry, and rehearse nonviolent conflict resolution with role-playing games. They write plays about racial prejudice and produce them with inner city kids. The calligraphy of the greeting-card rhetoric outside is set forth in the classroom. “It’s never too soon to be friendly – you never know when it might be too late.”

The “recruits” became “students” and were drawn from every conceivable walk of life: homosexuals, single mothers, Latinos, African-Americans. In the school day, the firing range ceded time to soup kitchen visits. Kay Codish brought prostitutes, hustlers, abused women, the mentally ill, and the homeless into the classroom. She drilled her students nonstop in the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. A police officer needs to remember that, almost more than anyone else.”

Check out this website for more peace stories around the world!

How can we as individuals make peace in our community?

Friday, August 3, 2007

Featured Family Friday

My most important mentors were my parents. My father was a very prominent physician and cardiologist. Once a week he would see patients for free of charge for charity. And patients would come from all over the country, actually, to see him, on trains and buses. My mother would cook food for them and pay their bus fare and train fare. And my little brother and I would escort the patients in to see my father, who would not only write the prescriptions, but pay for the medicines for them as well. And at the end of the day, my parents would sit with me and explain what had happened during the day. And the moral of the lessons always was that if you want to be happy, then you make somebody else happy.

I grew up with this notion that you must always have somebody in your life that you can trust, that you can confide in, that you can seek advice from, and that you can learn skills from. And the best skills come not in school, they come from people that you're closed to, that care about you, that you care about.

At one point in time, I have three, or four, or five people that I am acting as a mentor for. And I listen to them mostly. I listen to what's going on in their life, what's going on with their friendships, in their relationships. To be a mentor you need to understand what's going on in a young person's life. ---Deepak Chopra
What are ways that your family serves the community? What are ways that you can make someone else happy? -Sarah

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What are we protecting?

A quick comparison of annual spending (source: ODE magazine, October 2006)

$900 billion U.S.
Annual worldwide weapons spending

$150 billion U.S.
Yearly budget for all eight Millennium Development Goals*

  1. Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty
  2. Provide universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve pre-natal health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Develop a global partnership for development

*The Millennium Development Goals were developed by the United Nations to improve the quality of life of citizens worldwide, with a target completion date of 2015. All 191 member states agreed to participate, but have been sharply criticized for their lack of effort.

When I look at these figures, it is startling and disheartening. I ask myself why does the world spend this much on weapons? What are we trying to protect, especially here in the U.S.? Are we fearful that one day a billion starving people might find their way to our land and we will have to protect ourselves from them stealing our food? Sorry if I am too rash in my comments but I look at a picture of starving children and wonder are we truly doing all we can to "improve the quality of life of citizens worldwide?"