Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Just when I thought the Academy had come back to Earth and started picking movies for their quality rather than for some obscure reason that I don't think the public at large has understood in recent years, they completely pass by the most successful, most artfully portrayed, most powerful film of the year! I thumb my nose at the academy. I will certainly have something better to do on Oscar night.
I gotta say, I couldn't agree more. We Christians in America have it pretty cushy, when you really look at it. Yet, we waste so much time complaining about how "persecuted" we are. You want to look at real persecution? Check out either of the books below. They are just full of stories (some very recent) of people who put their Earthly lives on the line to follow their God. So few of us here in the USA have any concept of what it is to live in a place where you can be tortured and killed simply for being a Jesus Freak. Next time you feel the need to complain about how hard it is here, think about the men and women in this book, shut your yap, and be grateful that God has placed you in a country where you can worship Him without fear of real persecution.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Friday, December 17, 2004
Fun stuff to take up all of your time so you won't even miss me: (not that I assume you have or will)
Consumer Reports has NOTHING on this guy!
An appropriately themed webcomic
Buy and sell stock in your favorite celebrities
Review all of your favorite films
Friday, November 19, 2004
This may be one of the scariest things the internet has yet produced. Last I checked, eating disorders were still ravishing diseases that attacked both mind and body. I'm figuring the last thing an untreated anorexic needs is someone to tell them to keep up the good work.
"But what worries doctors is that the sites often encourage girls to embrace their disease, to lose even more weight, rather than seek treatment. Some of the sites describe themselves as 'pro-choice' or 'pro-tolerant,' and have names like 'The Thin Page,' 'Starving for Perfection' and 'Ana by Choice'."
You know, when I first heard about this, I thought it was just a really sick joke. Well, I had it partially right I guess. It's just really sick. Anorexia is not a "lifestyle" it is not a "choice" and it should not be "tolerated." It is a debilitating and at times fatal disease that is treatable. By encouraging people with eating disorders to "embrace" their conditions, these sites are keeping them from ever seeking treatment. It's like telling someone who's just discovered a growth to embrace their cancer. You don't embrace it. You get rid of it in any way you can before it literally eats you alive. Anorexia will do the same thing. When you don't provide your body with any nutrition, your body starts by eating away at the fat, and when it's done with fat it starts eating muscles and organs.
That doesn't even begin to take into account the damage it does to your mind. An eating disorder can be caused by any number of factors, but they all have one thing in common: self-loathing. I don't care who you are or where you're from or what you've done, self-loathing is not healthy.
Various "tips" I found in a quick browse of some of these sites:
"Make yourself nauseas! You won't eat!"
"Don't eat/drink anything that is a red color. When vomiting, in some cases bleeding may occur and you won't know if it's serious, or just what you ate/drank."
"Check the fridge when nobody else is around. Find foods that you would have eaten and get rid of them, for example, three eggs and a piece of butter. Then if someone asks, you can say you had scrambled eggs and are really full. And if they check, the ingredients are gone, which reinforces your story. Consider dishes and silverware as well. "
"With the exceptions of days 1-5, particulary day 3, fasting is not nearly as difficult as one might imagine (In fact, after day 10, quite pleasurable)."
What is wrong with our culture that we make people think starving themselves will make them beautiful? That fasting and purging is a valid lifestyle choice? That size zero is something to strive toward? Don't get me wrong -- if your body is a size zero and you have a *healthy* diet and excercize plan, more power to you, but it is not an attainable goal for 99% of the women out there. I am not ashamed to say that I am a size 10. I am comfortable with being a 10. I could probably stand to loose a pound or two, but it isn't worth harming my body over. I really wish Hollywood and Vogue and the like would move away from the waif look. It obviously isn't projecting a healthy image.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Note: Link should now be working. Sorry!
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Most people probably expect the story to start at an airport, but for me, the real journey began long before that. I think one of the most significant things I took from the whole experience began with a letter. To be honest, I didn't even write the support letters. Chris did. I mostly just edited. We sent them out to friends and family, and began to pray that God would honor our commitment to His work in Russia by providing the means for the trip. It was a lot of money to raise, and we didn't have a dime to spare, so I was at least a little worried about how we would be able to raise all of it. At first we got some pretty bad reactions to our request for support. People who I had thought would be excited for us were actually offended by the request for help. It was pretty disheartening, but I held on to the thought that if God wanted us in Russia, He'd find a way to send us there. Then the support started coming in, and wow did it ever! I couldn't believe the generosity of some of our friends. We got funds from some very unexpected places, and prayer from all sides. By the time we were ready to leave Dallas, it was pretty much all there. It was really amazing to see how God was there even when I began to doubt and how He provided so much more than I ever had hoped for.
The trip over there was mostly uneventful, unless you count turbulence... there was plenty of that. We arrived in Ekaterinberg on Saturday night with 6 out of 7 pieces of luggage, but Phil's caught up with him by the end of the day Sunday. On Sunday, we got to spend some time with the members of the year-round team that Darin leads, and we also got a brief tour of the city. Every day of the week we went to one of the primary schools or universities in the city to speak with the students. There is a law in Russia that says that you can't try to convert a minor without their parents' permission, so we couldn't really talk much about God while we were in the primary schools. I was unquestionably impressed by the students we met. It seems like the Russian students work so much harder than their American counterparts. They were amazing! These kids knew more about America than most of us did I think!
In the evenings we got down to doing the real work of our mission. Basically our part was to introduce students to the Compas organization. (Compas is the international branch of Campus Crusade -- apparently some parts of the world aren't entirely comfortable with the word "crusade." Go figure!) Four days of the week we broke out into pairs and got to teach English to groups of university students using parables from the Bible. Our group was pretty open and willing to talk about spiritual matters and both Chris and I got a really strong feeling that the Spirit was working on some of these kids. I hope and pray that they will continue to attend the Compas meetings and will eventually make their own life-changing decisions.
Thursday night we got to attend the Compas meeting. It was so incredible to be able to worship together despite the language differences. The team played a video from a Stephen Curtis Chapman concert that Moose and I actually had attended a couple of years ago. The clip played was called "Beyond the Gates"and it is the power story of the Nate Saint and the group of missionaries who were killed in South America and the story of how the family of two of the slaughtered missionaries went back to the tribe who had killed their loved ones and introduced them to the love of Christ. It is a really moving story which has been made into a movie. Check out the site for more info. Anyway, long story short, the story really got to me the first time I saw it, and it got to me again that evening in Russia. Since I'm still not sure what exactly God wants me to take from this particular bit of history, I'm sure it will come up again at some point.
The most difficult part of the trip by far was when we had to say goodbye to our class and our helpers Friday night. I wish I could have spent a month instead of a week there, but all good things must come to an end, so we went our separate ways. I hope that we can go back next year, but even if not, the people we met in Russia will always have a special place in my heart.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Monday, November 01, 2004
- Right now:: Van Halen
- Halloween:: Costume
- Provider:: Insurance
- Rescue me:: Madonna
- Confidence:: I'm Confident of This Very Thing
- Fungus:: Mushrooms
- Candy corn:: Autumn
- Reunion:: Class
- Winner:: Prize
- Tradition:: Fiddler on the Roof
It seems I am very musically minded today... enjoy!
Friday, October 29, 2004
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Monday, October 25, 2004
Friday, October 15, 2004
Ok, so at 1:15 tomorrow (technically today) I'll be meeting my group at the airport. I am really, really, really not looking forward to the plane ride, but the destination is certainly worth it. So, I'm taking a friend's advice and staying up all night the night before in hopes that I'll be tired enough to sleep through at least part of the plane ride. Not that staying up all night is likely to be difficult -- insomnia does have its uses. Mostly I'm just hoping to leave my stress at the ticket line so that I can focus on God's agenda rather than my own petty problems. (Hint: that was a prayer request.) It's pretty cold over there right now, which really shouldn't be too much of a problem for me. I grew up near Philly and the winters there were pretty similiar to the weather Ekat. is experiencing now. Then again, less than a week ago it was eighty degrees here, so I am really not even remotely acclimated. I just hope I packed appropriately. I've been saying that I need a vacation a lot lately, but really I think I need this trip much more than a vacation. Vacations tend to be about me. This will be about God, and hopefully that'll help me keep myself grounded as we head into a very stressful period at work. I'll be sure to post a bunch of pics when I get back though, so come back sometime during the week of the 25th to see 'em. Probably late in the week though. I'm still not sure how my body will react to the jet lag thing, so I may not be doing much beyond the necessities for the first few days after my return. Anyway, I hope that made some sort of sense to someone out there. I'm signing off...
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
But this isn't a message all about doom and gloom. There are alternatives. There are plenty of artists out there with integrity. I just hope all of the parents out there are being diligent in monitoring the messages their kids are hearing.
Thanks to Billy and Nykola for the link.
Friday, October 01, 2004
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Friday, September 24, 2004
Anywho, support raising for my upcoming Russian mission trip is going better than I had expected. We really haven't done any followup yet, just sent out some support letters, but we already have over 3/4 of our funds raised. Our community group is having a garage sale on the 2nd to raise support for us and another member of the group who will also be going to Russia, so prayers for that would of course be appreciated. There are other members of the team who haven't yet been as successful in their funding, so that's another way you could pray for us. There is also some question as to whether or not Moose will have a job to come back to. If anyone is interested in a more in depth prayer list, feel free to email me (hmelton at sbcglobal dot net) or let me know in the comments to this post (don't forget to leave me your email addy!).
Thanks to all who have already helped us out with prayers and with funding!
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Monday, September 06, 2004
Friday, September 03, 2004
Hey, anybody remember the band Creed? They had some really hot songs in the 1999-2000ish time frame. About that time I was working at a CD store in the Philly suburbs, and we played these guys all the time. There was this huge debate about whether or not they were a Christian band. They fervently denied being such, but kept writing lyrics that really felt spiritually inspired (and quoting the Bible at times). Now, I won't say that the above makes them a Christian band, particularly when it's mixed with some rather abrasive language and attitude, but I do say (and did say) that it at the very least shows a soul in search (and on the right track!). Aaanywho, we now get the whole story, from the frontman himself, and I hope my former coworkers are reading it!
Thanks to Bill from The Thinklings for posting about this article!
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Ok, I try as much as possible not to post anything that is only someone else's writing, but this post from "Jen Speaks" really says it all. I dont k'now that I really have anything to add to it. Just go to her site and read it already!!!
Monday, August 30, 2004
Monday, August 23, 2004
- The lessons are based on the parables of Christ. How awesome is that?!?
- The students attending will already know quite a bit of English, so we'll be able to talk to them without the use of a translator.
- There is a group for Campus Crusade that is already stationed over there and will be helping any of the students who maybe want to learn more about "this Jesus thing" do so.
- I mean, come on! It's a missions trip! To Russia!
Ok, in case you can't tell, I'm maybe just a smidgen excited about this. I really believe that God is going to move in a mighty way in Russia, and I am soooo glad to have the privilege to be a part of that. So, if all of you would please pray for myself and my hubby, we would most certainly honored. If you would like to contribute to this endeavor financially, please e-mail me. But mostly just pray, cause as much as I am pumped about this, I know I need to do a ton of preparing for this.
- Olympics:: Sports
- Wicked:: Snow White
- Intoxicating:: Alcoholism
- Radical:: Free-
- Misinformed:: Wrong
- Triplets:: Babies
- Coronation:: Monarch
- Asimov:: Sci-Fi
- Contemporary:: Artist
- 1:: "Singular sensation..."
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Sunday, August 15, 2004
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
1. Sting -- Bee
2. BMW -- person inside can't drive!!!
3. Jeremy -- Camp
4. Audacious -- bold
5. Drag Queen -- Birdcage
6. Title -- Book
7. Stamp -- Mail
8. Bad -- Good
9. Snow White -- Princess
10. Delegate -- Authority
Well, that wasn't so bad... Check back Sunday (or maybe Monday...) for te next one!
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Somehow, while surfing the web this afternoon, I came across possibly the most well-written liberal view of GWB I have ever seen. The article is somewhat long, but really, really, really very good. It shows how a card-toting member of the John-John Fan Club (ok, maybe not) came to the realization that hey, W isn't really that far off the mark after all. I am amazed by Mr. Junod's honesty and sincerity, and commend him on writing such a fine article.
If you haven't already done so, click on the title to this post and read it. Yep, the whole thing. Just trust me. ;-)
Saturday, August 07, 2004
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Saturday, July 31, 2004
I wholeheartedly believe in honoring those who stand among us and exemplify the traits we all should strive toward. To that end, Persons of Note will hopefully become a regular part of this blog. The first PoN award goes to a father and son team who have overcome incredible odds and become an inspiration to all who see them. Take a few minutes to check out their website (click on the title of this post) and see if you don't agree that they are certainly Persons of Note.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
First problem: The idea of Rumspringa is for these young adults to experience what life would be like if they weren't Amish. I think we have proven time and time again that "reality television" has no connection whatsoever to actual reality. This show is influencing the biggest decision these young people may ever have to make by presenting them with a totally false world view.
Second problem: Meet the cast! We have your typical Amish young people -- Jonas, Miriam, Mose, Randy and Ruth, and then we have their "city-dweller" roommates -- Ariel, Kevan, Meagan, Nick, Reese and Whitney. (has anyone else noticed that the Amish are outnumbered?) I don't think I would call these roommates in any way typical or normal. Check out the little bios for these folks. I hope the Amish half of the cast doesn't mistake this group as a representation of average American society.
Then there's the fact that at least one member of the cast has already been baptized. In the Amish tradition, once you're baptized, if you decide to leave you are completely cut off. Your family and friends aren't allowed any contact with you whatsoever. Can you imagine the heartache the guy's poor mother is going through?
I guess I should no longer be surprized by anything the networks have to offer, but come on -- this is awful, even for them!