Monday, June 25, 2012

Mash Ups

Saturday, I got to try some yummy cookies that my brother's girlfriend brought to the house. Boy were they good!

They were an interesting recipe -- oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies. A mashup.

I have also seen a picture of a pie stuffed cake recently. Three types of pie each cooked into a layer of cake. Not sure what to think of that one. Might be good. Might be sickening.

This mash-up craze didn't start with food. It started somewhere in medialand -- whether with books, photos or movies, I don't know and I am not going to research it. But it seems to be permeating more and more of our culture.

I wonder what lead us into this mash up phase. Why are we combining things in this way? Are we bored with what was, but not wanting to create new things, are putting old things together in new ways?

I don't know. It's an interesting thing to observe. I wonder what part of our lives it will migrate to next.

Have a blessed day!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ancient Prayer from Ireland

From time to time, I share an ancient prayer that resonates with me. I found this one, which is from Ireland, the home of some of my ancestors. May it bring you blessing.

Dear Lord,
Give me a few friends
who will love me for what I am,
and keep ever burning
before my vagrant steps
the kindly light of hope...
And though I come not within sight
of the castle of my dreams,
teach me to be thankful for life,
and for time's olden memories
that are good and sweet.
And may the evening's twilight
find me gentle still.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lead in Garden Hoses, Who Knew?

This is a re-post. I am working on my garden, turning on the hose today, and thought of this. So here it is again.

I have been working on my yard and garden. As I was looking into things, I read that typical garden hoses leach lead and are, therefor unsafe to drink from. Or water vegetables with.

Well, I've never planned on drinking from my garden hose, though I suppose my son and his friends might. But I don't want to be adding lead to my garden. I had simply never thought of this.

I checked out some hoses. Most warned people not to drink from them because "all hoses are likely to have come in contact with pesticides" and "germs may have grown in the hose." OK.

None of the packages said that the hoses contained lead. But look a little closer. Several packages said "Not labeled for sale in California." Really? Why not? California has stricter rules about the disclosure of lead and other toxins than most states.

There were two hoses -- one for organic gardening and one for marine used -- marked "lead-free" and "drinking water safe". I bought one of those. Not the cheapest but not the most expensive either.

I wonder, though, why hoses don't have to be marked that they contain lead. It would seem a no-brainer to keep extra lead away from plants being grown for food.

For more information, try these links.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Paper from ...Poop

You can make paper from elephant dung.

That's just a random thing I learned yesterday. It's pretty good paper, too. I have a piece of it.

Apparently, it's good all around. Instead of killing elephants, former poachers are earning a decent living making paper. Instead of getting shot for their tusks, elephants are being fed and protected. Trees are being saved. Read more about here: Elephant Dung Paper. Pretty amazing, really. did anyone think of this. I mean really, paper from manure? Who thinks this way?

Well, somebody did and something ordinary... something disgusting in fact.... became something useful. Even beautiful.

I see the marks of  God's intervention here. After all, he can direct thought, or maybe it's just that He wired the right person's brain the right way.

When have you seen Him at work?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Seeking Wisdom and Knowledge


When I was a kid, we used to put that on the back of envelopes. Then it meant "sealed with a kiss." Perhaps young girls still do that. My son emphatically does not.

Be that as it may, S.W.A.K can also stand for "Seeking Wisdom and Knowledge." That is something worth putting time into. Studying, reflecting, discussing.

I found a few quotes about it:

The doors of wisdom are never shut. ~Benjamin Franklin
Science investigates religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power religion gives man wisdom which is control. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. ~Thomas Jefferson
The doors of wisdom are never shut. ~Benjamin Franklin
Wisdom I know is social. She seeks her fellows. ~Thomas Jefferson
This last one says something to me. I think we find wisdom as we study together, pointing out new views to each other, struggling with ideas, thinking our thoughts aloud. That's why I love study and discussion groups, especially ones that go deep into profitable topics.
The Bible has a few things to say about wisdom and knowledge:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
                                                                                                 ~ Proverbs 1:7
 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:2
My friend Dan Ledwith tweeted about that verse yesterday: 
If the knowledge we amass be it ever so great, if it does not result in a life of love, as Paul says, you have nothing, you gain nothing.
So we begin by knowing God and we strive to use our wisdom and knowledge to live a life of life. That is what Christ calls us, too.
Have a blessed day!
Thanks to Brainy Quote for the quotes.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Want Your Kids to Astound You?

I took an informal survey about why teens should go to the Conference I work with.  One of the responses, from an alumnus' dad was:

You will amaze/astound/ baffle/confuse/impress/etc. your parents.

He went on to say:

I will always remember the "deer in the headlights" look of the "little boy" we dropped off at CYC, compared to the confident, competent, joy filled young man who greeted us just one week later at banquet. Each subsequent year brought a new milestone, a new goal, a new acheivement, a new understanding, and a faith and compassion that has remained evident, and constant over the years and the miles.
I know the young man, and he really has made his parents proud. I hope CYC played a part in that. It is what we pray for.

Camp can be a real confidence builder. Our camp is just for teens, so we do encourage goals. We want kids to step outside their comfort zones and stretch their faith. We also try to provide a community they can lean on going forward and to lead them to a deeper relationship with God.

If you are on the fence about sending your kid to camp, I encourage you to go for it. The experience can lead to significant growth. I'd love to think that everyone would go to CYC, but if that isn't appropriate for  your child's age or your location, look into one near you.

Check it out. Make sure it is well run and safe, but do it!  I doubt you'll regret it.

Have a blessed day!

CYC (Christian Youth Conference at Ocean Park) is a two week leadership development program for high school students. It meets August 5-19 on the beautiful southern coast of Maine and is open to all teens ages 14 and up who have completed at least eighth grade.