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Monday, July 18, 2011

We have been exploring some of our creativity this year.... Brandon has been busy doing some woodworking, and I have tried (and failed a ton) my hand at sewing... but we thought we'd lighten the mood on the blog and share some of our latest creations.


Embroidery Hoop Art (engagement gift for our friend Kim).

Up-cycled Yogurt Containers... for our baby herb garden (sadly it is now dead, R.I.P herbs).

Len Strap Cover  (made from scraps of fabric).

Owl Mobile (a gift for the littlest YWAMer here, Eisley).  Her mom has a really sweet blog, called Dear Eisley, you should check it out.

Ruffle Butt Onesie (again for little Eisley).

"Sunshine" made out of scrap wood.  Originally this was made for Shiloh's non-existent bedroom... but its too awesome not to hang it up on our walls until we move and have a 2 bedroom place, then maybe we'll think about giving it back to her... :)

Over The Sink Shelf, for displaying our dishes and coffee mugs.

Paper Bird Painting.

Bathroom Window Curtain.  So the avocados out back don't get a show.  ;)

Brandon has a ton more handiwork, but we just didn't have any photos on hand of them.  He's made some beautiful picture frames... really nice.  And then some pretty amazing wine bottle holders.  They are magical.  Really, they are.  We'll have to get some good photos of them soon and then devote a whole post to the magic.   ;)


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Friday, July 15, 2011

I Have A Daughter


She is blurry in real life.  I guess 1 year olds never stop moving.

I was spending time praying the other night... and had a creative moment.  I wrote this poem (no, it doesn't rhyme), the inspiration came from what I wrote about in the last post.



I have a daughter.

She plays gently.
She squeals and giggles.
I have a daughter.
She is loved.

She will sometimes wear pink.
Sometimes she'll have ribbons in her hair.
Maybe she'll play dress-up.
And have imaginary tea parties.
She'll learn about Jesus.
And what is means to love.

She will sometimes not match.
Sometimes she'll have dirt under her nails.
Maybe she'll play a sport.
And have bruises and cuts.
She'll learn about life.
And what is means to work hard.

One day she might marry.
She'll trade her last name for a new one.
One day she might leave me.
And have babies of her own.
She will always be my daughter.
She will always be loved.

She is beautiful.
She is precious.
She is intelligent.
She is strong.
She is loved.
She is.

If she had been born into another family,
on the other side of the world...
would she be seen differently?

I have a daughter.
And she is loved.



Here is another quote from the book, Nurturing the Nations, by Darrow Miller:

"An Indian proverb says, "Bringing up a daughter is like watering a plant in another's courtyard."" (pg.56)

"In some Islamic countries, the community commonly celebrates when a baby boy is born.  The birth of a baby girl, however, prompts mourning and tears." (pg.60)

As a woman, it makes me hurt deeply.  Having a beautiful daughter, I hurt even more deeply.  My prayer is that God would open my eyes to see women how He sees them... and perhaps He would use me to share that message with others...





(I'd like to just take a minute to say that although the quotations from the book, Nurturing the Nations, come from reliable sources, research, personal testimonies, and other books... I am in no way making judgements to condemn anyone.  Just because there is a trend found in a country does not mean that say, my neighbor and friend who is from that country associates with these beliefs or behaviors.)

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Monday, July 11, 2011

A Raw Look At Women {inspired by the book, Nurturing the Nations}

***Disclaimer:  Some of the content is graphic.

I have been reading this book:


Nurturing the Nations:  Reclaiming the Dignity and Divine Role of Women in Building Healthy Cultures,  by Darrow L. Miller with Stan Guthrie.

Great book.  I am only half way into it.  Did I mention that its a great book?

Its a tough book.  Not tough as in "too many big words".  But tough as in "extremely honest and raw".

Here is a quote from the book,

"The female child is often unwanted before birth and aborted.  If she survives her mother's womb, she faces neglect and malnourishment.  Frequently denied an education and health care, she often becomes a child laborer.  She may be molested, raped, sold into prostitution, or married at an unconscionably young age.  Malnourishment is common, even while she is pregnant.  Overworked and under-appreciated, she may be beaten or humiliated by her husband or other men, even to the point of murder.  If not, she could be abandoned as a widow, forced to scratch out a living on the outskirts of society, with no family or social safety net to provide for her." (pg. 20)

And another,

"Rape is often used as a weapon of war, particularly in situations of ethnic cleansing.  Many of the wars in sub-Saharan Africa are marked by wanton rape of girls and young women.  This not only terrorizes the population into submission, but it is a means to ethnically "cleanse" a tribe by producing a generation of babies from the dominating group.  While rape as an act of war has happened throughout history, in recent years it has been documented in seven countries, not all of them African."  (pg. 22)

Raw.

Its a great book.  I recommend it.  Twice over recommend it.

I teach on Ethics here, where I cover topics such as abortion, population control, and misogyny... so this book is full of insight and factual information regarding those topics.

These things happen.  Are happening.  I've seen some.  Friends I know have witnessed some.  I am not sure how I could even begin to be part of an answer.... but reading and learning is a good place for me to start.

"So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him;  male and female He created them."  ~Genesis 1:27


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Friday, July 8, 2011

Imago Dei {post by Brandon}

I was recently watching a video on the devolution of human dignity by Vishal Mangalwadi, a Christian speaker and author from India (you can watch the video here). This video began to spark my thoughts. In this teaching, Vishal talks about the West's understanding of human dignity and how through understanding God, men began to realize the value of a human life. This idea comes from the book of Genesis, in which man is created in the image of God.

Early thinkers in the West began to realize that since God is free and is not bound by circumstances or our logic, therefore man is free since we are created in His image. These men and women no longer looked at their surroundings with a fatalistic mindset (this is the way it is supposed to be), but rather sought to bring change to the pain and suffering they saw around them.

If you look at eastern religions, you'll notice that they see suffering and pain as a part of life. Buddhism declares that this pain and suffering is an illusion, and followers attempt to achieve "Nirvana" to escape this. Hindus seek to appease the gods that bring this suffering with countless sacrifices. This suffering is part of the "reality" of their world.

However, through the Christian perspective, we see a God who created man and woman with the intention of being with them. Before the fall, the first mandate God gave mankind was to "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." Gods purpose for man was to be fruitful. Multiply. Fill the earth. Subdue (bring under control) it. To have dominion (sovereignty/jurisdiction) over the animals. But when sin entered the world, the consequences of sin followed it and with it was pain and suffering. What followed was death.

So do we hold on, put on our seat belts and wait until we die? Do we just "cope" with the brokenness of the fall and our day to day lives? Scripture says "For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven." Lets not forget that while Christ died for our individual sins, He also died for the sins of the world. From past to present to future, the effect of sin on the world has been broken. Death lost, God won. And in my book, that means that the original mandate given by God in Genesis has not been taken back. Never in scripture does it indicate that our purpose as mankind has been switched. I believe Jesus came to restore the original command given in Genesis, and that means we have a lot of responsibility.

We are stewards of everything we see around us! "The earth is the Lords, and the fullness thereof." There is no sacred, no secular. So I ask... what in your vocation/family/community/city/state/nation needs to be reconciled back to God? And what can you do to bring change? God sent His spirit to empower us with His authority. He is here on earth now like He was in Genesis. What is God saying to you?