Monday, November 19, 2007

Helping Those Who Cannot Help Themselves

Christian Church of Jasper just concluded a fundraising effort to help build an orphanage in Haiti. The 99 Days Project began August 12 and ended November 18. (You can read more about the project at CCJ's website and blog--both linked in this post--and also, in the November 17 issue of The Herald. During that time, groups and individuals within CCJ came up with creative ways to raise money to contribute to the project. At the celebration service yesterday the total neared $40,000.00! Associate Pastor, Mark Messmore, put together a touching video closing the project. Go here and watch the video at the "99 Days Closing..." post.

What do you want your world to be?

World ~ Five For Fighting

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day 11/11/07

by John Fischer

To those who fought and never came back
And those who came back broken
To those who wondered why
And those who never questioned

No one asked them what they thought
Of policies and platforms
They only did what they had to do
And thanks was long in coming

On a day we honor the dead and the living
Who know the real cost of war
And those still trapped inside their heads
Who can't get outside the door

Who can know the awful truth
Of what they must have seen?
And who has lived to tell it
Yet know they never will

Reasons that the journalists
And politicians won
Will never be the same as those
On this side of a gun

So on this day we lay aside
Our arguments and advice
And thank the Lord for those who gave
The ultimate sacrifice

John Fischer’s "Catch of the Day" 11/12/07

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Song Remembers When*

Music is my escape. The song really does remember when, and it takes me right back to the moment. Always has. I don't just hear the tune. I feel everything. The music, the words, the emotion, the joy, the pain. Reminds me of another Mary Chapin Carpenter song:

It's the first time that you held my hand
It's the smell and the taste and the fear and the thrill
It's everything I understand
And all the things I never will

~ Where Time Stands Still

Music just takes me right back there. That's always been a good thing for me until recently. So much of my favorite music I still can't listen to right now. I feel it too much.

So many songs, but even many artists. Their voices.

Even Chris Tomlin. I can't hear his voice without choking up. It's ridiculous I know. I've tried to force myself, but I just can't. Played a CT video on my computer one day and got all messed up for the rest of the day. Forced myself to watch and listen thinking I'd just get it all out. It's never gonna be all out. Had a chance to see him live, but I can't do it. Thought I could. Thought time might get me to a place where I could. I put on the CD at home and try to force myself to get past it, but I can't. I need my music escape back.

The songs, the voices, the overwhelming all remembers all too well when. There's that stain on everyone of my good days.**

I've got to go through all of my CDs and find something that has no ties. I've got them, I've just got to dig them up.

*The Song Remembers When, Trisha Yearwood
**Disease, Matchbox Twenty

Ciao, Baby

What if we went to Italy
A suitcase of books and one bag a piece
for the summer
I don't speak a word of Italian
except for Campari and soda for two
How much is a lire
Yes, a villa will do
and a breeze
in Tuscany, please

What if we never got back on the plane
as summer turned colder then warmer again
losing all track of the passing of years
until it no longer mattered how long we'd been here

What if we went to Italy
maybe next year, just you and me
for the summer
I still can't speak any Italian
But words are replaced under Siennese skies
by nothing so much as a nod and a sigh
and a wish
to be always like this

~ Mary Chapin Carpenter

I've got a thing for Italy. Some of you knew that. Someday I will go and, as I've said before, I may not come back. Think "Under the Tuscan Sun."

Check out the book, In Tuscany, by Frances Mayes. [sigh] I have literally checked it out of the library a blue zillion times. It takes me to such a good place inside myself. Well, it used to. I haven't looked at it in the past year, I don't think. It might just cause emotional commotion like so many other things do these days. We'll see. It was my dream first. I need to take it back.

Friday, November 09, 2007

FREAKIN' WEIRD!!! (I've said that way too much lately)

I spent too much time I-surfing the last couple of days, beginning with trying to solve a keyboard problem and ending up with posting photos on a blog. Everything from music, photography, southern Indiana, Evansville, the STEELERS, and all kinds of stuff in between working.

So, today I was looking at a guy's blog at Yahoo 360 where he has all kinds of cool Pittsburgh Steelers stuff. I wanted to use some of his pictures,some hosted at 360 or flickr and some not, so I started thinking about how to do that legally, ethically, and whatever, and since I am not all that techno-savvy, I wondered if I even would be able to do it myself. So I went to Yahoo 360 and started surfing around. Got all kinds of photo sharing stuff, some within 360 some just from out there on the www. That's where the weirdness takes off on a wild ride; well, for me anyway.

Somewhere in the pictures and photography searches and stuff, one of the links for random photographers caught my eye. I had looked at a couple of other photography sites (even some great pictures of Italy!) and this one looked cool. I do not know why. So, it was lunch time and I just decided to continue to browse through his photo albums of all his different stuff. The miscellaneous pictures were cool and so I went through all the different subjects, down to the wedding ones. Clicking through the unique pictures capturing a bride and groom's special day, someone familiar caught my eye...."Hmmmm, I think I know her." Went to the next couple of pictures. Yep, I knew her and I recognized some others in the next couple of photos. I had been at that wedding. I didn't really know the bride, but had gone with a guy who was her cousin. (Yep to those in-the-know, that bagpipe wedding) But the freakin' weirdest thing of all was the next photo was a clever little shot of the opened guest book...with my name on it! Right there third from the bottom.

I have never seen pictures from this wedding. I had no idea they were anywhere online. It's been a little over a year ago! Except for the two of us, no one else around here was even there. It wasn't in this town or even in this state.

You can stop here, I mean, what a coincidence, right?! Or maybe it just is for me.

But the whole WHY part is even more personally intense. I didn't sign the book myself, but the guy I was with did and he put my name right there with his. WHY???! Add it to the list of why did any of that whole relationship even happen. The one that's been driving me crazy for the past year! And why did I randomly stumble upon this? And why today? One of those a-year-ago-today anniversary things that I'm trying to get past. Is it a punishment of sorts, and if so, for what? And am I suppose to be learning anything from it?

Why, oh, why, oh why? Yeah, I know. I stole that line from whiny ol' Eeyore.

Well, the shot of that guestbook page stopped me in my tracks, ripped out my heart, punched me in the gut, and--I will continue to be honest--made me say "Dear God, why?" He didn't answer. I really want to know why He's allowing these random memories and coincidences to stay so close. He's surely saying SOMETHING to me because he is not a mean, "Haha, this'll be funny" kind of guy, I don't think.

Just brings me back to thinking that there HAS to be closure in order to end this emotional fiasco. Coincidental reminders to clean up the darn mess. The sermon at CCJ last week about making nice (the title of Being A Good Citizen didn't quite sum it up, but, whatever) and this week's about Harmony and Wed night's lesson about serving and making nice with those who hurt you. AGGGHHHHH! I want to, I've been trying!

Maybe no one but me really gets the whole complete weirdness of all of this. And I could never explain it all to anyone else, so I won't try any further. It's just weird. Trust me. Freakin' weird.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Steeler Nation

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 9/19/2007

Hoosier favorite team?

INDIANAPOLIS -- There's a wide slice of Steeler Nation in Indianapolis, Ind., smack dab in the heart of Peyton Manning and Colts country. That team's success over the past several seasons has done little to sway the loyalties of the black and gold allegiance. And you might be surprised to learn there are a number of fans who cheer on the Steelers each week here who have no ties to Pittsburgh whatsoever.

Each week, Steelers fans gather at the Nickel Plate Bar and Grill, just outside Indianapolis in Fishers, Ind. Among these are Amy Burchfield, a 35-year-old native of Toronto, Ohio, and Jason Zanjeski, 33, originally from Weirton, W.Va. They now live in nearby Noblesville, Ind. The two...plan to marry Nov. 10 in Weirton. Each has a personalized Steeler jersey with his and her future last name on the back. Jason wears No. 11 and Amy No. 10 to acknowledge their upcoming wedding date... Part of their wedding celebration includes tickets to the Browns game at Heinz Field (November 11).

Now that’s what I call a honeymoon!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Matt's Thought for 11/4 Week

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.

~ Mark Twain

Stark-raving. Good one, Matt (and Mark). I don't agree completely, but as far as madness goes, yeah, it's just no wonder.

Enough Said

I've had so much to blog this week, I just decided to skip it all. It's emotionally exhausting. Who really wants to hear it anyway? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Maybe later, just for me.

Matt does have a good thought for next week, so I'll share that next.