Posts Tagged ‘faith’

How can we help Haiti?

January 14th, 2010

(re-posted from divinewordlutheran.org… don’t worry.. i wrote/posted that one too)

It’s all over the news. We all feel badly when a tragedy like this hits. But how can we actually provide a helping hand when we can’t even wrap our minds around the devastation? Not everyone can catch the next flight to help out first hand, so the rest of us turn to our pocketbooks… and our prayers.

Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson and the ELCA office have released the following. Please read through and help if you can!

ELCA NEWS SERVICE
January 13, 2010
Presiding Bishop Details ELCA Response to Haiti Earthquake
10-013-JB

CHICAGO (ELCA) — The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is responding to the earthquake in Haiti through the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), wrote the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, in a Jan. 13 letter to members. Hanson, who is also president of the LWF, noted that the ELCA has committed substantial funds to support relief efforts, and encouraged members to share information and provide financial gifts.

The Jan. 12 earthquake caused considerable structural damage around the capital city, Port-au-Prince, and may have killed “more than a hundred thousand people,” Hanson wrote, quoting Haitian officials. Relief agencies’ immediate concerns were for the safety of survivors, plus needs for water, sanitation and communication.
In a brief interview, Hanson told the ELCA News Service that “this is a time for the ELCA to come together as we have so often done in our history.” He said the church has the capacity to respond to human tragedy, and “members are called to bear witness to our faith by responding generously and working with partners” to provide relief.
The presiding bishop asked members to contribute financial gifts to the church’s relief efforts. Members can provide gifts online at ELCA.org/haitiearthquake or call 800-638-3522.
In his written message, Hanson noted that the ELCA already is responding through the LWF’s Haiti Program. “Given the devastation caused by this earthquake, the ELCA has committed an initial $250,000 from ELCA International Disaster Response for Haiti and has authorized an additional $500,000 as congregations respond both to the immediate needs and long-term rebuilding efforts,” he wrote.

Hanson reported that LWF staff in Haiti escaped injury. The LWF is a global communion of 140 member churches in 79 countries, representing over 68.9 million Christians.
“We also give thanks that we have trusted and effective partners on the ground in Haiti who already are at work helping earthquake survivors,” he wrote. “The ELCA is the largest regular supporter of the LWF’s program in Haiti, which helps communities escape the deep poverty in which so many Haitians live. Since staff is already in place, no precious time will be lost in shaping an effective response. The work of providing food and shelter and in helping people to rebuild their lives is under way.”
The ELCA is thankful for partners in the relief effort. Hanson wrote that the LWF staff in Haiti is coordinating the responses of Protestant and Orthodox churches throughout the world through Action by Churches Together (ACT). The ACT Alliance is a global alliance of churches and related agencies working together in disaster response and development. The ELCA is member of the alliance.

The ELCA churchwide organization is also coordinating with the efforts of the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod, which is working to provide disaster support “to and possibly through the emerging Lutheran church in Haiti,” he wrote.

Details of the ELCA’s response and resources for congregations are posted at ELCA.org/disaster on the ELCA Web site. He asked members to share information about “the urgent need in one of the United States’ closest neighbors and the effective means by which their church is responding.”

free advice for the taking..

September 24th, 2009

since this idea was too long to fit in a tweet, i’m posting it as a blog. (novel idea, right?)

so we have all heard a lot about this great healthcare debate.. right? so what’s one more post to over-saturate the subject 🙂

but in all seriousness.. this is a huge issue in our country. the united states is the only developed country that has the issue of people going bankrupt because of medical expenses.. because we are the *only* developed country without universal health care. in 2001, half of all american bankruptcy filings were linked to medical issues (which brought the bankruptcy numbers up 2,300% more than it was just 20 years before). and this isn’t something that’s just effecting the unemployed.. or “those” people in urban areas…. or *enter some other term you use for people that you don’t think are in your close circle of friends here*…. there’s a rising number of suburban poverty and lack of care for our neighbors in the suburbs… even our friends and neighbors that are employed full time are loosing their health insurance. actually, 46 MILLION of our neighbors, friends, family and co-workers were without health insurance in 2007. 46 million. that’s 46,000,000 people. that’s the entire population of spain.

so yea.. we’ve probably heard all this before.. from politicians.. media.. etc. but i’m saying it again. something. must. be. done.

and i think some politicians have been doing a great job of making a strong case for this much needed health care reform. but we’re still getting absolute ridiculous rumors that are being made up and used to scare people. maybe we need to get more personal. sure, it’s easy to read over the numbers and reasons for reform if you think of the problem being for “those people”… and not “our ????????? ???? ????? ? ????? people”… our neighbors, friends, family and co-workers.

so here’s an idea: lets do some research. figure out the people who are so vocally refusing to listen to the health care reform issues… find out who in their life is really suffering because of the current health care system. friends.. family.. heck, even their hair dresser, dog groomer or babysitter. then bring that person with their family to the debate. then have the person opposing health care reform say to their friend’s face

why they don’t support helping them out with a universal health care option.

we need to make this personal

. because it is. ?????? ??????? ???? ????? we need to change things now. because OUR people’s lives depend on it.

*hops off her soap box*

none of us are safe

March 10th, 2008

Originally published at [ every moment ]. You can comment here or there.

when people get together for a common, and good purpose, it makes me happy. this is one of those examples. none of us are safe until all of us are safe.


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a sense of urgency

February 19th, 2008

Originally published at [ every moment ]. You can comment here or there.

first off, before i get into the “meat” of my blog entry, it’s cold. it’s really cold! i spent an extended weekend in corpus christi, tx… where the coldest day was 72 degrees. (and my sister kept saying “it’s chilly today!” and i wanted to hit her. hah!) i took a bunch of pictures (obviously) and i got some of them online already, i’ll add more later. (i would do it now, which is what i usually do.. but then i get distracted by 209847809736567 other things and never finish my blog entry. so i’m going to focus on one thing at a time. hey maybe this herbal “focus formula” really is working. hah!) i’ll make sure to blog a link to the pictures.. or even chose some of my favorites and add them here.

for some of my friends in my “everyday life”, and twitter, you’ve heard me say that i was going down to corpus christi to visit my b-mom and siblings. (wow. you can tell i’ve never had siblings.. since i keep spelling the word “siblings” wrong.. thanks spell check) it was a fun trip. i even met more of my b-family that live down in texas. it was fun having siblings to pick on hang out with. my brothers and my b-mom all assisted in keeping me out too late and losing sleep. it was so much fun, and it was a really great vacation.

but one of the things that i noticed while i was down in texas (ok.. i remember realizing this every time i visited texas… but every time it still shocks me) was the amount of “jesus fish” cars and big mega churches. but then in the same breath.. i notice lots of really BIG cars with only one person in them…. a lack of urgency to recycle, re-using shopping bags, and save gas! at first i was thinking, well, maybe i’m just from a very “weird” area where this is such an important thing… but then i began thinking of comparisons and metaphors. Christians should be the first people to see the urgency of recycling, saving energy and caring for the planet. why? because GOD created this earth and has given us all these beautiful gifts to “take care of” for GOD. so why were there so many “Christians” that would chose to slap GOD in the face and say “no.. we don’t want your creation to remain beautiful…”

while i was driving home today… i thought of an analogy. lets say a mother has a young child. and that young child spent hours creating this beautiful work of art with their own hands… paint… crayons… whatever. and they even signed their name on it. and they were so proud of this beautiful artwork. and they ran up to their mother and with a huge beaming smile, hands this artwork to her….
and she rips it up and throws it away.

that’s what we are doing to our earth. GOD was so proud of this beautiful artwork.. and we continue to “rip it up and throw it away.” we are too busy to separate our recycling. we are too forgetful to remember to bring a shopping bag with us when we go to the store. we want to drive cars that use more gas than they need to (just because they are bigger and faster… even though a smaller car would be fine for just the one or two people that ride in it.. i mean. yes. some people need more room for people or stuff or work etc… but not everyone needs an suv or a truck. i know this may come as a surprise for some people. for example… i can fit my whole drum set and everything else i need in my little car) we leave lights on… we buy “new” stuff even when our “old” stuff still is perfectly useful… etc.

i know i’m not perfect. but i’m really trying to care for the earth. i even brought my little cloth shopping bag into target the other day. the lady at the cash register looked at me crazy when i said “i brought my own bag.” i also have just started switching out all my old light bulbs with energy saving florescent bulbs. i recycle more stuff than i throw in the trash. (really! i have twice as many recycling bins than the garbage. and they fill up much faster) and i tend to not buy things that aren’t in recyclable packaging. i also try to buy most of my food from the locally owned organic food store… so that i’m not buying foods that have used up gas by being shipped across the country.. or the world. and i always try to buy “fair trade” chocolate.. because people really matter too. (just because we are the richest country in the world, doesn’t mean we can step on the hard and honest workers of a “poorer” country.) and it’s really not that hard to make these little steps in the right direction. our world has a long way to go… and we all need to keep encouraging each other to continue making positive changes. because each individual (and their actions) matter in this world…

/me gets off soap box.

sorry. that is just one thing that i am passionate about. GOD provided this beautiful earth and beautiful people to live amongst.. and i want more people to be able to enjoy this beautiful gift that GOD has given us.

and lastly.. i voted today. i didn’t get a sicker. and that makes me sad.


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rockstars…

April 10th, 2007

Originally published at [ every moment ]. You can comment here or there.

i’ve been on a video / youtube posting frenzy lately.. but here’s one more. this one is me and michele playing at church on palm sunday evening. enjoy.

got an extra couple bucks?

April 4th, 2007

Originally published at [ every moment ]. You can comment here or there.

then put it to some good use!

i just found out about this website, kiva.org… which takes donations from people like you and me… and organizes a loan with business owners from all around the world who really need the money. you basically help sponsor a business in another country.

so go help someone out.. k? -)

cold as ice

January 30th, 2007

Originally published at [ every moment ]. You can comment here or there.

that’s a great description of my fingers right now. cold as ice. *brr*

i suppose the combination of my habit of eating ice… and the fact that the ‘garage door’ at my office was opened a couple times today… is probably a good reason why i’m sooo cold right now.

i guess it also doesn’t help that i haven’t been feeling exactly 100% lately. some sort of a) cold or b) bug that is going around is just not leaving me alone. it’s nothing that really prevents me from doing stuff… just prevents me from having a whole lot of energy while doing so.

last night i had a worship team rehearsal/brainstorming time at divine word. it’s times like that when i realize how much i miss playing the drums in a worship setting. i’m excited to start something up… and also excited that i won’t have to keep dragging my drums back and forth.. since there’s a drum set there that i tuned up a bit last night. i’ll make sure to keep everyone updated on when we’ll be playing at church.

ok. that’s really all i got. i gotta go blow my nose again. see ya

being aware

January 16th, 2007

Originally published at [ every moment ]. You can comment here or there.

we were talking at dinner last night about being truly aware of our surroundings. and what it would feel like to live life in a true ‘aware’ state of being. just think of the example of eating… one piece of chocolate. like.. one herseys’ kiss. experiencing and noticing EVERY aspect of that event… the weight of the chocolate… the feel of the tinfoil… unwrapping the tinfoil and listening to the sound it makes… looking at the color of the chocolate… noticing the shape and texture… etc. and that’s just one piece of chocolate! what if we experienced life that way? what would that look like? people would probably think were were a nutcase.. but that’s besides the point. -) we also would be better and more calm drivers… we wouldn’t feel that we ‘wasted’ those precious times with our family and friends… we would notice if someone needs something… we would notice what we were stepping in… we would hear all the ‘music’ that surrounds us every moment of every day… we would be aware of how our actions are effecting those around us.. our earth.. fellow living creatures… nature.. etc.

so speaking of being ‘aware’… there’s a tremendous odor in our break room. it’s bad.

and a completely different topic… i spent my whole lunch hour looking through pictures on nejsum.net… the webpage of the nejsum family in danmark. it was so great to look through those pictures.. and see all the kids growing up… getting older… growing taller.. etc. seeing the family continue to grow… and just seeing the complete joy of family gatherings in the eyes of all in attendance. it reminds me of why i love pictures so much. i love taking them to capture moments (especially when people don’t notice the camera… and just live life like they were normally).. and then being able to look at that picture later.. contemplate the moment.. cherish the moment… sometimes learn from the moment. seeing the moment… taken out of ‘context’… and maybe having a clearer view of that moment…

… so maybe that wasn’t a different topic after all.

life is good

January 8th, 2007

Originally published at [ every moment ]. You can comment here or there.

gosh.. it’s been so long since i’ve blogged a real update on my life.. i’ve almost forgot how to do so. -P

but life is good. i’m happy. i love that feeling of being loved… enjoying the moment (every moment. pun intended)… etc.

this weekend was fun. it was filled with hours of “sit on my butt and work on my webpage” … with some moments of fun sprinkled in there. -) but really.. i do feel much better now that i have a fresh new design on here. and i also noticed something about my website designs… especially my designs here on my blog. they have matched my apartment walls. -P i guess that’s just further proof that my work is really influenced by my surroundings. i always try to have my “work” fit the feeling/atmosphere of it’s “subject”… and my websites are a prime example of that. my homepage feels like my home. -) now maybe i’ll update my blog a little more eh?

but outside of my ‘digital’ world… lots of things have been going on. work has been great. i haven’t been too busy.. which is a nice change from my last job. i don’t feel overwhelmed and mentally exhausted when i get home… so i can still do my freelance work without too much struggle. i like that. -)

friday me and michele went to lunch at my friend’s restaurant, antigua. (which.. btw, if you are in milwaukee, you HAVE to go there. it really is an awesome place with awesome food.) and after work, we headed out for some live jazz. my drum teacher, kim zick, was playing… so i got some extra lessons in there -P
w00t! jazz!

saturday, after a long day of me sitting on my butt working on my webpage.. we went out for drinks and just a little dancing.
at m'onas

at m'onas
saturday night was filled with fun. i even ran into a friend that i hadn’t seen in a while… and got to hear about some awesome news first hand! -) it just makes me so happy when i see friends in love… true love. -D

then this morning we went to divine word lutheran… gosh i love that place. i’m excited to get ‘plugged in’ to that community. everyone has such a true heart… which unfortunately is so rare now-a-days.

then we went to brunch/lunch at heinemann’s
breakfast of champions...

me

JAZZ HANDS!

and that pretty much brings us up to right now. i was going to start working on a re-design for metafourjazz.com.. but i think my head hurts too much to start a new project.

but life is good. end of story -)

waiting our turn…

November 8th, 2006

i could post on how certain election results made me sick to my stomach.

i could echo the concerns and disgust of several other bloggers (but they’ve said things well enough the first time… so i’ll just encourage you to read their words directly.)

i could move to a place where “the people” push for progress instead of disaster.

i could continue to be sad / depressed / angry / mad about the well-being of our state.

but instead i will pray. i will pray for the thousands of people who are hurt by so-called “Christians” and their actions. when i first read about this amendment being a “political trick” to get conservative voters to the polls to help out the republican party… i couldn’t believe the absolute evil intentions of pushing people around. and i truly didn’t think that so many people would just *not* see this ploy. i don’t understand how politics can be so dirty, yet “we the people” still accept that and continue to buy into it. if i used these same ‘tactics’ for dealing with my friends… i would die a very lonely person. but whatever… that’s just how politics are here in this beautiful country of ours. and i really can’t complain.. because i really don’t have a solution to offer. *shrugs*

i am upset about the way my fellow wisconsinites voted. yes. but i must say that i’m overwhelmed with how good my friends are. i’ve gotten several messages asking how i was doing or expressing their concern about the results. and actually.. it was truly a “hug from God” when i was driving home from senator plale’s election party… right outside the uwm campus there was a group of students holding “vote no” signs and posters… yelling… chanting… etc. and one of them held a sign that said “honk if you voted NO.” i honked. they cheered. it made me smile.

my generation is starting to get fired up about the way this country is run… and being frustrated is only going to push us forward to change.

we just have a little bit longer way to go now.

[view this post on everymoment.org]