Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Working Poor

If you'll remember (see this post if not), I agreed to do a bit of reading as a part of my Lenten discipline. Although keeping up with the beans and rice has not been quite as easy as we'd thought, I did complete both of the books I wanted to read.

This week Birmingham-Southern is hosting the author, David Shipler, of one of the books I read, The Working Poor.

If you are looking for a good text on poverty as it exists in America, this is a good one. Basically Shipler tells the stories of many Americans living at or below the poverty lines. They are Americans that are working just as hard (if not harder) than the rest of us and struggle to get by each and every day. He takes a wholistic approach to the problems of the working poor. For instance, if a single parent has a sick child he or she might have to take a day off of work to care for that child. That day off means a day less of pay...and what if they child doesn't get well? And not only that, he points out that often the child is sick because of poor living conditions like mold or bugs. This is just one example of the many stories Shipler shares in the text.

After hearing Shipler share his stories on campus this week, I am even more moved to share this text with others. It is powerful and will give you a good perspective on what it means to be a part of the working poor in our country.

So...go get this book!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

5 Years Ago

Here is a little flashback to the last time the Baylor Lady Bears made it to the Final Four. I only wish I had the money to fly to San Antonio and cheer them on again...5 years later!

(Tamara and I drove all day to make it to the Championship game in Indy...and we wore our matching I heart BU shirts)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sweet 16!!

I have always been a tried and true Baylor basketball fan (not one of those fair weather types). I've been there through thick and thin (along with you Mel). I remember attending slam dunk contests to raise some hype for our men's team during the year in which they were suspended from everything except conference play. I remember cheering on the Baylor bears in many close games (and some not so close) at the beloved Ferrell Center in Waco. And more than that, I remember making a little trek up to Indianapolis during the year in which our Lady Bears won the National Championship!!! (and I may or may not still have a framed newspaper to comemorate the momentous occassion)

All that to say, I love me some Baylor bball. And this year we have finally proven what all the hype is about! I am proud to say that BOTH Baylor men's bball and the Baylor Lady Bears are headed to the Sweet 16!!

Sic 'Em Bears!!!!! Tonight I think I'll grab a Dr. Pepper and slip into my Baylor Basketball shorts and BU t-shirt to cheer on my favorite team. (if only I had the money to fly to Houston and buy tickets...I'd be there in a heartbeat if I could....)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

San Francisco

What a great city! Last week the weather was beautiful....I stayed outside as much as possible (and maybe brought back some rosy cheecks). Together with 27 other folks from the college we worked serving meals with Glide which is both a United Methodist congregation and one of the largest foundations offering services to the homeless and poor of San Francisco.

They work around the principles of radical inclusivity, meaning they welcome everyone and truly value the differences, unconditional love, healing, and recovery. It is truly a beautiful place to celebrate and worship. If you ever go to San Fran, give them a visit (corner of Taylor and Ellis just in case).

Other highlights include: (but are not limited to)
Making lots of new friends, Tofu options in every restaurant (I know, I know this probably doesn't excite you...), Beautiful parks and places to run (and lots of friendly, well behaved dogs), Biking across the bridge, some quality ice cream, exploring the coast, visiting with Alexis!, a trip to Castro (and the Human Dignity Store), lots of time spent laying in the grass....

(although I enjoyed the week, I am very happy to be reunited with Matt and the Mags)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Blog Slacker

I've been in San Francisco for the past week with the Alternate Spring Break crew from BSC. Sorry to have been such a blog slacker but really the sunshine was WAY more important than spending time in front of a computer screen. I have lots more to report from the trip, however, I have little energy to do so now. Instead I will provide a little teaser of the gorgeous weather (and if you really squint, view of the Golden Gate Bridge)....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

To My Wife

You're in San Francisco and I miss you. This made me think of you:

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Cove

After the Oscars Sunday night Matt decided we should check out this award winning documentary. If you haven't seen it, I definitely recommend it.

The Cove reveals the practices of a small village in Japan (Taiji to be exact) as they work in the dolphin industry to create revinue. I won't give away too many details but it's fair to say that I had NO idea that this kind of slaughter/exploitation of dolphins was going on in the world. I mean, honestly, I'd never really even thought about where the Sea Worlds and large aquariums of the world get their dolphins. Now I surely will.

For the little girl that wanted to be a marine biologist ages ago (it's true, you can ask my sister about the mean stunts I used to make her pull so that I could pretend to be training whales or dolphins), this was an eye-opening documentary.

Now it for yourself....and let's save the dolphins! (if that's not cheesy, I don't know what is...)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

One Year Ago

Matt proposed to me on the Plaza Mayor in Madrid (yes, right in front of that fantastic flying cow).

See...isn't that fantastic? I'm still on the hunt for a mini version....

It was a glorious day. I was caught COMPLETELY by surprise. I mean, I had NO idea. He still deserves some serious credit for keeping that big of a secret from me all the way across an ocean. (and hiding a ring in our teeny tiny hostel room) Love you boo.

I also remember coming home to this fantastic welcome (several days later) from my dear friend and roommate Jillian:

She deserves a special shout out because today is also her birthday. We love (and miss) you dearly!

It's amazing how much things can change in only one year....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Manna and Mercy

So I'm slow in blogging about this but last weekend my sister and I attended a retreat dedicated to looking at the Bible through the lenses of Manna and Mercy. The tag line on the book reads, "A Brief History of God's Unfolding Promise to Mend the Entire Universe." The book is a wonderful tool that considers the biblical text through eyes of inclusiveness, acceptance, social justice and God's love. (and on top of that, it has great little cartoon pictures that are just begging for someone to color them in....)

South African pastor Rev. Alan Storey created the idea of this retreat weekend using Daniel Erlander's text (see above). The idea is to help everyday folks see Scripture as liberating and life-enabling, to work against the ways in which biblical texts have been used to justify domination, death and war in the past.

If you are interested, you can order the book on Amazon and give it a read for yourself. There will also be more retreats in the future, but the only ones I know of are in the Ham.

Monday, March 8, 2010

One Week.

That's how long it's been since I've posted. Oops. Life has been a little bit hectic. I was gone to a conference at the University of Georgia during the second half of the week and on top of that we were working on Round 2 of buying a house. I am happy to report that this round has gone much better than the last.

We are currently pseudo homeowners.....details to come later. after we close.

Monday, March 1, 2010

House. Fail.

Round 1 of the house hunt did not end well. We ended up jumping ship because a certain seller did not want to come down on her price (ahem, doesn't she know what kind of market she is trying to sell her house in?? the favor lies with us, the buyer. someone should tell her).

Anyway, the good news is that we are hoping for a Round 2 in the near future. We'll keep you posted.