Sunday, September 24, 2006

What a Night. . .

Thank you to everyone who joined us this weekend at Brewed Awakening's and Lemstone Christian Store in Cedar Rapids.
Thank you Heather and the Marsceau family who lent us their atmosphere and great taste.

A special thanks to my incredible mother who always makes me look good! Mmmm Chocolate
A special thanks to Jennifer Ruish
author of Faith and the City for making Saturday delightfully memorable. Nate and I were both thrilled to see old friends and make such a charming new one in Jennifer.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

You're Invited. . .All Welcome

Friends & Family Book Signing

Friday 7-9pm
September 22, 2006
Brewed Awakenings
1271 1st Ave Se

Book Signing w/ Jennifer Ruisch
Saturday 10am-2pm
September 23, 2006
Lemstone Christian Store
1426 Twixt Town Rd,
Marion, IA 52302

Jennifer Ruisch is a freelance writer in Des Moines, Iowa. Before working as a writer, she worked as a crisis counselor for at-risk youth in Chicago. She married her childhood sweetheart in May 2005.

Faith and the City is a personal narrative of being a directionless college grad trying to make it in the big city. The story itself chronicles the author’s struggle to reenter the land of the living and figure out how she fit into the picture with people from every religion and background imaginable. A question that keeps popping up is, “Are all the small interactions and events in our lives arbitrary, or is it actually all a part of a divine plan?”

Monday, September 11, 2006

In our own special way. . .

I have an understanding with Sept. 11th. Every year I turn off the TV, radio, any type of media and I remember the day, and all those whose lives were altered, in my own private way. Today is always a difficult personal anniversary for me, and so I was especially moved when I received a note from my publisher that they had chosen something from my little bit of literature for their daily inspirational e-mail that goes out to 6,800 voluntary subscribers. That's what it's all about right-simply sharing our pain for other's encouragement and God's glory. Suddenly today doesn't seem so lonely.

promises. everyday. Zondervan® Daily Inspiration

"God never claimed that his children would not face evil or death. In fact, this chapter [Psalm 23] almost verifies their inevitability. But death is tucked between two great promises. The Psalm begins with God's gentleness to nurture and discipline, promised in the first few verses. That's followed by testament to his unwavering presence and guiding strength in times of great pain. But the final words remind us that in the end, our cup will again overflow with goodness. "Post a Comment...
From Pieces of Glass: A Moment of Tragedy, a Lifetime of Faith
by Sarah Kay

from zondervan. everyday.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Price of Life?

After living through multiple coup attempts my husband Nate is too accustomed to hearing bad news from home. But with a father and a brother still on the ground in the capital we’re especially uneasy when Chad, his country of origin, makes national news here in the states.
Personally though, I was stunned to hear the following piece on Monday's NPR program:

Day to Day, September 4, 2006 · Explorer Mike Fay reports a staggering loss: During a survey of Chad while on assignment for the National Geographic Society, he stumbled on at least 100 dead elephants near an elephant preserve, killed for their ivory tusks. Their huge, bloated bodies were left behind for predators and vultures.
"You can see very clearly the trunks are sliced off the heads and the tusks are chopped out, [and] big pools of blood," Fay says. "There is no doubt about it, these boys are being poached."
The areas where elephants can be protected are getting smaller, he says. "Thirty years ago, there was a Texas-sized area that had about 300,000 elephants -- but over the past three decades, poachers have killed almost all the elephants."
Fay believes part of the problem is the unrest in neighboring Sudan. Roving bands of horsemen cross the border from the troubled Darfur region to poach elephants.
"The only way to keep this park protected is to up the guard force and get organized outside the national park, where the elephants go in the wet season," Fay says.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think Ivory poaching is detestable and I’m always concerned about preserving the earth’s resources, but this article seemed like some sick joke. For any of you who do follow the news you may be aware of the ongoing human rights crisis going on in the Darfur region of Sudan. You may also be aware that Darfur and Chad share a border and many of the same regional problems due to pandemic violence. But in the interest of objectivity here is what World Vision has to say about this part of the globe.

“As many as 10,000 people have died monthly since the conflict began in Darfur, Sudan, mainly due to pervasive – and preventable – disease and hunger. Brutal ethnic conflict has driven over 2 million people into homelessness, their huts and villages pillaged, burned, and destroyed.Victims end up living in ramshackle huts in numerous camps along the edge of the Sahara. Displaced families have meager access to food, water, clothing, and shelter.Health care is also extremely limited. And killings and sexual assaults are rampant.Families barely survive, living in conditions that World Vision has rarely seen in its many years of serving the needy. The lives of thousands of children are threatened, their fathers, homes, and communities lost. They face a bleak future.”

Although its obvious that life is worth precious little in these parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, it saddens me that the slaughter of a hundred elephants was deemed more unfortunate and news-worthy than the lives of hundreds of thousands of Southern Sudanese and Chadians. Ivory more precious than life? I thought that was a part of our history, especially from such an “enlightened” source.


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