Vote November 4th!

October 31, 2008

In light of the Presidential election coming up on Tuesday, I had to share this video that a friend sent me today. I have seen more eagerness and passion to vote this election than ever before. I stood in line at the Registrar of Voters office this week for 2 hours to vote…amazing. I’m so glad people are exercising their freedom to vote. Hope this makes you smile! And don’t forget to vote!! 🙂


Obama/McCain interviews

October 16, 2008

I’m not a fan of Howard Stern but you MUST listen to the interviews that his staff conducted in Harlem about the Presidential Election. This is sad no matter who you intend to vote for. Thanks to my co-worker, Tara, for sharing!

A Little Perspective

October 13, 2008

My friend, Sherry, sent this to me last week and honestly, I sarcastically thought to myself, “Great, another forward!” I ended up reading it and was surprised, a.) I hadn’t read it already, and b.) I actually thought it was pretty good.  So I thought I’d share it with you and hope it gives you a little perspective…in our busy world with all of us moving at hectic paces, you never know what kind of impact you may have on someone if you just stop to help them.

A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago. They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night’s dinner. In their rush to make their return flight with tickets and briefcases in hand, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding.ALL BUT ONE! He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings, and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned.
He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye and told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor.

He was glad he did.

The 16-year-old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her, no one stopping and no one to care for her plight.The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket.
When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, ‘Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?’ She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, ‘I hope we didn’t spoil your day too badly.’As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, ‘Mister….’ He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, ‘Are you Jesus?’ 


He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul: ‘Are you Jesus?’

Do people mistake you for Jesus? That’s our destiny, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to or have never known His love, life and grace.

If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting scripture and going to church. It’s actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day.You are the apple of His eye even though we, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked you and me up on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our ‘damaged fruit.'”


Pink at the Polls

October 2, 2008

Hey friends! My boss, Julio Melara, is involved in a fun campaign to raise breast cancer awareness, called PINK AT THE POLLS. There are five “candidates” who are competing to win, “best man in pink,” and Julio is one of them. Please go to the Pink at the Polls web site and vote for Julio. You can vote as many times a day as you want and the voting doesn’t end until October 16th. Here is a link to his page on the site.

Here is the video the Baton Rouge General (the masterminds behind the campaign) put together of all the candidates.

Thanks for voting! Oh, and you may see a “life-size” cutout of Julio around town…hint: Sullivan’s and DeAngelo’s Pizza! 🙂

Hurricane Humor

September 25, 2008

Someone sent this to me recently but I heard Matt Kennedy reading it on WJBO a while back. It’s quite funny so I thought I’d pass it along. Enjoy! 

Gustav’s Guide to Hurricane Survival 
(Lessons Learned During and After the Storm)  
The hurricane grouch quotient can be calculated by adding the number of children and pets in a home without power, multiplied by the number of days quoted on the Entergy telephone recording, divided by the number of fans or portable air conditioners powered by your home generator, (however if you were last in line at Home Depot and have no generator then multiply by the daily high for that day reported by either Pat Shingleton or Jay Grymes), then add the number of trips to the washateria and the days left until school opens. Discount by the percentage of time spent at neighbors who have power. Recalculate as often as necessary.
No matter how many times you flick the switch, lights don’t work without electricity.
Vienna sausages appears on the food pyramid during hurricane season.
Gas mileage is recalculated based on miles per fume.
Lovebugs do not disappear in 80-mph wind gusts.
Disasters can cancel one LSU football game but there will be even bigger casualties if we cancel two.
Despite protests, kids can re-live their parents’ youth when there were only 3 t.v. channels!
Cats are even more irritating without power.
Baton Rouge without traffic lights resembles Mexico City, Rome, Los Angeles and New York City all rolled into a single snarl.
There are/were a lot of really big trees around here!
Just because you’re 18 doesn’t mean you can stay out as late as you want. Mayor Holden meant business when he said curfew.
People will get into a line that has already formed without having any idea what the line is for.
Calories consumed during a hurricane or power outage do not count.
Telemarketers function no matter what the weather is doing. New Delhi does not check the weather report in Baton Rouge.
Most popular text message after September 1:   do u hve pwr
Twenty-seven of your neighbors are fed from a different transformer than you, and they are quick to point that out!
Your next door neighbor having power has absolutely no impact on whether you have power or not.
Trees, limbs, branches and leaves dumped on your yard in less than 6 hours will take 6+ days to remove.
The added property value of a sweeping oak tree in your yard pre-Gustav is directly proportional to the cost of removing that horizontal tree post-Gustav.
Crickets and cicadas can increase their volume to overcome the sound of 14 generators.
Dirty clothes in an unsupervised hamper multiply at an exponential rate.
Coffee, spaghetti and frozen pizzas can be made on a grill.
Tree service companies are under-appreciated, except after hurricanes.
Our Lady of the Lake never closes. Really.
Water will fill the Acadian Thruway underpass, even sometimes when it is not raining.
There are a lot more stars in the sky than most people thought.
If you owned a store that sold only ice, chain saws, gas and generators, you would be rich.
With only a small amount of guilt South Louisiana can collectively pray a second hurricane to landfall in another state or country.
He who has the biggest generator wins. 
Thank you to all our first responders, healthcare professionals, service technicians, teachers, police officers, small business owners, and more who joined with the thousands of individuals sharing their time and talent to help restore our community to wholeness.  
The most important lesson of all learned from Gustav in the last week is that the human spirit has an amazing resilience that even a hurricane cannot bend. Through God’s love and amazing grace we can endure all things.

Be Strong!

September 17, 2008

I have not been very good about keeping up my blog lately. There has been a lot going on here in Baton Rouge with the hurricanes and then me being extra busy at work lately. I have felt overwhelmed, thinking to myself, “How am I going to get all of this done?” A question that many people ask every day, I’m sure. Through conversations with my family recently and with friends, I just felt like everyone is dealing with the same stress, the same pressures and the same feelings of frustration I have dealt with recently. So I was looking for verses in the Bible on being strong and found a verse in Deuteronomy that echoes Joshua 1:9. I loved the Message version of this verse – Deut. 31:6:

“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”

Wow! Just when you feel like you can’t take any more…remember the promise of God. He commands us to be strong and to not be intimidated by obstacles, people, or anything in this world that frustrates or hinders us. Why? Because He promises us that He is there with us…in fact, He says He is already in front of us!

When I read that, I think back to my childhood. We used to live on a street by woods, and my sister and I, along with some neighborhood kids, used to love to ride our bikes in the woods on trails that were already made for us. Someone had to prepare the way for us. Sometimes it was my dad. He would walk through the woods, cutting back large branches or bushes, making a trail for us to ride on. I can see Jesus doing the same thing. He is preparing our steps ahead so that we can see where we are going clearly! If we let Him, He will cut back all the junk that clutters our hearts and minds to distract us from what we are supposed to be focusing on – whether it be our family, our job, our ministry. Whatever it is, He will protect us and guide us. So we have no reason to be scared or worried. He doesn’t say that He might be with us. He says He WILL be with us! My favorite part is when He says He WON’T LET US DOWN. He WON’T LEAVE US! I just love that, and that’s what we have to stand on in times like these.

The Response

August 27, 2008

My friend, Elton, wrote this amazing song about Africa recently, and I thought I’d share it with you.  It’s absolutely beautiful. He is incredibly gifted in playing the piano and singing, and I’m so glad he lets God use him to write songs like this. Enjoy!

THE RESPONSE by Elton Veals, Jr.

“A land once divided by poverty and shame
will now be united to praise God’s name
For these are the faces of the Christ who died
to now bring redemption to the lost in doubt

With a heart of compassion and the purest flame
our hearts will burn brighter
through AIDS and pain
For the lost and forgotten, they surely will rise
to awaken a nation to the sovereign sound

We have seen, we have heard
we have felt a call that’s greater than our yearn
We reach out with God’s touch
to heal a land that’s known no greater love

If love is poor
then You are with them
If grace is shame
then You are with them
If faith breeds pain
then You are with them

And I will respond
I will respond

As the tears of the widow
they fall to the ground
She embraces the orphan
who now is found.
For Jesus has given his hands and feet
to reach to this nation and to those in need.”

So, this is probably the funniest skit I’ve ever seen! I am a huge fan of Anjelah Johnson…she’s hilarious she’s got clean material.  Check this out…I think we can all say that we’ve experienced customer service like this before! 🙂


August 4, 2008

To all my faithful readers: Sorry for the long hiatus…life sometimes just gets in the way, you know? 🙂

So I thought I’d just give you a summary of the past month…here we go:

First, my little sister, Jena, is home and doing great! In fact, she is starting her first year in full-time Elevate (now called Healing Place School of Ministry)! She is amazing and will impact thousands of lives with her testimony…mark my words! Here is the latest picture she has drawn:

Second, I recently went on a mission trip to Danville, California, where we have an HPC video campus. The people at the HPC Danville campus are incredibly hospitable and let all of us crazy Baton Rougeans stay in their homes…they were brave! 🙂 We did some water giveaways, gum giveaways, picked up trash, cleaned, just served the community. By the time we left, the city of Danville were calling us the “red shirt crew.” That works! We got to go to San Francisco and hang out on our free day…it is incredibly cold there! We were dressed like winter in the middle of summer…very weird. But so beautiful. We went to a Giants game (their stadium is on the Bay – gorgeous!) and toured Alcatraz! We had a blast. Oh…one not-so-good thing…I dropped my Ipod Touch on the ground in San Francisco and the screen cracked. I was completely bummed…so what did I do? I went and bought two purses at a shop there. I felt much better…of course! What I miss about Danville, California – no bugs, no humidity, no rain, no litter, no crime and most of all…they can sleep with their windows open at night and don’t have to run their A/C…wow! We here in Baton Rouge can’t do that…we would sweat to death at night or someone would crawl through our window and rob us! I mean, we get robbed with our windows and doors locked, so I can’t imagine how crime would go up here if we slept with our windows open! It must be nice to live in a city where you don’t have to worry about that!

Last, Emily is coming home on Aug. 31st!! Very cool! It will be nice to see her face again…it’s been too long!

That’s it for now. Later!

Epic Release

July 8, 2008

Hello friends!  If you haven’t already heard, the new Epic Worship CD has been released!! For those of you who don’t know, the Epic Worship team is our student ministries band at Healing Place Church. It’s the first-ever from our student ministries and was recorded LIVE at our Amplified weekend (a discipleship weekend for the youth). You can download the music from itunes (just search for “Epic Worship”) or you can get it here.  You’ll definitely want to get a copy…it ROCKS!!