24 December 2005

Pictures from Iraq


My brother sent us some new pics the other day from Iraq... here is my favorite one of him.

22 December 2005

Insane light show

I have heard that this is one of the most popular web links right now. Who ever spent the time and energy to put together this holiday light display has either no life or the creative energy of ten people put together. Maybe it is not that complex, but when I watch this I feel like either I have wasted my life, or this guy has... (click here) I have also heard that he had to shut it down because either his electric bill was out of sight, or because the traffic in his neigborhood was so clogged that there were traffic problems... who knows... another urban legend...

21 December 2005

Indians (re-)sign Graves and Karsay

I think on the whole this is a good move. Graves (despite the incindent that left him without a Red's jersey) has been very consistent on a mediocre team... having him back will plug the hole Howry left well. Karsay... this guy has always thought too much of his abilities... it got him a deal with the Yanks for a while, but not long. When he pitches in the place he belongs... the bullpen, and if he can learn to be content with that, he can do well. Now the Tribe needs one more starter to replace Millwood (can he be replaced?), and a right handed bat. It is hard to say who either of these will be. The table of free agent players is getting cleaned off fast...

15 December 2005

Contentment

Puritan Prayers

Heavenly Father, if I should suffer need, and go unclothed, and be in poverty, make my heart prize Thy love, know it, be constrained by it, though I be denied all blessings. It is Thy mercy to afflict and try me with wants, for by these trials I see my sins, and desire severance from them. Let me willingly accept misery, sorrows, temptations, if I can thereby feel sin as the greatest evil, and be delivered from it with gratitude to Thee, acknowledging this as the highest testimony of Thy love.

When thy Son, Jesus, came into my soul instead of sin He became more dear to me than sin had formerly been; His kindly rule replaced sin's tyranny. Teach me to believe that if ever I would have any sin subdued I must not only labour to overcome it, but must invite Christ to abide in the place of it, and He must become to me more than vile lust had been; that His sweetness, power, life may be there. Thus I must seek a grace from Him contrary to sin, but must not claim it apart from Himself.

When I am afraid of evils to come, comfort me by showing me that in myself I am a dying, condemned wretch, but in Christ I am reconciled and live; that in myself I find insufficiency and no rest, but in Christ there is satisfaction and peace; that in myself I am feeble and unable to do good, but in Christ I have ability to do all things. Though now I have His graces in part, I shall shortly have them perfectly in that state where Thou wilt show Thyself fully reconciled, and alone sufficient, efficient, loving me completely, with sin abolished. O Lord, hasten that day.

09 December 2005

A good friend


Here is a new picture of my friend Pheakdey. She sent this to me recently with the pictures of Sreynith in the Buckeyes shirt. I really appreciate her. She is straight forward and honest, yet knows when to share and when to wait until the right time. She told me recently that she is headed for Hong Kong for a couple of days at Christmas. She said that it is her first time on a plane. May God bless you friend! You are in His hands. Have a great time.

06 December 2005

Enlightenting the Cambodians...


I love this picture. I sent Sreynith a Ohio State shirt as a gift this past fall. I am sure that she doesn't really know anything about what the Buckeyes are, but it certainly is fun to share something about my life with her. Maybe I can explain it a little more next summer. And it at least means that she will not be wearing anything with maize and blue on it.

28 November 2005

Puritan Prayers

I ran across this website of Puritan Prayers lately and I have been floored by the depth of the words and the shallowness of my own heart... Here is the first one listed... under the heading of Confession and Petition...

Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Thy mind in Thy Word, of neglect to seek Thee in my daily life. My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations, but I bless Thee that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue my corruptions, and grant me grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring my spirit into subjection, but do Thou rule over me in liberty and power.

I thank Thee that many of my prayers have been refused. I have asked amiss and do not have, I have prayed from lusts and been rejected, I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness. Go on with Thy patient work, answering 'no' to my wrongful prayers, and fitting me to accept it. Purge me from every false desire, every base aspiration, everything contrary to Thy rule. I thank Thee for Thy wisdom and Thy love, for all the acts of discipline to which I am subject, for sometimes putting me into the furnace to refine my gold and remove my dross.

No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin. If Thou shouldst give me choice to live in pleasure and keep my sins, or to have them burnt away with trial, give me sanctified affliction. Deliver me from every evil habit, every accretion of former sins, everything that dims the brightness of Thy grace in me, everything that prevents me taking delight in Thee. Then I shall bless Thee, God of jeshurun, for helping me to be upright.

26 November 2005

The Merchant of Venice

This definitely ranks in the category of one of the best pictures that I have seen this year. Although it leaves out parts of the story (as most adaptations have to), Al Pacino is great as Shylock, Jeremy Irons as Antonio, Joseph Fiennes as Bassanio and Lynn Collins as Portia. The only down side to the movie, and it is a major downer in my opinion, is that for some reason they feel the need to present Venice as the home of bare chested prostitutes... and they seem to inhabit large parts of the town... the movie would have been just fine without it... Imagine that! If you are a big fan of Shakespeare, you will enjoy the "If you prick us do we not bleed, if you tickle us do we not laugh" monologue that Pacino performs well. The scene where Portia disguises herself as the doctor is fantastic. The interplay between her and Shylock is well worth the movie. However, if you want to protect your eyes, you may want to take a pass on it.

20 November 2005

Pics of my brother...


Here is a link to some pictures of my brother in Iraq, he told me that I could put them on here (so no worries out there!) ... my personal favorites are the car and the Hulk gloves...

08 November 2005

Seda

My friend Seda sent me some new pictures lately and I wanted to share them... she has become a very dear friend, and I am praying that God will make a way for me to be there next summer again to see her, the other college students, the children at the orphanages and at New Life Christian School in Phnom Penh. Thank you again, Seda...














Pics of my brother...

Here is a link to some pictures of my brother in Iraq, he told me that I could put them on here (so no worries out there!) ... my personal favorites are the car and the Hulk gloves...

04 November 2005

Things that make me laugh lately...

Here are a couple of sites to check out that have made me laugh...

John Daker... check out this stellar performance... there are so many things about this that are funny that it is hard to know where to begin. Perhaps one of the funniest things for me revolves around the song choices... as if "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" and "Amore" are two perfect songs that go together...

The Star Wars Gangsta Rap... the lyrics here are better than much of George Lucas' dialogue...

The Dark Side Switch Campaign... a cartoon version of Anakin Skywalker talks about why he has left the side of good... it seems to attempt to present itself like a Monster Dot Com commercial for people looking for employment...

I have also seen a video called "Anakin Dynamite", which is a combination of, you guessed it, Anakin Skywalker and Napolean Dynamite... Very funny. Check www.atomfilms.com

03 November 2005

Post concert ramblings...

Okay for anyone who is out there listening (or reading)... we had a band concert tonight, and really it went pretty well. I am very pleased with how the kids did. It is so easy to think this way after the concert is over, but I don't know why I ever worry. We practice the music over and over, it may not be perfect, but it is always consistent. I am rarely surprised by anything the kids do on the concert because we have already made our mistakes downstairs in the band room. (Although tonight when Jessica had a ladybug fly over and land on her nose, that did throw me for a second - got it off for her while she played!) But you really can't control the final performance in the moment that it happens any more than you can control the flight path of a ladybug... at that point it is up to the kids. I have done what I know how to do, it is up to them to finish it out... and that happened... Glad to be there to see it happen, to be a part of it, to move on to more and other things... like recognizing a 98 year old man in the middle of the concert... unexpected, unplanned, worthwhile... pictures to come.

31 October 2005

Seda and Asna



These are pictures of Seda and her brother Asna... Seda is a great friend and she gave me a great surprise by calling me on Friday evening... I always love to talk to her, although I was a bit tired, and we didn't have the best connection at the end of the call. Nonetheless, great to get a call from as John McCollum calls it "The Other Side of Dawn".

28 October 2005

Thanks Elisabeth...

As I have read a variety of books, Elisabeth Elliot has to be one of the people who has had her feet most planted on the ground. I love reading the things she says because, A) it makes sense, B) it is rooted in God's Word and C) She know how to write well. But I also like her writing because she has a tendency to pull in quotes from completely unknown (to me) sources that always make me pause... here are two from 'Passion and Purity"

From Lilias Trotter (who?)
"The first step into the realm of giving is... not manward but Godward: an utter yielding of our best. So long as our idea of surrender is limited to the renouncing of unlawful things, we have never grasped its true meaning: that is not worthy of the name for 'no polluted thing' can be offered" (pg. 164)

From T.C. Upham (who?)
"The disposition... to leave the dearest objects of our hearts in the sublime keeping of the general and unspecific belief that God is now answering our prayers in His time and way, and in the best manner, involves a present process of inward crucifixion which is obviously unfavorable to the growth and even the existence of the life of self." (pg. 150)

22 October 2005

McCollum's Blog

If you get the chance, check out John McCollum's blog on his current Cambodia trip... The Other side of Dawn... he has got a great way with words...

21 October 2005

A couple pictures of Pheakdey

Pheakdey sent me some great pictures of herself lately... she is a young woman in Kampuchea who is studying hotel management at Norton University. Thanks for the pictures friend!

20 October 2005

Chanry


Some of you may remember the 14 year old girl that from the orphanage in Battambang that had to have her front four teeth removed this past summer. She has been able to get some dental work done, and they have gotten her some replacement teeth! Here is a picture of her, I think that this picture must have been taken after the procedure because she is looking pretty tired out... her name is Chanry.

13 October 2005

Sophat


I don't know if this picture will seem anti-climactic, but this was definitely my favorite picture from the trip. The last picture was summed up alot of my feelings about the trip to Kampuchea... a lot of fun, beautiful people, a great high for me personally... but this picture sums up Asia's Hope, the ministry that I have gone with... God is providing hope to Khmers and Thais through a small group of people that are looking to Christ. This boy, Sophat, who had no future of any significance, can now have food everyday, clothing, a place to live, friends to play with, and hope for the future. I will always remember a moment where he was excitedly naming all the parts of the body for us (in English). It was just something that he had been learning, and he wanted to show it to us. These are the discarded of Kampuchea... the supposedly worthless... yet, treasured by God. Thank you God for letting me be there to see it happen...

09 October 2005

G, Sreynith and a boy




This picture has become the image of my trip this past summer. Most people who have seen it have mentioned how we look like we are happy and having fun. Sreynith, as I have mentioned before is such a sweet little girl. She had spent a lot of time with me and so did the little boy on my lap. I am looking forward to seeing them again soon.

06 October 2005

2 girls


This shot did not come out like this on purpose, but I have loved it more and more as I look at it. I was actually trying to get a picture of the girl in the background, but the girl in the foreground did not know that, and thought that I was trying to take a picture of her. I think the girl in the back knew what was happening, but she and I were still trying to make the shot work. Nevertheless, I finally relented and took the picture as it is. It turned out to be a great shot. I love the expressions on both of their faces, for different reasons... I did take another picture immediately following this that I will try to add to this post later.

03 October 2005

Sreyven


This girl just has a million dollar smile. She is one of the cutest children at the orphanage. She has practically nothing to her name, but you wouldn't know it by her personality and disposition. We were playing with a slinky that we had brought in our bag of toys. She had never seen one, and we tried making it work on the stairs in the orphanage, but they were a bit wide for it to work well. Nevertheless, we made it into a belt and necklace... just improvised fun. I look forward to seeing her again next summer.

30 September 2005

#5 - Seda eating tarantula


Wheh... this picture turned out well, but I was grimacing as I saw her do this... even though she did not eat the whole thing, it was the thought that she was putting a tarantula in her mouth that 'bugged' me... she ate the legs off of it, and that seemed to be enough... they were being sold like snacks on the side of the road... anyway you can click on the picture to see it a little closer... also, here is an article that you can link to about one guy's experiences eating spiders in Cambodia...

29 September 2005

A time for giving...

Each of the orphans in Phnom Penh received a toy (beanie baby type), a book as well as some other things... here is a picture of one of the girls after she received hers...

28 September 2005

Fun times

Need I say more about this picture? It was fun for these girls to have fun with sunglasses that they had never seen before. We had a bag of toys and these were in there... just fun.

25 September 2005

Ohio State 31 - Iowa 6

In what should have been an even more punishing win, the Bucks score 31 points (even though they fumbled 2 times on the Iowa 5 yard line), racked up more than 500 yards of offense (Ohio State? Really?) and the defense allowed negative 9 yards rushing by Iowa for a dominating win at The Horseshoe. Thanks Dave for taking me along and Go Bucks! There are two weeks remaining until the first away game, at Penn State... enjoy the pics... (even though Script Ohio is upside down...)








23 September 2005

Buckeyes 27 - San Diego State 6

Apart from a terrible defensive start for the Bucks, they come away with a win... it was not a pretty game for the Buckeyes, but a win is a win... here are some pics that I took last Saturday (thanks Greg!) ... this Saturday, Iowa (Thanks Dave!) As Always a great day for the band!

22 September 2005

Back with #7


Well, I know now that my home computer is pretty much dead now... so I have lost a few things, including my list of what order I put my 20 favorite pictures in... so, I am going to have to guess on a few things about what my last favorite 7 pictures were (or at least what order they were in...) so this is one of the guesses... one of the beautiful children at the orphanage in Battambang...

21 September 2005

Ah, Computers...

I have no idea if anyone out there is paying attention, but if there are, I have had to pause a while with new postings because my home computer has gone the way of the dodo... hopefully some new things will show up soon... In the meantime, maybe check out Paul McCartney's new album and website... or, you can check out information on Dodo's...

16 September 2005

#8 - Girl in Battambang


I love this shot. Here is this little girl who has nearly nothing to her name, but is so joyful over the prospect of holding a ball filled with air, and getting her picture taken. We were working on several of the children's teeth, and she was either waiting to be seen, or waiting for the other orphans to be seen by the dentist. This is the same girl (if you have seen any of my video shots) who is swimming at the water park in the same dress she is wearing in this picture. There are no swimsuits... it is just jump in with the clothes you have. This is one her of two outfits. In many ways it seems like we should pity her, but she is content and joyful. Those are things that I want! What a smile!

14 September 2005

#9 - Phillip


I had a feeling when I took this shot that it would be good. Phillip is a Khmer young man that I have gotten to know the last two summers... he is a really neat person who has a wonderful spirit. I got to meet his father and at least two of his brothers. He told me that he has six brothers and one sister! I think that she may be the youngest as well! He has been playing guitar for a while, and even though you can not see it, that is what he is doing in this picture.

12 September 2005

#10 - Boy in Market


This young man (I have no idea how old he is), just blew my mind when I saw his legs (click on pic to enlarge). He was sitting in the Central Market in Phnom Penh and was basically begging for money. My heart and mind were totally caught off guard when I saw him. What do you say to someone who is so debilitated? One of my Cambodian friends said that he was born that way, but others have proposed the possibility of his legs being purposefully broken at birth, which I have heard of happening in third world countries. Franlkly the deformities look too symetrical to be done any other way than via a birth defect. I gave him some money and he allowed me to take his picture. Easily one of the most moving pictures of my trip this summer.

08 September 2005

Jim and the kids



Here is another shot that I wish I had taken, Jim and some of the girls had fun with markers in the dental "recovery" room...

07 September 2005

#11 Sreynith


This is again my friend Sreynith. She is 11 years old and lives at the Orphanage at Battambang. We had a great time getting to know each other this year and she is a real sweetheart... This was just a fun picture that grabbed me...

06 September 2005

#12


This is one of the orphans at the Battambang Orphanage. He is so small, but is a real cute kid. He and another one of the kids we call "The Count" from Sesame Street, becuase of the teeth.

31 August 2005

Seda


Over the last two years Seda has become a very good friend. We email weekly or so, and it is always good to hear from her. This pic was taken off of a video camera, so it didn't come out very clearly, but it sums up some of the things that I like about her. A pretty smile, a beautiful face, a pleasant attitude and a faithful friendship. Have a great day Seda!

30 August 2005

My favorite picture that I didn't take...


This picture is of Sreynith who lives at the Battambang orphanage. She is 11 years old, and if I understood correctly lives there with two other siblings. She was orphaned when her father went to climb a coconut tree after a rainy day, slipped, fell and died. There are several other children in the family and the mother could not afford to keep them so she gave them up. She has gone to work somewhere in a restaurant, I believe. If I had the resources and the laws weren't as they are, I would adopt this girl in about the bat of an eyelash. This picture was taken by my friend Jen, but I could only wish that I took such a fun picture!

29 August 2005

More from Edith Schaeffer...

"...by accepting what Christ accomplished in His death on the cross in our place - as He took our sins upon Himself and became our substitute - then a part of what He paid for us was a moment by moment access for us to the Infinite God. Each of us has been given another portion in the fabric of history which our individual thread is meant to weave. We are not only to affect history in the geographic spot where we are meant to be in God's plan, and to have victory in the heavenly battle as we trust God in the midst of affliction and persecution right up to martyrdom, but we are to be having results two feet away from us in prayer - and also two thousand miles away. It is also a part of the battle that we "make our requests known" in the faith that God will hear and can and will answer our "intercession," " - Affliction, pg. 101

26 August 2005

Sineth


This has to be one of the luckiest shots I have ever taken. It is almost perfectly composed. She is obviously the center of the shot, but even the things that are not central to the picture seem to add more than background. When I got this picture back, I was amazed at how good it came out. There is even something to the angle of her arms in the picture which adds something, but I can't put my finger on it. Sineth, who is a French major in college, is such a nice girl. I met her last year and got to know her better this year. She is from Kompong Cham province in Cambodia and is in her second year of school.

25 August 2005

#15 Lakhana


This is my friend Lakhana who I have met the last two times to Cambodia. She is a real sweetheart who has a really infectious smile. I think that she wasn't sure whether she wanted to smile in this picture, but it still turned into a very good picture. She is training to be a beautician, she sews well and cooks like a genius.

from Edith Schaeffer...

"The glorification of God by us - as imperfect, sinful, finite creatures in all our weakness - is a staggering opportunity set before us. It is a fabulous possibility for us to contemplate that we can really do anything which will glorify the Living God, the Creator of the Universe. What could we possibly do? Paint the greatest picture, write the most outstanding symphony, design or build the most magnificent building, change a piece of land into the most beautifully landscaped garden, care for the poor and destroyed people of the world in some practical and specific way so that there will be a difference before they die? Yes - all these things we can do with special love for Him whose Creation we so appreciate, and for whom nothing is too hard. The enormous projects we think of might be out of our reach. Prison cells, hospital beds, concentration camps, and wheelchairs bring limitations, even as does lack of talent or lack of money or land. However, there is unlimited possibility for glorifying God - moment by moment, hour by hour, every day in every situation... How? By offering praise, not with our lips and throats in repetitive cadence, saying the words while our minds and emotions are filled with other thoughts and feelings, but by actually loving and trusting God when there is pressure being brought upon us to not trust Him. " - Edith Schaeffer, Affliction pg. 62-63

24 August 2005

August 24

Well, today is the first day of school at MCS (see side link). School always starts with a bit of trepidation, and then continues with a roller coaster of emotions and thoughts throughout the course of the year. There are some excellent high moments (concerts, breakthroughs with students) and some lower moments as well. Above all though is the fight with fear. Trusting God to guide, direct and provide is a constant battle. I am sure for other people it is other things, but this is the temptation for me. It is not like I do not know what I am doing. By God's grace, I do have a pretty good grasp on what has to happen. It is always just the intangibles that get me. You'll have that. Take them to the Lord. Okay, here we go... the annual routine of helping junior high girls to get their locker open... a true sign that school has indeed begun. Have a great day!

22 August 2005

#16 Pheara


This is one of the orphans that befriended me at the Phnom Penh Orphanage. This still was taken off of a video camera so the shot is a bit blurry, but I thought that his face and eyes were, eager and (because I can not think of a better word), beautiful.

21 August 2005

# 17 Chantha


This is a picture that I took on a boat ride that we took on our last Sunday in Cambodia. The riverboat tools around where the Mekong River and the Tonle Sap River come together. This picture just struck me because he was sitting out on the end of the boat singing along to some of the songs that his friend Phillip was playing on the guitar. In some ways it seems like a lonely picture, but it is not at all. I also liked the texture of the water in black and white.

19 August 2005

James


This is a picture of James, one of the children at the Phnom Penh orphanage. I actually met him last year at New Life Christian School, and at that time he was living with a family from the church, but the woman who was caring for him (one of the school teachers) already had a large family of her own to take care of and it was very financially difficult for them to continue to keep him. So now he is at the Phnom Penh Orphanage, and seems to be doing well. I did not recognize him at first because he had gotten bigger, and his hair was a lot longer... highlight of him on the trip was seeing him at the water park. He was having a great time going down the slide!

16 August 2005

#19


This picture, while not that aesthetically great is just a great shot of how happy the boy is, and I thought that the boy's recognition of me was interesting considering Scott did not even know I was taking the picture. It has this cognizance/non-cognizance conflict that I thought was a neat effect. Obviously, I did not pose this picture.

15 August 2005

20 Great photos


From time to time I will be sharing my 20 favorite pictures from my trip to Cambodia this summer. I took 400+ shots, so it took some work to narrow it down! Some of the shots are not particularly spectacular, sometimes they just had some personal significance, which I will attempt to explain concisely. This will be #20, which was one of the few that I knew I would like when I took it. It is a woman that I do not even know, but was on a boat ride with us. There was just something about her face that I knew would translate into a good black and white shot.

13 August 2005

Yes, the bathroom is the first door on the left...

Having some difficult relatives over? What about a meetimg with a business competitor? What about a parent teacher conference with some stubborn parents? This may communicate something to them...