Friday, January 23, 2009

Baby Henley

This morning just after 2am I received a text saying that Cheramie was in labor. The friend that texted me, Katie, had taken a sleeping pill to get to sleep and was in no way able to drive but wanted to go to the birth center. I was still awake... hadn't yet fallen asleep... so I hopped in my car to get Katie and go meet the little one who would soon be coming into the world.
Katie and I got to the birthing center just before 3am and joined Amy, Patty, and Adam's dad in the waiting room. At 3:10am we heard the cries of joy from momma Cheramie, daddy Adam, and little baby Henley.
We waited for about ten minutes and then a proud daddy walked into room and announced the arrival of their little boy. Solomon Mack Henley. Weighing in at 7 pounds 14 ounces. Length of 20 inches.
So I have nieces only so far... so its ok for me to say he is one of the cutest little baby boys I have ever seen! Everyone will be happy to know he has dimples... and the cutest lips.
He is truly a miracle baby. God protected and preserved his life as was prayed over him when he was just beginning to develop in his mommas womb. Amazing. I am in awe yet again of how awesome our God is.
Congratulations Adam and Cheramie! I love you both and am so happy to see the beginning of your beautiful family!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


“One day at a time--this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.”


Tuesday, January 20, 2009


“This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.”

~Maya Angelou

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

carpe diem

carpe diem is something I learned from one of my favorite movies. The movie is Dead Poets Society. carpe diem means... SEIZE THE DAY!

how many of my days do I let go by without seizing the moment?
I don't know how old I will grow to be.
I don't know if Jesus is coming back in my lifetime.

This is one of my favorite quotes of the movie. If you haven't seen it. You should.

John Keating(the teacher at an all boys school describing the photos and trophy's of past students in a hallway glass display case): They're not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they're destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? - - Carpe - - hear it? - - Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.

so boys and girls. I dare you. I dare you to seize each and every day. make your life... the only life you have got... EXTRAORDINARY!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

pink fluffy stuff

The other day I had the joy of celebrating Christmas (in January) with my extended family. It was a blast. I have some amazing cousins, aunts, uncles, and siblings. We laughed at ton and ate delicious foods that we have grown up having at our family gatherings. Something that I really enjoy is the pink fluffy stuff my aunt Bobbie always makes. It is a dessert... but we have it with dinner like jello. Has anyone else ever had pink fluffy stuff? Is there something wonderful but a bit weird that your family traditionally has at your gatherings? I am just curious. I am sure my family isn't the only one that does things a little differently. I hope you share some of your weird traditions with me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Emergency Numbers

When in sorrow... Call John 14
When men fail you... Call Psalm 27
If you want to be fruitful/If people seem unkind... Call John 15
When you have sinned... Call Psalm 51
When you worry... Call Matthew 6:19-34
When you are in danger... Call Psalm 91
When God seems far away... Call Psalm 139
When your faith needs stirring... Call Hebrews 11
When you are lonely and fearful... Call Psalm 23
When you grow bitter and critical... Call 1 Cor. 13
For Paul's secret to happiness... Call Col. 3:12-17
For the idea of Christianity... Call 1 Cor. 5:15-19
When you feel down and out... Call Romans 8:31
When you want peace and rest... Call Matthew 11:25-30
When the world seems bigger than God... Call Psalm 90
When you want Christian assurance... Call Romans 8:1-30
When you leave home for labor or travel... Call Psalm 121
When your prayers grow narrow and selfish... Call Psalm 67
For a great invention/opportunity... Call Isaiah 55
When you want courage for a task... Call Joshua 1
How to get along with fellow men... Call Romans 12
When you think of investments/returns... Call Mark 10
If you are depressed... Call Psalm 27
If your pocketbook is empty... Call Psalm 37
If discouraged about your work... Call Psalm 126
If you find your world growing small and yourself great... Call Psalm 19

Emergency numbers may be dialed direct. All lines to heaven are open 24/7!
Feed your faith, and doubt will starve to death!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I Asked

I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do great things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I had hoped for.

-author unknown

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

tough night of sleep

last night I decided to try to go to sleep earlier than I have the past week. so at a 1:30am I turned out the lights and closed my eyes. some of you may know that my right ear has been having issues for the last few weeks. last night was a tough one for my ear. It felt like I had a cold draft going directly into my ear and no matter how I moved around it was just impossible to get comfortable. The last time I looked at the clock it was almost 3:30am. I dozed off and not even an hour later I woke up to moisture on my face. I thought my ear drum had ruptured... and then I felt a drip on my head. I quickly turned a light on and found that there was water dripping from a screw in the tract my closet door would hang from if I hadn't removed them. It was the middle of the night and I was not about to wake up the family that I live with. So I went into the bathroom where a large bin filled with materials being used to demolish the bathroom was located. I found some plumbers putty and gobbed some putty into the area where the drip was coming from. I placed a towel on my bed where the drip was originally felt and rearranged myself on a dry area of my bed. then tried to fall asleep again. my ear was back to having some issues. it took me another hour to fall back asleep. to my chagrin I awoke again at 9:30 to the sound of demolition in the bathroom. a wall and a vanity were being removed. this went on for two hours. needless to say. it was not the best night of sleep.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

budget busting books

it is absolutely ridiculous how much books cost these days for a college student. last quarter, if I had paid full price for my books, it would have cost over $500! this quarter, if I had paid full price for my books, it would have cost $700!!! three classes... thats all folks. God is good and so far my books are only up to $345. I have one more book to find and I am still praying for another awesome deal! If I find better deals I may return a couple books and be under $300 for the quarter! That would be incredible! And mean I have extra money for things like coffee, shampoo, deodorant, makeup, and food too. might have to get a little job this quarter to ensure I can have the essentials. I want to make friends at school not repel them because I can't afford deodorant! ha! let me know if you know of a little weekend only job or people needing house/animal sitters. I love to take care of pets and houses too! God has and always will be my provider. There is not a doubt in my mind that He will take care of my every need for the quarter... and the rest of my life as well. I am blessed. Blessed to be in the hands of an amazing Heavenly Father, blessed to be in school, blessed to have a place to live for free, blessed to live less than a mile from school, blessed to have amazing friends and family who love and support me. Who cares if books are expensive. I am blessed beyond all the words and pages in those (really freakin big and heavy) books together!

Monday, January 05, 2009

begin again and OLOGY

its time for classes to start again.

this quarter my schedule consists of:
anatomy & physiology II
cultural anthropology

so... a lot of -OLOGY apparently. which means... the study of. coincident? I think not. in school one must study a ton. so I am going to get my study on again studying the study of a few fantastic subjects. I will appreciate all of your prayers again this quarter. I am excited to be taking classes at the campus that is less than a mile away from my house. this will make getting to class even with random winter weather less of a concern. my commute to school goes from 25-40 minutes (depending on the time of day) down to less than five minutes. awesome! and if I walk... a little bit longer. I have to practically climb a mountain and this bod is out of shape! maybe I will make a goal to walk to school on my short days. monday and wednesday I only have class from 2-3:30pm. that is totally attainable. and it is still light out so I don't have to worry about the boogie man getting me.
anywho. I am excited to get back to my studies. it has been a great few weeks off and I have had plenty of time to rest and visit with friends and family. this quarter is starting and getting me closer to the goal God has placed on my heart. it is exciting! woohoo! I love watching the quarters go by. makes me feel like the future that I so long for is not so far away.

ps. random OLOGY. as I was looking for ology info... I learned some cool random facts.
did you know that jellyfish are 95% water?
did you know that eagles can't hunt when its raining?
did you know that at old english weddings the guests threw shoes at the groom?

glad I could enlighten you.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

my name means supplanter

Good article from the TIMES... thanks Auntie Katie!

December 27, 2008
As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God
Missionaries, not aid money, are the solution to Africa's biggest problem - the crushing passivity of the people's mindset

Matthew Parris

Before Christmas I returned, after 45 years, to the country that as a boy I knew as Nyasaland. Today it's Malawi, and The Times Christmas Appeal includes a small British charity working there. Pump Aid helps rural communities to install a simple pump, letting people keep their village wells sealed and clean. I went to see this work.

It inspired me, renewing my flagging faith in development charities. But travelling in Malawi refreshed another belief, too: one I've been trying to banish all my life, but an observation I've been unable to avoid since my African childhood. It confounds my ideological beliefs, stubbornly refuses to fit my world view, and has embarrassed my growing belief that there is no God.

Now a confirmed atheist, I've become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people's hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

I used to avoid this truth by applauding - as you can - the practical work of mission churches in Africa. It's a pity, I would say, that salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it. I would allow that if faith was needed to motivate missionaries to help, then, fine: but what counted was the help, not the faith.

But this doesn't fit the facts. Faith does more than support the missionary; it is also transferred to his flock. This is the effect that matters so immensely, and which I cannot help observing.
First, then, the observation. We had friends who were missionaries, and as a child I stayed often with them; I also stayed, alone with my little brother, in a traditional rural African village. In the city we had working for us Africans who had converted and were strong believers. The Christians were always different. Far from having cowed or confined its converts, their faith appeared to have liberated and relaxed them. There was a liveliness, a curiosity, an engagement with the world - a directness in their dealings with others - that seemed to be missing in traditional African life. They stood tall.

At 24, travelling by land across the continent reinforced this impression. From Algiers to Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and the Central African Republic, then right through the Congo to Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya, four student friends and I drove our old Land Rover to Nairobi.
We slept under the stars, so it was important as we reached the more populated and lawless parts of the sub-Sahara that every day we find somewhere safe by nightfall. Often near a mission.

Whenever we entered a territory worked by missionaries, we had to acknowledge that something changed in the faces of the people we passed and spoke to: something in their eyes, the way they approached you direct, man-to-man, without looking down or away. They had not become more deferential towards strangers - in some ways less so - but more open.
This time in Malawi it was the same. I met no missionaries. You do not encounter missionaries in
the lobbies of expensive hotels discussing development strategy documents, as you do with the big NGOs. But instead I noticed that a handful of the most impressive African members of the Pump Aid team (largely from Zimbabwe) were, privately, strong Christians. “Privately” because the charity is entirely secular and I never heard any of its team so much as mention religion while working in the villages. But I picked up the Christian references in our conversations. One, I saw, was studying a devotional textbook in the car. One, on Sunday, went off to church at dawn for a two-hour service.

It would suit me to believe that their honesty, diligence and optimism in their work was unconnected with personal faith. Their work was secular, but surely affected by what they were. What they were was, in turn, influenced by a conception of man's place in the Universe that Christianity had taught.

There's long been a fashion among Western academic sociologists for placing tribal value systems within a ring fence, beyond critiques founded in our own culture: “theirs” and therefore best for “them”; authentic and of intrinsically equal worth to ours.

I don't follow this. I observe that tribal belief is no more peaceable than ours; and that it suppresses individuality. People think collectively; first in terms of the community, extended family and tribe. This rural-traditional mindset feeds into the “big man” and gangster politics of the African city: the exaggerated respect for a swaggering leader, and the (literal) inability to understand the whole idea of loyal opposition.

Anxiety - fear of evil spirits, of ancestors, of nature and the wild, of a tribal hierarchy, of quite everyday things - strikes deep into the whole structure of rural African thought. Every man has his place and, call it fear or respect, a great weight grinds down the individual spirit, stunting curiosity. People won't take the initiative, won't take things into their own hands or on their own shoulders.

How can I, as someone with a foot in both camps, explain? When the philosophical tourist moves from one world view to another he finds - at the very moment of passing into the new - that he loses the language to describe the landscape to the old. But let me try an example: the answer given by Sir Edmund Hillary to the question: Why climb the mountain? “Because it's there,” he said.

To the rural African mind, this is an explanation of why one would not climb the mountain. It's... well, there. Just there. Why interfere? Nothing to be done about it, or with it. Hillary's further explanation - that nobody else had climbed it - would stand as a second reason for passivity.
Christianity, post-Reformation and post-Luther, with its teaching of a direct, personal, two-way link between the individual and God, unmediated by the collective, and unsubordinate to any other human being, smashes straight through the philosphical/spiritual framework I've just described. It offers something to hold on to to those anxious to cast off a crushing tribal groupthink. That is why and how it liberates.

Those who want Africa to walk tall amid 21st-century global competition must not kid themselves that providing the material means or even the knowhow that accompanies what we call development will make the change. A whole belief system must first be supplanted.
And I'm afraid it has to be supplanted by another. Removing Christian evangelism from the African equation may leave the continent at the mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone and the machete.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

concert at adamo

Orange san pellegrino & Muenster grilled cheese sandwiches on garlic sourdough bread

Tom Rorem & Noah Gundersen
So I forgot to take pictures of Tom. He was very passionate in lyrics and delivery of his music. Enjoyed him for the most part. He wore a red flannel shirt and khaki carhart pants.
As for Gundy and crew (Michael Rabb on keyboard and tambourine)... I took one photo. He is a great musician and has an artistic ability that few can compare to. And he is so young. He is only 19 or 20 years old. I got lost in the music on several occasions and found myself being taken away as the sounds from the guitar, keyboard, and violin crescendoed awakening my musical soul.

It was fun to take in the sounds of great musicians with my friend Katie and about 20 others crammed into cafe adamo.