Friday, January 29, 2010

Life Saver Water Bottle




Watch the video. This is a water bottle designed to filter the filthiest of water into pure water for drinking. It is designed to filter out even the smallest bacteria. This is the bottle that the church has donated and shipped to Haiti. (If you wonder where your donated funds go, here's one answer. Remember 100% of your donation to Humanitarian Aid goes directly to victims and not staff or directors.) If you are interested in donating and or purchasing your own Life Saver Bottle and live in the USA here's their link: Life Saver USA .

Granted, this bottle (currently on sale) runs approximately $150.00 U.S. dollars (hello, that's a hefty sum!), however in return it filters 400 gallons into fresh pure water (from any water source available) before needing to be refreshed with new a cartridge! The company also produces larger capacity bottles and 2 different sized jerrycans for even larger water capacity or home storage use. I personally think the investment is worth saving for.

If you are in the black enough financially to purchase one and give one away or donate more than one bottle they have the means to help you do that and get it to those who need it most at the time of purchase.

Thanks. : )

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Song About Love



Hat tip my young friend Whitney, who found this you tube video and shared it with the happy folks on FaceBook. This young man was challenged to write and record a song using only his voice and household items, no real instruments. He did a bang up job. Take a moment to read or listen to his lyrics, amazingly insightful for such a young man. Enjoy!

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Friday, January 15, 2010

"Give!" said the little stream.

When I was a small little girl, our family was poor. I mean really really poor. There were times when we spent a night or two in the back of an old pink Rambler, and months when we only ate flour and water pancakes, morning, noon, and night, literally for months on end. That said, I did have pancakes to eat, water to drink and wash in, and some roof over head.

I also learned to give, because there are always people who have less than I. We were taught to give with both hands, to not withhold, but to give as we would want in our time of need. Part of that education was learning the words to a simple song:

"Give!", said the little stream; "Give, oh give!", "Give, oh give!"
"Give!", said the little stream as it hurried down the hill.
"I'm small I know, but wherever I go the grass grows greener still."
Singing, singing all the day, "Give away, oh Give away!"
Singing, singing all the day, "Give, oh Give away!"

"Give!" said the little rain; "Give, oh give!", "Give, oh give!"
"Give!" said the little rain as it fell upon the flowers.
"I'll raise their drooping heads again!" -as it fell upon the flowers.
Singing, singing all the day, "Give away, oh Give away!"
Singing, singing all the day, "Give, oh Give away!"

Give then, as Jesus gives. Give, oh give! Give, oh give!
Give then, as Jesus gives, there is something all can give.
Do as the streams and blossoms do; For God, and others live.
Singing, singing all the day, "Give away, oh Give away!"
Singing, singing all the day, "Give, oh Give away!"

words by Fannie J. Crosby

The thing is, there is something we all can give. If we do not have money, we can pray. We can volunteer at a shelter or assist in humanitarian efforts so that others may benefit. Service is free! Clean out a closet, sort through some shoes, find those extra things that we can donate to someone with less. We can also look to our right and look to our left and see the need within our own reach. Lift a heart with a warm word, hold a hand, share a moment in each others' eyes. Giving is easy and the rewards are great. It is a precious gift we each received from our Father in Heaven, the ability to smile and to love. There is no time here to judge unrighteously, besides, that is God's job. Ours is to find ways to give love to one another...

Because God and others do truly live!

There is so much need right this minute. In Haiti, and around the corner. God does live and He has no hands but our own to lift the needy and poor in Spirit. Thor, about a week or so ago, commented on how amazing it is- all the "God work" that gets accomplished by all of us who are so bungling and ill qualified for the job. But God whispers to us to do more than we are capable, He fills our weakness and makes us stronger; and He, through our giving (in many ways), creates a miracle.

Seems like a fabulous day to give with a song in my heart. How 'bout you?

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti

Please click here for an LDS response , and how you too can help.
The cliff notes are:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has already sent baby kits, hygiene kits, and water which arrived yesterday.
2 additional planes will be loaded (80,000 pounds each plane) with water purification bottles, food, blankets, tarps, tents, and other supplies; along with medical supplies and LDS Dr.s who will set up temporary hospitals in the Church Buildings in and around Port au Prince, most of which remain in tact. These 2 planes will be in the air Saturday and Sunday. Supplies will trucked into the area via coordinated efforts with local partners already in place and also via the Dominican Republic.

100% of all donations made to and through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints go directly to the aide of these people. No personnel are paid. All volunteers spend their own money and time to help. Be assured that if you choose to donate, every penny will go directly to the victims' relief and supplies.

Thank you.

P.S. In response to a query in my mail box: "How safe are the church buildings? I heard that even the regular hospitals are unstable and they are using tents instead of being inside. I don't think any buildings are safe there."

All buildings built around the globe by or for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are built to the U.S. safety standards, and therefor are more stable than most as they meet or exceed U.S. Earthquake Safety Requirements. Most of the buildings, including hospitals and even the Royal Palace, were probably not built to retrofit or current U.S. safety standards. This explains why these buildings are still stable and standing.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday


Today was a terrific and inspiring day at church.

Our speakers were a young married couple with 2 kids- 13 and 11. The mom bore her testimony of listening to the Spirit of the Lord and making a life altering decision that turned their family completely inside out. It was a decision that was difficult to follow through on, but one that she knew was coming as a direct influence of the Lord. Her testimony of the effect of following the Spirit and how it improved their lives was astounding and profound. You could feel her struggle and her resulting joy through her tears and words. Not only she and her husband, but more so her children's lives, were made better by difinitive leaps. She taught us to lean to the Lord for His will and to follow His promptings more closely... even when those promptings seem unlikely or we are unsure of how those promptings will finish.

Her husband followed her with his talk, continuing the theme of listening to the Spirit and following the Lord's will in all we do. His emphasis seemed to teach me that practise makes perfect and it is only after acting on promptings will we come to see more clearly the hand of the Lord in our everyday life. He remarked about his personal history; times when he looked back and could clearly decipher those times when he took a leap of faith and those times when because he hesitated, he lost out on experiences that would have benefitted not himself, but those around him.

He also talked a bit about difficult times and two things he said I thought were, not only profound and simple, but are hugely true and as deep as you care to make them:

#1 "Always remember, you are better off than you think you are."
#2 "Hard is normal."

#1 We are better off than we think we are. If only we could remember those words when we begin to think egatively. In almost every aspect of our lives, we are truly better off than we percieve. Water for an example. We in the U.S. use it to swim in, to wash everything in, to play with, to drink, to bathe, even to decorate with! There are many people on this planet who barely have enough to drink, much less to use on their crops, and would never ever think to use it to fill a water balloon to throw at their little brother and his friends. Think of the ways we are better off mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, environmetally, yada yada yada than other people on the planet. We are better off than we think.

#2 Think of all the things in life that are much more meaningful because we had to work for them, or because they have come to us after much effort or trial or sacrifice. Children, jobs, our homes, a new car, education, wisdom, etc. Can anyone gain wisdom without trial and sacrifice? Also, it is a common mean that we must all have experience, and most of our beneficial experiences are due to hard or difficult circumstances. If we can remember that, perhaps we won't become too discouraged when we have new challenges to face. Hard is normal.

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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Livin' the Wild Life






video

I was just leaving the temple, the sun was going down and the wonderful mid 70s warmth was swiftly lowering. The shadows were getting long and dark and the light through the grove was dim. However, as I passed the deep green trees the bright orange balls of fruit caught my eye. There were ripe oranges in the foliage and over ripe oranges on the soft gray and brown earth. The contrast drew me in... and then I saw him/her. A sweet(?) little coyote snacking on the sweet juice and pulp on the ground. She was just 10 or so feet from the road and -whoosh!- I drove by. (In the video you can see the light gray rock curb and the cars and trucks driving by! She's right on the curb!)

I pulled a quick u-turn and grabbed my camera. No light, no getting out and setting up my tripod, just shut off the engine and shoot. Most of the frames I got were so dark I had to bring out the light in a "photo shop" type of program, bleh! I hate hate hate photo shop-ing my shots, but if I wanted to see the dog, I needed to. I took this little video hoping to get a glimpse of something cool.

It's not NatGeo, but it sure was fun to see this wild little beast enjoying his visit into the grove. Enjoy.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Monday, January 04, 2010

Back to reality

Thor and The Scholar are making their way back to Durham. The Scholar had come home for Christmas, partially to celebrate, but also to pick up a car so that her life can be a tad easier out at Duke. Oy.

First, her choices were between "hmmm" and "are you sure?". One car works fabulously, is older, had good gas mileage, non working odometer (so who knows how many actual miles the car has on its engine?), and is made from a now defunct car company, so parts and mechanics will be sketchy. The other is a small truck with a shell, less efficient mileage, tougher to get into in a dress, and probably more expensive to repair if that deems necessary. She chose the truck because if she needed a $500 repair and eventually wanted to sell the truck it would still be worth about $3,500. The car? It, no matter how much money you throw at it, will always be a $350 car.

So they head out for the cross continental drive late Saturday. They made good time the first day, slept in the cab because, as privious travelors had found, there was no room in the Inns along the way. Day two brought a place to sleep, however The Scholar dislodged tooth cap! Calls were made and suggestions given until a "real" dental appointment could be had, and off they rode again.

They made Shreveport last night and reluntently stopped early to stay the night. Once in the room they heard report after report about black ice and sheet ice on the roads and many road hazards and accidents. So they hunkered down and stayed warm until the roads cleared. They have been advised to get off the road once the sun goes down again, so today Atlanta is the goal, well that and "eating on the right side of my mouth because the temporary glue set before the tooth was completely down...now it's higher than the other teeth. Bummer."

Me? I am (procrastinating on the computer until I really get to) putting away the Christmas decorations. This year there were 26 trees, 17 of which were decorated with actual ornaments that need to be taken off. Wish me determination and stamina.

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Or not...

ugh, what is it with You Tube and blogger?

Well here's the link for the video, enjoy!


"Andrea Bocelli and the MoTabs

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sometime soon You Tube will post a video I sent over. It's Andrea Bocelli singing with the MoTabs! It reminded me of a time in my childhood when our family explored the Catholic Faith. Lots of pomp, lots of ritual, lots of memorizing! We learned to memorize the Lord's Prayer, the 23 Psalm, and of course John 11:35 (Jesus wept.); which came in very handy a few years later when we explored the Baptist Faith (who, during Vacation Bible School, required one to recite a memorized verse to recieve the day's piece of candy.) There were other memorizations, prayers, verses, songs... lots of songs! -but that short little verse proved profitable rather than inspirational to a small child.

Any who, I digress. Andrea Bocelli and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir = Fabulous! Check to see if you don't get chills when that man sings "Glory" (both times!). Terrific. Wonderful. Enjoy.

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