Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Who’s Barcode Do You Bear?

Beep.... beep.... beep...

We live in a barcode world. Little children love scanning the items at the checkout – they learn quickly that the black and white square makes the machine beep.

It’s amazing isn’t it - information stored in what appears to us as meaningless black lines and a handful of digits. But to the one who knows how to read it there is infinite value. What doesn't have a barcode these days? Even our mail is scanned to determine where it came from and where it is headed.

As Christians, we are marked with the Holy Spirit. God's own barcode- revealing whom we belong to and the destination we are guaranteed.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

Ephesians 1:13-14 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

If the Holy Spirit doesn’t mark you, you still have a delivery destination. We all have a barcode.

The bible tells there will come a day when we will be forced to make a public choice. Everyone's barcode will be visible and known.

Revelation 13:16-17 He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.

Those living without Christ, they already bear the beast’s barcode. It says you belong to the world, to the flesh. What appears to be of great benefit at first will become misery.

Revelation 16:2 The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly and painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image.

When Christ returns, He’ll scan the multitudes looking for His own.

Matthew 7:21&23 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven... Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' "

Matthew 24: 41&46 "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. ... Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Where are you headed?

Who’s barcode do you bear?

Monday, September 27, 2010

You're Beautiful

Heard this song today for the first time. I'm dedicating it to a friend, but maybe you need to hear these words today too.

To my Firefly
you are beautiful
and you are loved

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friday Night Lights

I love football. My sister and I, we were raised to love football. We were raised to know which teams to root for (Michigan) and which were the one's you always root against (Ohio State). Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy watching a good game, because frankly I just don't do it. I don't turn my TV on and watch 'the game.' Besides it's far less enjoyable when you are by yourself.

My friend, she does not love football. Yet her 3 boys all play and have for a number of years. When they first started, she knew nothing about the game at all. Not how many points a touchdown was or what a field goal was. Her life in the fall is football consumed. Case in point, I got a necklace of a bird.

After having noticed it, she walked up closer and said, "Oh.... it's a wing. I thought it was a football."

Last night, on a perfect fall football watching weather night... I agreed to accompany my friend to her oldest son's high school football game. It's been YEARS since I've been to a high school game. Within minutes I remembered how easy it is for me to get into the game.

And my friend... I think her mind is focused elsewhere (like nursing school, as it should be). She couldn't remember her son's number. She defintely knew more about what was going on than that first year, but still isn't quite up on all the points and rules and such. She asked for reassurance that a field goal was 3 points and was amazed I knew what intentional grounding was.

Let me side note here so you don't think I am being rude and slamming my friend. I love who she is. And I am fully aware that not everyone even wants to know all the ins and outs of football.... or anything else for that matter. And I might be completly stupid about something she is passionate about, like nursing. Disclaimer over.

We sat in front of some dads. You know the ones that coach from the stands and think the kids can hear them. But they were hilarious, not the mean, nasty kind. My favorite line from the night was when one of our players was down. Someone said, "He's hurt, but he made a good play." Men. The battle wound is worth it... Cracked me up.

Apparently her son's team hasn't played well so far this season, but they were playing quite well during the first half. Everyone was excited that they might win this game. And it was the quarterback's 18th birthday to boot.

With about 2 mins left in the game the score was 17 to 10, our favor. The other team was about midfield with 3rd and 10. The pass was incomplete, but they got called for interference. 15 yards closer and another shot for the other team. We manage to push them back and now they have 3rd and 20. AND THEY GET THE FIRST DOWN! Then they go on to score the touchdown and get the 2 extra points. With 1:38 left, it is now 18-17.

Everyone is into now. We can still win.

And then...

they throw and interception and the other team scores another touchdown.

Still over a minute left.
A touchdown & point would tie it.
Even the announcer said his heart couldn't take much more.

But they fell apart. Literally. False start. Snap over QB's head.
And the game was over.
And boys with heads hung walked back to their bus.

And I remember that with the game there is excitement when you think you might win and defeat doesn't feel so good. In the end... it's still just a game.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Wedding... Finally

So the wedding is over. It was beautiful. No major hiccups at all. Even Wayne's son, who decided for juvenile reasons to not attend the wedding, couldn't put a damper on the day for my mom and Wayne. Sitting in the lobby with Wayne's sister waiting to go light the candles, she asked me how my sister and I felt about the marriage and about her brother. I assured her we were happy for my mom and Wayne was a good guy. She said that she hasn't seen him so happy in a long time. That made me feel good.

Just waiting for the show to start

I simply love the stained glass window in the church.
I hope no one noticed the girl in a dress crawling around
the floor in the aisle with a camera.

It was my idea for my sis and I to sit.
Looks good and we got to rest.

My sister was so excited about playing on a grand
for the first time. She was almost afraid to hit the keys.

Our song went very well. I didn't really get all that nervous.
But my sister said her legs were shaking. We got lots of compliments on the piece.

The matron of honor, Mary and I. She is beautiful and super sweet.
She even loaned me her husband for a slow dance.
Except he didn't know how to dance and was so nervous.

At the rehearsal.
"Oh they say when you marry in June...."

All in all it was a great day. My sister and I had fun together. We danced at the reception... even a swing number. I came home exhausted. Fell asleep sitting on the couch and once I crawled into bed didn't move until I woke up the next morning. My mom and Wayne seemed really happy and in the end.... that's all that really matters.

For more photos visit here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

PEI - Best B-Day Part V

The beginning of my second week, we packed up the car and took a girls-only trip to Prince Edward Island (sorry Tiff. I'll get you there someday). Camping for 2 nights. To get to the island we had to cross this really long bridge (that I later discovered cost a fortune to cross) but makes for a neat photo.

Confederation Bridge

Jillian plays Anne. She's perfect for the role!

It was sweet how she kept saying she wanted Anne to be real. The following was LMM thoughts on the reality of Anne.

One of my favorite photos ever. (Obviously a JD masterpiece)

I loved the feeling of writing at Green Gables. I only wish I had my actual journal to write it, but if that were the case I might have stayed there all day.

Green Gables House

This was taken on the grounds of the house LMM grew up in.

Shots of PEI Landscape

Campfire started with 1 kitchen match. Girl power! After yummy s'mores (mine with dark chocolate and peanut butter) we threw some magic flame into the fire. All three of us took a ton of photos of the flames. This is just one of my favorite ones.

Cow's Ice Cream. Number #1 in the world according to Reader's Digest.

Jillian found this cat in the house. With the hat... it was too adorable to resist.

After we finished touring the Cavendish area and the rest of the LMM locations, we headed to the capital of Charlottetown for a few hours. I didn't know what to expect, but as we entered the downtown area and it had a NY, Greenwich Village feel, I was excited to explore and enjoy.

A blue door

A rare capture of the camera-elusive JD.
And she's smiling!

After returning from the island, I spent one last day in St. John with the Zoo. Then JD and I hopped into the car and drove over 20 laughter-filled hours (over 2 days) back to Michigan. We enjoyed a few last days together. It was sad to see her go. Yes... I cried.
Since this is the year of So Much More.... this trip was more than I could have ever asked for. In so many ways, it grew me and changed me. It strengthened my faith. It taught me even more about myself and perhaps most importantly it made me believe in being beautiful and loved again.
Thank you again my friend for such an incredible blessing. And thank you to the rest of you who love me and encourage me. Thank you for sharing this experience with me thru these words and photos.

Just in case you missed my other favorite photos hop on over to Overlapping Differences and check them out.

Whale Watching - Best B-day Part IV

Who knew beautiful clear sunny days in New Brunswick would cause high winds that postponed our whale watching adventure for several days in a row. Finally... we got to go. The weather was still perfect too.

In order to get to our tour boat, we had to take the ferry to Grand Manan Island. We sat up top, let the wind blow our hair and listened to these adorable French kids (from actual France) chase each other around because there was a shark. A whale was even spotted from the ferry. But I was praying for better.

Confession: After trying to take photos and missing most of the whale. I gave up. The whale shots that follow were all taken by JD.

View from the ferry as we left for Grand Manan

Tail! I wonder who sits and tries to match these things.

Phew! Who had the krill for lunch?

A little TOO close. The boat got out of the way pretty quickly.

I informed JD of all the correct whale body part terms and bombarded her with tid-bit whale facts the whole afternoon.

After all the sun and fresh air, I was pretty tired.
I had really wanted to see a whale breach. Apparently one did - on the other side of the boat. This was my 3rd whale watch and I have yet to see that. But this one was still the best. The humpbacks did put on quite a show. And something to look forward to for the next time... I hope.

Hopewell Rocks - Best B-day Part III

On one of the many bright sunshine-filled days we went to Hopewell Rocks. On the way there the kids were a little fiesty so we decided to play 20 questions. Everyone had a good time with it. But really.... who picks a POTTERY WHEEL as their object?? We couldn't figure that one out even after a 100 questions. Josh's RUBBER BAND was the best one. Oh... and I can't forget the giant cows we stopped by that the kids climbed and named Big Bob and Little Bob.

Hopewell Rocks has the highest tides in the world as 100-billion tonnes of salt-water slowly fills the Bay of Fundy. We got there a couple hours after high tide so the waters are already receding. But take note of where the water is when we arrived.


While waiting for the tide to go out, Jillian and I took a walk further down the beach and found this spot. We practiced our rock skipping for a little bit.

The rock skipping beach

Keep your eye on the arch

Jillian found this snail. It was apparently not shy.

And now.... just an hour or so later, we are standing in the archway.
Walking on the ocean floor.

Feeling the water
Another great day. The beauty of nature was abundant here. I could feel the majesty and creativity of God surrounding us, from the massive rocks, to water which comes and goes on schedule never waivering, to a tiny snail, and rocks that fly across water. Peace. Peace was in this place.

The Kids - Best B-day Part II


This boy stole my heart. I couldn't help it. When he smiled, his whole faced beamed. And when I said something stupid and he said, "Oh, Tia" it made mine beam.

So thrilled...

Can you find the adult in this photo?

The blue converse are sacred. The mud must not get on the shoes.


My treasured Brandon moment was a late night when he said to his mom, "Tia needs to come home again so she can meet Sergei. This IS like her other home."

A first for both of us. It was so much fun.

My last day, the boys took me to the waterfall where you can jump off the side into the water. Except, I'm a little afraid of heights, so where they jumped from was quite a bit higher than I was willing to dare. But they were so sweet and encouraging and got me past my fears. This time with them was so fun.


This was taken in the Cavendish area of PEI where all things are Anne and Green Gables. The hat... not quite so flattering on me.


This is one of my favorite photos from the trip. Camping on PEI ended up being just us girls.

check out her expression

The crazy zoo! I fit right in.