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Rachel – Day 167

29 Nov

The News: A New Exciting Non-profit! Families in third world countries die every year from exposure to smoke due to cooking in the home. This new non-profit called “The AdVenture Project” has provided cheap, efficient stoves that burn on coal and are safe to use in the home. This will save lives and prevent health complications for countless people.

Check it out and get as involved as you will let yourself 🙂

http://theadventureproject.org/the-coal-project

Rachel – Day 166

6 Oct

The News: Jennifer Knapp – A Christian Musical Artists Comes Out. Click on link to watch Jennifer on Larry King Live with Pastor Ted Haggard and Pastor Bob Botford.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xDWc7SvBOA

My Comments: I am aware this is not current news, but I hadn’t seen this Larry King interview until tonight and it provoked me to share it with you. My comments regarding this interview and this issue as a whole are still in process. I have so much to learn about Christ and though I have some opinions (of which I will state because this is the section labeled “my comments”), I will also say I believe God has greater callings for our lives than to sit around and debate on hot topic issues when all He really wants us to do is be the hands and feet of Christ here on earth. So here goes:

I refuse to agree with a stance that segregates a group of people (and honestly, I hate that I have to use the words “group of people” because that in and of itself seems to separate them from others which I distaste), judges them, limits their involvement in the church and makes assumptions about that group of people’s relationship with God. I grew up in Christian circles, largely evangelicals of whom couldn’t see a horse in the room if it was standing right in front of them because the plank in their eye was so big. As a believer, I have traveled a journey with what I believe, how I see Jesus and what His cross and his Word (scripture) mean in my life. I admit it’s taken a lot of life experience and some pretty hard falls to be able to see that God’s grace covers all and that he is going to pursue us again and again regardless of the choices we make or the sins we commit. I have sinned enough to require the fullest of God’s grace and it’s because I know this side of the Lord that I also believe you can be homosexual and a Christian or a Believer, whichever term is preferred.

Consider this: Remember when whites used to think blacks were a lower human form, when they thought blacks were graver sinners, when they segregated them, judged and belittled them. Remember also when the Germans did said the same of the Jews, or even when it was accepted as fact that if you had AIDS, it meant you were homosexual and thus a sinner? Or remember when women weren’t allowed to speak in the Church (oh wait that still happens today)? Or remember when women had no rights at all? When Women were inferior to men (oh wait that is still the case in some places)?

I’m just saying, I don’t want sit here and say this or that group of people are sinners, they are separated from God, or they’re this or that. As we’ve moved along throughout history, we have had to put our tail between our legs and say “I’m sorry. Blacks are not any less than whites, Jews aren’t any less than Germans, women aren’t any less than men.”  Who are we to say they are? Are we God? NOPE. Thus, homosexuals (or gays to use the most current PC term) are certainly not any less than heterosexuals and definitely do not deserve the condemnation, judgement and segregation they have had to endure from many church people.

God’s highest commandment of us is to love Him and love each other as we love ourselves.  Let’s just focus on that 🙂  As I mentioned before, I don’t believe God wants us to be spending our time proving our interpretation of the scripture. I believe instead of focusing on the Christian “hot topics” of the current time, Christ would rather us be serving the poor, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and loving our neighbors. Mother Teresa new what was up.

Click on the link below if you’re interested in seeing Jennifer Knapp in concert. She is currently on tour.

http://www.jenniferknapp.com/shows

Rachel – Day 165

4 Oct

The News: Dream Manipulation. Since the hit movie “Inception” hit theaters, people have become more interested in dreaming. Research shows one can manipulate their dreams by doing a number of things. You can concentrate on what you want to dream about as you go to bed at night. Chances are you will dream about the last thing you were consciously thinking about. You can introduce an outside factor like having someone whisper to you as you are sleeping or having them make a noise or flash a light. All of these things can redirect your dreams.

You can go to bed telling yourself you want to find the solution to this problem in your life and sometimes this will work. Scientists have dreamt lucid formulas and solutions to problems while they are sleeping.

Also, if you think on dreaming during the day and make mental notes that you are not dreaming, then your dream recall can be higher. The more you are interested in your dreams, the higher probability that you will remember them.

(http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/health/2010/07/20/am.science.sleep.inception.cnn)

My Comments: Dreams have always fascinated me. I dream quite a bit and I remember at least one a night sometimes more. Often times I can’t recall all the details of my dreams but occasionally I will be able to remember every little detail and emotion I had while in that particular dream.

My whole family dreams and I believe they are significant dreams. I think God chooses to speak to us while we are sleeping if we let Him. My mom dreamt a solution to one of my life’s dilemma’s several weeks ago, isn’t that crazy? I think dreaming is our brain’s (perhaps our spirit’s too) way of working out the overload of our lives because we can’t do it all when we are awake. I think dreaming helps us unwind our stress so that we feel truly rested and refreshed for the next day ahead of us.

I think dreaming is spiritual, beautiful, creative, weird, and sometimes very scary. Try to remember your dreams tonight, I wonder what’s in your head?

Rachel – Day 164

3 Oct

The News: Looking for World Altering Documentaries? click on the link below to view a list of the 12 most influential, life-changing documentaries that have literally altered the way people think and live in lasting ways.

http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20429546,00.html

My Comments: I guess I have to start liking documentaries more because I haven’t seen any of these. However, I did just recently watch an intriguing documentary that’s not on the list called “No Impact Man.” Its about a guy who somehow convinced his wife to go along with his year long plan of having literally no impact on the earth in a detrimental way. So this couple with their 2-year-old daughter live for one year buying only local food; only reused/second-hand products (they bought nothing new unless it was food); having no trash; using no fuels (walk and bike everywhere); no electricity (no refrigerator, no blow dryer, no washing machine…..nada). The guy did his research and pretty much accomplished living without any harmful impact on the earth for a year. Pretty crazy and a little inspiring.

Rachel – Day 163

30 Sep

The News: You Can Pay Your Lawn Guy With A Credit Card. A company called Square (Chief Executive being the co-founder of twitter, Jack Dorsey), has invented a device that you can attach to your iPhone, iPad or iPod which allows you to receive payments from people via their credit card. So if your lawn guy has an iPhone and the device, you just swipe your credit card on his phone, sign and give your email and a receipt it emailed to you for the transaction.

If you have a garage sale, your customers can purchase anything with their credit card. If you own a small business, this could be your credit card machine.

There are no monthly fees, just a 2.75% charge on the total plus $0.15 on each transaction which is significantly cheaper than what merchants pay.

(http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/technology/personaltech/30pogue.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=general&src=me)

My Comments: I like it! Great minds 🙂

Rachel – Day 162

29 Sep

The News: The Uneducated Religious. Researches phoned over 3,400 Americans and asked them 32 questions about the Bible, other religions, religious figures, religious history…etc. Roughly all who took the survey only knew 50% of the questions asked. Atheists and agnostics scored the very highest, then Jews and Mormons.

(http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/us/28religion.html?bl)

My Comments: Hmmm…..why is it that the Church is so far behind in most things (e.g. green initiatives….taking care of the earth as God asked us to in the Bible; knowledge of religion……we should be a leading credible source for religious knowledge).

Shouldn’t we know what we believe because we also know what others believe. Do you have your beliefs because you were brought up to believe those things or because you have really found out for yourself that you believe what you believe upon your own convictions, knowledge, intuition…etc.

Click on the link below to take the short version of the quiz, it’s only 15 questions. See if you can get over 50% correct.

http://features.pewforum.org/quiz/us-religious-knowledge/

Rachel – Day 161

26 Sep

The News: Starbucks Increasing Prices. Increased commodity prices and green coffee is causing places like Starbucks to charge more for their drinks. However, there a few inside secrets to getting cheaper drinks at the ‘bucks.

  • Bring your own mug – saves you $0.10 a drink
  • Keep the Starbucks cup you bought, use it again for a $0.50 refill
  • Get a Starbucks card for a free coffee on your birthday and earn free tea and coffee along the way.
  • Want a Latte? Order an espresso on ice in a big cup. Then use the condiment station to add the dairy and sugar and vwaala, you have a latte only much cheaper.
  • And finally, if you have the convenience to do this then cancel your home internet and only use the WIFI at Starbucks when you go buy a drink. However, if you go everyday, this could end up being more expensive than your home internet.

(http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/110809/secrets-starbucks-doesnt-want-you-to-know)

Rachel – Day 160

22 Sep

The News: Rain. I was supposed to go on a nice evening bike ride with the hubby but it rained and he said he needed to study anyway. I’m bummed and there’s nothing in the news interesting enough to blog about so you get the Denver weather today 🙂


Rachel – Day 159

17 Sep

The News: Denver Mayor Wants To Raise Traffic Ticket Prices. Mayor John Hickenlooper wants to raise the city’s budget to make the city safer and help it recover from the recession by raising the price of traffic tickets up to 50% and some nearly doubling the original fine.

(http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/09/16/dnt.driving.fines.balance.budget.KUSA?iref=allsearch)

My Comments: I just have to say I want to throw curse words out after reading about this decision by the Mayor that he hopes passes congress.  My husband and I have paid about $400 in city tickets since we moved here in June (that’s only a 3 month period). We were ticketed 3 or was it 4 times for the same thing (tags expired) 3 of those tickets were on the same day while parked in the same space. This meant the officers who ticketed our car had seen the other ticket(s) and continued to ticket us again for the same offense. And yes, the end of the story is that we had to pay ALL of those tickets in addition to a late fee from the freakin’ DMV.

We get ticketed all the time for offenses we were never even told about. I got a ticket for parking my car too close to the end of the street where an alleyway was located. I was parked 3 feet away from it and apparently the rule is that you have to be parked  at least 5 feet from the end. I had no idea that was the rule. They need to give you a book of parking/traffic violations when you move to Denver because they’ll ticket you for EVERYTHING and ANYTHING.

In 2009, the city received close to 14 million dollars from traffic tickets of various kinds. Now they want to raise the prices of these tickets by 50-100%……again, really wanting to throw out some curse words right now.

Rachel – Day 158

16 Sep

The News: Uncommon Uses for Common Cabinet Ingredients. Click on link below, especially if you’re a Gire.

http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2010/09/16/55-food-editor-and-author-j-m-hirsch/?hpt=C2

My Comments: This stuff is crazy and I totally want to try it, particularly the balsamic vinegar with ice cream. I don’t doubt that one of my family member has tried at least a few of these already because all of you are culinary artists with amazing kitchen creativity, of which I somehow got gipped of along the way.