Monthly Archives: February 2012

reading through 2012: week 8

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
― C.S. Lewis

books! one of my new year’s goals was to read 52 books in 2012. that’s one a week. so far, i’m exactly on track. it’s week 8 and i just finished my 8th book. here’s what i’ve been reading since i last updated you guys.

The Return of the King. Being the third part of the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. i was reading through the entire Lord of the Rings series again, starting with The Hobbit. i had finished the other three last year so that’s why it looks like i was reading just the third. it was actually only the second time that i’ve read through the entire series. i don’t really have words to describe how wonderful they are. i’ve learned so much, been so inspired and my life has been changed by these books. and they’re the most incredible fantasy stories.. ever.

“I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.” ― C.S. Lewis

The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Sterns . do you ever feel like something big is missing in your life.. something important? if you want to be staggered out of inward focused christianity, this is the book for you. i listened to it on audiobook and it held me in rapt attention. and i cried. a lot. written by the president of World Vision, its about the bleeding world around us. and how we can change it.

Crazy Love by Francis Chan. this book is about love. God’s crazy, radical love for us. our love for him. and those around us. it’s one of the most beautiful pictures of what love really is that i’ve ever seen. and how to really love. radically. tangibly.

Take Your Best Shot by Austin Gutwein. if you don’t think there’s any way a 9 year old boy can change the world by shooting free throws, think again. it’s about the boy who started Hoops of Hope to raise money for orphans caused by the AIDS pandemic. it’s about how God wants to use you, in whatever it is you are passionate about, to make a difference in the world.

so. do you guys have any book recommendations for me? i still have 44 to go before the end of the year! what are some of your favorite books? the ones you could read over and over?

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the end of your comfort zone.

to purchase this photo in high resolution click HERE. 100% of profits go to help people in need.

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beauty in the rain.

yesterday was one of those rainy days. not the kind that have a torrential downpour and then it’s sunshine again. but the kind that it just drizzles all day long. dark clouds and damp earth and raindrops on everything. the air is humid and a little cold and the sky seems to be so close.. as if it’s trying to hold you in an embrace.
i love days like that. they make me want to sit at a coffeeshop and read. or talk to friends. and thats exactly what i did yesterday. i finished reading a book called “crazy love” by francis chan. and i’m going to share a little bit of it with you because it’s just that good.

“A person who is obsessed with Jesus is more concerned with his or her character than comfort. Obsessed people know that true joy doesn’t depend on circumstances or environment; it is a gift that must be chosen and cultivated, a gift that ultimately comes from God (James 1:2-4).” -Crazy Love, by Francis Chan

“A person who is obsessed with Jesus knows that the best thing he can do is to be faithful to his Savior in every aspect of his life, continually saying, “Thank you!” to God. An obsessed person knows there can never be intimacy if he is always trying to pay God back or work hard enough to be worthy. He revels in his role of child and friend of God.” -Crazy Love, by Francis Chan

i feel like i could quote the whole book on here, but i won’t. why don’t you just read it and then you’ll understand why? :) Crazy Love. love is crazy. especially when you think of it that an all-powerful, perfect, holy and incredible God choses to love us, relentlessly, unselfishly, and unendingly? that is crazy.

what if we dared to love him back? what if we dared to open up our hearts and accept that crazy love he offers so freely and desires so deeply to give? what if we stopped trying to earn his love, but actually just stopped and accepted it? not trying to prove anything? realizing that we could never, ever, ever earn it.

“There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion (Man’s search for God), suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant for it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us?” -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

are we scared of finding God? scared of Him finding us? of showing him the raw core of us?
“People who are obsessed (with Jesus) are raw with God; they do not attempt to mask the ugliness of their sins or their failures. Obsessed people don’t put it on for God; He is their safe place, where they can be at peace.” -Francis Chan, Crazy Love

the only way we could love him back like that – crazy, obsessively, is by accepting his love into our beings, our souls, the core of who we are. and he is just waiting for us to do it. for real.

We love, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

don’t be scared to accept that love. i know it can be hard sometimes. to accept love. especially from a God that big. but you’ll never regret it if you do. never.

to purchase these photos in high resolution click HERE. 100% of profits go to help people in need.

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project 365: days 55-57

i haven’t posted for a couple days, so i’m catching up! this was my photo of the day from saturday. it was a bouquet i bought for a valentines party i had.. and it kept lasting and lasting so beautifully! this was after it was already a week old. isn’t it beautiful?
and somehow i didn’t take a single photo on sunday. again. i’ve done this twice already and it makes me really sad!

i love trees. so much. they captivate me. and this is one of my absolute favorite trees. i call it “my” tree. it’s actually two trees, twisting into one. i pass it every time i drive to my parents house and yesterday morning i finally stopped and created some photos of it. this one is my favorite but i have a few others i want to show you guys, too. =}
yesterday was one of those drizzly, rainy days.. dark skies and moist earth. i love days like that.. and yesterday was no exception. i’ve got some pretty photos coming up, soon!
To purchase these photos in high resolution click HERE. 100% of profits go to help people in need.

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To purchase this photo in high resolution click HERE. 100% of profits go to help people in need.

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What I learned from my 30 hour famine..

As my famine has come to an end, I want to send you all a big thank you. For praying for me, for the people in need, for those of you who physically joined me on my famine, and of course to those of you who donated. I can’t express how incredibly much it means to me! And to think – you are heroes to those people facing another day without food! Your support meant the world to me.

Going into the famine I was doing it for 2 reasons. To raise awareness, and to raise money to help end global hunger. What I didn’t expect was how deeply it would change me. I got such a personal glimpse even if it was such a small one, of what so many people feel every day, all over the world. It felt so real. The pain. Yet I knew at the end of my famine that I could eat. I knew there was food in my pantry, and if there wasn’t, I could run over to the store and buy some. For thousands of people, none of those options are a reality. They went to bed hungry last night, and will again tonight. After searching desperately for food, for something to buy food with, or even for somewhere to buy it.
I know this sounds really silly and it’s okay if you laugh, but as I was preparing John’s dinner last night, the smell almost overpowered me. By then I had been without food since the night before and when I handed him his plate of steaming hot mexican, I literally had to fight tears. It smelled so good. And my stomach was growling ferociously. And I felt so tired, so little energy. That’s when it became so real to me.. that thousands of people go through this on a scale hundreds of times worse. I won’t ever really be the same.

I hope this made a difference in your lives, too. Reaching out to our family around the world who so desperately need us. So thank you again.. and the need is always there.

I don’t have a figure of how much I raised. I decided that wasn’t important.. for me to know how much came in. Because that’s not what mattered. What matters is that we looked beyond ourselves and helped change the world, one person at a time. Thank you for being that change.

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project 365: day 54

you know how i said i have a love affair for cupcakes? well, i also really want a puppy. but.. it just doesn’t work for us right now in our little apartment. so look at what my little sister gave me! a puppy with a .. cupcake! and he’s so very soft and cuddly. =} -bethany

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