Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Compliments and Kudos

Compliments and Kudos, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Over the Christmas holiday, my buddy Willie grew a mustache. He has shaved it since then, but this picture really cracks me up!!! He knew it would eventually make an appearance on my blog, so here it is now. He doesn't always look like Ben Stiller's Character from Dodgeball. Willie just accepted a deaconate at his church. (Losing the mustache probably helped ;) Congratulations my friend.

Interestingly, I received a compliment from a friend of mine yesterday. He left me an Instant Message while I was out watching a movie. Check it out.

"i got to thinking the other day my friend and while i have yet to adopt your faith i wanted to tell you i have the utmost respect for you due to it your about the only person who i've met that dosen't force it on people and keeps an open mind about it and just generally seems to want to share something that they consider a gift. i wish there were more of you out there my man because in my book your one of the best people out there i've met"

Pretty cool compliment, I think. I debated putting this comment my friend shared up here. I wouldn't want people to think I was tooting my own horn. I've posted this comment because it was a great encouragement for my day. Little notes like this go a long way when we are having tough times. Even when everything is going well, they are like a balm for our spirits.

If you have an opportunity, and somebody has encouraged you, or been an example to you--take a minute and write them a little note. Little encouragements go a long way!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

In the flow or connexxion

In the flow, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Although it doesn't fully look like it, this is a picture of me snowboarding down a hill at one of my friend's house. I love snowboarding. It's like surfing on snow. I just like being in the flow with things in general.

Like today. Today has been such an amazing day. I had a full night of sleep. And when I woke up, I had some greating connection with the creator of the universe. Then, I got a bunch of paperwork done before it had the chance to pile up on me (it's so easy to procrastinate and get in trouble with that kind of stuff). Then, I went out to Chestnut Ridge with Brian, Megan, and Cameron, three people who I work with at WVU. We walked around the space, we caught up on life, we shared stories, we played basketball, and in the middle of all of this we were able to connect and talk about a lot of stuff happening among our community. It was fun, relaxed, refreshing, and topped off with a delicious meal at Ruby and Ketchy's, a local restaurant with scrumptious food.

After that, I went with cameron to Starbucks and had some great conversation/connecting times with a couple of students, and managed to also do a little planning for some future events for h2o and our canvas groups.

Cam and I left the coffee shop, and I arrived at home. I caught up on some emails, and had a few short chats on instant messenger with people. Then, I went to see a movie, Pan's Labyrinth. It was pretty interesting (don't want to give away anything).

So I ran down to the theater because I knew that if I wanted to see this movie, I couldn't do it later in the day. It would interrupt my flow.

I arrived a few minutes late, but stuck around and watched the beginning of the next showing of the movie. While I was waiting, I saw a guy who was in a French class I tried to get into and a guy who used to come by the waterhouse (our old ministry center). It was way cool being able to recognize and connect with them.

On my way back home I called my brother, and while I was talking to him (in the freezing cold), another friend drove by and offered me a ride in their warm car.

When I returned to the house I was able to get even more done, and connect with some more folks who I haven't seen/heard from in a while.

It was an amazing day, and I just love it when days like this happen. They are rewarding on so many levels. It's late, and I feel totally relaxed and refreshed.

I would love to hear about your experience with a day like this. I know we all have them from time to time, and they are SOOOOO good! Hope whenever you read this--you are having one of these days!!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Finally A Gator Bowl Victory

Last week at the WVU v. USF basketball game, the WVU football team was honored during halftime.

It's interesting to me, because I believe 1984 was the first year we plaeyed in the gator bowl. My neighbor bought me a gator bowl tshirt for Christmas. My dad laughed and said those shirts would probably be really cheap in the near future. And they were, because WVU lost.

Losing bowl games makes for some pretty inexpensive shirts, but I will take a win any day. In the center of the picture are several players, and coach Rodriguez. Even though my new camera has 5x zoom, I was sitting in the upper section of the colisseum. There is only so much a zoom can do I guess.

Here's to the Mountaineers.

The Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star

One of my friends sent me this video link on you tube. For many, it is a very familiar video. It is the first video ever shown on MTV in the early 80s.

So why am I posting this? You could look at it as an insight to how quickly fashions can and should change. you could look at it as a reason why many people love/hate 80s music. But there is something different that strikes me here.
Video has completely changed our society. I may do a future post on this subject but for now, I want you to think about how many televisions you have in your house. How much time do you spend in front of a screen--computer/tv/other? How has this media enhanced your life, and your appreciation for the written/spoken word?

Have you ever thought about this? Words are powerful, but when you put those words to a rhythm and melody, you majorly accent those words. Throw visual images in the mix, and the story that mere words tell becomes more complex.

In some ways multi-media limits our imagination, but in other ways, it has opened the door to a whole new world of imaginative exploration and creation.

What do you think about the power of media to creatively communicate a story?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Cabin in the Hills

Cabin in the Hills, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
For the last few years, my dad and I have talked about how great it would be to have a cabin to get away to in the mountains. My brother in law, was also interested in the idea. When I say cabin, put away all thoughts of some fancy log cabin with a really romantic fireplace. I'm talking about an old camper with a roof built over it and a porch.

It's near Elkins WV in the middle of the Monongahela National Forest. It would be a place in the mountains for family and friends to retreat to, to go fishing, to go hunting, or to just get away from life in town.

It looks like this dream is soon to become reality. So who is up for a fishing trip? Or, who just wants to get away and chill for a weekend? By the way, when I say chill, I should also say that we would have to bring an electric heater with us, especially in this weather.

I am so excited for this little opportunity for family and friends. Looking forward to hanging out there in the future!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Mom on the Road

Mom on the Road, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
This week has proven difficult for me to blog for a number of reasions, but rather than giving excuses, I will give you one of the myriad things I've been thinking about--my mom!!!

This week, I have had the privilege of spending a lot of time with her. I went home for MLK day, and worked from there Tuesday. Yesterday, I drove to Elkins to look at a fishing cabin that my dad and brother-in-law are thinking about buying. Mom went with them too.

I realized after my last visit I didn't take a picture of my mom, so I made sure to get this one yesterday at the fish camp.

My mom is soooo awesome!!! My dad and I were talking about this fishing camp late last night, and then we started talking about my mom, and how much she means to us. She has been a quiet leader in our family. My dad leads our household, but my mom takes care of everything behind the scenes. Over the last several months, my dad has had to take on many responsibilities that my mom used to take care of.

Last night he said that she was just such a good person, and that she cares for everybody. My mom has a big heart!!! (and so does my dad for that matter!!!) I think they have ingrained it into us kids. But My dad said something truly beautiful about my mom. "She is a good woman."

I agree Dad. My mom is a good woman. And my dad is a good man. I am so thankful for both of them. I am so thankful that they raised me in such big-hearted way.

My mom is so strong, so gentle, so compassionate, and so beautiful. I hope I can bring beauty into the world the way she has over the course of her life.

Do you take time to reflect on the goodness God has instilled in those who are around you? Whose faith and life do you want to imitate?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Martin Luther King

Today we observe Martin Luther King Day in the United States. I found this video on youtube, and I was riveted by it. I know it is a little long, but it is worth the watch if you have the time. I feel like we know too little of the great orators of our modern world. I thoroughly enjoy reading and listening to the great words of great leaders like Dr. King.
I hope you enjoy the video and take time to reflect upon his eloquence, his leadership and his contribution to the fabric of God's world.
Who knows, maybe you are reading this and God is inspiring you to share the hope of Shalom that Jesus offers every one of us.
Dream big! Dream of Shalom!
What great venture of faith is God calling you to give your life to?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mom Before Her Second Dose of the New Chemo

i've been meaning to blog this photo for quite a while. I took it at around 6.30AM on January 3. People have been asking me how Mom has been doing. Well, here she is.

She's had her second dose of chemo since this picture, and she has been suffering from a cough for nearly two months. Although she has had some great reports in terms of her cancer, she still needs a lot of prayer. We aren't sure where the cough is coming from, but I heard it for the first time the morning I left. (Coughs are always worse in the morning). She just started taking an antibiotic this week for the cough, and it seems to be working.

There have been some questions about her heart in recent weeks too. Anyone who knows her, knows that her heart is one of the biggest and strongest ones out there. She's a compassionate and caring lady. Nobody questions that. The concern is that the chemo medicine may be doing physical damage to her heart muscle. Please pray that this is not the case, and that her emotionally strong heart is also a physically strong one. She had a stress test today to check out her heart, but I don't know the results yet.

Please keep her in your prayers, and thanks for being faithful in prayer this far!

Nice Shot

I just finished reading a brief article about a historic event that happened on this day in history. Today insulin was first used to treat diabetes in a human being. Just think how many lives have been saved, and the improvement in the quality of life that has been given to so many people because of this innovation.

My mom takes insulin shots. At least one of my uncles suffers from diabetes. Many American Indian people suffer from diabetes. Most of us know someone who has been affected by the advent of this injection. In the photo above, you can see some insulin crystals.

So why am I writing about this? It's a bit of a strange topic by itself, but I think the thing to consider is innovation. God has made us to be innovative and imaginative people. We were made to imagine the world a better place, and bring that imaginative vision into reality.

What is it that God wants you to bring from an idea into reality? How does God want you to apply your mind, your abilities, and your skills to make His world even more beautiful?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Future of Cell Phones

It's been a while since I have blogged, and the irony is that I have had such a large amount to blog about, I have simply lacked the time/opportunity to do it well. So today, I am just blogging about the most exciting piece of technology since the ipod. Apple changed the way we thought about computers, and now we have computers in the majority of homes in America. Then, in 2001, Apple changed the way we listen to music with the advent of the ipod.

Tuesday, Apple unveiled the future of cellular phones, the iphone. If you use a cellular phone, apple has combined the capabilities of a cell phone, an ipod, an email/chat service, and internet browsing in a handheld device. The phone features a 2MP camera among other neat goodies.

Even though I love the advances we are making in technology, and the way Apple makes technology so fun and accessible, even to non-techies like me, I still wonder about things. (Don't get me wrong, this phone is way up on my birthday/Christmas list if you are wondering what to get a hip young shawnee with a love for cool stuff that makes life easier.)

I wonder, as simple as the cell phone and email/chats make it to stay connected, are we better connected? What about time to think and be alone? I mean, on the college campus, I see hundreds of students every day with cell phones attached to their ears as they walk between classes. Are the people gabbing away better connected with their friends? With themselves? With God? Sometimes I wonder if we aren't just the most distracted generation in history.

Again, no mistake, if I held the power of the iphone in my hands, I would use it for good! And cell phones in general have allowed us to stay connected with more people, more often. What do you think about cell phones? Have they been a help or a hindrance to you in your life? And what do you think about the iphone? Pretty cool huh!!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Walmart Pushes for Changing Bulbs

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb, originally uploaded by strobist.
So, when one thinks about the environment, perhaps walmart isn't the first name that comes to mind. But, according to this recent New York Times article, Walmart is serious about minimizing energy consumption in the United States by heavily promoting compact fluorescent bulbs.
The article is pretty interesting because it goes over pros and cons of the bulbs. I'm planning to change out a few more bulbs myself this year. And of course, I always welcome you to take a step and make the change as well. There has been a lull on the one billion bulbs campaign, but perhaps you will want to make a New Year's Resolution, and join my friends of chanchanchepon group so we can track our collective savings and reduction of waste.

Let's do our part to make the world a better place in 2007! What steps are you going to take?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Leaping into a New Year

Leaping into a New Year, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.

My best friend on the planet, Willie, and his family came to visit the family for new years. We went to see Brett Cain with a handful of people from Morgantown last night.

This morning the new year started. Just like Willie's son in this picture, Willie and I have made a commitment to leap into 2007 with a number of goals.

Among our goals are fitness goals. Willie is attempting to lose weight and get fit. You can track his progress here.

Willie got me a new pair of Nike+ running shoes, an armband, a Nike+ sensor, and an ipod nano to help me move toward fitness goals. I ran almost five miles today. I ran too hard, and I am really tired.

But . . .I have made a resolution for January. I am going to run 100 miles this month, or else I will remain silent for 48 hours. So, feel free to ask me about my goal, and if I don't talk for a couple of days in February, you'll know how I fared. 48 hours of silence may not seem like much, but for someone who is as involved with people as I am, it will prove to be quite difficult.

So have you made any new years resolutions? Any goals for 2007? I have a few other goals, but perhaps I will save them for a future entry. If you haven't set any goals for 2007, perhaps now is the time to take a leap of faith and set some goals. You can post them here, and then I can encourage you toward seeing them become reality!!!

New Arrival

New Arrival, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Well, I finally received my new camera, and as a result, I have been able to take some photos of the newest member of our family. Meet Daisy May. This little Shih Tzu is my mom's Christmas present this year, and she is adorable. She is six years old, and she has quickly captured the hearts of everyone who sees her.

It has been a while since we have had any dogs around the house, and it's been very cool seeing how Daisy has affected my mom and dad. There is some excitement in the house, and mom and dad are both thrilled to be caring for this dog. In fact, mom goes outside with Daisy every time she needs to go out. I feel like God has used this pet to breath new life and vitality into our house.

Daisy is a well behaved dog too. She is housebroken, and I believe she has taken to the family very quickly. I've been wanting to get some pictures of her for about a week, but I just started playing around with my new camera Sunday.

How have your pets affected you and your home?