the coffin maker

Posted by    |    May 23rd, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Every year, Americans bury enough metal in the ground to rebuild the Golden Gate Bridge, says Vashon Island coffin maker Marcus Daly. His simple, handcrafted wooden coffins are an economical and environmentally friendly burial alternative. But Daly believes a coffin’s most important feature is that it can be carried. Here’s why.

“Beauty and spirituality coming together, I want to watch this again. Thank you.”

“so human, so so human”

Special thanks to Marcus Daly of Marian Caskets. mariancaskets.com
Original music by Jesse Solomon Clark. agentsdelfuturo.com
Produced by Visual Contact visualcontact.com.

 

The Chapel

Posted by    |    January 7th, 2013 at 12:13 pm

In this video film maker Patryk Kizny takes on a visual tour of a beautiful Protestant chapel located in Zeliszów, Poland. Designed by Karl Langhans and built in 1796-1797 the chapel, as you can see, is now in ruins. This however does nothing to take away from it’s beauty. The dramatic music and sweeping cinematography come together to give us a true sense of how grand this chapel is and how much it has endured through the centuries. I also appreciate Kizny’s decision to use time lapse video so we can see the different ways the space is illuminated throughout the day

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Hire a Patriot

Posted by    |    October 1st, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Have you ever needed help keeping up with your lawn work, or painting a room or maybe just a babysitter? Well then you should check out HirePatriots. This incredible site provides Dallas residents a free job board where they can post work they needed done and hire local U.S veterans to do it. These day jobs help veterans earn extra money to pay the bills and take care of themselves and their families. The site also provides a place for veterans to post their resumes and find more permanent work. So next time you have a job around the house that needs to be done help a Veteran by letting them help you.

Mirror mirror on the wall…

Posted by    |    April 6th, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Motherhood has a way of holding a mirror up to your life – or at least, for me, it did.  I’m talking about one of those magnifying mirrors with extra light for added visibility.  Oh, the blemishes!  But it wasn’t the blemishes on my face that disgusted me – although I can assure you, they were there.  What became visible in that mirror of motherhood were the blemishes on the inside.  It was…gross.  My Bobbi Brown warm ivory creamy concealer worked wonders on my face, but I needed something for my heart.

I could no longer ignore that my life, for the most part, had been all about me.  Sure, I’d had moments of putting others needs ahead of my own.  But once that got too painful or uncomfortable, I’d quickly scamper back to my comfort zone.  Even my prayer life was selfish.  How often I prayed for my own needs with little mention of others.  I looked into the mirror and saw a tired, endless cycle of vain attempts to keep life happy, comfortable, carefree, painless…a life without growth.  A life all about me.

I felt God tugging on my heart, telling me to let go…of my own will…of my own way of doing things, of my desires, my excuses…even my failures.  The more my focus was on self, the more empty my life seemed.  I remembered the words Jesus spoke in Matthew - If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. That truth resonated in my head but had yet to make it’s transforming mark on my heart.

Over the last year, God has been faithful in showing me that real joy comes from pouring myself into the lives of others – and for me, that starts in the home with my husband and my son.  What an awesome responsibility He’s given me.  I get to be head cheerleader in the lives of my boys.  (And after not making the cheer leading squad twice in junior high – this is pretty cool.)  I’m asking God to develop within me a servant’s heart…a heart that delights in putting their needs ahead of my own.

As hard as it is to admit, this doesn’t come naturally.  I stumble often.  I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t get a heart transplant without spending some serious quality time with my Physician.  I’ve learned that the second I shift my focus off of Christ and onto myself, my new found joy vanishes and I’m left discontent.  My “selfish” self has not wanted to go quietly and comes up with all sorts of reasons why denying myself is just plain silly.  It’s put up one heck of a fight.  Seriously.  HBO should charge money on pay-per-view to see this fight…it’s a doozy.  But I know how the fight ends.  The Spirit is triumphant. He who created a good work in me will see it through to completion.

I hope I’m always looking into the magnifying mirror and not the one at Nordstroms that makes everything look good on me – because I know I don’t wear selfishness well.  It’s very unbecoming on me.  My desire is to always be clothed in the Spirit…to wear God well.

The Meaning to Life: The Answer! Pt. 5 of 5

Posted by    |    April 5th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

So what is the meaning to life? After several weeks of anticipation, the answer is in. But, first, let’s look at a unique verse in Matthew 22. We pick up the story with the Pharisees (a religious sect) coming up with a plan to test Jesus. Their goal was to get Jesus to discredit their Law by ranking or eliminating some or most of the 613 commandments. Yes, there are more than 10!

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replies in verse 37,

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

The ENTIRE Old Testament hangs on these two commandments.

Now back to Solomon. He has tried everything in his quest for meaning; Education, Party, Sex, Alcohol, Stuff. But, all prove to be only a “chasing after the wind.” He is now at the end of his life when we read his last words in Ecclesiastes,

“Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.”

That’s it! The meaning to life is to fear God and keep his commandments. But, wait, Jesus makes it even easier to understand. Remember his response above. “All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Here is the meaning of life:
1. Fear God
2. Love God with all your heart, soul and mind
3. Love your neighbor as yourself

If you can do these three things, you’ve accomplished your purpose in life!

Green-Grassing Around Gets You… Absolutely Nowhere

Posted by    |    April 1st, 2011 at 11:21 am

I constantly find myself dwelling on the what ifs? What if I had that job? What if I had handled something differently, where would I be right now? What if I hadn’t done that ONE tiny thing that landed me in this place called life, but it’s a place I’m not wanting for me? How often do I look at someone else and think, I wish that’s what was going on in my life? I develop some SERIOUS cases of “the grass is always greener” syndrome and so severe, that I’ll do one of two things. One, revert back to freshman year behavior, going out all of the time, acting generally ridiculous, dancing around bars, making spectacles, trying to numb it all away. OR I’ll withdraw from the world completely. I let my bitterness for what’s happening (or not happening) in my own life overtake me, as I covet (ok, a little dramatic) and long for a life that’s not my own. (more…)

The Meaning to Life: Even Hefner Would Blush Pt. 4 of 5

Posted by    |    March 10th, 2011 at 4:52 pm

So far, Solomon has searched for purpose through education and the bottle. Now, Solomon takes his search for purpose to a whole new level. Ecclesiastes 2:10 records his new course, “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure.”

AND THAT IS WHAT HE DID!

SEX. SEX. SEX. Solomon’s harem of women would make even Hugh Hefner blush. He had 700 wives! And, if that wasn’t enough, he had 300 concubines… or ”friends with benefits”. He didn’t have a Playboy Mansion, he had an entire resort! His sexual lifestyle wasn’t a myth, but a reality. Solomon had enough women to keep him occupied for the rest of his life. But that still wasn’t enough! He says,

“I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me.”

In modern day terms, he had it all; houses on MTV Cribs, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, businesses that top the charts of Forbes Magazine, land, cattle, real estate, the latest in technology, iPADs, iPods, iPhones, everything he wanted. Fort Knox would look like a Piggy Bank compared to his riches.

And, the good news is, HE FOUND WHAT THE MEANING TO LIFE IS! Through all his experiences with education, pleasure, money, status and stuff, he reveals to us the meaning to life in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:”

TO BE ANSWERED IN PART 5!

How can I pray more effectively?

Posted by    |    March 5th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

(Reposted from http://www.godissues.org/how-can-i-pray-more-effectively/

Blaise Pascal, the mathematical and spiritual genius, believed that “all the troubles of life come upon us because we refuse to sit quietly for a while each day in our rooms.” Oswald Chambers agreed: “Prayer is the way the life of God is nourished. We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; the Bible’s idea of prayer is that we may get to know God himself.” How can we know our Father more fully, by praying more effectively? (more…)

The Meaning to Life: Livin’ La Vida Loca Pt. 3 of 5

Posted by    |    February 28th, 2011 at 3:49 pm

After a couple of weeks, we pick up where Solomon left off. He’s in search for the meaning to life. His next quest for purpose leads him down the road we coin as “PARTYING”. Or, as Ricky Martin would say, “Livin’ La Vida Loca”. Solomon assumed that purpose must be found at the bottom of the bottle or being the life of the party.

He comments in Ecclesiastes 2, “I thought in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good’…I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.” (more…)

The Meaning to Life: I’m No Einstein Pt. 2 of 5

Posted by    |    January 26th, 2011 at 10:53 pm

So what is the meaning to life?

This ageless question has been on center stage since the creation of time and searched after from generations of all sociological classes. However, no one has searched as hard for the answer to this question as a certain man did 3,000 years ago. (more…)