Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Man with the Red Truck

I have a problem ...

See yesterday was driving home from work. It was about 4:30. The sun was getting ready to set in about half an hour. It was cold. The wind was blowing and it was snowing.

As I was pulling up to this light near New Life Church, there was a guy standing by the side of the road. He had shoulderlength hair and was kind of scruffy looking. (Although that's a pretty typical look for guys in this state.) Anyway, he was standing at the edge of the road and there was a truck a few feet behind him. He was holding out jumper cables. And he looked desperate.

The light was red, so I stopped and watched him in my mirror. He would motion to every car that went by with the jumper cables. Nobody stopped. I sat there at the light, trying to decide if I should turn around and try to help him. I watched probably 20 cars roll past him without even glancing at him. And when the light turned green, I drove away. And for the rest of the ride home (and the rest of the evening, actually) I felt horrible for not stopping.

So here's my question. Did I make the right decision? Because if I did, it felt pretty awful. Which makes me think maybe I didn't.

But I was alone. I'm a woman. If I had had someone else in the car with me, I would have stopped. If I had some pepper spray with me, I would have stopped. If I was a guy, I would have stopped. If he had been a woman, I would have stopped. I didn't stop because I was afraid of becoming the next day's headline.

I hate the fact that we live in a society where I can't stop and help someone because I'm afraid of what might happen to me. And how do I justify not stopping with the command in the Bible to help those in need? He was obviously in need and I had the ability to help him. But I didn't.

So help me out here. To you married guys out there, would you want your wife stopping to help a random guy who was stranded? Is it any different because I'm not married? Should I, as a single woman, have stopped? What really is more important ... protecting myself or helping someone in need? And how does my choice to protect myself fit with the verse about treating others as I would like to be treated? And putting others before myself? Should I have trusted to the Lord to protect me?

I'm seriously struggling with this. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Now THIS is seriously cool.

A few years ago I had this idea.

I was working out on the elliptical machine at the gym and thinking about all the energy that I was using to do a 30 minute workout. According to the little electronic calorie counter, it was roughly 300 calories. And almost every machine in the room was being used. There were thousands (or maybe even millions) of calories being burned!

I thought about how much I hear in the news about finding new sources of energy. And I wondered why someone hasn't come up with a line of cardio machines that can collect the energy used to operate them and convert it into a power source. If this was possible, then a gym could basically power itself. No electric bill. They simply store up the energy collected from the cardio machines and use that to power their lights or computers or air conditioners or whatever.

Now obviously I have no idea about whether or not this is even scientifically possible. Someone smarter than me should definitely weigh in here. Can a calorie be converted into a kilowat? If so, someone should invent this and patent it. (And then when you make millions, if you want to share a small portion with me, I wouldn't mind.)

I always thought of this as a silly dream made up in Beckyland.

Apparently not.

A guy I work with forwarded an article to me this morning. It is about an awesome organization called PlayPumps International.

Basically this guy invented a water pump that is also a merry-go-round for kids. As they play on it, the wheel turns, which operates the pump and stores the clean water in a tank. Then families in the community can draw water from the tank.

Currently there are nearly 900 pumps throughout South Africa and a few other countries in southern Africa. But doesn't this sound like something that could be used all over the world? You can find out more about this organization through their presence on many social networking sites.

Aren't you pumped? (Sorry.)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Hawaii Three-O

I was thinking the other day about how 2008 is a big year for me. In June I will turn 30! And I think that's worthy of a celebration, don't you? (I distinctly remember when I thought 20 was SO old.)

I thought of all the ways I could commemorate this occasion and three of my favorite things came to mind:

Hanging out with my best buddies
The beach
But how to combine all three ...

Then all of a sudden, I was hit with inspiration. How about renting a place in Hawaii for a week? Brilliant. As of last night, it's official!

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Just took Havana for a long walk.
I was wearing a tank top.

Praise the Lord!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

No wonder Madonna is so ripped.

As many of you know, I recently joined a new gym. I've been going faithfully every day for a little over a month now. And I've really enjoyed it. Up until tonight.

I left work a little late and while I was on my way home, my roommate text messaged me to ask if I wanted to join her at the 5:30 pilates class. Now I've done pilates before and I loved it. It's all based on core strength. So I was really looking forward to tonight's class.

When we arrived at the gym, we found out that the class was actually called Fusion ... it's a combination of pilates and yoga. I've seen yoga before. I know that with my joint problems there are some things that I just cannot do. But I figured that I could just skip the poses that I couldn't do and just do the pilates.


First of all, the regular Fusion instructor was gone, and the sub apparently thought the class was purely a yoga class. No, an advanced yoga class. The next hour was one of the most uncomfortable of my life. I felt sort of like I was Chris Farley trying to perform Swan Lake. Oh AND the guy on the mat next to me looked like he was about 65 and he was busting out crazy poses left and right. I felt like an incompetant fool. And I'm sure I looked like one. I guess yoga's not my thing. I'll do 12 straight hours of spinning class before I go back to a yoga class.

But I did gain a new respect for those who do yoga well. It may look like the world's easiest "workout," but it takes a LOT of strength and skill.

I hear Madonna does yoga a lot. No wonder she is so ripped.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Appeal

I've been pretty sad all day about Heath Ledger. Really, it's weird how much his death has affected me. BUT. I received some happy news today ... John Grisham has a new book! This one is available January 29th. It's another lawyer novel. You can read the first chapter here.

Grisham is my favorite author. I've read every book he's written. Here are my top three favorites:

1. The Testament
2. The Partner
3. The Street Lawyer

I literally cannot put his books down until I finish them. (Tim, I think I might be feeling a touch of the flu coming on. It will probably hit sometime in the middle of next week.) There are very few authors whose writing captivates me like Grisham's does. Plus, they make pretty good movies.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I Heart Jack and Kate

We just had a three day weekend. And it snowed every day.
So I was able to catch up on season three of Lost. And season four is just around the corner. Woohoo!

So, for all of you Lost fans out there, and in anticipation of January 31, here ya go. I know Jack and Kate are fictional, but what a great love story.

Plus, it's music from The Fray!

ht: Eric Beeman

Friday, January 18, 2008

Help Compassion Win Impact Award

Guess what? Compassion has been nominated to receive MySpace’s Impact Award. Each month, MySpace gives the Impact Award to an organization who is making a positive impact on our culture. This month’s category is Poverty Relief and Compassion is one of three organizations to be nominated!

This is a unique and exciting opportunity to raise awareness about the needs of children in poverty and we need your help! The winner will be determined by online voting. You need to be a MySpace user to vote, and each person is allowed to cast one vote per calendar day through January 24th.

The winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000, as well as featured placement on MySpace for a month, reaching over 75 million active members. In the event that Compassion wins, the prize money will be used to help even more children break the cycle of poverty.

So here are some ways you can help Compassion win:

Pray for this opportunity to raise awareness about children in poverty
If you are a MySpace user, log on to each day and vote for Compassion.
Forward this e-mail to your friends, family and co-workers encouraging them to log on and vote.

Vote early and vote often!

Vote for Compassion here.
Visit Compassion’s MySpace page.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My favorite American Idol audition so far ...

Although there's only been two nights of auditions so far, I already have a favorite contestant. Jonathan Baines. Love his style. And he's only 17!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

Love this quote ...

"If music be the food of love, play on: give me excess of it..."

-William Shakespeare

ht: Randy Elrod

Friday, January 11, 2008

Don't listen to me.

I've been working for Compassion for a little over seven years now. Wow. That's a long time! (Especially for my commitment-phobic generation, ya know?) When I first started at Compassion, my plan was to work here for two years, tops. I figured I'd work here for a couple years, then move on to something bigger and better.

But guess what I found out? It doesn't get much bigger and better that this. I'm serious. For some reason God chose to make my first official post-graduate job at a place where I get to have life-changing experiences like ...


Almost daily it seems there is another news story of an evangelical organization involved in a scandal. It makes total sense why many people are skeptical about organizations like Compassion. People might think I'm biased about this place because I work here. And as a part of the communications team, they pay me to say good things about them. So don't listen to me.

I heard recently that we are taking some regular bloggers on a trip to Africa. They will go see Compassion's work in the field and blog about their experiences there. No grammar proofing. No corporate editing. Just real people, taking a real trip and sharing their real experiences. They're not paid employees. Heck, some of them aren't even sponsors.

This morning I read a post from one of the bloggers that's going on the trip. And it's GOOD. It's seriously good. She's a great writer. Extremely transparent and vulnerable. I look forward to reading her take on her experience in Africa. I don't doubt she'll be honest. Judging from this post, she won't hesitate to call Compassion onto the carpet if she needs to.

So if you're at all curious about whether Compassion is for real, you should follow these blogs. Judge for yourself.

Here are a couple other bloggers going on the trip:

Ragamuffin Soul

So ... happy reading. May your life be changed.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


So have you heard about the guy living in IKEA?

IKEA agreed to let him live in their store for a week while his apartment was being fumigated. He will eat all his meals in the IKEA restaurant and will make a video each day that is posted on the web site.

Pretty innovative marketing, huh?

He also has another crazy video about Starbucks.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

This ain't yo mama's Christian music

I love the Black Eyed Peas and Group 1 Crew has a similar sound but a much better message. Christian music has come a long way since the days of Michael W. Smith and Sandy Patti.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I love my job. One reason is because I get to help children in poverty. Another reason is because I have a flippin' sweet desk. Check out the view from my window this morning.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I don't know who said it, but I like it.

"Life becomes complicated when we begin to define it as anything other than relationship with God."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2008: The Year of the Smile

I love the New Year. It just feels ... fresh. I've made a resolution this year, which I'm hoping I can keep up for 21 days (which will make it a habit, right?)

Anywho, I hereby resolve to:

Make eye contact and smile at at least three strangers per day.

By the way, I think a lot of people in this town resolved to not speed this year because everyone was driving under the speed limit this morning. It made it hard to get to work on time.

So what is your resolution? (There's a certain amount of accountability that comes with sharing it, isn't there?)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


I know what you are thinking. You need a sign.
What better one could I give
but to make this little one whole and new?
I could do it; but I will not.
I am the Lord and not a conjurer.
I gave this mite a gift I denied to all of you -
eternal innocence.
To you she looks imperfect - but to me she is flawless,
like the bud that dies unopened
or the fledgling that falls from the nest
to be devoured by ants.
She will never offend me, as all of you have done.
She will never pervert or destroy
the work of my Father's hands.
She is necessary to you.
She will evoke the kindness that will keep you human.
Her infirmity will prompt you to gratitiude
for your own good fortune ... More!
She will remind you every day that I am who I am,
that my ways are not yours,
and that the smallest dust mite whirled
in the darkest spaces does not fall out of my hand ...
I have chosen you. You have not chosen me.
This little one is my sign to you.
Treasure her!
~Jesus, from Morris West's The Clowns of God