Saturday, September 19, 2009

Anything but Ordinary

This is the song that I have been listening to for the past 2 weeks, I think it speaks to the best and worst of me...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Press Release-- Please Pass Along


Breakfast for Dinner and a Movie Fundraiser

Raleigh, NC—Jubilee, a local volunteer abolitionist group, will host "Breakfast for Dinner and a Movie”, a fundraiser to be held on Mon. Sept. 21st, 2009 from 6-8pm, at Visio Dei Church in Raleigh (524 E. Whitaker Mill Road, near the Five Points area).

Breakfast foods will be served buffet style from 6-8PM with a showing of “The Playground” documentary beginning at 7:30pm. This 85 min documentary compellingly details the state of sex trafficking in the US. We hope to raise awareness about local sex trafficking as well as funds to combat the demand side of sexual exploitation. The meal is free with a suggested donation of $7.

The funds raised will support Stop Child Trafficking Now, an organization working to stop child sex trafficking in the US. They seek to end demand by supporting special operative teams who will work to secure convictions for those trafficking and buying sex from children.

In the past, Jubilee has also hosted David Batstone of the Not For Sale Campaign, Dana Vaughn-Mgunda of the Carolina Women's Center and Kimberly Smith of Make Way Partners. Jubilee members believe that the faith community has an important call to promote justice and extend compassion, including in the realm of human trafficking. Jubilee does operate from a Christian faith-based perspective; however, people of all faiths/no faith are most welcome to attend this fundraiser and documentary


Traci Rowe

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Selfish Ambition

Recently, I've had the privilege to contemplate prayer, what its about and how to listen to God.
I am also noticing and enjoying deeper relationships with people inside and outside of our community of faith.
And personally attempting to maintain my practice of reflecting on the lectionary scriptures for the week.

Here are a couple of excerpts from what many faith communities will be reading this weekend:

Ps 19: 12-14
How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from my hidden faults.
Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don't let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

James 3: 13-18 (actually this is after the scheduled verses, but what I accidently read)
If you are wise and understand God's ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don't cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God's kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and evil of every kind.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows not favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

Mark 8:32-35 (about the disciples and Jesus)
They didn't understand what he was saying, however, and they were afraid to ask him what he meant. After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, "What were you discussing out on the road?" But they didn't answer, because they had ben arguing about which of them was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and sad, "Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else."

Last night I was praying for a multitude of things and pride kept coming to mind, my own pride for one and comparison, etc. But also how we are riddled with this temptation to puff ourselves up and to me pride and insecurity are so tied together. I see this coming out in the scriptures this week and was confirmed (I believe the Holy Spirit is speaking to me, weird I know), but this is something that we should be aware of, not afraid to deal with and longing to break.

Consider where our health care system could be if many let of selfish ambition... (on both sides)
Consider where our churches could be if we lead and followed with humility...
Consider where our friendships could be if we weren't afraid or insecure...
Consider where our families could be if we worked through peace making and served one another in love...
Consider where our mental and spiritual health could be if we asked God to search us and keep us from unknown and known sinful patterns...

I say all of these things because I play a part in contributing to cycles of pride and insecurity, but know that God wants to break into that and it is possible.

Lets pray for a breaking of selfish ambition in our world, starting with ourselves, moving to those we are closest with and then out from there...

Oh, the possibilities :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lets Celebrate our Hard Work!

We clean up pretty nice after getting our digestive tracts back in order and our fluids replenished! We went out the board walk for a night of fun and relaxation.

I forgot to mention that Matt crossed the finish line as well. Its impressive that he ran in all those clothes isn't it?!?

We had a little bit of romantic beach time and lots of fond memories of fun cheer moves.... Then onto the RAVEN a local favorite for sea food. The crab legs were totally the favorite of the meal, in more ways that one. At the RAVEN we met Ricki & Bobbi (twins who worked in the gift shop). They were really nice and even let Nicole borrow a sweatshirt to wear while we ate because our table was directly under an air vent.

Unfortunately, they were running out food and we didn't get our onion rings, but JD (our server) would randomly run by and drop yummy goodness on our table, everything from oyster crackers, to bread, to fries, water, and a few shot glasses. Then out came the main course. It was delish!

Onto the concert with more backflip reenactments and laughter were shared. My favorite quote of the weekend was "I love how they have all of these animal statues everywhere. They are great for photo ops!" (Guess who? TRR)

First Half Marathon

We just got back tonight from the Rock n Roll Half Marathon at VA Beach. Thanks Nicole for inviting me to do this with you! I had a blast. This post, is just about the race, more to come about the experience surrounding it...

A big THANK YOU goes out to Matt for driving us around, getting up at 5AM to drop us off and cheering us on while we were on our last legs (literally).

We walked several blocks to the start line where we searched out bananas and port o potties and then lined up in corral 12 to wait. You know how much I love to wait, but we were glad that we weren't that far back in line because I thought I had changed my corral number the day before. Little did I know that I needed the little green sticker with the number on it... we got pushed back to corral #22... more waiting :) This actually turned out to be a good thing, but I was a little put off by having to move.

After the Elite runners took off we slowly moved forward while doing the wave every once in a while. Then it was our turn... 7:36AM ... off we went.

Something happens to me at races where I get this adrenaline rush and just take off... I realized after the first mile that I was going faster than I expected to, but thought I would even out later on... no so much, the competitive side came out and I started thinking, I can keep this up... maybe? The bands, cheerleaders and race atmosphere kept me going, not to mention a little Silver on the iPod and a few worship songs as well.

We saw Matt around mile 11 and 12 (thus the photos). I ran over to him to try to give him a kiss and he wasn't quite sure what I was doing, thought I was trying to whisper something in his ear, and not to mention I was kind of disgusting, but I got my kiss at mile 11 and kept trucking to the end.

After I crossed the finish line I thought I was going to pass out, the adrenaline was gone and all I wanted was water and a bathroom, but I had to wait to find Matt and Nicole amongst the crowds of thousands... this was the hardest part of the entire day. Everyone else seemed to be only concerned about getting their free beer... some how I couldn't fathom drinking a beer... there were even people drinking in route... has anyone heard of alcohol being an athletic beverage before?

We eventually found each other at the "R" for Royal and Rowe and headed back to the car, relaxation, shower and naps... Later on in the evening we went back out to celebrate. Those pictures and stories are still to come.

Click here to see my results, not bad for my first time :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pretending to be a Princess

Periodically my mom sends me devotional excerpts, today this is a portion of what she sent... I'm sitting in Third Place and laughed out-loud... maybe its because I identify so much with this little girl?

"Friend To Friend
My 6-year-old daughter Carolyn and I had a busy day planned. I was getting ready while she played. When it came time to do her hair, she appeared - dressed in jewelry, pink sunglasses and a pink purse.

Now this might seem like normal, cute behavior for most 6-year-old girls, but I can count on one hand the number of times my daughter has voluntarily dressed up in pink anything. She has never been interested in princesses and pretty dresses and would rather wield a light saber than a princess wand. After seeing her dressed up, I picked my jaw up off the floor and we had this conversation:

Me: You look beautiful. Are you a rock star?

Carolyn: No, I'm a princess!

Me: Are you going to a ball?

Carolyn: Actually, I'm just pretending to be a princess. I need to trick the castle guard, so I can break into the castle and kill the evil king and rescue the real princess."

Now, that wasn't the end, there was actually a lot more to it about adventure with God and not attempting to fit into any mold that we or society or the church creates for us, but in seeking out a life of freedom, risk and authenticity to who we are created to be.

Whether you feel created to be princesses, a dragon slayer or something in between.... seek the adventure! Its worth it.