Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

A snap shot…

I’m back from our mission trip to Eureka, Springs with a few snap shots.  I’ve never been more proud of our students.  The way they put themselves aside for four days and served those less fortunate than themselves reminded me why it is I love what I do.  We built decks, painted houses and brought a little piece of love to the families of the trailer park where we worked.  But probably the most impacting story starts with a boy named Cory.  (The boy in the brown and white stiped shirt below.)

Cory and his family live in one of the homes we fixed up.  After talking to his mother we found out this freshman in high school came from a background of abuse from his father.  Sadly, a couple months ago his father took his own life exposing Cory to the horrible experience.  Filled with hate and frustration Cory decided to surrender everything to Christ just a couple months before we came. 

It was his birthday on Friday and can I tell you what our group of students did?  Out of their own spending money they raised over $500 and decided to buy Cory a guitar.  The way they welcomed him in as one of our own makes my heart burst in a way that no words can describe.  Cory was thrust into a group of about 50 students and became instant best freinds with just about every student there!  I overheard Cory’s little brother saying to Cory, “It’s like you’re wanted… but in a good way…”  😉

Cory’s life will never be the same because of a group of students who looked outside themselves for just a moment and saw a heart in need of hope, love and acceptance.  May we live our lives everyday the very same way. 

tony.jpgcory.jpgpainting.jpgdeckboys.jpgannahaley.jpg

Final Boarding Call (5 of 5)

“The Tower of London”

The massive stone bridge stands in authority over the Thames River in London.  While there we learned a very valuable principle that has continually impacted me since.

“Don’t Peak too Soon”

What do you think this means? 

londontower1.JPG

Final Boarding Call (4 of 5)

In Rome, we toured the Colosseum, the most famous monument of Ancient Rome.  When I walked through the entrance passing thick stone walls into the amphitheatre, chill bumps rose on my skin.  There was something eerie about the place.  Like the screams of the crowds still hung in the air, caught there in a time force unbreakable by the years of neglect. 

 

If you’ve seen Gladiator, or Ben-Hur then you are familiar with the Roman Colosseum and the deadly games that took place there.  What you might not be familiar with is a man named Telemachus.

 

Telemachus was a monk who spent most of his life shut up in a room immersed in his disciplines.  After years of study God called him to enter back into society and minister to the people of Rome.  He arrived in Rome as the holiday festivals were going on.  Deciding to follow the crowd and observe, Telemaches found himself in the midst of the Colosseum and watched as the gladiators battled to their deaths. 

 

Enraged with a righteous anger, he finally climbed down into the arena shouting, “In the name of Christ, forbear!” Upsetting the crowd, they shouted for Telemachus to be killed. 

 

With his last breath, Telemachus proclaimed in his loudest voice, “In the name of Christ, forbear!” and then his lifeless body fell to the ground. 

 

Then, a strange thing happened—an odd silence fell across the Colosseum, the crowd became still.  One by one, the eyes of the mob opened.  Somewhere in the crowd a father walked out with his sons, then another family, then a couple individuals.  One at a time people continued to leave the theater until the Colosseum was deserted, finally grasping the horror of the sport they once celebrated. 

 

That was the last gladiatorial battle ever to be fought in the Roman Colosseum. 

 

Sometimes it’s easy to think we can’t make a difference.  We argue, “I’m one person, no one special, what can I do to make an impact?”  But the lesson stands in Telemachus, a man who held strongly to his convictions and was able to be used by God. 

 

Do you struggle with the lie you can’t be used?  Have you made excuses like the ones above?  What do you believe God might be calling you to do for HIM? 

colosseum.JPGPhotograph taken by Anna Meadows Copyright 2004

Final Boarding Call (3 of 5)

Sorry for the delay of post… I’m without electricity and staying with a great freind of mine! 

“Leaning Tower of Pisa

On one of my adventures we visited the Leaning Tower of Pisa, in Pisa, Italy.

 

Many people don’t know, but the tower was never intended to lean.  When it was built (from 1173to 1350) the foundation was less than excellent, but the builders and the architect, Bonanno Pisano didn’t think it would make a huge difference.  They argued that the 8 foot thick walls at the base of the tower were more than enough to keep the tower strong.  What they didn’t realize is that strength is meaningless without a firm foundation. 

 

The Tower began to lean, a ¼ of an inch a year and little by little the integrity of the structure became obviously vulnerable. 

 

It makes me think about my own life.  Am I building on a foundation that is less than excellent?  Do I need to get back to the basics, tighten my boundaries and make sure my foundation is firm, before I continue building and risk weakening my structural integrity? 

 

The question also begs of my character, when is a ¼ of an inch too much?  A little slide here, a small slip up there and before I know it I’ve caused a breach in the vessel God is building.   

 

 Ask yourself those questions above and tell me what you think. 

tower1.JPGPhotograph taken by Anna Meadows Copyright 2004

Final Boarding Call (2 of 5)

“Big Ben”

While touring in London we visited Big Ben–the famous clock connected to the houses of Parliament (Parliament: is legislative assembly of GREAT BRITAIN.)  Here, we learned three important principles concerning time. 

Time is impartial–It knows no man.  Each person is given 24 hours in a day, it’s up to me to make the most of those hours.

Time is relentless–Like a raging river.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot stop time.  It will keep going whether I’m ready for it or not.  It’s best to be ready. 

Time is precious–A treasure to care for.  I will not get back yesterday.  Each day is a gift.  I only have a few short years to make my life count. 

As a leader, time management is crucial.  Time management is life management. 

 Which of these three do you struggle with the most? 

bigben1.JPGPhotograph taken by Anna Meadows Copyright 2004

Final Boarding Call (1 of 5)

As a freshman in highschool I had the opportunity to join a four-year program called Student Leadership University (SLU).  This leadership program offered me incredible opportunities to travel and see the world!  This week I will share some of the highlights of where I’ve been during those four years and what I learned…

Hope you enjoy the journey with me, so please direct your attention to the flight attendant up front.  To fasten your seat belt simply insert the silver buckle into the…

“The Eiffel Tower”

The Eiffel Tower was built for the International Exhibition of Paris in 1889 honoring the centenary of the French Revolution.  When the Tower was built, many protested its construction.  It was almost torn down in 1909, but was saved because of its antenna–used for telegraphy at the time.  However difficult its birth, it is now completely accepted and is listed as one of the symbols of Paris itself, receiving more than 200 million visitors since its construction. 

The story of the Tower parallels with a powerful leadership principle.  When you rise in leadership you will undoubtedly have people who will want to pull you down.  You will have your own set of protesting, your own opposition, whether it’s a friend who can’t see past his own insecurities, a well-meaning parent that doesn’t understand your call, or your own self-critical thoughts that tell you you’re not cut out for something like this, no matter our opposition we must remember this important truth.  “Nothing is impossible with God.”

Have you experienced opposition in some areas in your life?  How did you combat it?

eifel4.JPGPhotograph taken by Anna Meadows Copyright 2004

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