Sunday, December 25, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Also, we are so busy this week! Printing last minute LOVE:water shirts to be sent out tomorrow, as well as working on the kid's shirts. Also this week we are delivering our toys from our toy closet! We haven't shared that with you yet but be looking for that post in the next few days. :)
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
God’s love has no boundaries. Ours does.
That’s why it’s important that we practice love intentionally. Our love starts to look more like God’s when we stretch its boundaries—to the lonely, the imprisoned, the homeless, the hungry, and the thirsty.
We hope this Advent season has prepared you to Love All: your family, the hard-to-love, and the overlooked in your community. We also hope you will join us in demonstrating God’s boundless love by loving people who desperately need safe drinking water, and with it living water, the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Thank you for sharing a bit of your Advent season with us. We hope it has been one filled with all the hope, joy and love that God placed in a manger more than 2,000 years ago.
Your Living Water Family
And if you believe that the love shouldn't stop when the presents are unwrapped, join us on a journey of love. Next year we have come up with a theme that will take us through the steps of "Living Simply to Love Others". One theme, 12 months, and a whole lot of LOVE!
Remember that this isn't just a Christmas thing... Advent Conspiracy doesn't have to end with the season. There are so many ways to worship fully, spend less, give more, and love all, year round!
Thursday, December 15, 2011
1. TOMS - These TOMS are awesome! TOMS gives a pair of shoes for every pair that you buy and start at $45.00 for the classics- that is not a bad deal. TOMS
2. Hello Somebody - This one is new to our blog. We have been keeping it a secret from you for a bit. We heard about them from our friends at Bless Your Heart. For just $25 you get this sweet watch offered in a variety of colors plus kids receive food and education. Hello Somebody
3. Starburst Basket - Hand crafted by women in Uganda, this bowl is stunning! Even more beautiful is that this bowl gives work to a family in Uganda that can now support themselves. "Gifts that bridge worlds and rebuild lives". Women's Peace Collection
4. Bibles - CHF's menu has always made its way on to my list. This year why not give bibles in the name of someone you love? Children's Hunger Fund
5. Hope Shirt - This shirt was designed and is being sold by Taylor's 6 year old sister. She has always had a heart for Haiti and knows the importance of food and shelter for everyone.
6. Project 7 Gum - Did you know for less than $18 you can buy 12 packs of this gum and at the same time 10 fruit trees magically appear on our planet? Project 7
7. TOMS Eye Wear - The newest TOMS product! For each pair of glasses you buy you give sight to someone else. TOMS
8. Feed Bags - There are so many Feed Bags to chose from. Most feed people around the world but with the purchase of this bag, another identical bag is sent to Africa with medical supplies inside! Feed
9. World Vision Bike - You do not receive an actual bike but instead you help a girl continue to go to school safely by giving her transportation. World Vision
10. Holga Camera - $36 goes to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, New York Chapter. And this is just one of many gifts on this site that gives to tons of different causes when you buy products from them. Gifts that Give
For more gift ideas check out last year's TaylorFrankie list.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Before we tell you about the story we want to tell you how awesome the book itself is. It's already inspiring tons of bloggers across the country who received it for free so we can tell you about it! And 50% of the proceeds from the sales are put into a Start Something That Matters fund to help inspired readers carry out their amazing ideas! How cool right? Now for the stories...
If you’re not familiar with Blake Mycoskie and TOMS (which how could you not be if you follow are blog? ;) then allow us to introduce you… Blake first experienced the need for shoes when he was traveling Argentina. He jotted down his thoughts along with a picture of the popular local shoe that he had been wearing while there. With this exciting new idea and his new Argentinian shoe-making friend, he left for the US with 100 pair of TOMS to see what he could do. This was the beginning of what we now know as the great, the amazing TOMS shoes! The start of something that matters as an idea, a movement, and a new way to do business.
Each chapter reveals a little more of the TOMS story and how the company grew to be the image that they are today. Blake also shares some nifty tricks from life before TOMS and lots of stories of other companies that have started with big ideas.
Another thing that we love about this book is that Blake backs up his strategies of starting something that matters with real life stories of challenges that every business faces when they start out. Like people saying that Wal-Mart would never make it and like Method seeing what’s wrong and doing what’s right. This book will motivate and inspire you to take your ideas, face your fears, and truly start something that matters.
(Check out more book deets and other reviews on the Amazon page!)
Wanna read it? Wanna turn your passions into a movement for others?
Wanna share it? Know someone who has the passion to Start Something That Matters?
Answer these questions from page 36 and you could be the new recipient or giver of Start Something That Matters! :)
If you did not have to worry about money, what would you do with your time?
What kind of work would you want to do?
What cause would you serve?
Answer in a word or two, three sentences, or a paragraph! Just leave us a comment by Sunday and we will choose a winner in time for Christmas! Can't wait to hear what kinds of passions you all have!
Monday, December 12, 2011
I remember one Christmas when Taylor and I were dating but living in different states we made a plan that for that year we would get each other 10 gifts, but the catch was that we had to make most of them and then the rest couldn't be more then a few dollars. I remember making a door hanger and buying socks and I remember receiving a box of rice crispy treats. The gifts didn't really matter, it was the love that we gave with them and truly the thought that was counted. Taylor knew I loved rice crispy treats and I knew she loved frogs so most of the gifts I got her had frogs on them. Plus seeing each other for the holiday was also nice.
I guess what I am trying to say is that the real special gifts are the ones that connect us and those are not always the kind that fit under the tree. Spending time on something can be so much more valuable then spending money. So this year give more and by taking time to find the things that make the holiday really special.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Shopping is filled with a sense of promise. We’re promised comfort, status, better looks, happiness and joy, but do those promises really deliver? And what do they have to do with the promises of Scripture? If you’ve ever felt like we might have lost the point when we turned the birth of Christ into a season of frantic shopping, you will appreciate the second pillar of the Advent Conspiracy: Spend Less.
Spend Less isn’t about being a Scrooge. It’s about being free to celebrate Jesus. We hope you will reflect on the birth of Christ with us, and celebrate the fact that because some believers Spend Less, hundreds of thousands of people around the world are being blessed with safe drinking water, offered in Jesus’ name.
Like they said, you don't have to be a Scrooge to spend less. Try just giving one less gift. Try spending a bit less than last year. Try and make that list a little shorter. As we all conspire together it adds up.
We are forgoing extended family gift exchanges this year for starters. At about $20 per trade x the two of us x three families... that saves about $120! From gifts that aren't really needed to gifts that can mean hope and life for some one in real need. We will spend time with our grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and spend the money where it really counts. How are you conspiring to spend less this week?
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
We hope you share your thoughts as we go through this journey of Advent 2011 together! How will you choose to worship fully this week?
Here's a quick vid and devo from [AC] to get your worship juices flowin.
Christmas begins with a baby born in a manger. He changed the course of the stars and turned fathers’ hearts to their children. The heavens sang his praise as angels sang glory to God in the highest and on earth his peace. Shepherds praised God and traveled to Bethlehem to see him. Magi journeyed from the East to worship him. His mother treasured these things in her heart. They called him “Immanuel”—“God with us.” He proclaimed his presence to the end of the age.
What we do unto others, we do unto him.
Again this Christmas babies will be born in ramshackle homes. Herod will not try to kill them, but their drinking water will. Again Jesus will turn our hearts to children. We who still hear angels will journey to see Christ in the least of these. Our camels traded for drill rigs, we will bear the gift of life: clean drinking water, offered in Jesus’ name. Mothers will treasure these things in their hearts. This is full worship.
Worship derives from Old-English words meaning “worth-ship.”
What we give worth to is what we worship: possessions, God, shopping, children, money, Jesus. We worship all the time. Advent is a time to consciously direct our worship towards Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. A time to worship fully.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Milk and rice makes rice pudding and it makes it pretty well!
We made dessert tonight and it was good!
- 3 cups of our nut milk
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 1/2 cup raisins
- (we bought some as our dried fruit item in the food pak)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Ground cinnamon, generous pinch
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
This is what we picked up! One full pak!
Here is a look at what we plan on eating.
Breakfast: Beans and diced potatoes
Lunch: Rice and vegetables
So we set the beans to soak tonight and tomorrow morning I will wake up and finish cooking them!
I'll be sure to share photos of everything we make. I will also share what we are doing with our bag of nuts that we haven't done before, lots of exciting things happening tomorrow. :)
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
For more information on the programs they are funding please visit the following:Prostate Cancer FoundationLIVESTRONG, The Lance Armstrong FoundationAwareness & EducationGlobal Action Plan
Even TOMS is getting in on the Mo-ness!
Check out the Limited Edition Movember TOMS!
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Taylor has class on Saturday mornings so I went to Devine to spend some time with the family. Mom, Kathy, and I headed down to the Devine Fall Festival Parade with some family and friends watching the floats, cars, trucks, and bikes pass by. It's a small town so everything is about the same each year but it is still fun to go out and see everyone. Plus, people walk next to the floats handing out candy...Yay, free candy!
After the parade we headed to Pleasonton to visit my grandparents and to have lunch. Then my sister and I went to see a movie.
Taylor had some fun girl time with Mom and Teddi after her midterm!
The day ended with a quick game of basketball between me and Brogan and then a fajita dinner! Yum! Then we all sat down to watch Cars 2!
Not a bad day. :)
Now I have to go wake Taylor up from her spot on the couch.
Hope your Saturday was good, too!
(James can we get some thank you note writing music, please.)
Thank you Five Guys,
For making me feel like I am actually the size of 5 guys...
And last but not least
Thank You Notes is a product of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. We just liked it so much that we decided to do our own version. :)
Thursday, November 3, 2011
For the children we serve, Dave Phillips President of Children's Hunger Fund
So excited about the plans we are working on to help CHF in the next couple months! Hopefully we can bring awareness to our community of the beautiful work that CHF does and how they can be a part of God's work loving the poor.
Psalm 145: 13-16
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
and guess what is happening in the next few months...
Our well should be finished between now and January! Oh my goodness! When you really think about it, it's incredible. God allowed us to be a part of changing a community forever. Families will experience clean water for the first time. Children will be able to go to school instead of walking miles a day in search of dirty water. Babies will live!
After this phase is completed we should be receiving GPS coordinates of the project. Then we'll know just where it is! How cool, right? Can't wait for that confirmation! Check out our sidebar to see what else will be happening in this process over the next three months!
Monday, October 31, 2011
"In Joshua 4 Almighty God tells the Isrealites to collect stones and set them as a Memorial to remind them of God's power and provision. He then tells the Isrealites to use those stones as a memorial; that every time they see them to tell their children and their children's children the stories over and over again, continually reminding them of God's faithfulness."
To read the full idea and an introduction to Memorial Box Mondays
go here and read Linny's "How about Memorial Box Mondays?
When we got there we got to see some of our friends- Char, Paul, and Jesse- a blessing in itself! Then Jesse made us work just a bit...pppsshh typical Jesse. But when we left we got a sweet card, no name signed, but in it was a hundred dollar bill! Someone who was volunteering at CHF when we shared our story was just really blessed and wanted to share their heart with us.
As an unemployed couple this is a huge blessing! But not as a means to pay bills or anything... During the time we were raising money for the well last year we opened up a savings account to keep the money in. After we met our goal we left this account open and continued to put extra money in it creating a "Projects Fund". We did this so no matter what was going on in our lives we would always have money to do the things we love. Like help sponsor someone's mission trip, or donate to an adoption, or buy $200 in toys to hand out for Christmas... just little things like that. ;) But after 6 months of no income that fund has been long depleted.
But now with the opening of our LOVE shop and a sweet $100 blessing, we can start creating some of our ideas for products to help more people- like the hungry, the sick, the orphaned, and the enslaved as well as continuing our LOVE shirts for the thirsty- all in time for Christmas! We are so excited to use this blessing to keep sharing God's love and to continue living to love others!
This is what the card read: The Lord has touched the lives of so many through your service. As you give of your time so lovingly, it's easy to see His light shining through you. May God bless you as you continue to impact lives and light the way to Him.
"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16 (The same verse we shared in our last MBM post!)
Into our Memorial Box will go a $100 bill! Ha, ha, not the real one - that's gonna be put to use! So thankful for God's blessings lately and to be able to continue to serve Him with our lives.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Ready for the update?! The 10 Days project so far has raised $62,260!!! How amazing is that?!??!?!? That's enough to fund 6 new wells in Rwanda!!! (Plus, they are leaving the giving line open for one more week so that everyone has time to get all their monies in.)
Visit their website at 10days.cc.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
For those of you who don't know what 58 is, it's a global initiative to end extreme poverty through acts of true fasting (Isaiah 58).
1Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
2Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.
3Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.
4Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
5Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
6Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
7Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
8Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.
9Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
10And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:
11And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
12And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
13If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:14Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
The movie featured different stories of families from Ethiopia, Brazil, India, and Kenya. Each one telling of the daily struggles they face to survive.
One lady with four children lived in a part of the world that hasn't had rain in five years. She lives in a hut that is so bad that her husband left because he couldn't live there anymore. She collects sticks along with her oldest daughter to sell to have money for water and food. But as they collect more and more wood she has to travel farther and farther away from home, all while being 7 months pregnant.
Another story told of a man who works in a stone quarry. He works there to pay off a loan he took from the quarry owner. He is paid very little and when he is ill and cannot come to work his wife and children have to take his place. The physical work is making him sick, but to rest and heal he would get into more debt. He knows that he will die paying off his debt and so will his children and his children's children, all for the $600 that he owes.
Another story of a women who brings home discarded produce from a dumpster that she cleans and sells for money and what is not fit to sell she feeds to her own family. And another of children that are so far from hope that they have even given up on expressing their dreams because they know they will never come true.
Story after story of heartache and extreme poverty, but in the midst of all of these stories there is some good news.
Some 58 Facts
Think ending extreme poverty is impossible? Think again. Consider the following facts:
Here is the preview for the movie that we saw. Please visit the 58 website and read more about what they are doing. Global poverty is curable and it can happen now.