Saturday, March 31, 2012

Man in the Mirror

If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change!

I love this video for a number of reasons including:
1. it talks about issues dear to the hearts of Katie and I - poverty, social injustice, compassion fatigue (being tired of doing good or overly exhausted by all the calls to action/help)and on another level it speaks clearly about the Hole in Our Gospel
2. its a great memory of Katie's visit to NYC
3. I heart Michael Jackson
4. It was a lot of fun making the video!

What I think was really interesting is that while I was watching the video on Youtube, there was an ad about sponsoring a child from WorldVision!

Katie, you did a fabulous job of putting it together, thanks!!!

Friday, March 30, 2012


Thank God it's Friday! (phew)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Beauty Beyond Measure

A part of living life to the fullest includes knowing who you are and being content with that person. Real beauty cannot be measured, it is not your size, weight, height, length of your hair or eyelashes. Clearly, the media can affect someone’s perspective of beauty, value and self-worth so let's learn about some of the tactics used.
In the following video Models are Made, Australian Stephan Bollinger demonstrates three major steps that transform a regular girl to a supermodel. The steps are professional hair and makeup; lights and angles (ever got all prepped and primmed by a makeup artist, look into the mirror and you look amazing and then you go outside into natural light and realize you look like a clown with all that red blush or you try the exact combination at home with your regular bathroom light and don't have the same effect? It's all about lighting); and Photoshop and retouching.

Granted, some people are just more photogenic than others- it is what it is. The point is do not compare yourself to the “made up” version of anyone. Work with what you have and love you!
Here are some of my own pictures (just in my bathroom, no retouching or special lighting, etc)

Now let's see the power of Angle. Notice my cheekbones in the side profile?
Angle: notice how much taller and slimmer I look in this picture...

 ...than I do in these two? All taken on the same day!

Professional hair and makeup ; Photoshop and Retouching

(Look how much lighter my face looks in the green dress- so not my real complexion!)

Watch these enlightening videos on how models are made, the power of make-up and celebrity before and after pictures

Dove Self-Esteem Video: Evolution


Power of Photoshop - notice how the shape of someone's face and can be altered!

The Power of Make-up

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Hole in Our Gospel

Gospel means "good news" but sometimes when it is presented, it doesn't sound that way. It usually ranges from some scare tactic extreme like "Repent, God is coming, get your life right or you will go to a burning hell" or some pacified version of the truth like "accept Jesus in your life and you will never have another problem".

The gospel has been portrayed as a judgmental yardstick for exposing other people's flaws. Christians have been known to be the most intolerant, judgmental group of people. Is this what Jesus imagined or intended?

The good news Jesus proclaimed was that justice would be restored, the blind would receive sight, those hungry would be fed, the downtrodden would be lifted up, brokenhearted comforted, oppressed liberated and the gospel preached to the poor.

Have you embraced the gospel as
1. A revoluntionary truth that is truly good news for a broken world? Or...
2. A diminished idea that's been reduced to a personal transaction with God, with little power to change anything outside your own heart?

There is a hole in our gospel that needs to be filled, if you do your part, it can be the whole gospel.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A thank you note


After a month of March Madness (which I predicted at the beginning which may just be a result of the power of words which means I should declare an agreeable April!) I had a day off. I decided that on this great Sunday I would do......... nothing. The plan was to stay in the house. I spent most of my day in bed blogging about Katie's visit, reading, and wondering how I am going to catch up on all the emails I accumulated over the past five days. After my group Skype call with Lori (London) and Kelly (Florida), I decided to cheat on my plan to stay in the house all day by going outside to watch Safe House (all in the theme, eh?).

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I love NY!

Like Alicia Keys, I keep falling in an out of love with you…yes you…New York.

Celine Dion said it best “I hate you then I love you then I love you then I hate you, then I love you even more” I have a love-hate relationship with New York but I am definitely in love now! I cannot agree with Rihanna’s sentiments that “I hate that I love you” because I love that I love you!

Recently I have been griping about how dirty New York is and while I still think it is unacceptable, being a “tourist” again has really allowed me to remember why I fell in love with New York in the first place!
I give NY two thumbs up! Wait! Here is the other thumb lol

I refuse to be the person who consistently complains about a situation and never does anything about it. So I vow to appreciate New York – the pros and the cons (and honestly the pros outweigh the cons) for as long as I live here. I love this concrete jungle! I'm in a NY State of Mind

(Thanks Katie and Sammie!)

Friday, March 23, 2012

New York with Katie and Sammie

Having Katie around reminded me of living in China where I worked a maximum of 17 hours on a full time schedule....I took Friday off.... and I spent the day with her and Sammie!

First we woke up at the crack of dawn and headed over to the Brooklyn Bridge for sunrise, we ran (well they ran, I jogged for a few seconds, shuffled for most of the time and walked the remaining distance. The view was gorgeous!

We took the train back to my place and were sadly reminded of the bystander effect (the more people around, the less likely you will be helped). We walked on the train and there was an older man on the floor, his cane beside him and he was sleeping. Everyone stepped over him and found a seat, including us. We were quickly convicted and we agreed that I would ensure that help was on the way or at least that it was a known situation. I told the train conductor and he advised that he called for help a few times. A few stops later, a cop finally meets us in the station. Abiding by the slogan of CPR - courtesy, professionalism and respect, he put on his glove, started grabbing the man by the shoulder and yelled "Cmon buddy, you gotta get off the train, let's go" (yes, I was being sarcastic). Not knowing the condition of the man or the state of his knees, he just pulled him up and didn't even bother to utter the simple words "are you ok?" Regardless of the reason for his condition (self-inflicted or not) I still think that a little compassion would have gone a long way. We felt a little better knowing that he was going to be checked out by medical professionals. We went home and showered to prepare for the rest of our day.

Amazing Brunch at Alice's Tea Cup

This surreal brunch location has an Alice in Wonderland theme. There are three locations for Alice's Tea Cup - we visited Chapter 3 on 81st St. Enjoy the pumpkin pancakes, scones and chicken potato hash with your choice of tea (the tea list is over 10 pages!)

We met Iris for brunch. Katie, Sammie and Iris have not seen each other since elementary school in the 5th grade in Oklahoma. They quickly siezed the opportunity to meet up on the Upper East Side in NYC!

After brunch, we bid Iris farewell and walked over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

After we left the MET, we wandered through the city, Katie and Sammie posed in front of the 59th St Bridge while humming lyrics to the Simon and Garfunkel tune.
We walked from 81st St to 42nd St back and forth from east to the west side! We stopped in Midtown to check out the LOVE sculpture.

After Times Square, we took the train to Canal St- China town and left each store with a feeling of success because we bargained to the price we were comfortable paying (which was usually significantly less than the starting asking price!)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

In Vino | Believe and Receive

Work is such a major inconvenience in my life LOL. My friends are out and about in Central Park

waiting for my work day to end so I can spend some time with them.
I finally meet up with them and we head to In Vino, a cute Italian restaurant in the Lower East Side. Katie's Pappardelle con I Gamberi Arrabbiati was so appetizing. It's a spicy dish of pappardelle with white wine, shrimp, and cherry tomatoes.

Sammie had the amazing Ravioli Tartufati ai Porcini (Porcini ravioli in a truffle cream sauce)

I had the delicious Tagliata Toscana ( grilled skirt steak with balsamic vinegar, served with roasted potatoes and spinach)
From left to right, me, Katie, Ben and Kristi (Rachel's friends from Boston College), Rachel and Sammie.

Time to go!

Strolling down the platform at Jay St Metrotech waiting for the blue line.


On another note: Just believe and receive - this is an email forward that I received that applies to healing. Think outside the box and apply it to every aspect of your life. If you have ever prayed for anything, know that God heard you and granted you the desire of your heart. The question is "did you receive it?"Let's not get deep about it. If I extend my hand to you to give you a gift and you choose not to take it, that does not negate the fact that I made the offer, intended to give and even left it on your doorstep hoping you will come back and get it. I gave it to you and now you have access to it whenever you want. So take it--

Mar 22 - Healing Always Comes
"And these signs shall follow them that believe...they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."(Mark 16:17-18)

Dear Paulette,I used to get upset over people I'd lay hands on who wouldn't get well. I was praying one day and seeking God about it when He spoke to my spirit and said, "Healing always comes." I remember I said, "What do You mean, Healing always comes? Not everybody gets healed." "I didn't say they all received it," He answered. Then He spoke very sternly to me. "I do My part. And I said they would recover!" Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. He said they would recover. He never lies. So if He said they would recover, then that means healing always comes. It's not God who's holding back. It's the receivers who aren't receiving. Since then, I've never had any trouble laying hands on people and believing for them to be healed. Whether they walk away well or not, I just keep standing in faith for them. In fact, I know if that fellow who went away still sick ever lines his faith up with God and me--I don't care if it's five years from now--he'll be healed. If you've laid hands on someone who didn't receive his healing, don't cut off the flow of God's power by withdrawing your faith. Stand fast. Keep believing that "healing always comes" and somewhere down the line that poor sick fellow may just decide to stand up and agree with you!
Scripture Study: Mark 10:46-52

What's the most resilient parasite? An idea -Occupy Union Square!

Katie and I met up in Soho and headed to Union Square. In just a few hours, the number of protesters grew significantly. The signs say it all. An idea is the single most resilient parasite.