Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Flaxseed Pillows and Beautiful Day

Ever heard of a flaxseed pillow? I never had until I moved to Northern California. A flaxseed pillow is a microwaveable-heat sustaining-comfy bag of goodness that gets used again and again to warm up cold people. You see, my wife and I are both from sunny/warm/heat-wave-laden Southern California, where you wear shorts all-year long and everyone is always tan.

When we moved north we anticipated a cultural change… from Hollywood-Celebs to Tech-Celebs, also fashion change… from flip-flops to Tiva’s with socks. But we weren’t ready for the climate change… after all, Al Gore was talking about global warming and we were cool with that reality. But when we moved in… we experienced the arctic NorCal cold, and thus the discovery of the flaxseed pillow. Watching TV… sitting on flaxseed, going to bed… sleeping with flaxseed, watching a soccer game… cuddling with flaxseed. In fact, I can tell the temperature of the flaxseed pillow based on my wife’s face. Happy face= Warm flaxseed. Sad face=forgot to bring flaxseed to the 9:30 service at WestGate.

I wasn’t a big fan of the flaxseed pillow at first (it seemed a bit “relationally intrusive”)… but now, I’m thinking about getting two. There’s something heavenly when you get an unexpected burst of warmth when you’re freezing.

It’s funny… Beautiful Day was an unexpected burst of warmth this fall. Usually we do service projects in the spring, but this year we ventured into the fall with some “modest” plans that became larger than we imagined. Messy forgotten freeways got cleaned up, cold dim houses got Christmas lights, tired school playgrounds got fresh US maps, families in need got Thanksgiving meals, and desperate blood banks got replenished. Basically, we nuked up a flaxseed pillow called “Love your Neighbor” and tossed it on a community that didn’t realize how cold it was.

Living and Loving like Jesus brings an unexpected burst of warmth to a world that desperately needs to experience him.

So to my leaders… outstanding work!!!

To all the volunteers… way to go!!!

For everyone… here’s a challenge as you go into Thanksgiving this season, become a flaxseed pillow to someone in need of an unexpected burst of warmth!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Zimbabwe team travels

Tried to post this video on YouTube and FB... but they wouldn't let me. This is the 30 hr journey to Zim with my team... check it out!,

YouTube Video

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chocolate Homelessness

Here’s a Love-Hate thing that you don’t see too often.

I LOVE Chocolate… and I HATE Homelessness.

I do

Those are both emphatic statements that I stand by… and I’m confident will be lifelong Love-Hate principles for me.

I love different sorts of chocolates… lots of caramel, almond, coconut. I’m a lover of dark chocolate. I love even thinking about chocolate.

Ironically, in contrast…

I hate different kinds of homelessness… loss of jobs, disabilities, mental-illness. I’m a hater of chronic homelessness. I hate even thinking about homelessness.

For me… Chocolate is the antithesis of Homelessness (yes, "antithesis"... I looked it up!)

On May 1st, I will respond to my Love-Hate dilemma by participating as the MC/Comic for the Rivers of Chocolate event at the Mountain winery in Saratoga CA.

Rivers of Chocolate has established itself as the premier chocolate tasting event in Northern California. Each year finds additional chocolatiers and restaurateurs creating confections to fit the theme. Proceeds from the event benefit EHC LifeBuilders, providing vital shelter and services for homeless individuals and families in Silicon Valley.

To purchase tickets or to find out more information, go to www.riversofchocolate.org

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Blood Never Lies

One of my favorite TV characters is the blood splatter analysis, Dexter Morgan from Miami Metro on the hit show “Dexter”. He has some of the best lines on TV as he walks us to the crime scene to investigate blood patterns. It could be a pool of blood, a simple sample of blood, a drop of blood, or a splattering on the wall. His expert analysis on blood tells detectives more about what happened on the scene… and gives them insights into whom the culprit might be.

“Blood Never Lies” is a common phrase he uses. Which is true… blood can tell you a lot.

I would love it if Dexter came upon our Beautiful Day Blood drive (actually, it might freak Dexter fans out). But let’s just pretend for a second… what if he walked in, and did some analysis, and gave his report. What would it read?

“Pints and pints of blood given”

“a group of people with all kinds of needed blood types”

“a line of people willing and waiting to give”

“tables of people enjoying snacks while they recoup”

“donor chairs filled with person after person”

“people leaving the facility with a bandage on their arm and a mark on their soul.”

If Dexter Morgan were to take any of the Beautiful Day blood samples back to the lab for closer analysis … I’m pretty confident he would find something telling about the “blood-donor-suspect” in question. He would uncover a thread of compassion, he would see a strand of courage, he would find a pulse of grace. And ironically, the blood in question looks strangely familiar to samples collected on a cross years ago.

Here’s the truth about blood…

- Blood is needed every two seconds.

- About 1 in 7 people entering a hospital needs blood.

- Blood is always needed for treatment of accident victims, cancer patients, hemophiliacs and surgery patients.

- Blood cannot be manufactured or harvested.

So here’s the deal… those of you without blood are exempt from this compassion/service project. Everyone else?... Get in line!!

Because… “blood never lies”

To sign up for the Beautiful Day Blood drive, go to our website at www.ourbeautifulday.org

Hit the "Upcoming Projects" link... or click on this logo...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Google Maps helps Beautiful Day

Check this out!!! i know a bunch of you guys see these Google streetview cars capturing pics in and around town.

Well... we just happened to be at the right place AND we had our Beautiful Day banners. So in just a few weeks, you can go to google maps (streetview)... and go down Campbell Ave (Campbell CA) in front of the Sonoma Chicken Coup.... and see us holding a HUGE Beautiful Day banner.

Thank you Google... for promoting Beautiful Day this year!!!

HUNT... One mom's heroic idea.

HUNT is a massive easter egg hunt in the Silicon Valley, and the largest in California. It's crazy how it started. A young mom went to a city sponsored community egg hunt, and lay victim to an overcrowded, understaffed, city-sponsored spring tradition. Too many kids searching for too-few eggs... and too few staff attempting to crowd-control parents with cameras and strollers. It was a nightmare in the making. Imagine uber-protective soccer mom types... shielding Easter Egg HUNT space for their kids... body blocking, and hovering, while dad is trying to snap pictures - Jonney picks up colorful eggs while mom throws down with a home-school parent who's invaded her sons territory. It's like the Oklahoma Land Rush of the late 1800's... except more strollers than horses.

A few years back, one young mom decided enough is enough. If the city cant run a descent egg hunt then she would do it her self... how hard could it be?

For the next few years she hosted a small hunt site for her surrounding community, and each year it grew in popularity. The key was, GREAT communication of how the site would run, tons of candy and eggs (so no one left disappointed), and tasers (for over-zealous parents).

*** note*** we have not used Tasers, but we've seriously thought about it.

The HUNT site was a huge success.

A few years back, we decided to replicate her HUNT site model. Taking the exact same principles and setting up sites that faith communities can host in and around the city. Basically, we too her model and put it on steroids. Now Beautiful Day host the largest site(s) in California.

They are well communicated, well staffed, and have tons and tons of candy. In fact, the city and school districts all canceled their sites, and tell people to come to ours... "they're WAY better!" Now politicians show up at our sites and help with the HUNT... its become a cool partnership in serving the community and serving the city.

One mom... with a cool idea. Heroic Genius? You bet!!

Looking for a site to attend... go to www.ourbeautifulday.org