Thursday, August 24, 2006

Profiling and other stuff

I hesitate to express my political views on my blog for some reason. I usually like to just write about my everyday life and the goings on around small town Maine. However, today I am just frustrated about a few things.

Airline travel. Profiling or not. Some photos I just viewed.

A few weeks ago I traveled from NH to MN. As I went through the security checkpoints, I was asked how old I was. (Instead of just being asked for an ID). Apparently I looked under 18??? Then she asked for my ID, as if I looked suspicious and probably had a reason to lie about my age... Then I was asked to take my shoes off even though I was wearing Teva flip flops. I started to do it even though I was thinking, "What are you, an idiot? Can't you see these are flip flops and I'm obviously not storing some C4 under my heels?" As soon as I began removing them, another security guy said, "No, those shoes are okay", and I breathed a sigh of relief that one person actually has some common sense.

So profiling. I am not sure what I think. In a way, it is sort of obvious that the majority of the suicide bombers and hijackers were of Middle Eastern descent. Therefore, it does make sense to me that airport screeners, etc, would pay closer attention to that same group of people when they are going through security. We do this all the time. For example, what comes to mind when I mention pit bulls, rottweilers, or german shepherds? Probably you're thinking that those dogs are dangerous and more likely to bite. As a home owner, I know that my insurance bans these dogs - they won't insure my home if I own one. I know that not all pit bulls, rotties, and shepherds are dangerous. I know that they are not necessarily any more likely to bite than another dog - just that they do more damage when they do bite. However, I also know that I'm probably going to be more on guard around a 140 lb rottie than a 65 lb golden retriever. Why? Because statistics show that rotties do more damage and have a different temperament than retrievers. (By the way, rotties are my favorite dogs).

Ok, so some of you are probably raging at the computer screen right now saying, "Are you comparing anyone of Middle Eastern origin with dangerous dogs?" No, I'm not. What I am saying is that if a certain group of people is known to be doing a particular thing (i.e. teen gang members spraying graffiti or middle age white men looking at child porn), then I think that it make sense to look more closely at that group when you are trying to prevent a crime. I don't think the first person the police will look at in a marijuana bust would be my 75 year old grandmother....

I guess I'm done rambling. Agree? Disagree? Feel free to share your comments...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


It's interesting how you can go days, even weeks and months, without hearing from certain people in your life - and then boom, all at once, you get reconnected. This just happened today. I opened my email and had about 6 or 7 emails from former LASPers. LASP (Latin American Studies Program) is a program that I did my junior year in college. It was by far the best semester of my college life. I lived in Costa Rica with a Costa Rican (or "Tican") family and studied amongst an amazing group of college students from all sorts of Christian colleges across the country. We laughed, cried, learned, and traveled together. Sometimes we even threw up together (remember that Cuba trip?). I am always thinking of my experiences during those 3 and 1/2 months and how they have molded me into who I am today. Although I had done some short term missions trips before that experience, LASP was truly a turning point in my life. I was challenged to really assess how I live, not just what I believe. And I did so in an incredibly supportive group of men and women who were all wrestling with this same issue.

I love looking back over my photos from this experience. And I love encouraging others to take the opportunity to travel and study abroad, because there's really no way I would've learned all I did sitting in a college class about Latin American culture.

Well, anyway, it's good to reconnect. It's good to remember. I love this verse which summarizes why I believe so much in journaling and photos as a powerful tool: "You will be able to tell wonderful stories to your children and grandchildren about the marvelous things I am doing among the Egyptians to prove that I am the LORD." (Exodus 10:2)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Why Album Making?

I love Creative Memories! Ok, most of you who know me already know this. But it is really true. I went to Showcase (our national convention) last week and it was so amazing. I am realizing just how important creating albums can be for people. Not only to preserve the photos and the stories, but really to heal, encourage, and grow someone.

If you want to know more, check out this movie. I am actually watching Scrapped right now and it is so great. It shows how album making can be something that ANYONE can do, including a motorcycle riding tough guy. Everyone has a story to tell! That's why I love CM's new tagline: Your Life | Your Story | Your Way.

Anyway, there's my rant for the day. Do you have photos? How much do they mean to you? Think about it. Then go to my site or find a consultant near you.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Vacation Adventures

So much has happened in the past week that it feels like I've been gone a year. I have had an incredible week full of fun, challenges, being stretched, learning, laughing, crying, and loving. To start, our trip to Soulfest was great. We knew it was a true youth group trip when we had not 1 but 2 tires blow out on the way there. Then when we did arrive at SoulFest (7 and 1/2 hours later), no one seemed to know where to send us. We finally made it to our campsites - on the side of a ski slope. It took some time to set up all the tents on the flattest area we could find, and even then I think most of us slid down in our tents every night.

Anyway, it was a blast going to the concerts, having meals at the campsite, hanging out with all the teens, and going to a women's conference there. I really enjoyed Constance Rhodes who runs Finding Balance. She was a great speaker and challenged me in many areas. Specifically she talked about how we as women are constantly comparing ourselves to each other and the reason is that we are focused on ourselves. I was challenged to remember that it's not about me and that when we take our focus off ourselves and put it onto God, that is when he makes us truly successful.

As for the concerts, I'd have to say that Newsboys were my fave. I've seen them several times before but there was something about this concert that hit me. Peter Furler was open, honest, and talked about having a true hunger for God's word. He said that for a long time, he didn't really have a hunger and found it a struggle to read the Bible. So he began to pray about it, and that is when God's word came alive to him. I realized that I have been in a place of complacency, where I do read God's word but I don't hunger for it. So I am praying that God will put in my heart a desire to know his word and meditate on it.

On Saturday I had to leave all the fun of Soulfest to head to Minneapolis for the Creative Memories Showcase. As sad as I was to leave the group, I was very excited to attend Showcase and learn all that I did. Once I arrived I found that our hotel was not exactly in the best part of town and we had a tight squeeze with 6 people in our suite. There was only 1 double bed - everyone else had to sleep on the floor, a sofa bed (which felt like sleeping directly on springs), or a cot. Thankfully, my roomies were gracious and allowed me to sleep on the bed since I'd been camping the previous 4 days. Praise God!

At Showcase, we had the privilege of hearing Dewitt Jones speak and share his photography. He was amazing - not only the photos but his story as well. I enjoyed it immensely and of course did some crying as well. I also had fun shopping at MarketPlace, which is full of CM goodies and gifts that you can't find anywhere else! I'll use them for my hosts, downline, and customers (and myself of course). We also had lots of training, saw all kinds of new products, heard from consultants on the mainstage, and had a great time dancing on the stage after the closing session. Yes, we stayed there until about 11:30 (it ended at 10:30) dancing and having fun. Then we headed back to our hotel (again, in the not so great part of town) and finally got to sleep around 1am. Then I was up at 4am to head to the airport for my 6am flight. I arrived in Manchester aound noon and finally got home around 5pm. I'm happy to be home even though I didn't want all the adventures to end. Sometimes it's nice to sleep in your own bed... where I'm headed now.