“It is the HEART that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.” Henry Ward Beecher
Photo of heart found in a pattern of snow on our patio bricks.
February 13, 2010
…daily snapshots of life in and around Anderson, South Carolina
Today we honor our veterans,
worthy men and women
who gave their best
when they were called upon
to serve and protect their country.
We pray that you will bless them, Lord,
for their unselfish service
in the continual struggle
to preserve our freedoms, our safety,
and our country’s heritage, for all of us.
Bless them abundantly
for the hardships they faced,
for the sacrifices they made
for their many different contributions
to America’s victories
over tyranny and oppression.
We respect them, we thank them,
we honor them, we are proud of them,
and we pray that you will watch over
these special people
and bless them with peace and happiness.
In Jesus’ name we pray; Amen.
By Joanna Fuchs
Back a few weeks ago when the acorns first began to fall, my husband and son found this perfect one and brought it in to show me. I began to play around with my camera to see if I might capture a bit of its beauty and perfection. Well, perhaps I didn’t get the photo that I was looking for, but when I examined this shot and noticed the shadow, it immediately gave me comfort.
Much like the way the shadow is larger than life for the acorn, I know that God is ever-present and larger than can be imagined! afs
Lovely hot air balloons invaded our lovely city this weekend for Balloons Over Anderson. I LOVE seeing our skys dotted with the fun and colorful balloons. Please join me in thanking the organizers and the sponsors for bringing this festival to Anderson!
Here’s a sampling of what we saw this weekend when we looked skyward…
Today’s photo and commentary are only marginally related. I’ve posted this photo before, back in February. I wanted to post it again today because it matches my mood. I’m feeling blue because the economy is bleak and people are hurting. The unemployment rate is way up, job availability way down, and even families who have lived comfortably in the past are feeling the bite of this recession. In Anderson, we’ve had at least four local restaurants close in the last month. It’s disheartening to see this happen…to watch the demise of peoples life savings and their dreams. And it saddens me to see even more people become unemployed.
If you follow this blog, you know that I work for a local non-profit agency called Anderson Interfaith Ministries (AIM). Non-profits feel the bite of a tough economy too. Although donations can go either up OR down in lean times, almost always peoples needs and requests for services rise. And indeed they have risen! At AIM, they are up 40% from last year, which was already up from the year before.
I work predominantly in the Hunger Ministries of AIM. During the last two months we estimate that we’ve distributed food valued at $100,000. We’ve seen nearly 1500 families through our food pantry and another 400 or more thorough Manna Distributions. AIM’s Emergency Assistance program has spent $110,000 during this same two month period, helping people with needs such as rent, mortgage and utilities. The Women And Children Suceeding program (WACS) has provided assistance in excess of $50,000. This all totals up to a tremendous amount of money, and we find ourselves left with little to continue meeting the needs of those who need our services.
I’ve not lost faith though, and neither has Kristi King-Brock, AIM’s Executive Director who says, “God has sustained and BLESSED this ministry for over 19 years and I have the faith that God will continue to bless AIM. However, we need your help. Please pray for AIM, please give and ask others to give.”
Visit our website to learn about how you can help. Call 864-226-CARE (2273) to speak with someone about how you can make a difference in the lives of hurting families. afs
Oh BTW, today’s photo is of a portion of the stadium at Clemson University. I originally named the photo “Moon Over Death Valley”. Although it obviously does not feature a human face, it nicely portrays the face of this well-known and well-loved stadium. I hope it counts, because I’ve entered it today in a photo challenge over at I ♥ Faces. Take a moment to go check out my entry (#551) and all of the other “blue” themed entries. And please, wish me luck! ;-)
I’m afraid that today’s post truly lives up to the “eclecticism” part of this blog name. Searching around for some inspiration for commentary to go with photo, I learned some rather interesting new bubble gum trivia. I hope you don’t my sharing it with you here.
…that the energy Americans expend everyday chewing bubble gum could light a city of 10 million people for a day?
…that bubble gum was included in ration kits of soldiers serving in WWII?
…that studies have shown that chewing gum helps people to concentrate? (Really?)
…that chewing gum helps improve memory?! (If only I could REMEMBER to chew more gum!)
…that thousands of years before gum was invented, people of all cultures enjoyed chewing on gums, resins, and latex secretions of plants. YUM :-P
Well, I’m sure that’s way more than you needed (or even wanted) to know about gum. Today’s photo was taken outside of Gattytown in Greenville when we took Kellen and a friend recently. It’s just one of the many fun and colorful things that I snapped that day. afs
Lots of folks with the express intent of helping others were spotted out and about on a recent Saturday in Anderson. Some folks passed out food packages at a Manna Food Distribution event. More than 50 volunteers representing the sponsor, Andersonville Baptist church, as well as volunteers from the Girl Scouts and Americorp, came out to package and distribute food itms like potatoes, juice, lettuce, pickles, snack items, and more to families experiencing food insecurity. Anderson Interfaith Ministries (AIM) facilitates a distribution each month on the second Saturday through local church sponsorships.
On the same Saturday, New Beginnings Ministries held a Community Day. They invited local service agencies like AIM, the Anderson Free Clinic, Impact and others to set up informational tables for the benefit of the participants. We all had an opportunity to meet people and to tell them about our agencies and programs. The organizers made the day a fun experience for all. They had music, fun games for the kids, free clothing and they even prepared lunch for everyone. It was a great time for all and a wonderful way of serving the community. New Beginnings Ministries is scheduled to host a Manna food Distribution through AIM in November. I’m looking forward to it.
Lastly, the girls below asked to have their photo made, and Mom said it was fine. They’re sisters who are both obviously quite photogenic. The younger of the two, sporting the oh so fashionable pink boa, was SO excited. She led me over to another sister so that I could show her the photo in my camera. I’ve posted it here because…well, because it’s just too cute not to share! afs
A homeless man recently died here in Anderson. A friend of a friend. It hurt to hear that this had happened. It hurt even more to learn that he likely would be alive had he only been “rescued” hours earlier instead of “discovered” too late. Unfortunately, homelessness lives in our own back yards. Whether you see it or not in the course of your daily routes around town, it exists. You might not recognize it if it doesn’t look like a tattered and tired “street” person sitting in a cardboard box under the viaduct. Sometimes it takes another form. Maybe it looks like a young Mother and her child who travels from family member to family member because she has no place to call her own. Perhaps it’s the guy who sneaks back into work after everyone else leaves, so he will have a place to sleep. Perhaps it’s someone you’ve passed on the street. And you never knew.
Anderson University’s Baptist Campus Ministries teamed up with Family Promise to coordinate Homeless For The Homeless, an event to raise awareness and funds for homelessness in Anderson. Family Promise is an organization committed to reducing homelessness for children and families in Anderson County by uniting local congregations through an Interfaith Hospitality Network to provide shelter, food, and the necessary tools needed for the families to regain their independence.
The Homeless For The Homeless event began on Friday evening and ended on Saturday morning when Disaster relief of Spartanburg serves breakfast. Overnight, participants lived the homeless experience…no electronics, no phones, no food. Some slept indoors because of the rain, but some stayed outdoors as planned. After all, homeless folks don’t have a choice when it rains. While there, they took part in informational games on homelessness, fellowshipped with each other and worshipped together. When “lights out” time came at midnight, it should have become even more real for them. And quiet. In their cardboard boxes. Quiet enough to really think about what it’s like to be homeless and how they can help. I pray they all had a rewarding experience and that they left in the morning even more fired up to fight homelessness! afs
**also be sure to visit the Upstate Homeless Coalition’s site for more information on the state of homelessness in the upstate area of SC
Obviously my nephew Landon LOVES his ice cream. And what lactose tolerate person wouldn’t! After all, it’s cool, creamy, and filled with layer upon layer of delicious goodness. Also obviously in the photo above, is the love that his mother Tasha (my sister) has for him!
I learned this week that two downtown Anderson restaurants are closing because of the economy. Sad! But also a vivid reminder that we all need to support our local businesses at every opporunity. Landon’s cotton candy ice cream is one of many flavors available in downtown Anderson at Koo Koo Ice Cream Depot, a great spot to visit with the family. Read more about them in this previous post. afs