Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Birthing Another New Website...

I am in the process of birthing yet another website for another very creative lady. This one had a very good job working away from home, but in recent days has quit that job in order to pursue her "bliss" in the paper and printing business. (I will share more once we launch her site, but the new logo I created for her is below.) I can recall those Victorias that contained features about women pursuing their "bliss" in regard to their careers or work. There is even a book I have, published by Victoria's editors, called The Business of Bliss which tells the stories of a number of women who did this.

This is something that I have also had the opportunity to do. When I graduated from college with a degree Advertising and Graphic Design many moons ago, none of the layout work was done on computers. It was all meticulously hand-done with rub-on lettering or movable typesetting and gum paste. These days, it seems everything is done via computer. It is really an amazing thing to think about. I have had the opportunity to learn all of this amazing technology as it has evolved. It has gotten incredibly sophisticated through these recent years, and the software will do almost anything that you can imagine.

When I began building websites over 10 years ago, it was all very new and primitive. Since I am a very VISUAL designer, the "coding" required to build websites then was very off-putting to me. But the newest software is so friendly to those of us who are visual designers that it is truly a pleasure to be a web designer this current environment. It is almost like completing an unbelievably large painting, (except that it almost feels like you are never really finished.)  There is always a change here or a tweak there that will inevitably have to be made.

In that past few years I have also had the opportunity to learn to incorporate these new and very popular methods of "quick communication" -- now so affectionately known as Social Media -- into the design of these new websites. I have customized backgrounds and logos and color schemes for Blogger and Twitter, and I have become co-administrator on many a Facebook page.

I am thankful for being able to pursue my bliss and being able to do that from my home. I do not take lightly the privilege of being with my precious family each day, and I am asking the Lord to keep me busy doing what I love, whether it is drawing someone's home, creating a painting, or designing a website. Since these are hard economic times, I must also be wise about what financial contribution I am making in our family. But for now, I am so thankful to be a "worker at home"...

Titus 2:5 " be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."

Monday, June 6, 2011

Any Way the Wind Blows

IMG011(Photo above taken just after Hurricane Katrina in Pascagoula, MS)

These days you can never tell which way the wind will blow.  It may just bring a tornado to your doorstep.  People in Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia found this out the hard way on April 27th.  People in Joplin, Missouri, found this out the hard way on May 22nd.  And in last week’s latest round of tornadic activity even the people in Springfield, Massachusetts, where tornadoes are fairly rare, got a taste of their fury.  Then there is the outbreak in California, also historically a fairly tornado-free area.

So, what is really going on here?  Some would say that it is caused by “global warming” … I wonder if that is why we had the coldest winter on record in quite a while this past year.   Maybe Cheryl ( >>wink<< with her vast study of and fascination with the weather) could help us understand better.  Earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, tornadoes… just what does it all add up to?

(Photo above taken after April 27th tornadoes in Alabama)

If you are like I am, you have been thinking about and pondering  what all this strange weather activity really means.  I think of Jesus’ words when He told us in Matthew 24, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.”  Birth pangs slowly and increasingly get harder and closer together; and so it seems these strange weather patterns are doing.  It is a constant reminder that this earth is not only an unpredictable place and one we will never be able to control with our man-made schemes, neither is it our permanent home.  No matter how hard we try to stay here or how much effort we put into living longer, one fact remains:  no one gets out of this life alive.   And these recent storms are such a vivid reminder that we don’t get to choose when our final day will be.

(Photo above taken after AL tornadoes shot a splintered two-by-four through a picture in a child’s bedroom)

So what can we do with this knowledge?  Well, there are really only two options… we can live with the conviction that Jesus is Lord, that He paid the penalty for our sin, and that He will come back and redeem all those who truly know and love Him.  Or we can choose to ignore Him, living exactly as we please, without regard for His love or sacrifice.  We really must choose, and ignoring His love and sacrifice is really a choice against Him. 

I just can’t buy the fact that this world just “happened” as an accident of the cosmos.  It would take much more of a leap of faith to believe that, than it does for me to look at the magnificently crafted human body, see its intricate design of systems and organs, and believe it must have had an awesome Creator.

(I mean seriously, can you look at that precious face and think it was an accident of nature? I don’t actually know this little fellow, but a friend of mine snapped his picture while on vacation.)

To use a quote that I hear frequently, “I would rather live like there is a God only to find out that there is not, than to live like there is no God only to find that there is (and, I might add, that He is truly not only Creator, but Judge of the universe.)” 

Storms will come…  so what will you do when they come? As for me, I will lift my eyes to the hills and realize again just where my help comes from:  my help comes from the Lord, Creator of heaven and earth.


And as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.