Thursday, April 30, 2009

Buy TOMS Shoes!

I had seen TOMS Shoes on the feet of Orange County's hipster college students for a while, but just thought they were another earth-friendly, trendy shoe on the market, and they didn't immediately spark my interest. Then a couple of weeks ago, I saw a feature story on CNBC about Blake Mycoskie, who founded TOMS. I learned that for every pair of shoes that is sold, the company donates a pair to a child in need.

Last week at Catalyst West, I had the privilege of meeting Blake and hearing all about TOMS...and it's incredible. Blake was actually on The Amazing Race and got to travel around the world with his sister on the show. His experience in Cape Town allowed him to see people living in extreme poverty for the first time.

After the show (he and his sister lost the $1 million prize by four minutes), Blake went to Argentina to travel, learn about the culture, and play polo, with no philanthropic agenda...but when he noticed all of the children there living without shoes, he wanted to do something about it.

I love that this incredible enterpreneur wasn't just sitting around thinking about how to make a million bucks. He saw a need in the world and thought about how he could meet that need. Blake is a Christian and is using the gifts, power, and influence that he's been given to make a huge difference in the world. I really admire him, and I can't wait to buy some TOMS Shoes!

Argentina's flag is on every TOMS shoe, so that they'll never forget where they started:

Buy TOMS Shoes here!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Things Students Do in a Four Hour Seminary Class

Play poker on facebook...with other people in class
Tetris (and when you're sitting behind someone playing's mesmerizing)
Check the news
Watch a sports game
Work e-mails
Personal e-mails
Taking pictures on cell phones
Facebook and facebook chat (most popular)
Solitaire, freecell, and writing to-do lists (me)
Kitten Torpedo game
Family Feud online (Oh, Becka...)

Oh yeah...and note taking...sometimes

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Man, I Love Starbucks

No big deal, but I gave up Starbucks for Lent. No perfect oatmeal, iced teas, or soy chais for forty days. I’m not going to lie…some days were rough, but I persevered.

And now…Lent’s over.

So Monday morning, I went to my Starbucks for the first time in forty days, and the manager, Mark (who looks like Ben Linus from LOST), said, “Lisa! How are you? So good to see you!”

“You too! I haven’t been here for forty days! But I’m back now!”

Mark came out from around the counter, gave me a hug, and said, “Good to have you back.”

Yes, Ben…I mean, Mark.

It’s so good to be back.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ten Things I Love To Do

Get real mail--notes, postcards, letters. And I love writing them. I've been writing to pen pals and relatives for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I loved writing addresses on envelopes and using stickers and stamps. The whole process of mailing and receiving letters fascinated me.

Make people laugh. Especially people who I think are funny. If you can make someone like David Hughes laugh, then your humor has just been validated and you are unquestionably funny.

Wrap presents. Unfortunately, I'm not a stellar gift-giver and usually give gift cards, but I totally love wrapping presents...I'm like the Eminem of wrapping...

Pack for trips. I always type up a list and am super organized when I pack. And I never forget to bring anything on trips!

Write checks. I'm not a fan of paying bills, but I love writing checks, especially writing out the dollar amount. It makes me feel grown-up.

Pick people up from and drop them off at the airport. (Assuming it's John Wayne, of course.) If I really like you, you might even get candy, Starbucks, or a flower...

Get dressed up for something special, like a play. It's fun to feel fancy once in a while.

Go to dinner with just a friend or two. I am not a fan of dinner with huge parties. It's overwhelming, conversation suffers, and I hate splitting checks. But dinner with just a few friends is perfect.

Light a candle when I read. It makes me feel old-fashioned, and kind of classy, too.

Roll change. My parents have a change bucket and I count and roll all of their change when it's full; it's usually around a thousand dollars! I also love paying with exact change, even if it takes me five minutes to fish it out of my coin purse.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

MTV Reality Bites

I just watched the series premiere of the MTV reality show "College Life," about four college freshmen who are taping their lives for the world to see. Here are my impressions, if you will, from the first episode:

One student said he wanted to make his mom proud by passing his classes with C's. Really? I mean, I know he's drinking away his brain cells (and vocabulary--every other word out of his mouth is bleeped) and wouldn't expect straight-A's from the guy, but seriously...excelling at mediocrity is not excelling. Mom, up your standards and hope your son does the same.

I'm so glad I never lived in a dorm. I'm an introvert to the core, and while I'm not a neat freak, I hate my clothes and stuff mixing with other people's. Peace, quiet, and sleep? I'm a huge fan of all three. I don't think I would have survived college in a dorm--at least not with any friends.

A girl got drunk and had a hissy-fit about something, probably a boy (I mean, what else do we get upset about?). The only thing humorous about it was that while in her inebriated stupor, she still remembered and used SAT words like "belligerent."

Quote of the night: "College is so not fun because you have to study, like, every five seconds." Did you just picture me rolling my eyes? Girlfriend, thank your lucky stars that you have the means and opportunities for such an education, study your butt off (it won't kill you--I promise), and take full advantage of everything that school has to offer.

Judging from the series trailer, it doesn't look like self-respect, education, and smart decision-making are high priorities for these students. But I'm probably not going to watch the rest of the show to find out.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good...

Yesterday afternoon I drove to Tustin to meet my friends and head up to the Angels game. It was a beautiful afternoon--sunny, bright, hot; it felt like a carefree midsummer day. I had the window down in my car and was listening to the Saddleback student ministries' worship CD. I had heard it many times, but last night seemed like the first. As I listened to the lyrics, I was overcome with joy and gratitude thinking about the freedom and hope that we have in Christ. And it’s only because of his grace that I know who he is and have a relationship with him. I can’t explain how moved I was thinking about this. It made me realize that I don’t think I get “excited” enough about my salvation…why is that? Do I even get it? I’m more evangelical about a new brand of mascara or jeans than I am about my savior. How could I not shout his praise every day? I get to spend my life, now and forever, with Jesus. That’s incredible!

At our last staff meeting, Pastor Rick reminded us to never lose that sense of awe…never forget that it’s okay to be moved to tears by what God’s doing. What a great reminder. This Easter, I really am thankful for the one who raised my life up from the dead.

God’s love is rescuing. His grace is amazing. His love is forever.

“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.

Praise the LORD.”

Psalm 150:6.