Search  


Behind the Scene 
Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 11:22 AM - Extra Christy
Posted by Administrator
Many people liked the photo of Bette Lynn and me in front of a heart sign from last week's post. Some commented on the weight I've lost since last May, others on how happy we looked, a couple wanted to know about the sign and the Cove Haven resort where "Loved Lived".

But the most interesting part of the photo cannot be seen anywhere in the photo but is a critical part of it: The Photographer. I've asked the person who took this photo to raise his hand.

Yes, that is Ray Simpson. In addition to being our vacation photographer, he is the "cop" and lead singer of the Village People..

This is how we got our picture taken by such an icon.

We wanted to have a picture by the heart sign at the resort. As I stood by the sign, Bette Lynn walked back the path and asked the couple walking behind us if they would take our picture by the sign. She offered the man our camera.

Posing awkwardly by the large heart sign, I wondered what was taking so long. Instead of taking the camera, the man just looked at the camera in confusion. Finally, the woman with him, explained the project to him, "They want YOU to take THEIR picture."

That explanation helped! He smiled, said "Oh!" and good naturally took several photos of us. He had us review the pictures and while we were, offered to take more if we wanted. We declined his thoughtful offer and thanked him.

We thought nothing more of the hesitant turned enthusiastic photographer until he walked out on stage that night with the rest of the Village People. Bette Lynn, leaned over to me and shouted above the roar of cheers and song: "The cop took our picture!" I was confused now, (he had a microphone not a camera) then I realized the one who was working behind the scene was now stage front.

Ray Simpson performing with the Village People at Cove Haven Resort in 2011
Looking at the photo, even being in the photo, doesn't tell the whole story of who is involved in the big picture.

Hope you look behind the camera and get to meet who is working behind the scene.

Behind What A Camera Sees

So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever. - 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group


Creative Commons License
This work by J. Christy Ramsey is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

add comment ( 3456 views )   |  permalink
A Valentine Life 
Monday, February 13, 2012, 07:00 AM - Extra Christy
Posted by Administrator
Keep Love In Your Life

As part of the process of becoming a Presbyterian minister, during my senior year of college I went to 3 days of career counseling in Columbus. Part of the work with the counselors was to plan out where I will be in the next 5, 10, 20 years. I don't remember the details of that plan of 30 plus years ago, but I do remember that every year included my then girlfriend, Bette Lynn Speegle.

On the last day the counselor and I reviewed my future plans for marriage and family life. His response to my hard work: “Don't you think you ought to tell Bette Lynn?” He was right.

On February 14, 1980 I borrowed a friend's car and drove the 40 minutes to Bette Lynn's apartment, ring in hand and heart in throat. I finally told her that when I made my life plans, I couldn't imagine my future without her. I showed her the ring I had brought and asked her to marry me.

While Bette Lynn and I had spent almost four years dating off and on, she had no clue I had been thinking of the important place she had in the rest of my life. I had just assumed she knew we had a future together. She didn't.

Bette Lynn said “yes” to a life together, and we were married four months later. (Bette Lynn sent a thank you note to the counselor with wedding pictures.)

Valentines at Cove Haven Resort
I share this personal memory on Valentine's Day to encourage you to tell the people you love of their importance in your life now and the days to come. Never assume those you love know how important they are to your future.


Jesus Loves Us Through All

God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood
because they hate you.
We're sitting ducks;
they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. - Romans 8:29-39

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group


Creative Commons License
This work by J. Christy Ramsey is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

add comment ( 2980 views )   |  permalink
Binary or Not? 
Thursday, October 13, 2011, 06:00 PM - Extra Christy
Posted by Administrator
The Space Between Always and Never

I fix computers to relax. They are like puzzles for me. Folks know this and bring me their computers to put back together.

The latest wounded beast was a laptop that had visited before. I had set it to ask, "Do You Want to Allow...?" before a user (or a virus!) made a change. The owner knew if the little Robot icon popped up, she needed to consider if she wanted to make this change, or if it was a rogue website or malicious software trying to worm its way into her system.

She brought me the beast because the robot urging reflection had been replaced by a flat out refusal! No options, no consideration allowed, just a no. She couldn't even change the time on her computer much less install a new program.

Click to double size
Like most computer conundrums, a little change fixed the problem. However making the small change was involved. You see, it was easy to set the computer to NEVER allow changes and a simple matter to set it to ALWAYS allow changes...but to ask if changes were acceptable...that took some research.

Religion has the same dynamic. It is easier to set up a binary system, ALWAYS or NEVER with nothing in-between. In fact you can find folks who measure their righteousness by how many NEVERS and ALWAYS they can quote and strive to obey. I think some compare and trade DOS and DON'TS like they were spiritual power-up cards. (Even though such card games are often on NEVER lists.)

Setting our computer or ourselves to be mindful of what we are doing, is more difficult. Neither blindly going along with whatever a rogue person or program wants to do with us nor closing ourselves off to all possibilities of change (upgrade?) is a way of faith that involves a person's whole being: heart, soul, mind and strength.

Perhaps that is why Jesus popped up in history, not to restrict or permit, but to call us to consider...is this a change you will allow?


Considering Or Not

Then they sent to him some Pharisees and some Herodians to trap him in what he said. And they came and said to him, ‘Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?' But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, ‘Why are you putting me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me see it.' And they brought one. Then he said to them, ‘Whose head is this, and whose title?' They answered, ‘The emperor's.' Jesus said to them, ‘Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's.' And they were utterly amazed at him. - Mark 12:13-17

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Creative Commons License
This work by J. Christy Ramsey is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


add comment ( 2485 views )   |  permalink   |  related link
The Good One 
Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 06:30 AM - Extra Christy, Family
Posted by Administrator
The Tool Ark

Like a Workshop Noah, if my Dad had anything; he had at least two of them. From several wrench sets to two arc welders, he had the the good one and the other one.

Sometimes, he just wanted one tool for the basement workshop and another for the garage, (and maybe one for the car). Other times there was a good deal on a tool and he bought them all. Or one tool was not quite perfect, but not quite worn out, so he bought another but kept the old for sacrificial projects.

Click for more tools
My brothers and I learned early that not only could we borrow tools, but when borrowing, to always ask for "the good one". Usually, we didn't know what the good one was but Dad knew, and that is the one he gave us.

If someone tells you that God gave them them something bad, from an earthquakes to blunt screwdriver, remember my Dad, for like all good parents, God always gives "the good one".

Hope you always give your best to God and God's children.


Giving Good Gifts

"Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" - Matthew 7:7-11

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Creative Commons License
This work by J. Christy Ramsey is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


add comment ( 2139 views )   |  permalink
Perspective 
Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 07:00 AM - Extra Christy, Radio
Posted by Administrator
Bringing the Impossible Together

The Akron Art Museum has an exhibit of M.C. Escher's work through May 29th. I urge you to visit and enjoy 130 works on loan from the Herakleidon Museum in Athens, Greece.

Escher deals with mind-bending explorations of perspective. Trace the water course in the lithograph "Waterfall" at the right and you will see that water flows up!

Of course, such a structure could not exist in the "real" world. The water falls up only by the genius of M.C. Escher in presenting 3-D perspective in a 2-D print.

However, part of the exhibit is a actual 3-D model of the lithograph print "Waterfall". It is a distorted mess with unattached columns flying unsupported into space. It seems to have been caught in mid-explosion.

Waterfall by M.C.Escher
Yet, when viewed through a carefully mounted pinhole, the jumbled parts resolve into a perfect copy of the print! The columns attach, the arches meet, and the watercourse connects...up. The model was constructed so that from that one viewpoint only, its appearance matches the scene in the Escher's print.

Escher's work reminds us how important perspective is in how we view reality. Looking at reality without depth or standing still at a certain spot with only one narrow point of view, we can be convinced that water falls up!

I hope you move up and down, back and forth, and even to the right or left when you look at the world and don't let your perspective (or even M.C. Escher) fool you.

I also hope you move around enough so that every now and then, when you hold yourself just right, you can see the world as God sees it. All connected and correct where even what we believe to the the laws of human nature bend to God's vision.


Where God Looks

But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." - 1 Samuel 16:7

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Creative Commons License
This work by J. Christy Ramsey is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


add comment ( 1955 views )   |  permalink   |  related link

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | Next> Last>>