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This laborer and others worked to create trenches for a building foundation in Soroti, Uganda.  The project they are working on is part of the Circle of Friend Farm (a self-sustaining farm being organized between two village communities).  The farm will serve the community by teaching them new methods of farming (including greenhouses), irrigation, biodiesel fuel.  We are reaching out to Agriculture students at a nearby college to provide them with hands on internships.

These hard-working hands of a Ugandan amaze me.  The precision work of these hands is hard to believe, when here in the USA we use machinery to do this type of foundation work.  A true skill, if you ask me.  Because of this man’s hands and strength, the foundation columns were set and the building, The Hursey House has been erected and is in the process of getting walls currently.  The Hursey House will have 16 rooms that overlook the working farm, a special destination for travelers that are looking for a natural Ugandan experience. I am proud to be part of it. I am looking forward to sharing photos of the finished product…especially the hands that made it possible!

I am finding it hard to wrap my head around the fact that there is a decent sized group of people, a Christian group with a minimum of 20,000 followers (that doesn’t include those following on the web that are unaccounted for) , that believe the end of the world is going to start with a massive earthquake that hits all time zone starting this Saturday, May 21st.  This date happens to be my husbands 56th birthday!!!  What a present, if this is real.

I hate to be a naysayer, but since the mid to late 80’s I have seen or heard of people calling for the end of the world.  I grew up in Pittsburgh and had the fortunate opportunity to spend a lot of time at the events held at the Igloo, as it was called back then….I think it is now the Mellon Arena….Anyways, there was this lady, who would grab your arm and say “Prepare the end of the world is here, we have 3 days.”  At first, as a pre-pubescent teen and then early teen, I was kind of frightened by her approach.  She literally freaked me out the first time I saw her.  Then I realized she was a mainstay at all the events.  It was like, ok, we haven’t really arrived until we’d seen her.  Sad but true for me.

Every generation, starting with those in the Bible (duringSt. Paul’s days), were predicting that their generation was the last and that the end times were at hand.  I just read this fact somewhere…I think in a book that I just started, “The Reason for God” by Timothy Keller.   But you don’t have to take his or my word for it.  Just open the Bible or turn on the radio and listen to the Last Day Prophet (he freaks me out, too).

I believe the end times will come….but the Lord makes it very clear that we should all be vigilant because we are not going to know when He will come again.  Do you think the Lord, omniscient and all-powerful would provide us with the knowledge to be able to predict the exact date and time the end times are going to begin after He states that we must be vigilant?  Call me crazy, but I just don’t think so.   

You can call me crazy anyways.  It won’t bother me (well, maybe a little bit, I am known to be sensitive. :) )

I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God.  I believe that Jesus is our savior.  I am of the group of believers that does interpret the 2nd coming and the rapture in such a way that all believers, in Jesus as the son of God who came to pay the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, to bring us to eternal life, will be raotured instantly into heaven.  And, for those who have died in previous generations, that had the Faith to believe in Christ before his time or after his time, their bodies will be raised to meet their souls with us!  Then the 7 years of tribulation will begin on earth. 

 I do not claim to be right…I have much more studying of scripture and reading of other sager opinions.  But my first impressions over the last two + years of reading scripture daily lead me to follow this train of thought.

So if the world ends this Saturday, I hope everyone can drop their personal baggage off at the nearest dump or curb and get reconciled with where you are in your life.  And even if the world doesn’t end this weekend, I suggest doing this.  Each day is a gift, whether you believe in the same God as I, or not.  Someone recently told me, a great doctor friend, “that life is beautiful”.  I believe he is a Hindu.  We should carry no burdens.  We were not made to carry the load.  Rejoice in life and all its splendor…and LOVE!  Love is the key.  Love even the lowliest.  And be good – – how can you love and not be good?  It is impossible.  Just like it is impossible to be both good and evil at the same time. 

All that is good will remain good.  And all that is evil, well, they will end up in a very hot furnace for eternity.  The sad thing is that some have created their own hell on earth because they cannot embrace the beauty and goodness…

So will the world end this weekend on my husband’s birthday?  I don’t know… I just got this panic feeling of being in a crowded mall and losing sight of both of my children.  

If the world does end, my only request Lord is that my husband, kids and I are together!

still interested

May 11, 2011

spreading peace across the globe

I am still interested in this project, of gathering pictures of hands in one spot from people all over the world, starting with my own community of friends and their friends.  A dear friend’s mother told me once that we are all connected somehow, someway.  She simply stated that in each of our personal circles we have a connection to another circle…It is the 6 degrees of separation theory, I suppose.  But I remember her telling me this when she was helping her daughter and I move into our “first” apartment off campus.  Her thoughts have always stuck with me…and I do believe them to be true, because I continually witness it in my own life.

Recently I have been very busy…or not busy at all with too much time on my hands…You could view my life from both angles, I guess, depending on how well you know me.  We are in the process of selling our beautiful historic home in Enfield, CT with the hope of downsizing our space into a brand new home.  I don’t mean to sound spoiled…We are truly blessed that we have such options, when I know there are millions of homeless people.  My heart leads me to add that if anyone ever needs a place to sleep and can find me (or I find you), I would be glad to offer a meal, a bed, a good nights rest and conversation. 

I just snapped the picture posted above a few minutes ago.  The globe just happened to be placed behind my desk today because I am painting a bookcase that it usually sits on…I symbolically show my prayers for peace in a region that is continues to undergo tumultuous times.  Every week in church I share “peace” with fellow church members, although most of them are strangers to me.  

I have learned to act through peace and love each day.  I do the best I can in the moment and go to bed hoping to rise again for another day.  So, peace be with you, whoever you are out there reading this! 

Please submit your hands with a story of any length – – about a lifetime or just an incidence – – !  Hands tell so much about a life it is incredible.  Please share them with me and those who follow this “caterpillar” of a blog…which will in time hopefully morph into a butterfly of a blog.

Peace,

Courtney

As I am sure most people are watching the news about what is happening in Africa and the Middle East, I couldn’t help but be touched by the story of the woman who says she was raped by Gadhafi’s military.  I decided to post this video clip of her mother being interviewed being because her hands are visible at times.  This mother’s hands in action say so much to me, it is my interpretation.  Her hands are a loving mother’s hands, gentle hands, caring hands, concerned hands, anxious hands, angry hands, hands that would strangle.  Immense contrasts, but contrasts I will not judge.  I believe if I were in her situation, my hands would tell a similar story.

Where I sit, in the United States of America, thousands of miles away from this unrest (personal and civil), I pray for this mother and her daughter.  Even in the United States of America we are not free from oppressive acts of rape…no land is free from this barbaric act.   Naturally, I also pray for all of the people of Libya who are looking for freedom from 40 years worth of an oppressive dictator and his regime.  

http://cnn.com/video/?/video/world/2011/03/30/sayah.libya.mother.rage.cnn

thoughts for today

March 16, 2011

I continue to be excited by the hands that are submitted to this blog.  In addtion, sharing the word that this blog has been created for the purpose of sharing hands that shape the world has sparked some interesting conversations that past week.  I hope that the people I have spoken with share their hands and some stories about how they shape their individual world and the world around them.

Currently, I am thinking about all of the hands at work searching for people after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  The thousands of hands working to begin rebuilding…or just holding their heads in their out of fear. weakness or frustration resulting from the catastrophic natural disaster.  I share prayers with the people of that nation. 

My hands are currently looking for a job….one in which I can impact the lives of people around me.  At 34 I have made a decision to figure out a way to get back to school…I will leave it at that for now.  However, like most Americans, I need to multitask and earn an income while I pursue higher education.  The next few weeks and months may my story unfold…and my hands, along with my internal spirit will have been responsible for making it all happen.

Enjoy your day!

so many hands

March 8, 2011

My mind is overflowing with opportunities to catch hands in action and then coax a story out of their owner.  I have not yet started carrying a camera or a voice recorder…these are items that are on my wishlist.

This weekend, well Friday evening and Saturday (day and night) I spent volunteering for the Enfield Montessori School Annual Parent Auction.  As I was focused on my task of running the set up of the silent auction prior to the event and then running the silent auction during the event, I couldn’t help but think about all the other volunteers and their hands.  I shared the project I am working on with some…and they all looked at their hands and told me it was a great idea.

But what I found most interesting is that while we were all at the event venue, Brewster Hall at Suffield Academy, we were all using our hands in different ways to bring the event together.  The talents people had…some working with Mac’s, other’s merchandising items, some making live auction displays, others placing bid forms….It was a collective effort, but each volunteer/person in the room was using their hands in a way that fit them.  And, I love that! 

Call me crazy…but it is true – artist or not, we all use our hands to shape the world around us.  So far I am zeroed in on my immediate community and would like to broaden the horizon.

I urge those of you who are the least bit interested to submit a picture and story of your hands to handsthatshapetheworld@cox.net .

Word is spreading

March 3, 2011

  I have been spreading the word about my blog to nearly everyone I am coming into contact with in the course of my daily life.  People I know well, acquaintances and people with whom I do business.  The feedback has been GREAT!  At least they are telling me they love the idea. 

The one thing each person has said to me when I tell them I want a picture of their hands is, “Look at these hands…they are old or worn”.  My response is, “Exactly…And they didn’t get that way without a story!” 

So, I have determined that I must travel with a digital camera and tape recorder for those special instances when someone wants me to shoot their hands. I am also guess that there will be special trips, those with a purpose and the intention of obtaining pictures and stories. 

I know some friends of mine are laughing out loud right now about me traveling with a camera…I am known to never have a camera and if I do have one, I don’t always remember to use it.   So, to those that know this “weakness” of mine, carrying a camera and using it is going to be a challenge !  But a challenge, I am willing to take on. <3 

 

I have actually printed cards to leave with people who read:

FRONT:

Our world is shaped by hands of people throughout all stages of life; those of diverse cultures, creeds, and with purpose. 

hands that shape the world

 project web address:  

http://www.handsthatshapetheworld.wordpress.com

BACK:

 Showcase hands and share their story!

 

 email: handsthatshapetheworld@cox.net

 

  Include your picture (preferably a .jpg file) and a description about how these hands have helped shape the world in 250 words or less. 

*Please note when you make a submission via email, you give permission to the owner of the blog to upload your image and text as part of the project: “hands that shape the world”.

 

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