Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Practical Response

I realized that several of my posts are merely informative but don't necessarily reflect how the information changes how we live. So, here's one way in which our family responded to the video in the previous post (The Poor of This World).

On Sunday afternoon, Isaac and I collected all the change we could find from around the house, including a treasure box in the garage that had a bunch of change. Isaac counted all the change, and it turned out that we had just shy of $24. Then we raided Johnna's purse for the remaining change that got us to $24.

Why $24? Well, $12 buys a goat for a family in Zambia where Johnna's sister lives and works. So, we were able to buy two goats for families in Zambia, and these goats can have a great impact on the lives of these families. [Read Beatrice's Goat by Page McBrier] Johnna's sister will buy and deliver the goats to the families. Here's a picture of Isaac and Anna with their plastic bags; each one has $12 and represents a goat.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Poor of This World

I created this video for a recent presentation.

Music: "Give Me Your Eyes" by Brandon Heath
Photos by: Me, Johnna Raymond, Ken Shackelford, Jamin York
Photos taken in: China (Tibetan Plateau), Rwanda, Uganda
Video creation: Bret Raymond

To learn how you can serve the poor of this world, visit

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Saw What I Saw

Perhaps you've seen this video already, but it's worth watching again. Sara Groves was inspired to write this song after visiting Rwanda. What has inspired you to action?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

UN Millennium Development Goals

This video has had a tremendous impact on me, especially the last line. I'm reminded of the Scripture that says, "To whom much has been entrusted, much is required."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How Tall is Tall?

I spent a few hours this morning with a couple of friends at a local coffee establishment. Okay, it's not really local since it's a worldwide chain that has created millions of loyal customers who believe, actually believe, that "good coffee" should be burnt to the point that the individual and often quite phenomenal characteristics of the various beans are imperceptible ... all flavors simple melding into a homogeneous sea of blackness so that a customer can get the same cup of coffee in Beijing, Bentonville, or Brussels. What a travesty! But I digress.

So, we were at the coffee shop, but one of my friends wanted tea. The conversation with the barista went like this:

Friend: "So I'd like some tea."
Barista: "What size would you like?"
Friend: "What size do you recommend?"
Barista: "Tall."
Friend: "How tall is tall?"
Barista: "Short." At this point she showed him the "tall" size coffee cup which, evidently, is short after all.

I thought this whole exchange was quite hilarious, reminiscent of Steve Martin's cafe exchange in LA Story:

Tom: I'll have a decaf coffee.
Trudi: I'll have a decaf espresso.
Morris Frost: I'll have a double decaf cappuccino.
Ted: Give me decaffeinated coffee ice cream.
Harris: I'll have a half double decaffeinated half-caf, with a twist of lemon.

Now, if you really want some great coffee that celebrates the specific nuances of each bean, go to

[For further hilarity: LA Story.]