Photos: Realistic Paintings

Check out the following pieces of artwork, they're amazing. There is 15 images from 4 different artist. I've included their links in case you want to see some more of their work.

Glennray Tutor
Sarah Graham
Charles Bell
Doug Bloodworth



Photos: Pencil Drawing

Check out these drawings by an artist named Paul Lung. These are some amazingly realistic pictures created with a 0.5mm techincal pencil. Some of these works can take up to 60 hours to complete.



Video: The Karate Kid

I thought they were goint to rename the film The Kung Fu Kid, since Jackie Chan's character teaches him kung fu (in real life Chan knows kung fu not karate). And while I don't think a remake was needed, and the original is still incredible, I hate to admit that this movie looks pretty good. The name change would have probably helped me get over the fact that someone felt a remake was needed.
Watch the preview. Notice at the end when Chan is trying to catch a fly with chopsticks, a la Mr. Miyagi, that Joe Esposito's You're The Best Around is playing in the background...awesome!


Questioning Jesus

True North Church, where I serve, is working through a series entitled Questioning Jesus*. Essentially Jon, the pastor I serve with, was curious one day about how many, and what type of questions Jesus asked in the gospels.
So we took his list and decided to lead the church through some of the questions.
What I've found interesting, is that each question opens up hundreds of questions within me. Questions for Jesus. Questions for the author of the text. Questions for the disciples or the ones who respond to Jesus' question/s.

So, this coming Sunday I will exploring with the church the question Jesus asks the Twelve after the crowds and larger circle of disciples leave in response to the Bread of Life Discourse (John 6); "Are you also going to leave?"

Here are some of my questions as I try to map out the ebb and flow of the message:
- with what tone did Jesus ask this questions? was it a pity-filled, whoa-is-me, everyone left me kinda question? was it an angry how-dare-they-leave-me question daring the final twelve to leave too? or some other tone?
- what does it mean to "eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood" by which Jesus say we have eternal life?
- what does it mean that John's would include this conversation, which the other gospels ignore, yet exclude any Eucharist presentation in the four chapters dedicated to the last supper; & what does it mean that John excludes Peter's great confession, and does the confession to Jesus' question in John 6:67 compare?
- what specifically seperates the Twelve from the disciples that left? both groups saw the feeding of the 5000; i assume only the twelve were on the boat and saw Jesus walk on water and calm the sea. Is that why Peter answers the way he does?
- why does Judas remain with Jesus at this point? surely he could have snuck out at this time.
- how do I interact with this text and this question?

I'd love to hear any of your thoughts and questions.

* I like the tension in this title that suggests maybe we are the ones questioning Jesus, only to realize that Jesus had some questions of us.


Telephone Prophet

A few weeks back I was making all the necessary phone calls that come with moving into a new place. The electric company. The water company. And most importantly the cable company.

A gentleman named Greg answered. What followed is perhaps one of the greatest conversations I have ever had. Here is that conversation*:

Greg: "Time Warner Company, how can I help you?"

Me: "Hi, how are you today?"

Greg: "I'm good thank you, how are you?"

Me: "Great."

Greg: "How can I help you today?"

Me: "I need some internet and cable."

Greg: "Were you interested in the bundle which includes phone, cable and internet?"

Me: "Who has a home phone these days?"

Greg lays out the details and ask for my all my information. While he waits for me to gather my new NC bank account info Greg attempts some small talk.

Greg: "So what do you do in North Carolina?"

Me: "I just joined a church in the Raleigh area as a youth pastor?"

Greg: "Oh that's great. I'm a pastor here in Atlanta at the Almighty God is our Rock and Holy Everlasting Father and Redeemer Church**"

Me: "Outstanding."

This is where the conversations goes askew.

Greg: "Are you married?"

Me: "Nope."

Greg: "Um"


Greg: "Do you believe in prophecy?"


Me: "Um."


Me: "Sure. Uh-h. I don't have that gift, but I certainly wouldn't deny that God uses prophecy."

Greg: "Well Trevor are you ready to be prophesied over?"

I was really ready for some cable, Lost started that week, but who wouldn't want to see where this was going?

Me: "Um. Sure."

Greg: "March 5th.

Me: "March 5th?"

Greg: "March 5th. On March 5th you will know the woman you will marry."

Me: "March 5th"

Greg: "Yes March 5th. Also on March 5th you'll meet the people who will publish your books"

Suddenly I was worried that I had to write a book by March 5th.

Me: "Wow"

Greg: "Do you write? Have you thought about writing books?"

Me: "Um. I've written a few things."

Like school papers, e-mails, and stuff on this blog.

Greg: "Now this may not all happen on March 5th, but you'll know the person that will eventually lead to this end."

Me: "Okay. I better circle that date on my calendar.

In my head I'm wondering how this man is not getting chewed out, or that he was going to get chewed out, because the previous recording informed me that this phone call could be recorded for quality control.

Greg: "And don't just take my word for it. You need to read 1 Corinthians and see that I am approved. Double check with what God's Word says so that you can know what's true."

Me: "Okay".

Greg: "Um. Can you hold on for a minute?"

Me: "Sure."

Then Greg was gone for about a minute. I was certain that some supervisor was reaming him out, because despite the brief dialogue I've shared above it had to be at least 10 minutes of prophesying. The Greg came back on the phone.

Greg: "Did you want the bundle today Mr. Harrison?"

Me: "Um. No, just the cable and internet."

Greg went on to finish the process of getting me my service without once mentioning this prophecy. Nevertheless as we finished up I said thank you to him, and reiterated that I would be circling March 5th on my calendar.

I've been trying to make a list of places to avoid and places to hang out, you know, so that I can influence this prophecy. Because if I can narrow the pool of women I know on March 5th to women who are rich and beautiful, well, good for me.

Avoid: Wal-Mart, daycare schools
Hang Out: country clubs, beauty pageants

What places would you add to these list?

* As best as I can remember the conversation. I'm sure I'm embellishing bits and pieces, but for the most part what you read is the gist of the conversation.
** I can't remember the name of his church, but there was a lot of words in it's title.


Learning to Cope

I don't particularly have any stress right now. But I'm ready for when I do.

Toy Story 3-D

Who else is looking forward to this movie?
Toy Story is still my favorite Pixar movie.

Toy Story 3 Trailer 2 in HD

Trailer Park Movies MySpace Video


Actors & Directors

Vanity Fair published Annie Leibovitz's recent photo shoot with directors and their actors from 11 of this past year's most compelling movies. I really enjoy these type of photo series. Here are the photos:
Pedro Almodovar & Penelope Cruz
Broken Embraces
Kathryn Bigelow & Jeremy Renner
The Hurt Locker
Scott Cooper & Jeff Bridges
Crazy Heart
Lee Daniels, Mo 'Nique & Gabourey Sidibe
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Nora Ephron & Meryl Streep
Julie & Julia
Tom Ford, Colin Firth & Julianne Moore
A Single Man
Peter Jackson & Saoirse Ronan
The Lovely Bones
James Cameron with his Fusion 3-D camera
Todd Philips, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms & Bradley Cooper
The Hangover
Lone Scherfig & Carey Mulligan
An Education
Quentin Tarantino & Christoph Waltz
Inglorious Basterds

Kenya Recap #3

Before leaving for Kenya I tried to intentionally not do much research or investigating of the history, terrain, politics, or culture. I wanted to go without any opinions and try and let Kenya speak for itself.
Having grown up a military brat and had the fortune of traveling to numerous locations outside the United States I've come to appreciate that not everyone lives like me, or looks like me, or thinks like me, or should become like me.
So as we traveled around and saw homes that we wouldn't even consider living in here I didn't think it a horrible thing. It might be altogether easier to maintain and appreciate a home not so large.
Seeing people just sitting on the side of the road, or walking down the road, doing apparently nothing in the middle of the day, although seemingly unproductive, did not really bother me. It might actually be a comfortable pace at life.
Nor did the awful roads, that made almost all travel in Kenya difficult, seem to stir some emotions in me.
Obviously the health care in Kenya needs work.
As well as the school systems; every child should have the right to an education. Knowing that some children's families couldn't afford to send their child to a school or had to keep their children home during certain times of the harvest was kind of a struggle.
Yes, there are some major hurdles in Kenya that need to dealt with as the nation continues to evolve as a developing country. But I understand that takes time. In no way did those challenges make me pity Kenyans.
Only the lack of healthy drinking water frustrated me and angered me.
The two photos above were taken with my arm hanging out the window. The dirt road and small bridge you see in the second photos may be the best stretch of road we experienced through the four/five hour drive through the Kerio Valley.
Several times throughout the drive we would pass a bridge like this, usually though there were several driving obstacles as we crossed over, including rocks, logs, potholes and divets. Sometimes we had to navigate through a herd of cattle or goats. Occasionally we would slow down for the Kenyan walking down the road, or doing their laundry in the water to get out of the way.
Just in case you didn't get that; cattle, laundry and bathing were frequent activites in the same water, that would be gathered by children and women in old buckets, and boiled for the daily water rations.
One of the Kenya missionaries we met was Samuel "Kep" Elolia. Kip, who was born in the valley, is considered a hero among the villages in the valley, largely, because he made it out. Today Kip serves both the churches in the valley with his leadership and at Emmanuel School of Religion in Tennessee.
After a water filtration system was installed at one of the villages, Kip was teaching the people about the importance of clean healthy drinking water. According to Kip's story, one man took a sip and quickly spit back out the water in disgust. He then poured out all the filtered water from the bottle and walked down to the creek, brown from the clay soil, and proceeded to fill the bottle up. Taking a sip again, the man expressed that this was the water he enjoyed.
I understand that even in some countries on our continent it's unwise to drink the water from a facet. But certainly I've never seen someone from our boarding nations pour out clean water and replace it with dirty ditch water. Nobody should live like that.
Even in Nairobi, the capital city and possible the most developed city in Kenya, on occasion we saw Kenya gathering water from the ditch along a main road. That's just not right.
Hopefully this isn't news to anyone in America. It seems lately that the injustice and inequalities in our world are being exposed and addressed, even by common like me and you. And I'm grateful that the church has stepped up to help address this problem, not only in Africa, but where ever we see it.
I'd like to be a part of that solution.
I don't think there should be any place in the world, where the healthiest beverage choice is a Coca-Cola.
That's my biggest concern and frustration. Have you been to Kenya/Africa? What's your greatest concern?


Google Buzz

Who's using Google Buzz?
What? You don't know what that is. Here's a video to help explain:

Feel free to follow me. Not sure how you find people, but try my e-mail address: tsharrisonis@gmail.com

Kenya Recap #2

One of my favorite parts of the trip to Kenya was a brief visit to the Imani Workshop in Eldoret.I think I refer to pretty much all elements of the trip as brief. We packed a lot into the few days we were actually in Kenya.
The Imani Workshop is a place where Kenyans with HIV/AIDS can learn a skill set and then be able to have a source of income. There was several different types of skills to be learned; jewelry making, pottery, making paper, sewing, etc. It was an impressive outfit.
We were late arriving at Imani after our ride's car was having issues. It took us about half a mile of pushing to jump start it.
Once we arrived I gave a brief devotion. I cut short some of my thoughts because we were already late, and when we did arrive one of the women there was really "hammering the Word". As I spoke I couldn't tell if I was really communicating. And when I was done I felt like I had disappointed then for not going longer. But then again that's the emotional roller coaster I always feel when I speak.
After a group prayer we were given a tour of the place and of each skill. We thought it was awesome to watch the women roll Oprah magazine strips into jewelery pieces. They also made their own clay and had a kiln on site to create pottery pieces. I was able to help make a piece of papyrus paper than would end up in a journal. But I was only allowed to make one piece of paper because I was completely throwing off their daily quota.
I think it was one of my favorite places on the trip since we were able to really see life change. Skills were being taught and learned that were radically rescuing people from a lifestyle of despair. No longer were these beautiful men and women living as a victim of AIDS, but just living life with AIDS.
The Imani Workshop works with some aspect of Indiana University to distribute their products. I'm sure if you scour the interweb you can find a way to work with them and sell their products in your store.

After our visit at Imani we took some bicycle taxis back into town. This was actually a really comfortable way to travel, until we hit traffic and were dodging matatus (van taxis).