12.11.2008

I’ve been reading 1 John lately. I think it my favorite book of the entire Bible, if such a thing can exist. It has such heart-piercing statements as “Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did” and “No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” And then the heart-changing statements like “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” and then “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in Him?”

He challenges us to love others, because if we do not love our brothers, who we can see, touch, hear feel, then how will we ever be able to love God, who we cannot see, touch hear feel (in the typical sense)?

I have realized lately that I suck at loving people. Which is a scary thought, because if I can’t love people how will I ever love God? I have heard it said that to truly love someone you must fully know them. Well then is it ever possible to love God, because I most certainly will never fully know him.

I guess there will have to be more on this later...

12.01.2008

let's think about this...

would the man of your dreams be the man of your dreams if you could actually dream him up?

11.30.2008

eh

I'm having a bit of writer's block these days. Not that I really consider myself a writer, but I certainly feel like I used to write whole heck of a lot about my true thoughts and feelings, what was going on in my life, etc. In fact, this very blog was created as a space for me to get those thoughts down so that I could one day turn them into a book. See:




I even made it look more like a book in Word to try and motivate myself, but I haven't written in that thing in a while...

Nothing seems write-worthy, but I know that's a complete lie because so many things have been goign on in my life. I just haven't been having the kind of revelations I use to have. Or maybe I just don't know how to put them into words anymore. In any case, it's a pity, because I really loved it.

11.29.2008

11.28.2008

Are you kidding me?

This is why I am terrified to go shopping on Black Friday...

Surging Shoppers Kill New York Wal-Mart Worker

I mean, things like like this just shouldn't happen. People are crazy when it comes to getting a discount on something. I cannot believe this...

11.23.2008

:(

so i love gilmore girls. one of my favorite shows. however i was not fortunate enough to be able to keep up with it when it was first on air, so I've been watching it on abc family by recording it on dvr. but then stupid abc family skipped like 4 very important episodes and no one online has full episodes of the ones i'm missing. this is very upsetting. so i guess i'm just gonna have to go rent them. super bummer.

bigger bummer that i feel this so important as to write about it.

11.22.2008

I promise to do better

Ok so I know I suck at updating this thing but I really want to do better. So I a going to. I just started a new part-time job to work while still working with Bedouins, so hopefully now that I have a more consistent schedule i will be able to write more.

Speaking of, I am now working as Program Manager for Heart Gallery Alabama. We basically set up galleries of portraits of kids who are in Alabama's Foster Care System to help raise adoption awareness and help place kids in permanent homes. It's really amazing and I really love it.

So there is a short update on my life...hopefully these will keep coming!

P.S. i am almost a quarter of a century old now. The big 2-4 was yesterday. *sigh*

10.22.2008

skirt!

So last night was skirt! magazine's October event to present some of the featured ladies in this months issue. I was fortunate enough to have the editor get excited about Bedouins and what we do there so I was actually one of the ladies featured this month. She wanted me to speak at the event a little and talk about what Bedouins does. I've never really been to an event like that, so I was slightly intimidated, but it actually turned out to be a lot of fun. I met some pretty amazing ladies who are also doing their own little part to help where they can. I really hope we all keep in touch!

And for those of you who haven't heard of skirt! they are a really cool nationwide magazine that talks about the women in their local communities doing good things and other related goings-on. Check them out HERE.

Peace out,

Jessi

10.08.2008

Hanson!

So for any of you that know me, you probably know that I am a fairly huge Hanson fan. They are the only band that I have consistently listened to over the last decade. So of course, I was super pumped about them coming to play in Birmingham where I live. I was even more pumped when my super great photographer boyfriend got me into the show for free because he shoots for that particular venue.


And then my mind was blown when I got to go backstage and hang out with them in the Green Room.



AAHHH!!!!!

That's what I was thinking. But I was super cool in real life, barely let on that I loved them. :)

10.06.2008

Pictures!

So we made it back from the long weekend in Nashville. Besides our meetings for Bedouins, we also got to go to the zoo and hang out downtown. I am exhausted and really not looking forward to being at work at 6:30 in the morning, but I have to pay my bills somehow. Here are some pics from the trip...


Downtown:
"The Batman Building"




The Zoo!


The trainers got the elephants to pick up logs and carry them...Stephen bought me a stuffed elephant. His name is Abner and I love him.






Sometimes I get to model while Stephen sets up his camera before a shoot...hehe

10.04.2008

Nashville

Stephen and I took the weekend to come up to Nashville. It has been a blast. I was born in Tennessee but somehow I have never made it to Nashville, so it's been fun. We came up to meet a bunch of people who were interested in learning more about what we do at Bedouins International, and a few are going to end up doing some work with us, which I'm really excited about. We're definitely going to be working with an organization called gi*inc, which is another cool media organziation who needs some help with their new website. We may also be working with Audio Adrenaline's organization the Hands and Feet Project. They also work in Haiti, which is how they heard about us. So we may get to go back down to Haiti with them to do another documentary about them and how they started Hands and Feet.

God has been opening so many doors for us, and I am so excited to see what is yet to come. By the way, for those of you who haven't seen many pics from our last trip, you can go HERE
to see some!

Love you guys!

Jessi

9.29.2008

9.13.2008

Wow the last four days have been incredible. I am here in the country of Haiti and it has been quite a wild ride. From being mobbed at the airport by people wanting to help us carry bags (because they needed money) to riding for 3 hours in the back of an old pickup truck over nonexistent roads to get to a village where some of the inhabitants have never seen a white person before, then buying gas out of gallon jugs for $13 US a gallon because the gas stations are out of gas...it has been intense to say the least.

There are so many people here, and most of them have no jobs (because there are none) and no money (because there are no jobs) and no food (there is no money)...it is incredibly sad.

But then again there are the people like Allan and Vlademir and Joelle who have educated themselves (or come to the US for an education), and wow what a difference it makes. Education is so powerful. I am so glad I was forced to go to school. I have met people who have never even held a pencil before - they wouldn't even know how to sign their name. This is why they have ni power to better themselves and better the state of their country - first of all they don't know how and second of all they just don't know any better.

I am going to come back from this trip not only incredibly appreciative of what I have, but also with a more motivated pursuit of truth. Ignorance may be bliss, but it takes knowledge to realize it.

More stories to come from Haiti! Here is a pic near the village I was talking about...Love Love Love!!!


-Jessi


9.09.2008

mmm taco bell

well, we made it to ft lauderdale! praise the Lord we weren't deterred by any weather; everyting has gone quite smoothly, and we are looking forward to our flight to HAiti tomorrow morning. we were surprised by a free hotel stay (thanks to dr. reynolds, the woman we are travelling to haiti with) for the night...we had originally intended on staying overnight in the airport so this was a magnificent surpise. and then of course we walked down to taco bell for our last "american meal" before we leave tomorrow morning for haiti. i am so excited about the trip. stephanie and paul are talking now about video ideas and the footage that they want to capture on the trip. i can't wait to see what we come back with. for those of you who wanted more info on what we are doing in Haiti, you can check out the Bedouins blog or go to our facebook group for a description of the project.

love you guys mucho!

On my way to Haiti...

Hey guys, for those of you who don't know, I am leaving for Haiti today! I will be down there for 10 days with Bedouins International to help document and provide media for the people down there. Our original intention was to provide media for a school down there and for a project that will help provide the families with a sustainable income. This would be huge considering the fact that most of the people who live down there have no job and no way to get one. Now we will also be covering the destruction due to the storms that went through there.

We're about to leave so I can't write much more, but please keep up with my blog and with the Bedouins blog (www.bedouinsinternational.org/blog) to keep up to date with what we're doing.

Love you guys!

Jessi

8.27.2008

Bedouins is Relevant!

Hey guys, guess what? Relevant magazine ran an article on Bedouins International for the new issue! So go buy a copy!



8.21.2008

Pictures from Portland!

Hey so here are my faves (mostly involving me...haha) from my trip to Portland with Stephen. There are a lot more on Stephen's blog if you want to check some more out.









8.18.2008

i love furniture

unfortunately i can never afford it. IKEA currently holds all of my dream furniture, and tends to be fairly priced, but i recently saw a furniture magazine called CB2 and it is now running a close second to IKEA. check em out.

cb2.com

enjoy!

8.17.2008

The Great Kelly Fly

Kelly Fly is my hero. That she is. And she now has a blog to put up all of her fantabulous art so you should go check it out here:

Soul Happy

And then you should be her friend because she makes a great one :)

8.16.2008

Busy Week...

So this week has been super busy. We had our benefit for Bedouins International at Urban Srandard last night. It went really well...we got to show the presentation on the Canal and Neil Couvillion and Roger Eason played for us, and to top it off we raised enough money to cover our trip to Haiti!!

Speaking of Haiti, we all went and got our shots yesterday as well. :(
They really weren't as bad as I thought they were going to be. Roger almost cried though. haha. Poor Rog. And then Paul made out with the nurse. Or so he claimed...

So now I am relaxing at Stephen's apartment after another day of work. The Board members for Bedouins are hanging out too (we had our Board meeting this morning). I am really looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. Oh how I love 11:00 church...

P.S. Everyone should go grab a copy of Relevant magazine this month...Bedouins is in it!

Love you guys. Peace out.

8.11.2008

Portland

So Portland was amazing. I had almost forgotten how much I love the Davis-Boozers. Hanging out with them was so great, and it was really great for them to get to meet Stephen too, not just because he took some amazing photos, but because it was really weird for my best friend not to know my boyfriend and other best friend. And plus, she had to approve. (p.s. did you approve CM?)

I'll link Stephen's photos as soon as he gets them back from the lab.

As far as the city of Portland goes, it was really great and really different from anywhere in the Southeast. Everyone was super eco-conscious...there were recycling bins on every corner and you would probably get run over by a biker (because driving is bad for the environment) if you were holding anything made of styrofoam. There were also free stuff boxes outside of a lot of homes where you could just grab whatever you wanted, and every home had a beautiful garden in their little front yards. The air felt better there...there were so may trees and plants so breathing was a joy (in great contrast to the air pollution warnings we get weekly here and Birmingham)... and then of course being able to wear sweaters in the mornings and evenings was a great change from the 90 degree weather in Alabama.

It really was a great trip and I would suggest visiting Portland if ever you get a chance to take a vacation. And you should look up the Davis-Boozers while you're there - they make excellent guides and travel companions! Pics to come soon!

7.27.2008

Bedouins Benefit Show

Friday August 15th The Urban Standard in downtown Birmingham is hosting a benefit show for Bedouins International!! I've been working at Urban for a while now part-time as a barista. It is really one of the most friendly work environments I have ever had, and plus my job is super cool and the staff is super amazing.

I asked them if they would mind hosting a benefit for us, and they, being so very kind, said "Of course!" So be sure to make it out Friday night the 15th of August to hear Roger Eason and Neil Couvillion play, while enjoying the best coffee and cupcakes in town!

7.18.2008

The Dark Knight

Just wanted to let everyone know that the new Batman movie is fantastically amazing. I went to the midnight premier last night, and I very rarely go to the theater unless it costs a dollar, but this movie was well worth it. Amazing acting (R.I.P. Heath), amazing directing and amazing story. And definitely worth seeing while in theaters. So go check it out!








7.12.2008

Old friends...

I love having old friends. And I have so many great ones. I got to hang out with Hannah and John this past week, who I hardly ever get to see even though they live less than half an hour away. I don't think I had even seen John since he and Hannah got married 3 1/2 years ago. So sad. I want to make a better attempt at keeping up with friends like Hannah and John, because old friends are so good to have. Like I mentioned in the previous post, I am going to visit Calla Maria and David in Portland in a couple of weeks, which I am super excited about. And then in August I am hoping to see Charity, Tammy, Mary and Faith, my four "sisters." I love them so much. My friend Ben is in town now so I hope to spend some time with him this weekend too. It is so great to have chance to break away from my schedule and make time for the things that matter, and the people that matter, the most in my life. So many good memories are forgotten when old friends are lost; I hope I am never so unfortunate to forget that. So, here's to old friends...

Mary and Charity, my sisters and friends since the 2nd grade.

Faith, the "baby sis" of the Denton girls who has grown up to be an absolutely beautiful person inside an out.

Max (my neighbor who I actually used to babysit back in the day), me, Tammy (another Denton girl who is not only an amazing sister, but a wonderful friend), and Stephen (my wonderful boyfriend and very good friend)


Here's a really old shot of Calla Maria, Laura, John, and Lauren from our glory days in Auburn (I'm the one laying in CM's lap)

A great memory of a beach trip with Jonathan (an old friend from Auburn) and Melissa (one of my oldest and best friends from high school)

This is a lovely pic of my first roomates in the Birmingham Loft, Kelly and Amy. We made some beautiful memories together :)

This is Rachael and I at Auburn graduation. She is another one of my best friends from high school.


What can I say about Kenty-Mac? I think this picture speaks for itself...

Steven Nave, one of my oldest friends in the world.

Here's Ben and I at one of the infamous Naval Balls. He and Tyler traded me and Calla Maria of every year for those things..and I loved it! I always had a blast with those guys!


I'm sure there are many more memories to remember and even more to be had...thanks so much to all of my old friends for making my life so wonderful! Love you guys!

6.22.2008

Portland

So my best friend in the whole world Calla Maria Davis-Boozer just moved to Portland (again) with her husband David and gorgeous year-old daughter Vera. I might be going to visit them with Stephen in the next couple of months and I am so excited. I love Portland (as well as the Davis-Boozers) so I hope it works out. In the meantime I have pictures like these to make me miss them even more...

6.01.2008

dead faith

What good is it my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, 'Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, 'You have faith; I have deeds.'

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder.


I have heard a lot of people talk about dead faith, or faith that doesn't do anything, faith that bears no fruit, that offers no witness to goodness, to love, or to God. I want my faith to show my God, and I pray that it does. I want faith that leads me to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and love the wretched.

Stephen was telling me about a friend's mom that asked me about his faith. Her exact question, "What is your faith?" kind of put him for a spin I think, as it would me.

What is your faith? I used to think of faith as a simple synonym for belief. I believe in God. I believe that Jesus is His son, and as such is God, who was sent to Earth to reconcile Mankind back to Himself through an unthinkable sacrifice. And when He went back to heaven I believe that He sent the Holy Spirit to stay with us to that we would have help when we inevitably messed up again.

But my faith must be more than the One I believe in. My faith must be multi-dimensional. It must not only be about who or what I believe, but also how I believe.

Does my faith lead me to do something? If I see a child starving on the streets, is my belief in God or in what he could do going to change anything? Probably not. But my belief in how he would want me to use my faith would change something. Putting my faith, my belief in His love for that starving child, into action will change something. It changes everything. Because believing in God is only the start. Believing in God only helps yourself, and only to a short extent at that. Loving others through that same faith is what makes the difference. That's what faith is really for. Not for selfish reassurance in a better afterlife, but for selfless reassurance for another's present life.

Make it better for someone else. That is what faith should do. That is how faith should act. Because like Paul said, even the demons believe in God. It is what they do that makes them who they are and demonstrates what they truly believe.

5.30.2008

Helping through Facebook

ok so normally i would not be one to promote facebook applications (for those of you who don't know what facebook is, it's basically an online networking site that helps you keep in touch with all of your friends; applications can be added to make things more "fun" and/or complicated)

HOWEVER there is one that I must promote. It is the Causes application. By putting it on your Facebook you can promote the cause of whatever organization you wish to promote.

You should start with the cause for Bedouins International. We are going to Haiti in September and we really need to raise some support. We are going down to document a school on Coco Beach as well as an initiative called The Vanilla Bean Project which will be put in place to provide children and their families with a sustainable income. This cause is worth promoting.

Go to Facebook

Go to Facebook Causes


This is your chance to help! Please?

5.25.2008

need a photographer?

ok so i know there are a number of you out there looking for a photographer. i know this because i am going to about eight weddings this summer. so i thought i would pass along the website of a photographer here in birmingham who might just be the most talented photographer i know. he shoots weddings, bands, documentary stuff, everything really. and he's the main photographer for Bedouins International. you really should check out his stuff...it is pretty fantastic. Here is a picture of me he took that i really love.



Check out all of his galleries here:
STEPHEN DEVRIES PHOTOGRAPHY

5.20.2008

yay for apendices

so i had a little scare this past weekend...thought i had appendicitis...and i have no health insurance. it was great fun. to go to the doctor for a check up would have cost about $100 and getting a CT scan to check out my appendix would have probably been somewhere around $1,000. not having health insurance is really scary. i mean if i really had appendicitis and my appendix had ruptured i could have died, but i really didn't want to have to pay $1,000 (even on a payment plan) if it was just a stomach bug you know? i mean what can you do in those situations? you're just stuck.

but i feel much better now thanks to a lot of prayer and tlc...and patience...i am a whiny baby when i don't feel good. so many thanks go to my infinitely patient boyfriend stephen for putting up with me. and to my mom and good friend kelly for praying for me. i love you guys!

so have no fear, i still have my trusty appendix in good working condition...or does it work? what exactly does your appendix do again? something about good bacteria or immunity or something? i'll have to get back to you on that.

5.14.2008

orange sky

so i've had this song stuck in my head for the last 2 days..so you should go listen to it because it is fairly fantanstical

my favorite line is "in your love, my salvation lies in your love..." and so on.

enjoy...

Alexi Murdoch
(click on orange sky)

5.06.2008

Bedouins on Squidoo

Hey guys...check out the new Squidoo lens for Bedouins International HERE.

There you can look at our video, see some of our pics and browse around at some of the other lenses to find out more about what else is going on in the world. Have fun!

Peace.

4.23.2008

perseverance

i know this is the kind of thing you really aren't supposed to talk about, but i feel like i need to.

i have been so mad at God recently. things are just not going the way i would like them to. i can't pay my bills. my car keeps breaking down. i don't want to be in 2 of my 3 jobs. i just want to work for bedouins full time. i need patience. i need faith. more than faith, i need something good to be revealed through my faith.

i have been getting angry at work, because i don't want to be there, and i think it's been obvious. i don't want my co-workers to see that side of me. especially if i am the only example of a follower of Christ that they get to see. i want them to see the kind of God i hope to represent. because He is Good, even when i am not.

and He is Love...especially when i am not.

but i haven't even wanted to talk to Him lately...honestly i haven't even wanted to talk about Him. prayer has been a chore. reading my bible has been a nuisance...even though i KNOW that the reason i feel that way is because i have been neglecting it.

and i know that i can do nothing worth anything without Him. and i want to give my all to Bedouins. i want to give it all to my other employers too, because i want to do everything i do in His Name. but lately it has been a lot harder to motivate myself.

but i do Love Him. even when i am mad at Him, I Love Him. i just needed to get that off my chest.

Consider it pure joy my brothers when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

...we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.

(James 1:2-3 & Romans 5:3-5)

4.20.2008

Bedouins International

Hello Friends.

So for those of you who don't know about Bedouins International, please let me enlighten you. It is an amazing non-profit organization based here in Birmingham, AL that was formed by a group of artists who wanted to use their gifts and passions to serve others and ultimately share the love of God. Through photography, videography, print design, web design and music, four incredible artists have come together to provide media for other charitable organizations, churches and missionaries who would not normally be able to afford high-quality media. Bedouins gives the people they serve a means of sharing their story with the rest of the world, and they give it to them completely free of cost!

Bedouins makes me so happy because i feel like there are so many people in the world with an amazing story to tell, but too many of these voices go unheard because they don't have the right resources to receive the attention and support they need. So Bedouins steps in and gives them exactly what they need and then finally the world has a chance to hear about what is really going on across the globe. On top of that, it gives us all a chance to see what it looks like to use the gifts God has given us to change that same world that can seem so cruel and heartless.

We just launched a new website (yay!) so you should go check it out HERE to see what all is going on, where we're going, what our needs are, etc. We also just received our letter saying we are officially registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (double yay!) which means that all donations, whether in-kind or cash are completely tax deductible.

Look out for more news on our trip to Haiti coming up in June. It's going to be an amazing project. We'll be helping a school in northern Haiti by doing a documentary for them to raise support for what they are doing - some really amazing things!

If anyone out there has a need that Bedouins can fill please let me know...or if you have a means of filling a need for Bedouins, then by all means you are welcome too!

God bless you as you read this!

--Jessi

4.12.2008

so i work at a coffee shop. sometimes i like it, usually i don't. but last week i had a good day and i thought i should share.

i must preface this by saying that i LOVE my regulars - the customers that come in who i know not only by name but also by high-quality espresso beverage. somehow they make my job seem worth it, like it means something. and i truly enjoy getting to know the people who come in and then choose to come back.

one of my regulars came in last thursday to get his free mocha (his punch card was finally full). i was sad to find out however that this would be his last visit in the shop - he was leaving that afternoon to go back home to san diego after spending a few months in the ham for a work project. he was such a great customer. he was a great person really...i mean he was incredibly patient when i had to work by myself and had like 4 people on the drive thru and two people up front ahead of him...he was always smiling and understanding.

so anyway we said our short goodbyes and he left. a couple of minutes later i glanced at my tip jar (which usually consists of some loose change...maybe actual paper money if i'm lucky). i had to do a double take. there were 2 twenty dollar bills in there. and they were real. i was blown away. he left me a forty dollar tip. i could not believe it. it totally made my day...it made my week. some people can be so overwhelmingly kind. i mean i get excited when i get a dollar tip...especially when it comes from somene on the drive thru...but $40? amazing.

(and no i did not flirt with him :) )

4.09.2008

indecisiveness

so obviously i cannot decide on a template for my blog. i feel like nothing really matches me. isn't it silly (/interesting) how completely inanimate objects like fonts and colors can match personalities? i feel like a brown and teal kind of gal, but only a certain combination of those colors. this still feels a little too masculine to me...i am reading far too into this i know. alas. hopefully soon i will be able to write something a little more interesting rather than getting distracted with my color choices.

4.07.2008

131 1/2

My absolute favorite place that I lived while I was going to Auburn was at 131 1/2 Cedarcrest Circle. Oh yes. 131 1/2. People always asked if I was serious when I told them my address...the 1/2 tended to throw people off. But it was this great, old little duplex off of Magnolia. I lived with my best friend Calla Maria, and right above us lived some other great friends - Hannah, Megan, and Kelly. They were great house-mates...and very understanding - even when we had all-night Karoeke parties and creamed corn fights at 3 in the morning...

This is a pic that Hannah just sent me of our mailbox in our front yard...thanks Hannah! I will always cherish our memories on Cedarcrest!