Viva Las Vegas

Well I’m back from my first trip to Vegas. Shaunna and I got to go out there for the National Training Convention of the health & wellness company we have our business with, Arbonne International. We were fortunate enough to get to stay at the MGM Grand in an awesome room. Our room was in the West Wing Tower, complete with tempered glass sink, in mirror television, another flat screen tv, retro furniture, and big comfy king size bed. Wow!

We had a blast hearing great speakers, hanging with our friends and teammates, walking around the Vegas strip, and experiencing the high-energy new product launch for 2007. This year brings, among other items, an entirely new line called FYI. This line is marketed “for young individuals” (but anyone can obviously use it) and has color, body care, body sprays, and accessories.

It blows my mind how Arbonne is able to come up with such products while still staying, “Pure, Safe, and Beneficial.” They used essential oils for the fragrances, minerals for the color pigments, and a host of other, well, pure, safe, and beneficial ingredients. Good stuff.

Here are some pics from the week:

Elvis & Jeffrey Bellagio Water Show 3 Ceasar's Palace 3 f.y.i. launch 2

Check out my flickr photo set of the trip for more pics.

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Nashville Earth Day Festival

Yesterday Shaunna and I went out to the Earth Day festival. The weather was perfect, the park (Centennial) was hopping, and there were some great vendors, information, music, dogs, people, and food.

Here are a couple shots from the day:

Little Girl with Caterpillar at Earth Day Festival Golden Pup at Earth Day Festival Earth Day Festival in Nashville, TN Dreadlock Dancin' Fool at the Earth Day Festival

Check out more pics of the day at my flickr photo set of the festival.

Read more about Earth Day, the Nashville Earth Day Festival, and other fun and simple ways to live green at my blog, The Fun Times Guide to Living Green.

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Venus Passing by the Moon

Here’s my capture of the moon and Venus’ conjunction this evening. There’s nothing fancy or artsy about this shot to be sure, but it is a spectacle nonetheless.

From SkyTonight.com:

“Conjunctions of the Moon and the brightest planet can be appreciated on many levels. Because Venus never strays far from the Sun, they’re best seen in the twilight glow of sunrise or sunset, which are magnificent in their own right. The full Moon would overwhelm Venus if the two could ever appear side by side, but in fact the Moon is always in a thin crescent phase during these events, reducing its brightness so that it’s comparable to Venus’s.”

Pretty cool huh? Maybe I’ll head out to one of my favorite astronomical observing points to get a nice planned out shot of the next conjunction on May 19th.

Home from Arkansas Funeral

It’s been quiet here on my blog this last week. The reason? As you can see from the previous post, the wife and I have been in Arkansas with her family, following the unexpected loss of her dad.

For those of you who know some of the details, it was quite a sticky situation to be sure. I am happy to report that many many things worked out for the good and it turned out to be a great time with her fam.

Shaunna, her sister Cortney, and I stayed at a friend of the family’s house there in Van Buren, AR. This trip brought with it lots of firsts for me.

After three years of marriage, this was my first trip to my wife’s home town. It was also the first time for me to meet much of her extended family. It was the first time I got to spend more than 2 or 3 days with her sister (which was great Cortney).

Thank you so much to everyone who sent flowers, cards, emails, and calls. Thanks also to T-Mobile who is crediting us an extra 400 minutes to our account this month b/c of how many minutes we used last week while taking care of everything…can’t beat that.

Death, an Unexpected Part of Life?

Today my wife’s dad unexpectedly died at the age of 55. He was not sick. His health was not faltering. It was totally unexpected.

There is a story in the Bible where the greatest of all Israel’s kings, David, lost his son. Upon so doing, he proclaimed,

“While the child was living, I fasted and wept, thinking, ‘Perhaps the LORD will grant me the child’s life.’ But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”

I have offered “comfort” to many in my life who have lost loved ones. In such cases I have uttered things like, “death is a natural part of life.”

But is it….REALLY?

We often times interpret the above words of David as if he referred to a separate “place” called “Heaven” in which he will once again see his son. What do I think he means?

I think he recognizes, as my father-in-law now is, that is son is free from the limitations, hate, and prejudices of humanity. He realizes that though the body is dead, the essence that is TRULY his son is now completely free and totally aware of the Love that is God as he now fully exists as spirit.

Think of Neo in the Matrix. When he is first “unplugged”, or maybe even call it woken up, he asks, “Why do my ears hurt?” Morpheus replies, “Because you’ve never used them before.” David’s infant child, like my father-in-law, can now truly see.

I think David’s aforementioned decree was a lament of his own shortcomings. He envied his son. He realized that he is now fully present with the Divine Love that is God and free of the shroud of humanity.

All that to ask, is death really a necessary part of life? Could the world arrive at a place of such unconditional Love that death is destroyed? Think about it, sickness, pain, hurt, disease, injustice, hate, and death are all symptoms of the problem and not the problem themselves. They are simply the result of a world that has forgotten Love.

Could Love potentially thwart death once and for all? Do you think it’s possible.

As for my wife’s dad, he has now entered a realm that I can only dream to live in one day…even while I’m still alive. It is the realm in which he is fully aware of the Love of God and all the joy that such encompasses. We grieve the loss of your human touch and relationship, Wayne Brown, but as has been said before, you will not return to us, but we will one day be gathered to you…in spirit and in Love.

Live free.

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Chelsie Harris Starbucks Showcase

Songwriter, singer, and friend Chelsie Harris had a showcase of her original songs at the Hermitage Starbucks this past Sunday, April 1st, 2007. The turnout was great, her sound was kickin’, and the lyrics were awesome as usual.

It’d be well worth your while to check out her myspace and listen to some of her tunes.

Here’s some pics from the showcase:

Chelsie Harris Hermitage,TN Starbucks Showcase #1 Chelsie Harris Hermitage,TN Starbucks Showcase #2 Chelsie Harris Hermitage,TN Starbucks Showcase #3 Chelsie Harris Hermitage,TN Starbucks Showcase #4 Chelsie Harris Hermitage,TN Starbucks Showcase #5 Chelsie Harris Hermitage,TN Starbucks Showcase #6

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