back from Africa...

we all made it back to the states last night, after an amazing 2 weeks in Gulu (i hope you followed along on our team blog!) more to come on the trip after i've had time to process it some more (and sleep!).
but for now, here are a few pictures...

definitely one of the highlights was reuniting with my friends sarah & peter that i met in 2008 - i love them both so much!!

some of our team hanging at one of the schools

getting a drumming lesson before church
oh you know, just riding down the Nile, hanging with the hippos and the crocodiles.

hiking up to the top of murchison falls

yup - we saw lions on our safari!


off to Gulu...

i can't believe it's here.
after months of planning, praying, & preparing...we're leaving for Gulu, Uganda tomorrow.

i will not be blogging here while i'm there -- so keep up on our team's blog:
...see you in 2 weeks!

friday flicks - old spice ads.

these have been all the buzz on twitter this week. genius ads from old spice.


tuesday tunes - awakening.

today's tuesday tune is just one song. it's called "awakening" by chris tomlin -- from the passion2010 conference. {the whole album is great, though!}

"awakening" has been my theme song as i head to africa in 5 days. i've been playing it on repeat, as i anticipate an awakening -- in my own heart, in my team's heart, in the hearts of the people we will spend time with in gulu.
especially after the attacks in uganda this weekend - i'm singing the line "from the darkness comes a light" louder than ever. for the world He loves.

you can hear the whole song, and the lyrics are below, too.
"awake and sing for joy" (isaiah 26:19)...

In our hearts, Lord, in this nation
Holy Spirit, we desire

For You and You alone
Awake my soul, awake my soul and sing
For the world You love
Your will be done, let Your will be done in me

In Your presence, in Your power
For this moment, for this hour

For You and You alone
Awake my soul, awake my soul and sing
For the world You love
Your will be done, let Your will be done in me

Like the rising sun that shines
From the darkness comes a light
I hear Your voice and this is my

Like the rising sun that shines
Awake my soul, awake my soul and sing
From the darkness comes a light
Awake my soul, awake my soul and sing

Like the rising sun that shines
Awake my soul, awake my soul and sing
Only You can raise a life
Awake my soul, awake my soul and sing


i'm using my degree!

you may or may not know that i was an advertising major at the university of georgia. yup, a bachelors of arts in journalism from the grady college of journalism & mass communication. i loved my major and the unique and interesting classes i got to take - like "advertising and society", "message strategy", & even a graphic design class (of which i have pretty much forgotten everything). but, after a trip with the ad club to new york city spring of my junior year to visit the top dog advertising agencies on madison avenue, and witnessing the reality of a life in that field (aka climbing to the top of the proverbial corporate ladder), i began to realize my desire for a different path. for the sake of graduating on time (i was already going an extra semester...maybe for another football season?!) i decided to stick with my major, but i really didn't think i'd use those skills much in "the real world".

fast forward 6 years later. i'm working in the non-profit world for an organization i LOVE. (mocha club, duh.) while my job titles (yes, plural) and roles and responsibilities have been deep and wide, i'm finally settling into a niche. my boss continues to turn to me for messaging and branding advice. i'm heading up campaigns and leading the charge in marketing initiatives. i'm using my degree!!! i do love the other parts of my job currently... things like managing our campus rep program and hiring & managing our interns, or helping to plan big events like this one... but it's tapping back into this creative thinking that gets me most excited.

i love re-visiting the strategies and skills that those classes taught me years ago.
who would have thought that things would come this full circle? that i'd get to use these things in an environment that i love. more proof that you never know how God is preparing you for the future.

and now there is so much more knowledge available... i just want to soak it all in! one of our summer interns, mary catherine (she has her own great blog) directed me to matchstic - a branding company out of atlanta, and i can't get enough of their blog.

i'm super excited about where mocha club is headed, especially in this realm. stay tuned for some exciting new things down the road...

fyi, my next 2 books on this subject are:
do you have any books or blogs you recommend?


tuesday tunes - amy stroup.

today my friend (and mocha club artist!) amy stroup releases her 4th album, the other side of love: session two. i love amy's unique sound, honest lyrics, and super catchy melodies!

fans of katie herzig will love amy! {i think she also has a similar sound to the weepies, if you're familiar with them.}

check out the album on itunes (you can preview all of the songs, too) and here's a video for one of her newest songs, "quiet hearts"...


let freedom ring.

"when we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, jews and gentiles, protestants and catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of that old negro spiritual, free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" -martin luther king jr
i hope your independence day was spent celebrating the freedom Christ brings us.

and for your entertainment, here's a little holiday video i stole from david's blog:


friday flicks - LIP DUB: i gotta feelin.

i love this lip dub from university of quebec - a one-take music video for the black eyed peas' "i gotta feeling". {once again, i wish i my life was a musical...}


roots + wings.

i had the privilege of going to a "hymn sing" put on by indelible grace last night at the ryman. it was such a beautiful worship experience, with thousands of people singing timeless hymns in a building with such a history.

indelible grace is a community of friends who have decided to take traditional hymn texts and compose new melodies to them. they say it best themselves: "Our hope is to help the church recover the tradition of putting old hymns to new music for each generation, and to enrich our worship with a huge view of God and His indelible grace." {you can read more about them here}

led by the vision and direction of kevin twit, these musicians have such a gift of creating music. between songs kevin would share stories and background behind the original authors, creating a richer context for what we would sing. and he described the analogy of roots & wings with these hymns... how the text of the songs are rooted in tradition, heritage, and history... timeless truths. and then the new melodies give the text wings, and the ability to reach hearts of new generations. i loved it.

and i loved singing along to all of the songs. i think my favorite moment last night was sandra mccracken singing "dear refuge of my weary soul". i felt like i was reading the words in a fresh way for the first time, and more rooted in the faith of those before me...the "fainting hope" we all fight for.

where are your roots? what is giving you wings?