March 27, 2011

And on top of it all - an award


esterday, this blog received the Stylish Blogger Award from Heather P. of the delightful Soundoff blog. I am particularly delighted to receive this award from Heather because the theme of her blog is Looking for the Positive in ALL things! The few folks who have followed my blog for a long time may recognize the fact that this is a goal of mine. I don’t always achieve that goal, but I do think I’m making progress and I’m working toward it step by step and day by day.

Heather P., however, is an amazing woman with an incredibly positive outlook on life. I’ll tell you a little bit of her story and then you need to go check out her blog.

Heather’s husband was in an accident quite a few years ago. This accident left him a paraplegic. Heather is now wife and full-time care giver for her husband. Not many marriages can survive such a stressor, but not only has Heather continued to love and care for her husband in spite of the odds, she does so with a calm grace and positive attitude that boggles the mind. Now, go see for yourself—then come back here to hear about the award.

As a recipient I am supposed to tell you 7 things about myself and then choose 7 recipients to pass the award on to.

7 things about myself

  1. I am a graphic designer working for the largest tax and audit firm in the world
  2. I am deeply in love with photography and have the great fortune of being able to photograph events and people as part of my job.
  3. I am a recovering Fundamentalist Christian who holds firmly to the fundamentals of the Christian faith and adamantly rejects the additional baggage added to the Christian faith by well-meaning Fundamentalist forerunners
  4. I live in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, surrounded by mountains on every side, with the Shenandoah River running along the edge of my neighborhood
  5. My wife and I adopted a crack baby almost 16 years ago. He has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome, sensory dysfunction disorder, severe ADHD, “and a grab-bag of other psychological and behavioral disorders.” And yet he is a delightful boy with an intense love for life who is growing to manhood before our eyes. It has been a difficult and expensive path, but our family has been blessed through him.
  6. I am a Libertarian politically and a libertarian with regard to philosophy and religion. I believe in personal soul liberty and freedom of conscience. Therefor, I will share what God is teaching me in order to be edifying to my brothers and sisters, but I will not attempt to be the Holy Spirit to others.
  7. I have been blessed beyond all belief—to the point that it is truly indescribable:
    • I have absolutely the best wife in history (Kim Gelina)—still gorgeous after 25 years of marriage, and amazingly strong to have put up with me for a quarter of a century.
    • I have the best friend in history (Melody Oestreich), my next-door neighbor 30+ years ago, my best friend in high school and still my friend all these years later. Melody is forever an inspiration to me.
    • I have the best parents in the world (Dick & Ruth Gelina), who have also been incredibly strong to put up with me for all these years.
    • I have the best sister in the world (Shawne Ebersole), a missionary to Bangladesh, who has had a lasting impact on the way I see the world.
    • I could continue this list so long that no one would continue reading to the end, so I’ll stop there. (That’s another way of saying, “Not to mention, a great job, the best church, a wonderful house, etc., etc., etc.)”

Recipients of the Stylish Blogger Award

I now pass along the Stylish Blogger Award to these blogs that I read frequently. They bring me inspiration, food for thought, and encouragement. I trust they will do the same for you:

  1. Your Relationships
    My first nominee has had a strong impact on my interactions with friends, relatives, and business associates. Leil Lowndes is a perceptive observer of human communication and interaction. She offers advice on how you may communicate with others in a way that causes you to leave a positive impact on them every time you interact. If you really want to jump start your relationships, buy or download her books. You won’t regret it.
  2. The Gifted Way
    “For and by gifted, talented and creative adults,” this blog is a continual source of encouragement and inspiration.
  3. Worship Matters
    Bob Kauflin is a name that may ring a bell for those who were fans of the early 80s Contemporary Christian Music group, Glad. Bob Kauflin’s Worship Matters blog deals with issues pertaining to worship music, performance, theory, and theology. It’s an outstanding resource for those involved in music ministry.
  4. Under Much Grace
    Written by my friend Cindy Kunsman, Under Much Grace is a safe harbor for those multitudes of people who have been targeted and abused by churches and church leaders. This is a highly controversial topic and my mere acquaintance with Cindy greatly upsets many of my friends, proving (in my estimation) the need for these very resources that Cindy provides. Although Cindy and I do not agree on everything, she is a thoughtful and caring Christian woman who seeks scripture as her basis for how things should be and how to recover from things that are not as they should be. I highly recommend her blog for those who have been abused in church and for those who want to avoid abusing others.
  5. Run With Patience
    Another personal friend and inspiration, Sandra Harrison is the author of Run With Patience—a highly positive and motivational blog. Every time Sandy posts something new on her blog I am moved by her clarity of thought and charity of spirit. This one belongs on your daily RSS Reader list.
  6. Sinking Up and Afternoon Eyes
    I went to college with someone who many years later came to be a dear friend, Mary Fuller. For a time, Mary was my co-author on this blog. She is a talented musician, deep intellectual, and dear friend. And she’s a home school mom who taught the authors of these two blogs. Her daughters are unique, thoughtful, well-spoken and fun. And, although this does not contribute to the quality of their blogs, they’re both gorgeous young women. Both teenagers, both dedicated Christians; both will cause you to see things from a new angle.
  7. Stuck In Customs
    I love this photography blog that specializes in my newest favorite genre of photography, High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. Trey Ratcliff is an amazing photographer and loves to help other photographers achieve their best.

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