Romans 15:4-6, 13

"For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Getty, the 405, and the Traffic

Sometimes simple days can turn into hilarious, adventurous, and even long days. Today was one such day.

My day started around 7 AM when I got up to have breakfast with my GA. We had a great time talking; she noticed I'm much quieter in the mornings. After breakfast, I headed back to my cottage to finish drying some clothes. I slept while the dryer was going and when I woke up from my nap, it was time to go to Charity's!

I got to Charity's around 11:20ish and we talked for awhile before leaving. That was nice because I had just driven 1 1/2 hours to get there so a break from the car was just what I needed. When we left, the adventures started!!

We arrived at the Getty and parked my car. After taking the tram up to the actual museum, we made a bee line for the exhibit I was there to visit. Any paintings between 1600-1700 would work. It's for a class project and I skipped that class today to get the project done. haha.

After viewing all the portraits and paintings I needed to see, we went outside to take some pictures and wander around. We decided to go to the photography building but first, we wanted to jump across some stones in the pond between the buildings. We saw some kids do it, and they didn't get in trouble, so we figured it was a safe option. Charity hopped onto the first stone as I got my camera ready. I was setting it up to take multiple action shots in a row so that I could capture a picture of her actually jumping. Just as we were ready, the security guard came out of the closest building to tell us that we were not allowed to go across the stones. That idea was shot so we proceeded to the photography building. Ironically enough, that was the building the guard had come from.

We entered into the building to see walls of photos of Paris in the 1920s. Seeing as I am a Paris fan, I was immediately attracted to these walls. Being that they are such old photographs, they were also very small. I leaned in to look at one and I pointed to it to show Charity something when, out of nowhere, a guard comes up and tells me that I was too close to the photograph. He was sympathetic with us, acknowledging how small the photographs were. I liked him.

So we moved on after finishing up the Paris photos.  Next on the list was "The Goat Dance" room which was done by a photojournalist. He stayed with some natives from another country as they showed him their ritual for slaughtering goats. (Gross but, whatev.) The pictures went in order around the room and so Charity and I decided to make a film of her telling "the story" (that she would make up) of the Goat Dance. Just as Charity said the sentence, "...and her goat is about to be slaughtered" a security guard came up behind me and told me I was not allowed to take photographs. Oh, it's just my luck.

We finished looking around in that exhibit before heading outside. We went to lunch and then we went out to the gardens to look around and take some pictures. After we had walked around for awhile, it was time to go back to Charity's.

We had to take the 405 to get to Charity's. I was driving in the third lane, just next to the carpool lane. A van started to pass me in the carpool lane so I looked over to make sure they had plenty of room and stuff. As I looked, the guy in the passenger seat looked out at me. I started laughing because it was just weird and awkward. Well, this gentleman took that quite the wrong way. He kept staring at me even after they had passed us. He was leaning OUT his window and looking back. Somehow they got behind us again and when they passed us again, he did the same thing. This time I covered my face so he couldn't see me. As I did this, Charity announced that he was yelling to me. Creepy!!! So that was my official experience on the 405. Avoid it. At all costs.

After dropping Charity off at home, I headed back to school. I left her house at about 4:20 and arrived back here at 6:55. I guess that's what I get for driving during rush hour on a Friday. Anyway, I had a nice evening. I slept for a little over an hour, watched a movie with one of my girls, and then went to In N Out with a couple friends. When I got back, I did some short reading in a commentary on Isaiah, and then I went to sleep.

Fridays are crazy, that's all I can really say. Hope you all have a blessed weekend!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Work...class...nothing really...

So I am at work. And I was reading an intensely good introduction to a highly recommended book. If the introduction is this good, I can't wait to start the actual text. Anyway, I was a couple pages in, already wanting to highlight things, and someone comes into my work. They need me to sign them in, so I do. And then I start thinking...what if I blog today? Weird thought, I know. (Sidenote: Does that mean I'm addicted to blogging?)

So then I wonder what I would possibly blog about since my day has been uneventful. But then I thought about it and, really, my day has been very eventful! So I'm gonna share some of those events with you.

1 - I woke up. This in itself was a miracle considering I had about 4 hours of sleep. Don't ask, I couldn't fall asleep for whatever reason. Not only did I wake up, I was actually able to stand on my own two feet without falling over from exhaustion!

2 - In my 8 AM class, our class for Thursday was cancelled! All because our professor didn't want to give us the quiz scheduled and wanted us to have extra time to work on our project/a day off. I like her :)

3 - In my Intro to Stats class, we found out we still have to take an entrance exam (which we weren't supposed to have to take) but that our professor is going to just teach us the type of math which will be on the exam! (It's not stats...random, I know) So now we're reviewing in each class to prepare for an exam. It's pretty sweet.

4 - In my 11 AM class, Global Studies, my professor was speaking right to my heart. So much of what he said has been laid on my heart recently by God. It was such confirmation in many things. Also, he and I set up a time to have lunch so we can discuss seminaries! I'm so stoked!!

5 - I had a good conversation with my team leader. He gave me some good info about the Greek class here on campus which I really want to take. Honestly, I'm just sick of reading my Bible and always having to read "The original Greek word was "_______" which means "________"." It gets rather annoying. I'd rather just read it in the original language. (The New Testament, anyway)

6 - I'm now at work but I am very excited for some books that I'm going to buy. Every year, when spring semester hits, so does a reading frenzy in my heart. Haha. But really, it's true. I start reading like crazy. So I found some great books on recommendation from my philosophy professor who will also be my apologetics professor next fall.

7 - After this, I have some quick free time to relax. Later this evening I am meeting with my pastor's wife because she and I are starting a mentorship and we start this week! I honestly couldn't be more excited! :)

So that's my day so far (and later this evening) in a nutshell. All it takes to be optimistic is to look for God's blessings; they're everywhere. :)

Sunday, March 23, 2008


So this morning I woke up way before my alarm. I hate when that happens. Only because I like my sleep. But that's beside the point. I was slightly in a bad mood when I got up this morning, only because I was extremely tired. But as I started getting ready for church, I began to think about things.

Halfway through the process of getting ready, I realized that the event that this day symbolizes and represents is exactly why my faith is even possible. I kept that little thought to myself and proceeded to finish getting ready for my day.

I arrived at church and I had a truly wonderful time of fellowship. I taught the elementary age Sunday school class and then I went to the main service. Oh what sweet words were said by my pastor. He said exactly what my thought had been! He said that the event that today represents is exactly why our faith is so set apart. He said, "If Christ hasn't raised, Christianity is reduced down to every other religion whose leader is dead." Mmm. Such truth to those words! If Christ had not raised, as Paul tells us in I Corinthians 15, we should be pitied more than anyone else! If Christ had not raised, we would be buying into a bigger lie than any other religion. If Christ had not raised, we would have no hope in anything.

A few weeks ago, my friend Anthony preached at our church. He said, "I love the 'buts' of the Bible." In I Corinthians 15, Paul is making a case for how sad it would be and how horrible it would be for Christians if Christ had not raised. Then that wonderful, wonderful verse comes in, I Corinthians 15:20, "But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep."

Just think on that verse for a moment before going on.

Does it bring relief to your soul? Does it let your heart release a sigh? I know when I read this verse, I feel a sudden burden lifted off of me. I have no need to fear the reality of Christ's resurrection. Paul has confirmed it time and time again. Christ has raised from the dead. My faith is established and authentic and worthwhile. More than worthwhile. Precious.

And it is this very faith that drives my heart every time I think of what I am going to do with my life. It is this faith that presses on me again and again that Christ needs to be taken where nobody has heard His name. It is this very faith that allows me to say, "God will provide whether that be through bringing me home safe or allowing my death to be my witness to others." It is this very faith that pushes me to strive my best each day to learn more and more about my faith and my God and my desires. This faith alone.

I Corinthians 15:58 says, "Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." Today in church, we centralized on that verse. My pastor said that this verse is "a direct call for resolve and ambition." This verse should push us to be living constantly with the fact in mind that "Jesus is alive!" And that very fact should drive our decisions whether they be about money, children, family, interaction with people, involvement in church, or anything we encounter, really. If we are not living by this fact, what are we living by? Whatever is the most important thing in our lives drives our decisions. I can speak only for myself when I say I want so desperately for Jesus' conquering over death and His current life to be my driving force.

Prayer Requests:
*Team building
*Southeast Asia trip
*Perseverance in classes

Friday, March 21, 2008

Laughter is contagious

So today is Friday...tomorrow is Saturday, Sunday is Easter (yay!), and then Monday is my last day off before crunch time. I think this is the first time in my life I've EVER dreaded the weekend.

Today was, yet again, a day for baseball. Don't get me wrong, I love going. I love the game. :) So we get there (AAA team) and we're just chillin, having some fun. Stewart (48 on the Oklahoma Redhawks) was up to bat. Then two innings later, he was up again. Pretty fast to go through the whole line up but, whatev. At least they were getting hits, right? This time around, he got hit with the ball. Of course, the Padres fans were blaming him: "Did you see that? He leaned into it!" I'm sure...just like I would jump in front of an oncoming car so it would hit me...right.

So we leave after Stewart is done for the game and on the way home, aka the campground, we stop at a Fry's Marketplace to pick up some food and look for a tablecloth. None of this sounds interesting to me, so I waited in the car...with my uncle...oh yeah, and three dogs. So I'm doing my own thing, texting my friend Sarah Jane, and just sitting there.

My uncle laughs. Weird. I have NEVER heard him laugh the way he just did. In fact, I don't know if I've heard him laugh all week. Weird. But funny. Then I start giggling. But I have to keep it to myself. I can't just start laughing out loud and have to explain that I'm laughing at his laugh...but I giggled none the less. It felt good. Last night and today were slightly stressful so, laughing was a great release.

Little Life Lesson: Laughter is contagious, so laugh on. :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Training day: I've lost track

As most of you know, I have another blog. That one is by far more structured than this will ever be...but sometimes I just have hilarious stories or just thoughts that I want to ramble about...hence the reason I have created this one...

Today is Thursday. Day...who knows...of Spring Training. I know it's been my fourth day straight at a baseball game...more games than I've ever been to in a row before. But that's beside the point.

Today was a AAA game for my family...

We were sitting in the (shaded...pansies haha) bleachers at the Mariner's field just minding our own business. Of course, I'm speaking for my whole family when I should just be speaking for myself. I was minding my own business when this kid sits down in the row behind me and over a few people-spaces.

He starts talking to the people sitting in the same row as me and at first I was completely disinterested. Then I realized, he's talking about the Rangers. (Disclaimer: I'm a Dodgers fan by inheritance and a Rangers fan by loyalty...both teams are pretty hated at CBU but whatev. Dodgers all the way!) Then I began my horrible habit of eavesdropping. Actually it's not really a habit. I normally tune people out but once you heard this kid, there was no way of tuning him out...

So he's talking about how he's been working for the Rangers for 5 or 6 years, blah blah blah. Sure, I'm sure he's interesting, has interesting stories, and has a blast, but really, he can get over himself. Shoot, I'm related to one but that doesn't mean I'm someone special. But wait, he's got some good stories as far as I can tell...maybe I'll just listen a little more.

Well something must've distracted me...I think it was my cousin coming up to bat...cuz I suddenly realize I've sat back down, the game is over, and he's leaving...weird. I can't remember a real word he's said. Oh well, maybe better luck next time.

So the game is over, I see my cousin, and I head toward him. First words out of his mouth? "Don't forget to bake those brownies!" Right. Just another reminder. I'm nobody special just cuz I'm related to one.

I'm special because God is the one who created me and I was created in His image. :) (which means you're special, too)