20 December 2010

unsure on a Monday

There is a child, standing in the middle of the stream.

Mountains surround the canyon leaving a state of aloneness pending. Where to go, what to do? So scared of making the wrong move, all joints tense to make no movement at all. The stress and mental anguish cause both tears and sweat to fall. The stream picks up pace. Staying stagnant is becoming harder to do. Choices to be made. Move out of the stream or let go with the pace. The child doesn't want to be washed away out of purpose, but what if the purpose lies around the bend. Supposed to get out and dry off? Then what? Would that be Jonahish to do? Or following a voice? But is the voice legit? Pretty sure called to fall and believe the stream for life, but holding out for the green light to turn. All roads may lead to Rome, but streams lead to a larger body of water. One much larger than we can imagine. Trying to think and decide, but a foggy head invades thoughts for the mind.

Onward towards Tuesday for thoughts to grow and the heart to blink.

12 December 2010

Celebrating the Prince of Peace

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

Last tuesday was truly a night where we could invite the students to just spend some extended time in worship and praise with their Creator. Being the last NavNite of the semester, we wanted to pray for one another and focus on Jesus.

Earlier, Lauren, Melissa, and I had focused our time on God's peace and how He provides to us as a resource. Jesus gives peace. Even in the midst of dodging the crazies out at Target and Best Buy buying the latest and greatest gifts for loved ones, we can have peace in our lives.

I think of the story of Jesus on the boat when the disciples were panicked and woke him up to inform him of the oncoming storm...if I were woken up from sleep, I would not have had he same reaction as Christ! I would've been pretty upset or mumbling or asking someone to get me some chai tea before I could function, but He calmed the storm and kept His peace intact right away.

Peace is possible even in the middle of the storms of life, even in the middle of the Christmas crazies running amuck and in the middle of uncertainty where God would have you go in the next season of life.

What a joy to have peace from the Lord and being able to keep in step with the Spirit in such a way. Praise the Prince of Peace who saves us from ourselves!

01 December 2010

moving steps

Have you ever just sat someplace and people-watched? If it were a profession, I'd hurry to find an application! I think my love for people-watching is one of the main reasons I love photography so much.

I asked my campus director the other day if he had a verse that he prays for Long Beach State. I was intrigued to find one of his verses is one I pray as well:

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36)

There is one place on campus I love to watch students go by...the escalator. This is one of the main pathways fro the lower union to the upper-classroom areas and most students walk by looking down fumbling with their phones or ipod...alone.

I can't help but sit in my spot with my ipod resting in one ear praying for each of the students as they walk by. It's not that these students all come from Christian backgrounds and simply have chosen not to follow Christ....some of them have never heard of who Christ is! With new life surrounding me this semester, I can't help but look to the beauty of the cross and in realizing so many people have no idea what they believe, but are too afraid to admit it!

How can you not look with compassion to these students! How can I not sit there and pray while they go about their day knowing they may not have anyone else in their life willing to do so on their behalf. I feel blessed to labor in the exact role God has desired for me in this 2010 year.

I just pray the students will stop be carried by something else and take steps of their own off the escalator and towards the Lord. Will you pray with me?

29 November 2010

a wonderful aroma

You know how there are those passages you keep coming back to in your life? One of my many for the past three years has been Daniel 3.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are a few of my heroes. God has used them to teach me a lot of things in the past, such as, letting others see Jesus beside you in the midst of the 'fires' in your life. God has also used them to show me to stand firm against foreign authorities in my life, and how to have enough faith and belief in God to save, even if He chooses not to. But last week, sitting at Starbucks with Laura, it was none of these points that stuck out to me. What I was struck by resides in verse 28.

"Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants!"

Nebuchadnezzar then goes on to defend the Lord by legally putting to silence anyone who speaks against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. This all happened because three men had the courage to believe. They had the faith to know they were Children of God and recognized God's power and sovereignty.

I want God's power to be displayed in my life. I want to walk in such a way others will glorify God and join the path He has set out for their lives.

"But THANKS be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being served and those who are perishing."
2 Cor. 2:14-15


29 October 2010

silver coins.

In 1916, mi familia came to America from Mexico. It was by no means a straight path to this country. There is war, death, love, and a train car full of Santa Ana's silver involved.

I started writing a novella telling the full story of my family about 4-years-ago. I haven't finished out of frustration of missing details about my triple great-uncle, and sometimes I am unsure how to paint the picture between the three towns and three husbands held by my great-grandmother. But this much I do know...

Around 1908, my great-grandfather had gone insane as the people in the town of Guanajuato would define. Nearing the end of his life, he was feeble and had the assistance of a cane to get around. This man had bags full of silver hidden in his house that were passed down to him, and yet being frugal and fearing others would steal his wealth if only they knew, he lived as if he were poor. He walked around in rags. He'd yell at the top of his lungs pointing to poorer villagers, "He is cold, give him something to warm his feet," or "This one is my nino, give him food to eat."

Now I don't know if my great-grandfather was a man after God's own heart, but I can't help thinking of Matthew 25:37-40

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Where are we placed to be the voice of justice for God's children? We are far more blessed than we realize. Are you like the widow who gives her two copper coins, or the rich who poor out blessings and are not phased? We are each responsible for the gifts, talents and treasures God has given us. I've been blown away recently seeing how some students are responding to God's calling us to give through our various resources. Let's all follow together!

18 October 2010


I still remember the night vividly. We were driving back from Otaki where Alycia and I shared our testimonies to the Chinese food-workers congregation. Sarah, Meredith, and I sat snug in the back of Janeen's car, and as we had been without a radio the entire trip, filling the empty space with our voices had come to be a normal occurrence.

We sang the lyrics to one of our favorite hymns at the top of our lungs, and for a moment, I forgot it was raining as our voices drowned out the sound of drops hitting the windshield.

And then it happened.

We were silenced.

Like a whip, a lightning bolt cracked across the sky and the beam of white light coming from it stunned us into silence.

The blast was blinding.

It took a moment for anyone to say anything. And then we began t praise God again. for His power and creation. For Him silencing us with His love in our lives. For the Chinese. For placing each of us in that car exactly at that moment.

Have you been silenced by God? By His power? By His love?

Why not?

Be silent in awe of Him.

03 October 2010

brickwall : waterfall

Have you ever stood in the middle of a waterfall's flow?

I'm not talking about a hard-roaring one that would knock you off your feet, but a slow flow that you can stand under that in a way feels like a high-powered shower.

When I tried snorkeling this summer, after about 10 minutes I realized I was underwater and started having a panic attack! I could no longer touch the ground and the current was keeping me from swimming as fast as I could. I had the tools and ability needed to be completely fine...I'm a decent swimmer..but I still panicked.

I've had that happen in a waterfall before. I'm totally fine and enjoying the pounding of the water on my shoulders, and then all of a sudden, I realize I'm surrounded by water! I was perfectly fine before, but when I freak out I lift my head looking around trying to find a way out to breathe.

In a waterfall, all you have to do is bow your head and you'll have an area to breathe. When you put your hand through a flow of water it simply moves around it. This is the same concept. Your head is blocking the flow.

So many times we do the opposite feeling overwhelmed by things being poured on our head. We look around, seek a way out, and don't just bow our head to breathe and receive life. We are not supposed to run out to breathe and then come back. But live and flourish where God has placed us. In the midst of the flow, bow your head.

20 September 2010

Hannah Montana is a Liar.

No matter how hard you may believe it to be true...you cannot have the 'best' of both worlds.

Matthew 6:24 says, ""No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

Many times I feel like we want to be followers of Christ, but only when it is beneficial to the image of our lives we think we deserve. We want to stand firm knowing our identity is in Christ and yet we place our identity in our work or family or success. We want things to look a way we picture in our minds, and then we tell God we want Him to do what is best for us. We cannot have both.

Do you want Christ to increase and you to truly decrease? (John 3:30) Or do you want to keep playing a game? Where have you grounded your feet? in this world? or in the hope of Christ?

We have to go from tourists to pilgrims in our faith.

03 September 2010


Birthdays can be a more intriguing time for me, because on top of not liking being singled out in a group, I normally get some great time to process the year with God and reflect on how He's moved in my life over the past year. The reality of welcome week and our kick-off Bonfire being today (praise God for some 90+ students that came!) I didn't have as much time as I normally take to process. But as I was cleaning up, I felt God speaking to me.
One of the gifts I received was from a friend desiring to go get pedicures together. I found myself thinking of the same gift I gave to my secret sister before with Romans 10:15 attatched which says,
"How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

I couldn't help but chuckle observing my own feet as I literally scrubbed off blackness from the day! Beautiful...ha! With my bruise from tripping over nothing and my peeling skin...I didn't see my feet as beautiful tonight!

...at first.
My feet are beautiful to God because He made them! That may sound so elementary, yet it's true. God made my feet and I just walk and try to follow Him. I don't workout my feet like I do my arms or legs...I don't tone them, or put effort into bulking them up. I just use them...and that's when God sees them as beautiful...when I'm moving towards Him and I have to stop and brush some dirt off along the way. Feet are beautiful when you are using them to step closer to God.

Thank you Lord for giving me grace to scrub off the blackness that distracts from my path. Thank you for providing us with a way to walk with you. Thank you for year 24 and the people you have given along the way. Thank you for loving me despite my sin. Selah.

02 September 2010

Super Size US!

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my shield my portion be,
As long as life endures.

These lyrics have been floating around in my mind from Amazing Grace ever since our first NavNite last night. I love that God is our portion.

There are numerous verses reminding us of this fact, and yet God chooses to supply each of us with a portion of Himself that satisfies! We always want the larger portion of food in America for the best price. A 5 dollar foot-long from Subway can last for two meals and thereby trumps going to get a $12 custom club sandwich from a different shop. More food for the buck. But God want to give us a great and generous sized portion...and for free!

Well, the portion is not necessarily free...it comes at a price Christ paid and a surrendering of yourself. To want a greater portion of God in your life is not something you hear the mainstream of people saying. It means less of your own wants and desires and more of God's. Eventually you figure out your desires start to line up more with God's as time goes on and your relationship grows, but the portion will remain and satisfy.

The Lord has promised good to me...His Word my hope secures...*walks off humming*

23 July 2010


Two days back in the US and I am still quite jet-lagged and slower in my movements than usual. As I sit here in the living room, a random thunderstorm blew over the house for five minutes leaving raindrops dripping from the roof and painting connect-the-dots on the back window. As quick and sudden as it may be, the effects of the rain benefit the grass and trees for long after the drops cease falling.
I feel that represents a lot of this summer trip. In a flash of lighting I felt like I went from moving in with Jen, Justin, and Kevin to teach English to all of a sudden boarding a plane in Germany to come back to Texas. Before I could realize it had happened, the trip was over. But the water from the rain continues to impact both my life and the lives of others in the Middle East.

I couldn't have expected for God to do so many things with one trip, but I stand back in awe of participating in His blessings raining down. I still can't put my finger on how much happened in five weeks, but I'm glad to have the opportunity to process throughout the next few days yet. One week in Texas, one week in Arizona, and then back to Long Beach. I can't wait to hear about what God did in the lives of my family and friends across the US this summer. Still discerning where all the drops went in the midst of trying to discern what all I am being taught. A beautiful place to be.

11 June 2010

Bible Cover!

I finally made my new Bible Cover! Hab. 1:5 and Rev. 21:6!

09 June 2010

Thoughts from Francis Chan

It makes sense that Jesus would say it's to our advantage to have this "other counselor." After all, Jesus merely walked beside the disciples; the Spirit would actually enter their human bodies (John 14:17). You've probably heard this truth a hundred times, but have you marveled at it? Would you be willing to take thirty seconds right now just to dwell on the fact that God is in you?

Astonished? This is not a distant, loose connection. This is the Spirit of God choosing you and me to be His dwelling place. That means that as I write, the Spirit of the living God is inside me. I might wake upon a particular day feeling tired or stressed or impatient, and humanly speaking, those things would probably define my day. But the reality is that I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit. And because of this reality, stress and tiredness and impatience don't have to define my day.p. 110

04 June 2010

Prodigal Gospel

Prodigal is defined as :

1. recklessly extravagant
2. having spent everything

Tim Keller in his book, Prodigal God, tells the gospel in new light as God is the prodigal one in the story having given everything in exchange for us.

This book was a graduation gift last year to me from a dear friend out in AZ. I have been behind on my book pile, but wanted to spend some time this summer putting a dent in it. Having been asked to be very familiar with Luke 15 for my upcoming trip this summer, reading this book could not have come at a better time! 133 pages that I wish I could remember more of what I gleaned right off the bat.

Going through chapters redefining home, hope, lostness and sin, I truly enjoyed this and hope if you want to, you'll pick it up as well. I think I am going to bring a few copies to give away this summer. Thank you Karen for adding this to my bookshelf! I hope a few people borrow it in the fall!

"If we say 'I believe in Jesus' but it doesn't affect the way we live, the answer is not that now we need to add hard work to our faith so much as that we haven't truly understood or believed in Jesus at all." -p. 124

03 June 2010


After four years in the desert and the last one in California, I've almost forgotten what overcast days look like, Texas has reminded me the past few days.

It's been raining and storming a bit today, and yet the overcast sky is an interesting thing. It means there is stuff brewing, but not sure what, or if anything, ever comes out of it, but brewing nonetheless. I feel like for the past four months my brain has been overcast. So full of ideas and visions and planning brewing out of my mind and yet filled so much the numerous clouds seem to thwart any hope of clarity in the sky. There are decisions to be made, things I want to do, things God wants me to do, and things I'm not sure how God wants me to respond to or act to take care of.

Just so much.

I've been a little frustrated at cancelled meetings. There have been 4 times the past 2 1/2 weeks I was supposed to meet up or catch up with friends and it just didn't happen. No ones fault, just kinda sad schedules didn't line up. These past two days in Austin, it's been nice. I had an entire day today where again, a meeting didn't happen, so I had time to spare. I got to read part of "Prodigal God" and Isaiah 41. I strolled an outlet mall trying to get last minute items for the upcoming trip. I sat at a table and people-watched, God and I dialogued over a few things, (though I felt I was talking more than listening so tomorrow is His turn to speak) and I got a chance to breathe.

I don't like being this overcast with stuff to think about. I don't like not having peace over idea's of home. I don't like good friends and family of mine walking away from God and make insipid decisions. I don't like not always feeling known. But today has been good. And tomorrow I'm hoping the sky clears up a bit. Because as long as it's not raining, I'm going to Mozart's...my favorite coffee shop in Austin right on the Lake. And there... I am going to sit, and read, and listen to whatever God wants to say. And to top all of that...I get to hang out with my amazing sister and brother-in-law after all of that. Sounds like a great day to me!

01 June 2010

Ventures Abroad!

The team will hopefully be updating http://venturesabroad.blogspot.com/ as we can! Follow and pray with us as you can!

31 May 2010


I had to go shopping for a few items for my upcoming missions trip including grammar charts from Spark Notes and a book of quizzes!

The most enjoyable thing is running into random people around town all the time! I saw my high school softball coach, some CBC friends, some Vacation Bible School friends, customers from Blockbuster who I had a weird "i-think-i-know-you-but-I'm-not-sure" stare-down with...and the occasional high school acquaintance thrown in here and there. It's hard to think the team leaves in under two weeks to head across the world! I had so many more books I wanted to read by this time! Off to bed for another day! Who will I run into?!? The mystery awaits!

30 May 2010


There is something special about concerts. Last year at this time, I had the privilege to volunteer at a concert series in SoCal called Spirit West Coast. While I couldn't work it this year, there is one image I wanted to share as it moves me to tears thinking back to it!

T-bone, a Christian rapper, was one of the headliners for the day's event. It was about dinner time so you could still see the sunlight behind the stage lights. He bagan to share his testimony, and the testimony of each of his band members. It was the bass player's story that touched my heart. He told of how he was ready to kill himself at noon, and at 11:59 his phone wouldn't stop ringing, so he answered it and heard T-bone on the phone saying he needed a bass player and felt that the bass player could really use a friend so he picked up the phone. That was a few years prior to the young man shedding tears hearing how God had saved his life.

So T-bone asked everyone packed in crushing the stage to move back 10 feet. Everyone slowly stepped back leaving a space between the audience and the 20 or so of us on the ministry team. He asked those who wanted to accept Christ or recommit their lives to make a bold statement. When he counted to 3, he wanted them to run, sprint and RUN down to the stage and profess to God they believed in Him. One...Two...THREE!

Teenagers RAN to us. There were two girls who were already in the front who ran straight to me and knocked me off balance as they fell into my arms. They were crying and sorry for the lives they were living, but wanted to accept Christ into their hearts and live for Jesus alone.

What a sight to see people RUN for Jesus. To see a great need in their hearts and not just kick the dirt wishing for a way out, but seeing the solution and swallowing their pride to make Christ first! Do you run when you know you need Him? Do I? Why not start now? Don't bother doing anything else first, get to the source "...those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings of eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Is. 40:31)."

23 May 2010

Stop This Train

There are so many thoughts zipping around in my head and I can't sort through them in a well-enough fashion to write something even my messed up head can comprehend. But listening to John Mayer's lyics, I couldn't resist putting one of those blog posts up. These are the lyrics to Stop This Train. When I think of this song, I imagine someone ridding the teacups at Disneyland and spinning the wheel so it goes as fast as possible.

It's fun at first. Exhilarating.

But then the point comes where spinning on the teacups isn't fun anymore. And though there is no one to blame but yourself, you want someone to come in and swoop you up and get you off the ride. But the train can't stop right away. Other people are on the ride. But you don't want to think about them, you just want off and back home in whatever meaning that has to you.

Stop This Train- John Mayer

No I'm not color blind
I know the world is black and white
Try to keep an open mind but...
I just can't sleep on this tonight
Stop this train I want to get off and go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't
But honestly won't someone stop this train

Don't know how else to say it, don't want to see my parents go

One generation's length away
From fighting life out on my own

Stop this train

I want to get off and go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't but honestly won't someone stop this train

So scared of getting older

I'm only good at being young
So I play the numbers game to find away to say that life has just begun
Had a talk with my old man
Said help me understand
He said turn 68, you'll renegotiate
Don't stop this train
Don't for a minute change the place you're in
Don't think I couldn't ever understand
I tried my hand
John, honestly we'll never stop this train

See once in a while when it's good

It'll feel like it should
And they're all still around
And you're still safe and sound
And you don't miss a thing
'til you cry when you're driving away in the dark.

Singing stop this train I want to get off and go home again

I can't take this speed it's moving in
I know I can't
Cause now I see I'll never stop this train

20 May 2010


Vie used to be one of my favorite words. Which I find heavily ironic! To vie means to strive in competition or rivalry with another. I used to use it in all my poems and writings in Ms. Escalante's class.

My fictional characters would always go against some nemesis of sorts be it self or enemy and in a tight battle come on top victorious! I was always attracted to those types of books and movies as well. The unknown hero who comes out with the shot to win the game at the buzzer or the underprivileged man who beats all odds and influences others for good. Don't we like the hero stories? Someone defying the impossible, but not just for the story's sake, but to pretend we could one day
do that if only given the chance.

In Acts 20:24, it is Paul's
confession of "if only" that has always grasped my attention. I remember one of my softball coaches grabbing the uniform from my shoulder to look me square in the eyes to be sure I was heeding the advice he gave. That's how I feel about the if only. Pauls says, "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."

The thing about hero movies defying all odds, is we typically forget all the other stuff the character went through to be in the place they are in before vying for victory. When you practice, you get better at whatever you are practicing. When you practice spiritual disciplines and culminating your relationship with Christ, it becomes easier. When you practice sin, it becomes easier. When you practice being a person of noble character, it becomes easier. I love the story of Nelson Mandela because coming into power as South Africa's president, he was in a position to pay back all the things done to him. But he chose grace. Not as a whim, but because he devoted his life to finishing the race he started. He turned the other check and chose to walk away from rivalry in an effort to bond a nation together.

Wow, I wish I could do that more. Walk away from rivalry and see the kingdom of God displayed on Earth...if only we could learn to walk away from our sinful nature and turn towards God's face more and more; being transformed from one degree of glory to another.

12 May 2010


Sometimes I can get myself in trouble thinking way too much about the future instead of being able to focus on the task at hand. I can dream and think of numerous possibilities in which God may be leading in both my life and others. I've heard 2 talks in the past 2 days that mentioned the word "dreams." In light of this, it is hard sometimes for me to see how God will move into completion of the dreams I have. I've been thinking a lot the past few weeks about this verse in Acts and the implications it has.

Acts 5:38-39 says, "...Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."

So when I am dreaming, I must remember to keep dream and ask God to take away the dreams that are not His desire for my life. I have dreams, I have things I would LOVE to see happen in my life, and yet I hold them with an open hand before my God and King anxiously awaiting to see what He will do with the little I can provide. I'm peeking out the door looking to see what He is going to do in the world!

06 May 2010

The Stevely Head!

After seven hours of tough competition, Long Beach State brought home the Stevely Head and won NavOlympics with pride over Universities from all over Southern California! They took the men's basketball prize and ultimate frisbee spot, but in a tie against the University of California - Irvine, a victorious shoe kick by Sarah, Dan, and Steven brought the Stevely Head back to whence it came! As emotional as the Summer Olympics returning to Greece, for another year, all seems to be right in the world!

05 May 2010

Socrates and Me

One of my best friends gave me a Socrates statue before because she said it reminded her of me. In her opinion, I think too much.

While that may be true, we are all made to be unique and different and there are some people I just can't figure out, so I'm left pondering. As soon as I think I have my finger on it, the target shifts and I'm left aiming in the wilderness. In the meantime, I'll just keep thinking some more and trying to figure it all out! How can I be a better friend? How can I best reflect Christ's image while keeping my needs and feelings sorted out and entrusted with others who I don't always feel love from in return?

I guess that's where the God sandwich comes into play as my friend Emily once put it. "We can always trust God, and then we can trust others...but even when they fail us, we can still trust God." I've tasted what trusting others is like and I desire that again, to feel safe, loved, and accepted fully for who I am. Oh to not worry and be caught up in trivial thoughts!

30 April 2010


Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies,
I keep your precepts with all my heart.
Psalm 119:69

Have you ever thought about how disgusting it is for something to be smeared? I was at CVS with Rachel last month making the bookmarks for Women of the Word and there was a kodak picture screen that bothered me. There was a video on a loop of a kid with the messy remnants of a PB & J on his face. He stares out from the screen, and then proceeds to smear his nasty peanut butter and jelly filled cheek across the screen. It was gross. I didn't want to look anymore!
Why can't we view lies that way? It is the arrogant who smear with lies...humans and Satan and ourselves included! But for some reason, we accept the filth as something we deserve or a part of who we are. I want all of my heart to be able to keep his precepts. Ps. 73:26 says, "...God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." He is my portion! Set aside specifically for me! How cool is that! We don't receive leftovers, but all the goods! Selah.

Smeared messes can be hard to clean up alone! Thank God for community! Do you realize just how much we as humans and sinners NEED one another?!?

29 April 2010

The Pause Button Seems to be broken...

I feel like life is rushing by my face so quickly I can't even enjoy the gentle breeze, but it tends to take my breathe away. In about 21 days I leave Long Beach to begin fundraising in Arizona and Texas and then head off 3 weeks later for a summer missions trip. What happened to the Spring?

In a Mexican film I watched recently, at the end of the hour and a half, the film had one of those flashbacks to go over different dialogues and images you may have forgotten in the two hour stint, and yet all it really does is leave you feeling robbed knowing the end is coming sooner than expected and robbed a good 5 minutes is spent going over the things you already moved on from. But there is an importance to looking back. My dad used to say we can view our lives as the car windshield. We need to look ahead and know where we are, but the rear-view mirror is in place so that we won't forget where we are coming from and so nothing can sneak up on us from behind. But we also cannot put all our our attention in that rear-view mirror. If we were supposed to, don't you think the car manufacturer would have made it proportionally larger? 21 days left on campus of the semester and 6 of them are spent away in Training and Development.

It's time for me to start looking back and remembering what God has brought me through this year, but the time to look ahead is upon as well...I need wisdom for the balancing act of these last few weeks! Can I just push pause a second and catch me breath? My head moves too quickly for me to write all my thoughts...

21 April 2010


I love my roommate Alissa! Just yet another reason why God is so good in providing me with this job!

12 April 2010

Thin, but Not Paper Thin.

Sometimes it's funny to me how I do things the way my parents do just because it's what I know! I was thinking about this today as I ordered my turkey lunch meat from Albertson's.

"How'd you like it sliced?" The women asked.

"Thin, but not paper thin, please." I replied.

This is how my Mom always ordered our lunch meat! I say it out of habit now!

I was thinking and reflecting a lot about family today. I decided a couple of weeks ago to try making the Pan Dulce Conchas...(a form of Mexican sweet bread.) When I was young, we used to call then 'pink bread' since we never could remember their real name! I think my Abuelita just accepted that. As I was picking up evaporated milk from the store, I called my Dad and he told me my great aunt had passed away. She was his youngest Tia on my Grandpa's side and I heard more about her than actually knew her due to an over 50 year grudge held on that side of the family. But still...another family member, holder of our family's story is now gone.

Alissa and I went to the movies tonight to go see Letters from God. It is a Christian film so it's a little cheesy, but wow...what a good film. We were the only ones in the theater and were glad so as it brought us to tears. I don't know the exact reason why Alissa's heart was outpouring that way, but I know why mine was...God is so good! God is so good and there are still families and people that get that and are coming to know truth despite what horrible situations they are in. People chose God over the world and over the lies and over death...not to make it all go away, but to come alongside in the midst. I'm so grateful for a family that can rejoice over pain because we have hope. We have hope to be entering a place where "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away (Rev. 21:4)."

God, you are sweeter than pan dulce! Sweeter than sweet bread. You ARE the sweet bread! Selah.

07 April 2010

broken harp

A dear friend of mine asked me the other day if I ever thought David threw his harp (out of frustration.) I laughed at first, and then I wondered, David was called a 'man after God's own heart' and yet he so openly laid his heart out before God with everything frustrating him in it. Psalm 119:116 says, "Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed."

Do not let my hopes be dashed! As I think about this past week overflowing with so many challenges and moves my friends are in, I ask LORD that you not let their hopes be dashed! Show your faithfulness that I know is there and comfort them in these times of hardship and singleness and transition. Sustain life and let us all live life to the full with a hope fulfilled! Oh LORD, hear my plea on behalf of my sisters. Be dash-less to them!

05 April 2010

Streams in the Desert

I was laughing to myself driving into the Arizona desert...when did the desert become a place of rest and refreshment for me?
Oh the irony!
So many times in the Bible we see the desert as a place of temptation or preparation for some other big thing God has in store for the lives of the individual. That's exactly what God used the desert for in my life! It was a time to cling close to God and battle core lies in order that God could better prepare me for where He is leading my life.

Isaiah 58:11 "The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail."

It was fun to be able to celebrate our Father, Savior, and Counselor together with dear brothers and sisters back in Arizona for the weekend. But we don't get to stay in the desert...time to find a new home and get back to work! Blessed be the name of the Lord!

22 March 2010


Job 8:14-15 "What he trusts in is fragile; what he relies on is a spider's web. He leans on his web, but it gives way; he clings to it, but it does not hold."
When you see a spider's web, it is a neat thing to see how strong the spider has crafted its creation to support itself, but even if you could find a web large enough, someone would never be able to lie in one like a hammock for a nap or touch it without breaking...it is not meant to support our weight! What may seem so beautiful to the eye holds nothing we truly need it to. If you saw someone leaning on a web expecting it to support themselves you'd think they were crazy! Thus, God himself sees us looking for things that can never support us and shakes his head. Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (mt. 11:28)." Why are you going to all those things that are not meant to support you or your burdens? Why are you ignoring me? The one true God who would delight if you would trust me and come to me with who you are?

I got to see an old friend this past weekend. Though only for a few hours, it truly was a sweet time. She has been caught up in a web the past seven years, I've only known her eight. So most of our friendship, I've seen this one picture of her, but this past weekend, I got to see a completely new image radiating from her!

Praise God for the transforming power He has done and let me witness in this dear friend and sister!

15 March 2010

Chim chim cher-ee...proclaiming from the rooftops!

Matt. 10:26-27

"So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.

As I think about this next month i am really excited to see what all God has in store. In the ministry at Long Beach State, the ladies will be focusing on what it means to be Women of the Word. I was talking with one of my best friends earlier on during the week about how God is allowing her to share her story from this past year. Why I love this passage of scripture has to deal with a few ideas.

1. God speaks when we are in the dark and hard places in life. When you feel alone and can't see where everything is heading, God is there waiting to whisper in our ear if we silence our fear and worry long enough to listen.

2. What is told to us in those seasons, we are able to re-tell or share with others in the daylight. When we look back, we realize so much more of what God was doing during the hard times!

3. Proclaim it from the roofs! God wants to use our stories to help others and praise Him for who He is! 2. Cor. 1:3-5 says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."

Just a sweet thought I've been meditating on today. I hope you are taking time to hear the whispers and shout from the rooftops with joy!

11 March 2010

quoteable quote

If you look at scripture, you understand that every time God calls somebody to do something, He is calling them to do something that he or she desperately needs God's power and ability to be able to pull off. He is going to call us to do stuff that He is involved in, His power is a part of that, He must be needed...His sovereignty must be there. -Pastor Frank

On Tuesday I wrote this down from a podcast I heard on Monday. Today, (yesterday now technically) this could not have been more true in my life! Praise God it is not my work, but His!

04 March 2010

Maniac Magee to Pete

I went outside on a short run. It only took a few minutes for me to realize the sound of my feet slapping the wet cement was an easy distraction from what was in my head. It wasn't much longer until the sound of my breathe overwhelmed all other noise. So I stopped. My vans were blocking the rain from hitting the ground while I watched the cement being painted with dots all around my feet. I wanted to run, but I was mesmerized. I felt cold from the rain by now and could not tell which were drops and which were tears on my face.
I've secretly always desired Elliot the dragon (from Pete's Dragon) to be my friend and come up to me in those moments to wipe away my tears and tell me it's all going to be ok without any understandable words. But maybe that's just how I envision God coming alongside Job and in moments of my weakness and frustration I want to experience God coming alongside me and comfort me in that way.Maybe it's because though I am anything but, I feel slightly orphaned or unsettled in Long Beach and can't seem to shake feeling that way no matter how I've tried this semester.

27 February 2010


This is Long Beach's conference video for the Sunland regional TRUTH conference last weekend. It was so much fun to be behind the camera again!!!

26 February 2010

I love the Olympics...

Joannie Rochette of Canada suffered the loss of her mother this past Sunday. I cried as she took the ice tonight giving a bronze medal performance. For once in my life, I'm glad the US did not medal so that she could. Talk about heart pull!

16 February 2010

Let My People Go!

I sometimes wonder how Moses was feeling when God told him that he was sending him to Pharaoh so that the Isralites would be freed and then said in order to do so, "I will harden his heart so that he will not let his people go (Ex. 4:21)."


Oh LORD Who am I to see you in this way! I am not worthy to be here barefoot on this ground. Oh YHWH, thank you that you have heard the cry of our people! The Egyptians are causing us to suffer. You want me to tell Pharoah for you?!? They will just laugh at me, how will they believe it is you who has sent me?

What? What's in my hand, it's a staff. Whoa, a snake! I wasn't expecting that. Do what now? Put my hand in my cloak? Ahh, I'm a lepor! Now I'm going to have to leave the community! How can I see Pharoah now? Oh LORD I am sorry to have doubted you. I've never been good at speaking and now you are sending me to the ruler of the whole country! Yes, I know you will help my speech, but wouldn't anyone else be better than I? Aaron's already headed over. Ok. I won't forget the staff.

Wait, God. You just told me you are sending me to Pharaoh to ask for your people to be freed and now you are telling me Pharaoh is going to have a hardened heart?!? Look, I didn't ask for this! Now they are not even letting them use straw for making bricks and yet still require the same quota per day! See I've messed up your plan, why are they still captive?


Moses did not understand why God had told him his people would be free and then they were not free right away. It took ten plagues for Pharoah to let the Isralites go. When I think of friends or people in my life held captive by the world, I can't help but plead with God reminding Him these are His people who he has allowed to be free by He, Himself coming to Earth to be broken. He has promised to finish the work He began and yet I don't see it anywhere near finished and the clock is ticking! Oh I wonder how God shakes His head at me when I am anxious or impatient at His transformation in other's lives.

Ecclesiastes 3:11, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end."

Such true words to be recorded.

03 February 2010

I want to go to there

I can empathize with the Israelites.

I find myself at times (particularly when my screen saver scrolls through photos from last year) where I find myself wishing for the past. Wishing to be back at Point Loma for Spring Break sleeping on the floor of a physio classroom building fences and strolling around old town San Diego. I was to carve my name into a tree with SS and look at photographs in a museum while having to remember to put my shoes back on before going into the building.

I don't think about the tears cried with Lauren over where God was calling us after we graduate from ASU. I don't remember the pain of a friend over a relationship. I push away remembering the hurt from close friends in my own life. I don't recall being broke and living paycheck to paycheck.

We choose to remember the good. We want to go back to safety becasue we know how it ends up...with the present. We know we make it out alive and so we can remember the good from a situation and not worry about the things that once kept us up all night.

I want to believe no matter what stage I am at in life, that the best days are ahead.

31 January 2010

Is. 55:10-11

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

24 January 2010

Glancing Over my Shoulder

Today was the kick-off of Long Beach ministry as both staff and student leaders met to both plan and pray about this semester. It was such a sweet time and God really unified our hearts in vision and purpose, yet today I felt 'off.'

I couldn't help but think back to last year at my last Student Leader retreat at ASU. I spent time talking with my other senior friends discussing scripture and the Holy Spirit's role in our life. We had to speak about what legacy we wanted to leave behind and Immanuel shared a song he wrote in Mexico entitled "More than Conquerors" in which the chorus of the song still randomly resonates in my head from time to time. Life is different now.

Our regional conference is coming up and now on staff I so wish for the students of CSULB to attend and hopefully glean as much out of it as I have the past four years. It breaks my heart thinking too of friends from those years who now have made their own choices in walking away from Christ in their lives.

Reading through 1 Samuel yesterday, I was struck by a verse where Samuel is crying out to God distraught the people are asking for a king to be like all the other nations. The Lord responded saying, "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king." What a sad thing to reject a perfect and just king!

One of my favorite painters, Caravaggio, depicted this scene entitled The Calling of St. Matthew. The thing I love about it is he painted Jesus' hand mimicking the manner of Michelangelo's Adam. The limp hand sitting there while God's was stretched out from heaven as pictured in the Sistine Chapel. But Christ came to Earth to die for us so that we may live! He took on human form for us! For an instance in time, Jesus had the ability to be weak as we are. Will you respond?

11 January 2010

The Airport Game

My good friend Sarah has an "airport game" she plays anytime traveling where you try to find someone you know unexpectedly. While I play along, I also have another airport game I play. Aside from people watching, I've been inspired from the movie, The Terminal to always look around and mentally plan how I would survive if I were trapped in an airport for a month or so. Which vendors would I befriend and where I would want to sleep at night. It may seem like a strange thing to think about, but it's a glimpse into how my mind works! (I also have always secretly wanted drawers full of other countries currency separated so if I need to travel I'm always prepared like the spies are in movies or like Doc is in Back to the Future...maybe that all comes from my previous desire to be in the CIA!)
Anyways, I think airports are great places to think about where I've been and possibly am going in life. I look around at people from so many countries and can pray for them while wondering if maybe God will call me there someday. One of my good friends asked if I ever felt like I am in Narnia in life. Wondering which place is really home...Texas, Arizona, California, Holland...sometimes I can feel that way. (I even took a photo by a lamppost in Holland thinking about this!) Even the Levitate tribe upon entering the promised land were not given any land of their own, but they were given God and His promises. In 1 Peter 2:9 it says, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." So as we are the priesthood, we are not always given some place to call a physical home. But really, life on this Earth is just like an airport. We are waiting on our departure to arrive to be with our Lord and Savior in heaven. Meanwhile in London, we are getting glimpses of the world beyond the lamppost while eagerly awaiting Christ's return.

There is only so much time before the flight takes off. How much more then do we need to work towards things that matter.