Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A great weekend

This past weekend I went with four friends up to Big Bear. We enjoyed a ton of snow and a day of snowboarding. I have to say that although my snow boarding skills are greatly improving, I am still not sure that I enjoy the activity. It seems like an awful lot of energy and soreness for something that seems a bit silly. Anyway, maybe next trip I will catch the enjoyment factor. Along with snowboarding, we also enjoyed some great time in the snow in the front yard, sledding at the end of the street, playing wii, finishing a great puzzle (one of my favorite activities), and playing numerous other games. Thank
s to my friends for the pics (I didn't bring my camera...)

Chains Required...


Pic on the top of the mountain, before we boarded down

Icicles at the cabin

Great view from the side of the road

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Movies

In the spirit of being in the mood for Christmas, I have been catching up on the multitude of Christmas movies available on the various cable channels.  I have seen Snow and Snow II.  Right now I am watching, "A year without a Santa Claus."  I have seen The Santa Claus 3, and other countless random Christmas movies.  I am on the fourth Christmas movie of the weekend (3 today).  After this one, I do think it will be time to go to bed!  I have enjoyed however the fun themes, the silly story lines and the overall belief that at this time of the year we can remember the things that are important.  

A crazy weekend

So, I thought that I was pretty much on top of the whole Christmas thing, but somehow this weekend Christmas got a bit out of control.  Friday night my fam and I went to d-land.  It was a long night, they went home a bit after ten, but bre and I stayed until after midnight with some friends who were there as well.  It was fun to catch up, but it was a looong night.  
Saturday, my mom and I did some final Christmas shopping.  For my one last gift, I went to about 4 different stores (including Irvine Spectrum).  Then having the gift, it was off to lunch (amazing - the Counter) then we went home to clean house and get out the Christmas decorations, this included quite the hunt for out missing stocking collection and Christmas tree lights (which were not found until much after we had given up.  
Today, I taught (I do love being at my new church, even when we do have the occasional crazy morning) then I had to go to walmart for some essentials.  After that, it was home to wrap a multitude of presents and finish painting one more item.  (I have done a lot of painting this year) 
Now, it is all finally done, presents wrapped, objects painted, and I am even packed for the most part for my long venture into the OC beginning Tuesday night.  I am definitely looking forward to bed!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Leadership is Messy

I was going to write more, but today, that is all I can come up with that makes sense.  Leadership is messy, and hard at times...   

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Out of the Blue

Today I had some crazy news that came from left field.  No warning, just all of a sudden what seems to be a severed relationship.  I feel as though I should say something upbeat or cheerful about this situation, at least something insightful.  Yet, right now and today, it just pretty much sucks.  I think that is all I want to say.  When you loose a friend, colleague, or any other important relationship in your life, it just sucked.  Especially when the situation happened completely outside of your control/input/etc.  So, tonight, it just sucks - and that is pretty much all I want to say.  Maybe tomorrow there will be some insight...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Christmas Party

Last night was our annual work Christmas party.  It was a great night (even though I was feeling a bit under the weather).  Our two boss' worked all afternoon to create an amazing 5 course, french dinner (plus dessert was six).  Praise the Lord it wasn't too adventurous and did not include snails...  It is always amazing food.  Our staff is not a big one, there were 11 of us there last night (including spouses for those who have them), but we have a great time together.  In between each course our two bosses read a special Psalm they had picked out for each of us.  After they read the Psalm, they prayed for that person.  It was a great time of edification and love.  Then we had our annual gift exchange.  I came home with a great tin and gingerbread cookie making kit.  Overall it was an amazing night of togetherness, edification, and thanking Jesus for His sacrifice.  

Friday, December 12, 2008

This makes me sad...

I had heard about Ray Botz coming out. Being one of the worst people I know when it comes to remembering music artist's names, I had no idea who this was. I just read an article though, inspired by this event, which truly resonated with me. In my own struggles of trying to figure out what it really looks like to love and support those who are struggling, this article hit home. It goes back to that one question that continues to intrigue me when it comes to churches, asked by a man who may never go back to full time church ministry. "What sins do you fire for?" This is a great question for all church leaders and those who work for them to grapple with. I believe it shows a great picture of their hiarchy of sin, as well as their stand on true repentance as well as their compassion towards their fellow believers. Enjoy the following article and pray with me that we will learn how to be a church (both on the local and global levels) that will provide a place for those who are struggling to be real. Ray Bolt's Hunger for Community.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Balboa Park

This evening I went with my friends to Balboa Park and enjoyed their "December Nights." Festival.  It was really amazing.  There were literally tens of thousands of people there.  They had food booths from all over the world.  We enjoyed some great food and checked out a ton of the museums.  They are all free on these two nights.  We went to the sports hall of fame, the automobile, the aviation/flight, the modern art, and historical art, as well as the photographic arts museum.  It was a great quick overview of all that Balboa Park has to offer.  After all of that we were pretty well beat.  My feet are aching, but it was an awesome experience...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Tonight I spent some quality time with a good friend and my paint brushes.  It was a great night of being together and creativity.  As we were discussing life in general, we both enjoyed some great time of creativity.  I was working on some Christmas presents, which were a bigger undertaking than I first realized...  But I am enjoying the process.  Anyway it was a great evening.  Painting makes me feel like the rest of the world is tolerable.  It is so fun to start with something blank and create something fun and new.  Tomorrow night I am looking forward to another great evening of TV and painting...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Countdown

So, it is December 1st.  I can't believe it.  We have a month left of this year.  I normally do not look forward to this time of year, but this year I am making a concerted effort to make it a positive time of the year.  Thus far, I am succeeding.  I am enjoying the Christmas decorations in my room.  I am also enjoying some Christmas music.  I am working on establishing some new things to look forward to at this time of year.  I will keep you posted on the progress of operation, enjoy Christmas...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas decor

Tonight I heard a great sermon about how we need to celebrate Christmas because of Jesus' birth.  That it is his birthday so let's celebrate.  I do not usually enjoy the Christmas season all that much but the sermon inspired me.  So, I dragged out my meager decorations, bought a 4 foot tree (the little place I call home isn't big enough for much more) and enjoyed an hour or so of decorating.  Here is the outcome...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A lazy weekend...

I feel as though this weekend has gone on forever - in a good way. I spent time with a good friend, saw a good movie, read a good book, heard a great sermon (with my post grad school ADD that is quite a feat), and enjoyed the company of many of the people I love. I love it when the weekends seem to be relaxed and long. Now, on to the craft projects I bought today and trying to watch and delete the increasingly long list of options on my DVR.

Monday, November 17, 2008


My church has been going through the book of Habakkuk. It is in interesting book and I have been enjoying the messages. This morning I decided to read the little book myself. Our pastor talks about Habakkuk and the dips that we go through. Those ups and downs in our spiritual lives. The crisis of faith that often accompanies that valley we walk through. He asked us to make a mark where we are on the graph. Are we still on the initial upswing of a newbeliever? Are we headed into the valley? At the very bottom? It was an interesting question to me. Then we talked about how to climb out of the valley. Habakkuk remembered who God was. That it is importanta to remember who God is and what he has done in the past when we are in the valleys. To remember the yesturdays so that we can live and trust Him for the tomorrows. I thought that was important, I began to think of the things that I can remember God for and that I need to do a better job of this. Then my prayer is to live out these final verses...
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Update from Romania

My Boss just got back from Romania, I put together an update about the curriculum project we have been working on. Since I had to e-mail it as a picture, I thought I would post it here as well. Enjoy!

(click on it to enlarge it)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hoping to hope

In February it will be a year of trying to "live" in the Temecula valley. It has been a struggle to give up the everyday things of life in Orange county. My church, friends, cake night, watching Grey's Anatomy with my roomates, watching How I Met Your Mother with my brother, babysitting and hanging out with kids whenever I would want to (and sometimes more than I wanted too). There was the possibility of running into a kid that I loved. Levi at costco, ella and sophie at the movie theatre. I think that is what I miss the most. Anyway. Tonight I was able to be a part of a meeting at my new church. I have now brought up the amount of people who know me by name there to at least 6. I also have two facebook friends from the church. I figure it's a start. Beyond that I feel like I have a place there, which is very exciting for me. They are full of ideas, passion, and excitement. They are ready to run. I am excited to be a part or what is happening in their children's department. In other words, I am beginning to hope that as I get more involved, the Temecula valley will begin to feel even more like home.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A crazy day at Dland

On Saturday I went to Disneyland to enjoy the day with some of my family, a couple friends, and two of my favorite kids in the world. It was a special day for disneyland. They were filming their Christmas parade, which is why we were going and bringing the kids. Their special guests were the Jonas brothers, some guy named Jose something, and then at the end of the parade, Corbin Bleu from HSM sang a song.

We had amazing spots for the Jonas brothers which was cool because one of the kids got to tough each of them. Major bragging rights when you are in first grade. The kids thought they wer in heaven. Here are some pics, just so you too can enjoy...

The oldest, Kevin

Next comes Joe, for those of you who don't know, he seems to be the most popular.

Nick is the youngest, also popular among the younger females.

My sis and our friend, Rebecca you can see how close we were to the stage...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Why Church?

Why do you go to church? When you wake up on a Sunday morning and make that decision to get ready, get in your car, and go to church, what motivates you to do that?

This is the question I have been pondering. I think that one of the saddest things about the modern church is that we have reduced it to showing up on Sunday morning, singing some worship songs, shaking a few strangers hands, and then listening to a sermon. Then many believers leave for the week, feeling as though somehow they have accomplished their biggest "Christian duty" for the week.

I do believe that the Sunday morning experience is an important if not strategic part of a believer's spiritual life, but it is not by any means the end all of "church." There is just something in my gut that twists a bit when I hear about believers go to a church service because they feel as though they need to. I just had a friend who is in between churchs. A hard place to be (I know). They went to a church last week that they knew they did not want to attend. Mainly because they had been there before, they knew how to get in and out and it accomplished the task of "going to church." I just thought it was kind of silly, admirable, but silly.

I began wondering how Paul would have thought about the church. I think he would have defined it as a group of people who gathered for worship, teaching and prayer BUT that also lived within community. I think that it is that last part that we so easily give up on in today's church. We don't push into our churches, we expect them to cater to our needs. We don't reach out and serve readily, then we wonder why we feel disconnected and our not growing spiritually.

I recently "jumped in" at my new church - Life Church. I may live to regret that. No church is perfect. I decided though that I had a decision to make. I could either jump in now, or wait around for what? You can't learn most things about a church from its sidelines. So I jumped.

Anyway, all that to say, think about it this weekend - why are you waking up to go to church? Is it a part of your holistic spiritual diet, or is it your only meal the whole week through? How can we influence those around us to view church in the holistic, communal way?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Night at last...

I am not a fan of the cold of winter (not that soCal gets all that chilly), or of dark long nights... However, I do enjoy the daylight savings time change at first. I enjoy getting out of work and it being dark. On my way home from work I figured out though, that the world around me did not know how to drive in this newly discovered darkness. I don't know why this seems to happen but my normal 15 minute commute from work to home took nearly 25. Why? It seemed that all the breaklights and headlights and streetlights made everyone disoriented. Go figure. Hopefully everyone will have adjusted before the ride back to the OC tomorrow night.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I've been tagged...

Apparently in the blogging world there is a random tagging going on, and I have been hit. I am supposed to state 7 random things about myself. So, here we go...

1. I love staring at books on bookshelves. Whenever I am in offices or rooms where people have their books on bookshelves, I have trouble paying attention to them rather than what books they have and how they have decided to organize them, it has become a problem in certain situations. (Surprisingly my books are not that well organized although there is some order)

2. I think that I am the most movie illiterate person I know. As a child, teenager and even throughout college I didn't see a whole lot of movies, now I am trying to catch up with at least some of the so called "classics," but frankly I don't care that much. I suppose my movie expertise will have to end in the disney, pixar, and chic flic categories...

3. I love to look at watches in the store but I hate wearing them. I always want to buy one but since I never wear them it seems a bit pointless...

4. I have a hamster, his name is Cody Maverick (named after Jake Steele's hamster who was named after the penguin in Surf's up - I know I tried being more creative but I loved the movie, and Cody is a cool name for a hamster and I think Jake is a cool kid). I bought said hamster b/c in my little itty bitty house I needed a little friend and hamsters are small and I have always loved them.

5. I love to Tole Paint. However, unless I am making a gift, this talent is pretty much useless right now since my deco style is not quite the quaint, cutsy style of the tole painter it is kind of silly.

6. I think that colored cardstock should replace construction paper in all kid's craft projects unless one needs an extremely large piece of paper. Card stock is awesome, boldly colored, does not fade as easily, and does not remind me of 1970's era crafts. PLUS you can run it through the copy machine - novel idea!

7. I want to go visit Japan someday.

Ok, that is all.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Cool Cake

Check out this cake. Jen found this blog which is dedicated to cakes, some good some bad, but this one is cool. http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/ Enjoy, but be sure to check out the lego cake!


I have been helping one of my coworkers with a work assignment, she has been working on getting a website/blog up and running. Over the last few days she decided to move the site over to blogger. Anyway, I have been helping her with various editing and layout elements. I do believe however now that the blog she has created is better than mine... and she now probably does more on blogger than I do. So I have officially been upblogged in the sense that her blog is much more unique, purposeful and overall specifically programmed and designed for the user. Oh well, I suppose I helped, but part of me is a bit jealous of the coolness and the experience she has had over the last few days. Today she even figured out how to post (quite easily) his newsletters which were in Publisher. Her solution, save them as jpgs and then post them. Quite amazing. If you would like to check it out, go for it here. In the meantime I am trying to figure out what elements I would like to add to make mine shine a bit more...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Day with the Fishes

Today we went to Sea World. It was a good day. We enjoyed a behind the scenes tour and for ten bucks it was a great time. They took us to an area where they were training the dolphins and they had a baby seal. Then we were off to lunch and more shows. Sea World is celebrating Halloween, so we also enjoyed decorating Halloween cookies. Overall it was a great day. Enjoy some of the pictures from the day.

Moray Eels - one of my favorite things... I have this theory that when God was working on faces he practised on this poor animal and realized that would be a bad way to go for the human face. They are amazingly ugly to the point of almost being captivating.

Little baby pup sharks, we touched them. I felt bad though because they seemed to be sleeping...

The Beautiful turtle!

Dolphin Training! The trainers went around to the various pools working with all the different animals, it was pretty interesting. A lot of repition! AND FISH!!!
A Baby pup sea lion, about 5 months old. Was dropped off at Sea World at about a week old. Some fishermen brought it in, but the Sea World people think that its mom was probably only out searching for food and that the pup would have been ok. Now, this animal will have a life time home at Sea World because it was too young when it came in and has been imprinted by humans. She will probably be a future star in the Sea Lion and Otter show... She was beautiful even though she was drinking blended up raw fish and water - GROSS!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Too tired to obey

Yesturday I got to hang out with a great family. One of those families that I like to hang out with because in the event that I would ever have one of my own, I would like to be like. We had been to a soccer game for the older brother, and then to the pizza party. By the end of the pizza party, little brother who was two and half was tired. I was trying to wrangle him out of the chaos of arcade games and children, when he wanted back down, I put him down for two steps, and realizing this wasn't working, was about to pick him up when his mom said something very powerful.
"Just pick him up, he is too tired to obey."
There was no condemnation in her voice, no exasperation. No frustration or disapointment. I have seen many parents either give up on their children at this point and become frustrated, or not be understanding of why they can't obey and still expect them to be able to. Instead, I followed her instructions and swooped him back up and carried him the rest of the way to the car, he soon realized the battle was lost and his head was bobbing around near my shoulder, it seemed even the weight of his head was too much for him at that point. What he needed was a rest, a time away from the bright sun and chasing the ball at the soccer field. A time away from the frenzied chaos of the pizza place. He needed the quiet of his room to sleep. It wasn't a matter of being a bad kid or a good kid. (he is a great kid) He just needed rest and in the meantime he needed to be kept from the temptation to not obey.
"Just pick him up, he is too tired to obey."
I think that there is truth in that statement for each of our lives. I have been thinking about this for a while, and her statement made me think about it more today. I think that so many times I look around at the Christian world and see plenty of people who have spent way too much time out in the sun, out in the spotlight of the high profile pastor's life. They spend time running around in the chaos of the Christian life of church drama and never ending felt needs, never stopping to look for the peaceful, quietness of nap time. Then, we as a Christian community wonder why they stumble, wonder why they fall. We are disapointed, frustrated, we condemn and point fingers. No one say's, "who could have picked them up?" "Were we expecting too much?" "How can we provide rest now?" No wonder why so many of our fellow ministers struggle with depression, anxiety, private and public sin. I wonder how many times God has tried to whisper that very thing into the hearts of men and women. "Let me carry you, you are too tired to obey." I know that there is a place for personal responsibility and repentance on the part of every sinner. Yet, I would like to challenge our thinking a bit. I pray that as a Church on the universal and local level we can get better at caring for our leaders. I want to be a part of this change. I am not sure exactly what it looks like, I don't think it is an exact formula, but I want to be a part.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lectures to My Students

So, it has been a long time since I did any heavy reading (or really any reading much at all). In an attempt to regain some initiative in my life I want to take up once again some seriouos reading. One book that has been on my shelf for a LONG time is, Lectures to My Students on the art of Preaching by Charles Spurgeon. It was recommended by a fellow traveler in life's journey recently which spurred me to pull it off my bookshelf. I will keep you posted on how it goes!

In a quiet house in the YL

Last night my parents had quite the visitor. Here is the story as told to me by my mom...

At approximately 12:00 my mom went to bed. About an hour later, my brother, who was still up and doing homework or facebook - who knows - on the computer, heard a knock on the door.

Considering he has a myriad of friends, that are also of the same age demographic, I suppose that he thought this was a bit strange, but not completely out of the ordinary as their house is set up so that you can see into it and easily tell that their are lights on and someone is still up. HOWEVER, for some reason (will have to get this detail later) he opens the door before finding out who it is. It is a obesely overwieght young lady (approximately 19 or 20) wearing way to short shorts, who is wreaking of alchohal and obviously completely intoxicated. She asks for natalie. However, there are no natalies at our house. My brother tells her this, that she has the wrong house, but she proceeds to come inside. Ya, seriously! So, he gently guides her back outside, shuts and locks the door.

Then he hears the back gate opening! He goes outside and tells her she needs to leave, that this is not Natalies house. He locks all the doors and calls the police. By this time the parents and sister are awake due to the fact that the dogs are all barking VERY loudly. She spends the next five minutes knocking at the windows hard enough that my parents are afraid they are going to break. All the while saying that she needs Natalie. However this is all nearly incoherant.

Finally she gives up, walks up the street and sits down on the corner. Shortly after the police arrive. My dad, brother, and sister go and talk to them. They arrest her and the story ends. Apparently she isn't from the area and must have been attracted to the house with the lights on.

Quite the story. The moral? Don't get overly intoxicated in unfamiliar territory!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Old information made new

A good friend and professor from college asked me to help her by subbing one of her classes. I will be teaching one evening of a five evening adult degree completion course. So, I am taking on one fifth of the course. Of course, she has all of the powerpoint/schedule/visual aids already prepared. Really all I have to do is show up and follow the outline provided by her. I am looking forward to it. It is basically intro to hermanuetics. (Which by the way is bad when you then take it is a grad student and the new prof wants you to do it a different way then the old prof and you can't take yourself off of autopilot)
What was interesting to me is that as I was reading the text book to brush up on the subject matter, it all came flooding back. I took this course as a sophmore, which would have meant that it was in the fall of 2000. It is now 2008. Eight years is a long time. I did TA for this class and graded many a paper, but it isn't like I studied the notes a whole lot as I was doing that. At one point I actually remembered what was and was not on the test, how sick is that. One of those points I thought I would share with you... In a Bible study method that is ideal, there are four major componants, maximum accuracy, maximum application, joy of personal discovery, and can be done within a reasonable amount of time. After seeing those once again, I can almost repeat them from memory again. Our brains amaze me sometimes...

Friday, October 10, 2008

A good day...

Today was a good day. I felt good (no headache), got a lot done at work, had a good time at work, survived the grocery store (a scary place sometimes), made dinner with a friend, watched a fun movie, and now I am home nearly ready for bed. Anyway, today got me thinking about what makes a day a good day. There really wasn't anything extra special about today, but it felt different. What makes a day a good day for you?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Trip to the Observatory

On Saturday, my brother came to visit me. It was a lot of fun. We spent the morning in Old Town Temecula, and enjoyed some crepes.
Then we decided to drive to the Palomar Observatory. It was a long drive and it was cold, but we had fun. The telescope is very large and impressive and overall it is just a beautiful place to be. Enjoy the pictures!

Pic from their website - cool looking huh?

Pic we took - it was foggy that day, but it made the whole landscape look like a scene from Star Wars!

A large Manzanita tree that Kenny thought was cool, it was cool, and very red, although you can't really tell, sorry!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A new church

Today I went with my friend Merideth to try a new church. The whole idea of church shopping just sickens my heart. I hate it. But considering what is going on at the church I had finally decided to call home, it seems as though it is time to go. Anyway, back to today. The church was good, we walked in, didn't announce ourselves as visitors (It is hard to walk into a new church and announce that you don't yet belong when that is all I want to do.) found the worship center, realized that like most churches everyone comes late, and enjoyed a longer service. The message was on being the church. They are challenging their congregation to be the church, to serve, to not be served, but to go out and serve. As a matter of putting this into practice, there will be no sunday morning services next week, the whole church is supposed to meet at a community home for troubled teens to do service projects. I thought it was pretty cool. Overall it was a positive experience. I am excited about going back next week on Saturday night, learning more about the church. Although I am not in the mindset of church shopping, I do want to find a church that is passionate and full of vision for their children's ministry department.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Where to begin...

The last few days, I have spent some quality time with two different college friends. One was a great friend, who is about to leave for the mission field. The other was a professor who has been a great support and encouragement throughout not only my college years but every year since. Through the discussions, in which you seem to recap what is going on your life now, what was good then, what is good now, what is hard, etc. It has been a good time. I time to be reminded of what God is doing, not only in my life, but in the lives of those around me, in the world at large. I am thankful for great people that are partners in life and ministry throughout many years.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The friends are back

I had a great night last night catching up with old friends. You see wednesday and thursday evenings I house sat, which means that all of the shows from late monday night on (since I was at Bible study on tuesday) I watched last night. It was a great night. Boston Legal, Greys, Ugly Betty and The Offfice. Not only do I enjoy their stories, but I enjoy the memories of watching them with old friends. Countless cake nights, times spent with various roomates, trying to will parents to pick up children faster to get home to catch the beginning of something or other. The great conversations in the office the day after various shows, the way various catch phrases become legon wait for it dary. Yes, you see TV isn't just about those we watch, it is also about who we watch it with.

What is the first series you remember really loving? For me it was Doogie Houser - I watched it with my mom - in the first few years of the show we really loved it. Alright, let me know!

Friday, September 26, 2008

When elders go awry

The role of the elder is a scary one to me, even scarier in some ways then the lead/teaching/head/main/whatever you want to call him pastor. You see, in many churches, the elders, when all together, have all the power. If they so choose, they can oust the pastor, they can lead the church this way or that, they are the essence of power. The lead pastor is one guy, he may be well loved by the church, if he were to leave the church would be upset, but there is a different shift of power when the elders are in unison, especially when the elders are in unison and are against someone. I have never encountered something like this before, it is very interesting to me. When one thinks of a biblical elder they think of someone of humility, who practises biblical confrontation, who shows love and grace. As a group I think of people who want to see the best for the church, as almost a living security blanket. I have known well some of the elders at my previous church and have known them to be great men, men with amazing families (I judge probably too much by your family), men who have given their time, energy, and sweat to the church over many years. Do they all have their own selfish desires - probably yes, do I think that for the most part they try to keep those in check - yes.

So, what do you do when an elder board goes haywire? I would say that the majority of people in the pews do not know what to expect from their elders. They don't understand their church government enough to even ask the right questions. How do you submit to leadership while it seems almost corrupt? At what point do you say enough is enough and you leave the chaos behind? These are the questions I am pondering.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Communities and Churches

So, this week I have been thinking a lot about the church in general and communities. My new church is currently going through a rough time. At the same time my old church (which formerly went through a rough time) is gearing up to see God do some big things. In the mean time, I am on the search for community in the Temecula Valley. My new pastor has an amazing hope in the Church in general and in our specific church. Frankly it is quite amazing to me. I can't really see what he has to be hopeful about.
I know that the church is one of the few institutions the God has commanded and instituted. He created it, it is through the church that he desires to work, he desires to restore people, he desires to show his love, grace, and mercy. It is through the church that his truth is proclaimed. Yet, so many times, the church shows the opposite of all of the above. It quarrels, it turns it back on those who are hurting, condemns the oppressed, it kicks the wounded. I also know that those who inadvertantly do this are also trying to do what is right. I always see this as the saddest thing of all, when "godly" people cause so much pain.
I wonder how to remain hopeful at times... Then I remember those who have been there for me through the years, my fellow coworkers, my fellow church attenders, those in the community group I attend. The families whose children I love. Then I think, this is what church is supposed to be about and I hold onto that.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Wonders of the Temecula Valley

There are not many amazing things about Temecula. It is usually about 10-15 degrees hotter than anywhere else. It boasts no amazing tourist attractions etc. However, in the last few weeks I have noticed that there are groups of sunflowers (at least I think that is what they are) growing up all over the place. This has been quite amazing. They have been at the edge of fields, on the side of roads, even along the center divider of the freeway. They grow up nearly six feet in places and are quite beatiful. I have been meaning to stop and take a picture somewhere. Well yesturday the power went out and myself and a two of my coworkers went for a stroll around the block to see how much of the power went out (the whole block was out) and as we were walking I saw some more. So, here they are. Enjoy one of the few amazing Temecula sights.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Swing Vote

So, yesturday I went to go see Swing Vote with a couple of friends. We went because it was the only movie at the right time. We all thought it was going to be beyond dumb and possibly very offensive.
About 15 minutes into it, I thought, "I am actually enjoying this." The movie was more about a dad learning to be a father, and two polititions wondering how far is too far. It was interspersed with some amazingly hilarious campaign adds and promises. Overall it was a pretty great movie. If you haven't seen it yet, I would recommend renting it.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Side of the Mountain

As a kid, I loved adventure books. The real life or fictional story about youth who went on adventures. I especially loved ones from history or ones set in the wilderness. Hatchet and My Side of the Mountain were ones that stood out to me. Both were stories of boys who ended up in the wilderness and had to survive. I also just read one about two boys who ended up in the artic circle and their survival. Anyway. Today I watched a movie based on My Side of the Mountain. It is such a strange tale. A boy runs away from his home, to a mountain, and lives there from late spring through Christmas. To find nature, to study algea, and to understand himself.
I think I like the idea of wilderness tales because so many times I feel like life is so chaotic, you don't know what is going to happen. I enjoy reading about people who relied on themselves and the world around them to survive. Yet to thrive, I am finding, we must rely on more than ourselves.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The best day

Today, was a great day. Here is the recap:
  • Slept in
  • Had breakfast with my roomie
  • Went surfing with my sis and bro
  • Had a great lunch
  • Took a nap!
  • Had dinner and watched a movie with good friends

What more could you ask for in a day?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mom update

Well, my mom came home from the hospital on Tuesday, one week and one day after being admitted. She is still a bit out of it, but today she went to Carls for lunch, which is a good sign, b/c yesturday she barely moved. So, that is good. Apparently she is winning the battle of the west nile. Apparently she now has a fear of all sorts of flying insects, mosquitos, flys, etc. Hopefully that will disapate as time goes on...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

West Nile?

So, this week has been a bit hectic. My mom was admitted to St. Jude on Monday morning. On Tuesday evening they did a spinal tap. Wednesday the contagious disease guy decided that she has West Nile. They are still waiting on actual confirmation on that, but according to the progression of her symptoms that is the diagnosis. So, if yout hink of her, pray for her. Oh, and by the way, West Nile when it goes into Spinal meningitus, is not so much fun!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dragon Boats

So, this weekend was busy, with kenny coming home from India - Hurray!

However, the highlight of the weekend was the 2nd annual Dragon Boat Races at Lake Gregory. A whole crew of YLFC peeps head up to a cabin this weekend every year. What determines the weekend is the annual triathalon over at Lake Arrowhead. After that event the gange (there are normally upwards of over 20 of us.) Head over to Lake Gregory. Last year they told us they were closing most of the Lake for most of the day for some Dragon boat races, this was quite disappointing. However, soon, we decided that we would make Lemonade from these Lemons and join in this crazy event. You signed up for five bucks. They had five teams. With the many peeps that we had, we formed an entire team. Well after 3 races and much fun we won!

This year we were all looking forward to it, we had a title to uphold, we were ready. Well, if you call knowing about the races and agreeing that we would participate ready, we were!

Well, although I did not personally participate this year, due to having to leave early to get the brother from the airport, I did cheer on the team. Well, I stayed for the first heat, our team was awesome. The key to dragon boat races is to all row together. I think the advantage of friendship is helpful. Well, we won the first heat and thus got to go straight to the final round. They won by a quite a few seconds! (I wasn't there) Anyway, Dragon Boat racing is steaped in tradition. Read more here. Anyway, we made it in their local paper, not the best article, here is the pic of us from the paper. We were team Chubby Bunny!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Being a dork

So, I had a random moment the other day, yes it is true. You see my family seldom can agree on a TV show to watch. One show that all five of us can tolerate is "California's Gold" which airs on Public Television. For those of you who haven't seen it, it is hosted by Huell Howser, a middle aged guy who goes around to various (and mainly very random) places throughout california, interviewing random people. Well on Thursday Marla one of my coworker's wives took me out to lunch for my birthday (it was a day early). We decided to head to oldtown Temecula. As we were parking we both noticed that there was a guy and a small camera crew walking down the street, talking to various people. All of sudden, it hit me, that was Huell Howser. Then the next thought hit me, "I have to get my picture with him." Which for me, is quite the thought, because I am not the stalker fan. I am not the one to always want an autograph or follow celebrarites. I realize that they are just normal people. I think one of my biggest reasonings was that my parents would never believe me otherwise. So, after walking by once just to make sure it was him, once he was on the move again, I asked him, he consented and quickly (he was in a hurry) I handed my iPhone to one of his crew and grabbed a picture.

So, it is official, I am dork, but somewhat proud of it!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Needing to write

Yes, so today was one of those days when things are just a bit off. You don't really know why, or maybe you do and just don't really want to admit it. Anyway, I just want to put some words out there. So these are them.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

iPhone Adventure

So, for those of you who have been in the loop, the last week or so has been quite an adventure. It all started a week ago friday - the long awaited June 11th. The day iPhone 3g came out. That day, I was intructed (by ATT) to go to Best Buy, return the phone I had been using (I opened a contract about 25 days before) and then I would be eligable for a new phone again. They have this great 30 day phone satisfaction thing... Anyway, somehow when I went to do that the system glitched. BIG TIME! So even though I waited in line for like 4 hours on friday night and had to actually go back Saturday, the system said that I was indeed NOT eligable. So, I lived without phone from Friday night through Tuesday. Tuesday I spent quite a bit of time on the phone trying to figure what was going on. No one could tell me. After more time on the phone, a visit to the ATT store and some very nice people on the phone on Thursday-Friday on Saturday my iPhone was delivered to the Anaheim Hills ATT corporate store. (By the way, if you go there, find Michael, he is the best) It makes me happy every time I think about it. Whenever I see it in my room I get happy. It has everything I need, including a light saber-thanks Ryan. What else could one need?

Friday, July 18, 2008

New Number - yet again

So alas, I have a new number. Yes it is true. I have a new phone number, yet again. In order to fix the unexplainable issue with my ATT account, the best plan was to cancel the existing line and start a fresh, unsoiled one. So, now I have one. I don't even have it memorized yet. But I have a phone, I have an iPhone ordered and all should be right in the world... Oh and I have made a few friends in the world of ATT!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I hate junk. Not just the junk that you have that collects in your house over the years that you don't really know what to do with. That stuff that you don't really know how to get rid of, or don't think about getting rid of then you realize one day, what is all of this stuff doing here anyway?
But beyond real physical junk, because I try to keep less and less of it. I am thinking more about the junk in our lives that keeps us down. That keeps us from living the life of abundance that God has for us. I am not talking about a happy-go lucky life. One with no sorrow or trial. But one with less of that junk that makes it hard to love and trust others, the junk that makes it hard to want to invest in what you are doing. The junk that makes you wonder what in the world God is doing. That is the kind of junk that makes all of life exhausting.

Monday, July 14, 2008

New Blog

So, alas, it is time to resurect the blog. It has been a while. I don't even know the last time I have updated my old blog.

Now it is time to begin again. I am definitely in a new phase of life, new town, new church, new job. So, here we go...