Today’s Bible reading struck a huge chord in my being that really surprised me. 

“‘When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “this place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.’  But Jesus said to them, ‘They do not need to go away; you give them something  to eat!’  They said to Him, ‘We have here only five loaves and two fish.’  And He said, ‘Bring them here to Me.'”  -Matt. 14:14-18

I’ll often look at my life and look at the highlighted areas that need so much attention (areas that need change etc.) and I’ll respond just like the disciples.  I’ll also look at people in the same fashion, their needs or even my desire to be overseas or my relationships and think, ‘This isn’t going to work’ or ‘The need is too great, it can’t possibly be fixed’ or think, ‘Man, this is not the way that I would’ve liked for it to be’.  So many variables of my lack of faith.  I hate that!

Jesus is right.  He always is.  People, their needs, my issues or unfavorable circumstances do not need to go away.  I need to “Bring them” to Jesus, not knowing how anything will turn out and completely trust (and be ready to do) whatever it is He wants to do with it all.  That waiting period requires surrender, trust and faith.    

My prayer is that the Lord would grow, increase and strengthen my faith.  NOT give me clarity.  I’m tired of wanting to see how everything will turn out and I know that doesn’t give me liscence to do whatever I want or do nothing at all.  It simply means that I need to be driven more by how the Lord sees things, how He sees my issues, how He sees people and their needs, bring them all to Him and by faith know that He will work in my heart, meet peoples’ needs etc.

Oh, how I want to walk by faith, be driven by compassion and trust the Lord completely!  So, don’t send whatever it is you’re dealing with away, bring them to Jesus and by faith, watch what He’ll do!

Selection

March 27, 2007

JPK, the RD’s and I are wiring down to the last bit of interviews for RA’s for next year.  It’s crazy to think that I will be selecting my fourth RA team.  I am very humbled and very excited.  I don’t know about this next year’s team but the Lord does.  And as I take an inventory of my RA’s in the past and the way that I need to grow in leading my current and future RA’s, I just marvel at what I get to do and be a part of and the people involved in all of that.  It’s very humbling. 

Anyway, please pray as we make our final selection.  It can be very fun and exciting, but it can also be very difficult and draining. 

I’ll keep you all updated! 

ICU CLUB @ VHS

March 24, 2007

Thursday night was really cool.  Rick and I went to Valencia High School to see Sam & Jennene’s  ICU club (check it out and see what they’re about).  It was fascinating to see what resources and tools Christians can use (and often times don’t) for sharing the gospel. 

Here’s what I learned that night:

  1. Evangelistically?  I talk alot more than I actually do about sharing the gospel or even about widows and orphans (James 1)…you can’t work your way around either one!
  2. I am slacking in making available the opportunities around the community for the guys in the dorm to be apart of.  I need to get off my butt and connect them with all that, or at least challenge them to be connected and be connected myself. 
  3. I would like to challenge the guys in my dorm not to be critics of organizations or Christians who work for organizations that aren’t “gospel” centered.  Too many Christians leave the Master’s College as critics.  So what if Invisible Children doesn’t seem gospel centered.  If it weren’t for Invisible Children Sam & Jennene wouldn’t have had so many opportunities to share the gospel with their students and do something about the awareness.  Praise the Lord for that!!! 
  4. I need to look at what’s out there in the world, be alert to its tactics and content but if I’m just sitting around doing nothing but criticizing evertthing everyone else is doing and not doing a darn thing myself….then woe to me a Pharisee!!!
  5. I love my church and its emphasis on being out in the community and the world (dont’ get me wrong, Master’s does emphasize that, at least more particularly this year). 

Hopefully, I’ll get to put these convictions into practice.  I want to!

It’s really cool to be able to come to the end of your week and have people around you that care so much. 

This week was definitely a full week back from Spring Break.  I finished a 15 page paper Monday, started RA interviews on Tuesday (until today and we’ll resume on Monday), Rick came back Wednesday from world travels, had chapel band stuff all throughout the week (and we’re going to PF Changs tonight, mmmm…some good eats there), worship team rehearsal Wednesday, Small Groups later that night, a really awesome meeting with my RA team Thursday, Men’s Split chapel this morning, guy RD’s leading RA class today and all of the in betweens of being an RD (discipleship, confrontation, security searching students’ rooms, etc). 

WOW!  I’m exhausted.  I am and I feel spent.  But it really is nice to come back from all of that to my apartment and have my RA’s volunteer their time and energy to clean my apartment and my deck.  Man, they’re so stickin’ selfless (at least the progress is evident)!!!!!!!!!!!!  I love these guys (Rick, Jared, Josh and Jake)!  They’re such a joy!

I’m humbled by their service, and their consistency of a willingness to minister to me (as well as a desire to learn how to do that with the guys on their wing).  Why?  I don’t understand, but I do.  They love God and they have shown it by honoring me, their ridiculous leader.  Man, willingness and service dude!  That’s gonna get you somewhere for the Kingdom.  If the future of the church lies in the hands of young men like these…praise the Lord!!!  I’m a big fan of that!     

Durso

March 21, 2007

ATTN all Peeps (no, not the marshmellowy, sugar coated easter candy…YUCK!…Peep as in all of you):

Eric Durso just joined the blog world!

He’s a starter on the men’s basketball team here at Master’s, a junior Communications major, in my small group, loves God and came in as a frosh when I started as an RD; yes that meant he’s lived in my dorm for the last 3 years (its pretty cool seeing the guys in my dorm mature and grow….. and seeing them desire that more.  I love that and I love them). 

Anyhow, welcome him to the blog world and get to know him; its worth it, at least for me it is. 

Restoration…Sweetness

March 16, 2007

Tonight reconciliation became a little more clear.  A friend and I met up at Starbucks and talked.  We haven’t done that for a while and even though the time in between was very painful, silent, bleek and not appropriately handled (by both parties), it was still used by the Lord to grow us in ways we could not force.   

I am thankful to have finally restored this friendship.  It was freeing, normal, encouraging, humbling and just really, really sweet.  My heart is full, I’m happy and my soul is nurtured, not because my friend and I merely made up (though that has a lot to do with it), but because God is God and He did an amazing thing tonight with my friend and I.  I am thankful that He accomplishes in us what we try so hard to accomplish ourselves or with each other, change.  Yes, we have our part to play but only the Spirit can change us.  And praise the Lord for that!   

“Now Ona, what does this look like, how do we move forward?”    -my friend

“One step at a time……just one step at a time”    -me

(affirming nod)    -my friend  

Well, we’d like to keep in touch and maybe even hang out more but the road ahead is still unclear, but we’re hopeful.  At least that’s clear.

Hey, don’t give up on strained or broken relationships.  My friend and I have learned the hard way, but yeah, it’s worth it.                

I’ve never really experienced any physical ailments in my entire life.  I rarely catch a cold, flu, I’ve never broken any of my bones, occasionally have sprained an ankle or two and I’ve never had surgery.  Well, for the last week and a half, I’ve been experiencing this, almost, unbearable pain in my left shoulder.  It hurts so bad!!!

So, because I’ve never had need to go to the doctor of any sort, I figure why bother now.  Well, since I’m not getting any younger and because this pain really, really sucks, I figure, maybe, just maybe its about that time.  Seriously though, this pain is ridiculously achy, and it spreads all throughout my lower neck and on into my should blades. 

What happened?  Well, thanks for asking.  If I knew myself, I’d be able to, at best as I can, communicate that to you.  But I haven’t the slightest idea as to the conception of this suffering (ya right).  So, yeah, I don’t know.  But I do know that, indeed, exists (currently, in the present tense, as in now, right now).  Maybe I caught Jeff Lewis’ shoulder sickness.  He did have surgery recently on that thing.    

Anyway, the pain comes and goes.  Mostly when I’m in the shower washing my hair, or when I lift something i.e. grabbing the milk out from the refrigerator, or driving with my left arm just on the steering wheel, extending my arm above my head or just having my arm rest on my hips (well, that one’s rare, just trying to give you an idea of the motions that feed the pain). 

And its very torturing.  When any of the above motions occur, the pain starts with a very subtle hint, then it starts spreading (it doesn’t hurt more, just spreads), then all of the sudden my lower neck starts to clam up (you can’t see it clam up but it’s definitely feeling like it), then all of the sudden the pain begins to resurrect.  I think that’s what’s happening.  For real.  I think my shoulder is experiencing, or desiring to experience its resurrected state ’cause something’s happenin’ up in there.  The pain is deep, and almost other worldly.  Then I feel like crawling up into a ball (might as well, I already look like one…I need to loose weight) and just cry.  Just kidding, I’ve only thought about crying about this, but then I decided that there are more important things in life to cry about, this not being one of them.  Unless it keeps happening and then one day I just end up ripping my shoulder off – cause that would actually be a lot less painful, I’m sure. 

Well, there you go.  Lesson’s to glean from this?  Make sure you have friends who are constantly in pain or having surgery of some sort, then they can give you some vichadine – just kidding.   

So, yeah, I’d like for the Lord to provide a new shoulder (and neck) for me.  That would be nice, but if not then I’ll definitely receive this with an open hand (not with my hands lifted high or outstretched…well, I mean, I’m willing to do that, but would rather it be a painless lifting of my hands for Him.  Is that okay or…?).

Mahalo!

March 14, 2007

Life is sometimes complicated or sometimes we live complicated lives.  That sentence alone can drive a few of us up the wall.  But PTL that definitely was not my trip here in Hawaii. 

I bid farewell to these parts of Polynesia.  I had a really, really good, rejuvenating, refreshing, restful, adventurous, humbling and amazing time.  Here’s how I choose to describe it:

Waves.  It was difficult getting use to falling asleep to the crashing waves.  I suppose it was because I had become so callouse to all the noise in my thoughts about this and that.  Once I got use to it, it was nice to be able to have the Lord’s sound effects calm me to sleep.  I’ll miss that. 

Samoa.  The mountainous green everything, coconut trees, flowers, wild-life and humidity reminded me A LOT of Samoa.  I actually got home sick for Samoa and then thankful for Samoa then home sick again etc. 

Color.  Things seem a little more a live when they’re in color.  The sunrises and sunsets were so beautiful.  Purple, orange, red, blue, yellow, grey…almost triumpant looking.  I’m missing out of a lot of color in my life.  

Clouds.  Ugh…I miss admiring clouds.  I think it was the other day, Thomas Millar had said something I use to say all the time, “Man, I love looking at clouds”.  He said it and I use to say those very words all the time.  I saw a lot of clouds here and I loved it.

Listening.  I listended to my Uncle and Aunty, ALOT.  My uncle talked to me a lot about education and finishing up graduate work already and about marriage (he was trying to get me to ask all kinds of girls out.  I’m not a big fan of doing it that way…it was a little annoying, but my uncle does mean well).  My aunty just talked to me a lot about a lot of things.  It was good to be reminded that listening is a good discipline.  “Authentic” listening requires a lot from and of you.  You have to almost be at the mercy of the one talking, ready to take in what’s being said, have it settle in, be okay with not having any response to it and if you do, thinking about it before you say it, discern through it etc.  There are a lot of stories out there that people are waiting to share and or waiting for someone to just listen.  So, be a friend, matter of fact be a darn good friend and listen more.  You may actually get a better picture of who they are.  

Fruits.  Fruits on the islands are a lot better tasting than anywhere else, I’m convince of it!

Dancing.  I miss polynesian dancing.  I went with my uncle to the Polynesian Cultural Center in La’ie and the dance show featured dances from Hawaii, Tonga, Fiji, New Zealand, Tahiti and Samoa (the best and my favorite of course).  Man, if you ever get to go, you gotta see this. 

Pearl Harbor.  This was more sobbering, surprisingly more so than I anticipated.  Very informative and made me very thankful to be an American and thankful to my God for having mercy on the church of America.  Man, we have a great opportunity to be Christians here, well equipped one’s at that.  Let’s not waste it, hugh? 

Running.  Running along my uncle’s beach was amazing (yep, I ran).  I felt like I was on a deserted island, lost at sea but not worried about being lost.  I actually didn’t mind being lost for a little bit, so freeing. 

Waikiki.  This was a very interesting surprise.  I didn’t realize that I would like this as much as I did.  I think because I met a lot of people here, that could be very fun.  I met an Ethiopian (unich, just kidding) on vacation, a Columbian man who is a professor at Universit of Hawaii, and the lady bus-drivier who was out on her first bus route (she dropped me off in the middle of the road because she missed my bus stop…only in the islands). 

Okay, I can go on and I probably will in a later post.  But this is “ono” (that’s what they say when something is “good” in Hawaii) for now.   

I’m thankful to the Lord for reminding me that all this will change in a couple of moments.  One day I’m in Hawaii and the next I’m back in Hotchkiss.  Two entirely different worlds and two worlds that I am so thankful to the Lord for using in my life to help grow me.  I don’t know how this time in Hawaii will have been used in that light (or how Hotchkiss is being used in that regard) but it was something I needed.  I didn’t deserve it but the Lord definitely made it very clear that it was exactly what I needed. 

Sometimes my circumstances, relationships, and surroundings change and sometimes they don’t.  But what really needs to change is something I avoid dealing with no matter where I am, my heart.  I avoid doing that because its hard and heavy at times.  But when the Lord becomes more important to me than the “hard thing”, then all else infact, grows dim.  And I’m reminded that He is better and capable to change my heart amidst the circumstances, relationships and surroundings.  So, I turn my eyes to Jesus and I do hope to continue to look full in His wonderful face.  

Yep, for that, coming to Hawaii was worth it!       

Well, I’m in Hawaii now.  I’m curently listening to the waves crash against the rocks, just 20 feet away (where they live is amazing, house next to the ocean, country side of Oahu, mountains, green hills, secluded area etc).  Its actually quite refreshing.  Otherwise, its really quiet.  I’ve spent the entire first evening with my Aunty Betty.  My Uncle Ete should be coming home from work.  He’s an engineer for the government…I really don’t know, its kind of top secret, so I probably should say no more.  My Aunty works for Kamehameha Academy (supposedly the most expensive private school [Pre-12th] in the world.  Anyway, took a drive from town (Pearl City) to Haleiwa (where my family is) and now I’m getting ready to crash and burn (hopefully not literally). 

Here are a couple of things I thought through today, from readings, observations, travel, conversations, prayers, scripture etc. already:

 “How People Change” by Tim Lane and Paul Tripp, I really don’t like being confronted about who I am, whether it is by circumstances squeezing it out of me or by the relationships that the Lord uses to do so.  Yeeuck!  I hate what’s inside my heart.   And I hate realizing I am not as good as I deceive myself to believe.  BUT, I am thankful that the Lord is the person to change me.   

Casino Royale, The first chase scene of the movie was rivating.  I was actually fascinated by the creativity of all those jumps.  Wow!

Ocean blue, The color of the water…flying in was amazingly greenish-blueish.  AH-MAZING! 

Thoughts, Prayed alot about restoration – in my own soul, in my joy, in one particularly broken friendship, in my thoughts about dorm life, direction etc.  And even about getting back into shape.  I’m gonna get my run on tomorrow, I must! 

Cold Soar, I have a cold soar on my lip… in Hawaii…I kind of want to just take a dip in the ocean to kill that bad boy…its irritating me and I don’t know if the humidity will help it.  Hopefully, it’ll die because its not really “cold” here; hence it being a cold soar…but it is moist here.  What do you think? 

Thanks, I am very thankful to be here.  My uncle and I are having brunch tomorrow morning, talking and catching up.  That’s exciting. 

Flying, I love flying because it reminds me of how big the world is and how I do not have control over it.  Its humbling. 

Desire, I really do pray that the Lord would change my heart and make me more like Jesus while I’m here, or period…changed period.  My heart needs to change, not my circumstances, or merely my behavior or relationships but my heart. 

Well, “Mahalo” or “Tofa Soifua” (in Samoan) for good bye! 

“If you love you will inconvience yourself for the other person” -Mark Dever

Spring Break!

March 8, 2007

Well, tomorrow begins my Spring Break and I am SOOOOOOO ready for it!  I am off to Hawaii to visit my Uncle Ete & Aunty Betty.   I can’t wait.  I’ve actually never visited Hawaii.  I’ve always just had to stop there on my way to Samoa.  I thought about asking a friend to go with me, who’s never been but it’ll be SOOOOOOOO nice to be alone for a bit. 

Here are a couple of my goals while there:

1.  rest

2. Read “How People Change” by Paul Tripp

3. visit Pearl Harbor

4. walk down and or hang out at Waikiki

5. have good conversations with my uncle and aunty and have good conversations with random people

6. rent a moped

7. spend time with the Lord and be rejuvenated for the last stretch of the semester

8. watch a really awesome Luau

9. enjoy the scenary, culture and food

10. journal and pray a lot.

Honestly, its kind of like Jesus climbing a high mountain to be alone with the Father…but I’m actually flying to a REALLY big valcano to be alone with the Father.  See?