“Spiritual people will find spiritual people to be around” 

This was something that was said in context of a conversation a couple of us had after church a long time ago.  We were talking about how some people really don’t know how to ask other people probing or even good questions; and even having been given numerous examples, some still have no clue to reciprocate the inquiry; or just the kindness.  Sad. 

Still, I have lots to learn about asking the right question, at the right time with the right person.  I don’t have very good tact, I think its because most of the time I sincerely just want to understand.  In more recent times, as in the last couple of months, I feel like I’ve lost the art of asking a good question.  I don’t know if its because all I do is ask the same questions over and over as an RD.  But I’ve been realizing lately that as I meet knew people there are new opportunities to ask the same questions I’ve been asking about people but now with new people – imagine that?  That’s pretty exciting.   

I don’t want to be trite because God’s pursuit of people or me isn’t trite – its thought provoking, humbling and life changing.  I’m lazy and my affections have been deadened by that.  So, I hope to renew my thinking and my understanding with who God is in His Word.  And its been just that, thought provoking, humbling and life changing. 

I think the best questions asked of me lately has been in a conversation with a friend about “healthy” relationships and my desire to want them – then she asked, “Is healthy biblical?”  Thanks Summer!  That prepared me for my conversation with Pastor Bob about how safe I’ve been living and how saftey has been paralyzing me. 

I have a lot to think about and change. 

So, because I’ve been living safe its kept me from alot of things.  You kind of put yourself out there when you ask someone a question or when you invest into someone else – you’re almost asking to be invited into their world – and who wants their world to be tampered with?  I think we need to have our world invaded – it allows for more opportunities to be refined, challenged and even encouraged.  That’s scarey – especially when someone else knows what you know about yourself. 

I’ve been praying for the Lord to strengthen and increase my faith so that I don’t desire to live safely.    

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Dennis Pics

September 24, 2007

Jake & Amber’s wedding pics are in!!!

Moving Along

September 24, 2007

Wow, so I know I need to update things but life’s been so busy and crazy.  Not something I enjoy so much – anyway…

 A week ago Sunday, was my last Sunday on the Worship Team at church.  While I enjoyed it, I’m very thankful that I’m not doing it anymore.  There are other factors in my life that I’d like to be apart of more that I will now have a chance to.  I can be around the kids at church more during Sunday school and visit my mom once a month on Sunday mornings.  Plus it’ll allow me to meet and get to know others in my church – but I will miss the worship team people – this is a good move though! 

 I have been able to think about how to be more of an encouragement to Eric & Jennene (they’re my bible study leaders).  I have enjoyed talking with them more and look forward to how that would develope and grow – I really do enjoy Bible study.  Its a different group and a lot of new faces but that’s okay – it gets me outside of my familiarity and my preference – I enjoy having the Fox’s there now (another older couple – yes, please more older people!!!). 

I’ve been going to Skid Row the last couple of weeks and have been able to think about all that I have – so, there were way too many clothes in my closet, to which I am emptying out and just giving it to the homeless down there.  Conversations have been tough just because a lot of the people down there are on some type of drug – still, they’re homeless and hungry and begging.  Anyway, its been great to get a solid core group of guys in my dorm to go down every week.  Its been cool to see the change in them as a result of the gospel shared and discussed. 

Sunday was Kid’s Choir sunday – oh boy!!!  So, so, so, funny!!!  If you don’t have a nitch for kids, then boo to you – they’re pretty honest and frank – that’s what I love about them.  They really have nothing to offer either – so its been humbling to be reminded of that – not that I shouldn’t expect them to grow and mature.  But its been cool to see them live so vibrantly. 

Anyway, Saturday (sorry I’m jumping around) I went with Phil, Becca, Iris and Esther to San Diego.  We caught up with some of Esther’s former students from S.C.C.S. at a football game (I know, me at football game – its nice to be invited to those things though y’know – it was fun).  I was able to chat with Jake Dennis’ dad about ministry and hardships in ministry.  It was encouraging.  Met up with Rick there.  He and Becca showed us around San Diego and we got to see some of the air show from far away.  Then we went to a park and then walked along Coronado Island – it was difficult not to covet the amazing hotels and places of stay.  We also walked by a wedding that was being held on the beach – pretty cool.  But the company I was with made it more enjoyable to be content with the beach itself (amazing views).

I’m dying for a visit down to Carson – maybe sometime soon.  Next week I’ll be out of state for a couple of days – that’ll be nice. 

Anyway, lots to do this week, time to move along.

Under the Weather

September 15, 2007

It’s about midnight and I still have a couple of CDs to burn for Kid’s Choir (we have permission/copyrights etc – so don’t worry).  I’ve been running hard core since Thursday (had 3 one-on-one’s starting with Casey at 9am – then lunch with Lisa LeGeorge about missions stuff at 11:30am, then Jared at 1pm, then Josh at 3pm – then dinner with upper at 6pm then went to Ikea with Becca).  Not to mention that I woke up Thursday morning really achy and sniffles and what I think is a cold (man, medicine stuff is expensive – I just wanna get better, y’know?).  

Anyway, Friday I went to department chapel to listen to a man talk about Islam and outreach – then I had a really good time with the guy RDs in our weekly meeting.  Then after that I went to a Mosque in town to pass out materials – it was intense (I’ll share with you details in person – lets just say that I didn’t expect to be threatened here in my on country than I ever felt overseas – it was humbling but it also fired me up. 

Skid Row later that night and then Small Group training Saturday morning, Lebanese Festival with Becca and Phil and then Mike & Emily’s wedding later that night with Jackie

I was hoping to finish my CDs earlier but I can’t really plan for a heavy conversation with one of my RAs when they have to work through something.  Sure, they could have waited until tomorrow but God orchestrated it – it was good – a good conversation.  Here were some elements that made it a good conversation (that helped him [and me] think through things):

  • He was willing to open up
  • He thought out loud
  • I asked him quesitons and waited for his answers
  • I tried to connect what he was saying earlier to what he said later
  • He was really trying hard to engage me in his thinking
  • He thought through this with other people (older and peers)
  • He asked me what I thought and asked me to be honest
  • We talked about other things
  • He wasn’t afraid of my answers – he listened well and intently (I think I did as well)
  • He was hopeless at first and needed some encouragment and left with hope and  being encouraged (so did I)

Sometimes, I don’t realize that there are countless moments we all face that can be really discouraging and I by pass them because I am unwilling to put the work into meeting the need – or at least being willing to ask if there is one.  I hope to grow in that. 

I forget that the days are evil and we are carried off into the abyss of our own deception.  I know I am.  So, having to stay up late now to finish up my deal is no big deal in order to help out someone else- I just wish I were consistent in that.  I wish we all were consistent in that. 

Well, tomorrow is my last Sunday on the Worship Team – I’ll update you about how it goes – I’m sad but I know its the best thing – I’ve had to make some really hard decisions lately – I’ll keep you posted. 

And Again…

September 9, 2007

Hotchkiss Men have been rising to the occasion.  First with Skid Row.  Friday night a group of 38 people went to Skid Row, down town L.A. to minister to the homeless.  It was intense, humbling and definitely something to learn from.  I was very encouraged to see a lot of Hotchkiss men there.  Hopefully this will be used to minister to the homeless and teach us how to walk in humility among them.  

Then Saturday about a hand full of Hotchkiss folk met up in the lounge, drove to Circle J park, near Oak Tree and had a blast.  Here’s what we did in a nutshell (and some pics):

  • We played Ultimate Cabbage (like ultimate frisbee but with a cabbage…hillarious).
  • then we had the battle of the wings – Congrats to Lower Back!
  • then we played clumps – my favorite part of the entire time (next to Rick being there and PhilPhil says that he is bi-dormal – meaning he lives in C-Dub but loves Hotchkiss too – he’s otherwise known as C-Kiss or Hotch-Dub). 
  • Then we took a group pic
  • And drove to In-N-Out and had some burgers…So Fun!

I’m hoping to finish a lot of homework then go to Bible Study (finally) and then meet up with Rick, Jake, Josh and Jared (my team from last year) to hang out!  Its fun to hang with former RAs, let alone to get an entire team together to meet up again! 

Okee Bee!!!

This first week of school definitely had some interesting points.  Points that require some consideration.  I have tons to think about and choices to make that will hopefully make for some really great and needed changes in my life.  For now, they’ll have to stay with bullet point highlights and pics:

  • chapel band is still in need for a piano player
  • I had to step in and lead from the piano on Friday – it wasn’t bad at all – the band is filled with willing servants and phenominal musicians, not to mention some funny peeps!
  • RA team time last week Tuesday (which means tonight will be another RA team time) was great – I am really enjoying my RA team this year – I’m already learning alot in how I need to (for their sake and mine) adjust and be reasonable in my leadership – I still have so much to learn, even four years into being an RD.
  • I have learned that I have been trusting myself way too much lately – I think the RD position can definitely help expose tons of sin in my heart that sometimes I can hide behind.  Also believe that I’ve been given way too much to be responsible for – its part of the nature of the job/ministry – and subtly I think I’ve been give ALL of this to manage, oversee, “shepherd” or even lead –  Its scarey – but the Lord’s kindness and patience continues to remind me of hope.  I really need to change.  I can’t lead if I think that I my leardership is worth following.  I need to be a servant and serve – and I need to do it with humility and love. 
  • I have a great frosh/new student class this year – so far. 
  • Friday I had a movie night with some guys – we watched Batman Begins
  • Saturday, a group of us drove down to Huntington Beach to celebrate Phil Anderson‘s 21st birthday – the entire day was awesome – I love being people and not having to have an agenda – the beach was great, the pier was great, the food was great, the group was great (me, Phil, Mark, AC, Becca, Esther, Maria & AJ met us there), Guppy’s was great aaaaaand that’s it!
  • Sunday had a great time at church, after church eating with the Margraves, Sam, Jeff, Becca, Chris and Phil – we ate at Jeff’s then they all came to my apartment to check it out – then Phil, Becs, Chris and I watched Kung Fu Hustle – so funny, ate at Jimmy Deans and talked!
  • then yesterday me, Esther, Becs, Phil and Chris drove down to Venice and spent the entire day there – it was awesome!!!  We beached it, swam, walked along the beach, rented bicycles and drove them for an hour along the beach – walked the strip, drove to Santa Monica to look for Crepes (didn’t find any) then drove to Westwood, ate at Noodle Planet, got some boba – then came home. 
  • last night I settled my schedule with my RAs for one-on-ones – I love my time in my RAs one-on-one!  I was recently told that I am an high maitenance friend – I suppose and I am willing to work through that – so I pray that I learn what it means to be a good brother, friend, co-laborer, child of God – all that to say, is that I really do love my time with my RAs.  I hope that this year I am humbled by my time with them – I guess I enjoy getting to know them, talking with them about their issues (not to say that I have all the answers or even any of the answers)…I guess I enjoy loving them and while I have tons to learn about how to love people better, it really is refining to be in close quarters with these guys, talking about deep things of our hearts, and working through the mysteries of God, hanging out, challenging each other and growing together.  I think my favorite part is just being with them – I’m learning that their growth and process of learning is not in my timing and realizing that “my” timing is always off and the Lord’s is always perfect.  So, I hope and pray that loving them will demonstrate the love of Christ – which I too want more than ever and hope that will compel me to change and serve. 
  • here are some pics from Phil’s B-day and Venice – enjoy!