I GAVE IN…

December 31, 2008

Soooooo, I finally joined Facebook.  The best part was I wasn’t alone when I did.  I actually had real people helping me (Sam mainly, Jennene and Eric), mainly for advice, caution, wisdom, fun stuff about it etc.  That made it special.  Awww…tear, I know. 

Anyway, that’s all.

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CHEMO NOT KIMO, DUH…

December 29, 2008

I found out about 2 weeks ago a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer.  Her and her husband are really good friends and I’ve enjoyed their service as my bible study leaders, well not just “my” bible study others are apart of it.  I’ve also served with them on the worship team at church for a few years.  Their ministry and lives have made a huge impact on my spiritual growth and relationships over the last 5 years.  Its great to walk with people who learn and grow from what they learn.  I guess people can learn but never really grow, or at least I’ve seen that, even in my own life.  But Eric & Jennene learn and grow.  I want to be like that.  And I’m excited to witness God grow them through this.      

Anyway, today was Jennene’s first chemo treatment (not kimo, I’m such a Polynesian…it sounds like a Samoan word so, without thinking that’s just what I assumed it was – its an ethnic thing, I really did graduate from college, I promise).  Well, please pray for her (and Eric). 

You can follow updates about her journey here.

READING RESPONSE, A LIST

December 29, 2008

I’m finishing up a book entitled “Do Hard Things” by Alex & Brett Harris (which I highly recommend) and I’m at a point where I’d like to make a list of hard things to do for me.  Ironically, I am also in the middle of “Unpacking Forgivness” by Chris Brauns – God would have me read these books hand in hand.  Seriously?  Anyhow, I haven’t yet decided what my list of hard things for me will be so I’ll go for it on here. 

So, here’s a shot at things to do that’s hard for me (that I should do):

  • read my Bible everyday
  • pray everyday
  • call my mom every Sundays/Wednesdays (at least twice a week)
  • take my thoughts captive when I am tempted to be moody – bitting the bullet when I don’t want to
  • trust God with my conversations
  • trust God with my relationship issues 
  • pray for my dad
  • plan and get chapel music out by thursdays 12pm, sharp
  • not procrastinate on school work – finish the MABC
  • sign up for facebook (maybe)
  • use all my nights/days away this semester
  • visit Scotty V. in San Diego
  • read my Samoan Bible
  • run daily, except Sundays
  • help Eric out with Bible study
  • write 2 songs
  • no seconds & eat less portions (man, that’s a hard one) – lay off the carbs for 3 months
  • sing, play and worship unashamedly, passionately, truthfully and spiritually
  • let go of past hurts
  • say “hi” to people more
  • smile more
  • no more soda (does sparkling water count?)
  • touch base with Behle once a week
  • pursue marriage
  • encourage Bert, Debbie & Doreen (my bro & sisters) twice a week
  • talk with Brad about kids choir/worship team
  • talk with Jason/Bob about India for the spring/summer
  • vacuum once a week
  • get or make furniture for my deck
  • visit the convalescent homes weekly
  • talk to the starbucks guy about Jesus
  • finish my books before my break is over (I have a total of 5 & I start up again next Monday)
  • I kind of wanna sing in Collegiate next semester
  • get more than 5 hours of sleep per night this next semester
  • do a small group this next semester

Okay, well I think that’s a start.  Today I organized my room.  Now I want to organize my files (probably tomorrow).  Some of these were really vague and kind of maybes.

Anyway, I want to do this.  Man, I’m realizing how easy I make my life, without any help from anyone or anything else.

BREAK PLAYLIST #1

December 21, 2008

This is a playlist I enjoy and will enjoy during this time of “rest”:

  • Roots Before Branches, Room for Two
  • I Will Not Take My Love Away, Matt Wertz
  • Say, OneRepublic
  • Smash Into You, Beyonce
  • Lovers In Japan/Reign of Love, Coldplay
  • The Greatest, Michelle Williams
  • Stronger, Hillsong
  • Hosanna, Starfield
  • Albertine, Brook Fraser
  • Beautiful, Phil Wickham
  • Every Ghetto Every City, Lauryn Hill
  • Three Little Birds, Bob Marley
  • The Glory, Avalon
  • Come Away with Me, Norah Jones
  • Lost?, Coldplay
  • O Le Olaga O Samoa, Toa
  • Ua Leai, Pati
  • Homecoming, Kanye West
  • Lucky, Jason Mraz
  • A Life With You, Adeaze
  • Down Time, Aradhna
  • Unfailing Grace, Enfield
  • Glorious Almighty, Sovereign Grace
  • No Matter What, T.I.
  • Forever, Chris Brown
  • What Do I know of Holy, Addison Road
  • Our God Saves, Paul Baloche
  • E O Mai, Keali’i Reichel

Unfortunately there’s more but I’ll stop for now.

REST ’08

December 21, 2008

The dorm is empty. Quiet and cold. Calm and peaceful. I’m just about ready for rest. Just a few more loose ends to tie up and I’ll be ready to move on.

I’ve decided that my rest isn’t going to be a “break”. A break implies that I deserve something and the truth is, I don’t. Honestly. Its here and its costing me nothing, so its free. Another significant something that I have not the right to “own” but I will try to make the most of it. I’m thankful for it and don’t want to waste it.

I said my good byes to the guys in the dorm and I’m not flooded with misfortunes or joys that have occured during this last semester. I don’t think I’m in denial, I just would rather thank God for it. Even the more shameful parts of it, the parts where I thought of myself instead of others. Or the part where I actually served myself instead of others. The magnitude of that weight overwhelms me. Today was I reminded that Jesus gives something lighter in return for my weighted burden of guilt, shame, sin, self-righteousness etc. That was freeing (thanks Sam).

I started making a list (a good one) of books to read (finish Life of Pi, Three Cups of Tea, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Unpacking Forgiveness and Worship Matters (again), and actually started to read them (thought about people who’ve inspired me to read: Deb, Moni, Sam, Happy, Durso and Joe). I then started to update and keep my budget. I am more than half way through my final project for class (I had to get an extension). I rented 3 movies today and watched one of them. I read some more and thanked the Lord for the assurance of Salvation that I have in His Word, that became flesh.

I purchased gifts for my family – not finished yet. I wrote cards for parents of some of the guys I’m close with in the dorm. God gave me some really good moments writing thoughts out about these guys.

I prayed for a dear friend who was recently diagnosed with cancer. I prayed for her husband – then I prayed for the gospel to go forth as a result of this. Then the gospel compelled me to pray more. So, I prayed for another couple who is close to me, who is having another kind of a difficult time. Finally, I prayed for a couple that have been really dear to me, who recently asked me to sing in their wedding in July. Then I thought a long while about these 3 couples and I was full in my heart with such grattitude!

Listened to a song by Matt Wertz, “I Will Not Take My Love Away” and a song by Room For Two entitled “Roots Before Branches”. Both powerfully and beautifully inspiring.

The only thing I didn’t do that I really wanted to do (and need to do) is run. Bummer. Lord willing, there’s tomorrow.

So, in short this is what I want to do with these next two weeks: rest, read, run, pray, watch movies, catch up with whoever and sleep well (ya, that is different from resting; it could include it but it doesn’t have to).

DORM CHAPEL/EVALUATION

December 4, 2008

Yesterday was dorm chapel and long story short it was great.  But what I do want to highlight some of the response I received from the mini dorm evaluation I gave the guys to fill out. 

First of all, here’s why I did this:  I wanted to get a better read on how the guys see the dorm and the dorm staff.  Though some of their responses provoked a “really?” attitude on my part, it was both challenging and encouraging to read. 

Second of all, here are the questions I asked:

Write down 3 woRds to describe our dorm; Write down one thing you enjoy about the dorm; 3 things you think the dorm needs to work on or grow in; 3 words to describe the dorm staff (RD, Ra’s, etc.); one thing you enjoy about the staff; 3 things you think the staff needs to work on or grow in. 

Here are some of the responses to describing the dorm
childish,
shallow,
prideful,
stinky,
unified,
loud,
best,
spirited,
fun,
exciting,
elite,
relational,
obnoxious,
loving,
energetic, 
homie (that’s right, you read correctly),
unity (not unified),
happy,
comfortable,
cliquish,
plesant (not pleasant but plesant),
clean,
dirty,
legalistic,
power abusive RA’s (this guy was not joking,
he mentioned it twice on his sheet),
atheltic,
good looking (seriously?),
open/exposed/vulnerable (I guess that’s all one word),
strict,
brotherhood,
arrogant,
godly,
dynasty,
integrity,
family,
changing,
growing,
jocks etc.
Here are responses to what they enjoy about the dorm:
Ona (haha), outgoing atmosphere,
fellowship,
people,
community,
deep relationships,
Hotchkiss Lower Front,
Small Groups,
my roommate,
unity,
love & concern,
conversations that go deeper to spiritual things,
Blakey’s support,
The Office nights,
endless amounts of energy (so true),
Apple pie night, etc. 
Here are responses to what they think the dorm staff needs to work on or grow in: 
Less curfew (like we have control of that),
more involved,
don’t break rules (now, is this one something we need to do more of or less of),
stop by and say hi,
reality of life,
smelly,
not be so quick to confron and not get to know peeps first,
no curfew (again, we have no control over that),
more community  with each other (this guy actually put ‘community of brother to build on’ as their thing
they enjoy about the dorm – I’m confused),
spreading time out (now, I had always wished for the power to control time but unfortunetly I don’t have that ability),
having fun (really?)
reaching out to all,
just chilling,
their abs,
the bathroom stalls because I can barely breathe in their (I gotta give this one to this guy, the stalls are tiny – but I don’t know if the dorm staff can start construction for that until we receive permission from Bob Hotton),
Having events that the staff participates in and not always leads (I think this one’s for me – sorry, I’m not 21 anymore),
challenge people more (and this guy said that we also need to loosen up on sign-ins…hmm, for real?)
be available,
getting to know us more (one other guy said that the thing he enjoys most about the dorm was when his door was closed and locked – maybe these two should get together),
not being so passive,
prayer (yes),
more of a personal touch (mmm…I dont’ know how to feel about this one),
free food (I agree),
less fines (I’ll make you a deal, less violations=less fines)
focus on freshman more,
evangelism
missional mindsets,
humility,
impartiality,
reverance for God’s truth (ouch!),
pursuing everyone,
nothing (really?),
more events,
one on ones w/guys who don’t get it 
Caleb (haha…this one was funny – Caleb’s an ARA) etc.
 All in all, I enjoyed reading through this.  It was challenging to read how the guys see it and how me and my staff come across.  There’s probably a lot more reality to it than I think.  So, I’m open to it and I want to change.  I want to see the need better and apparently, the guys enjoy what they want more of: pursuit, consistency, sincerity, follow through, growth etc.  That’s what I want as well. 
Thanks guys, I hope to serve you better and be a better example for the sake of Christ and His kingdom work! 
We ended our time togehter playing Dodge Ball – Lower Back one again and will be getting a free Christmas dinner on me – so any advise and help to cook for 24 college guys is welcomed!