January 27, 2009

okay, so last night i finished up an evaluation that we annually do here for our deans, RAs, staff etc.  and i’m baffled at how quick i am to evaluate so harshly or so unreasonably.  i know there is room for “correction” and “redirection” but i found myself at a place valuing relationship and interaction around what its done for me (a lot of that is due to the questions asked like, “how have you been cared for?” or “how can we help you in your job/ministry etc?”).  i know i have normal, God-given needs.  that’s mainly because i need a savior.  but i’m slowly learning that life, relationships, singleness or marriage, missions overseas or here are all about what you lose, not what you gain.  simple concept, it seems.  but its not.  its hard for me to learn that and live that – i’m still fighting that now, when i think about what my dean is going to say about me when he evaluates my “performance” on the job.  but i want to lose it all.   

Jesus says, If you want to gain your life, throw it away (paraphrase adopted by Howard Hendricks).  what a revolutionary way of living.  i can’t live this way without Jesus patiently changing me from moment to moment, from the inside out.  how humbling is that?  Jesus stationed where He is, actively, gently, powerfully changing the heart?  my heart? what’s really freeing is that He promised to finish that!  beautiful.  astounding. 

so, when i look at others and my interaction and relationships with them, am thankful for them,  am joyful with them, am frustrated with them, impatient, judgemental, harsh, irritated etc., i ought to and will strive to remember the Lord Jesus and His relationship with me.  i want to evaluate that more and more.


Today was my last day of my break.  I am so thankful to God for it.  Most people do have breaks and I don’t think I wasted it.  In fact it went by so fast I don’t think I had time to waste it. 

Christmas was very humbling.  I spent it at home in Carson (yes, Carson’s still home to me – in fact, home is wherever my family is…blah, blah, I do admitt that I have a family with my friends here in the valley, or in Samoa, or in India with brothers and sisters in the Lord…).  Anyway, it was cool because it was me, my mom, my brother Bert and my eldest sister Doreen.  Debbie was unable to come out from Samoa.  Sad.  We had a glass of wine and just toasted with thankgiving the Christmas “holiday” and thanked the Lord, each, for His kindness this last year.  It was particularly special because of our family break through this last July. 

Our break through was a long awaited family (including Deb) meeting that involved confronting each other, confessing to each other, encouragment, tears, clarification, affirmation, challenge, celebration, understanding, direction and more.  It was what the Lord used to remind each of us of hope, grace and communication.  It was one of the most reviving times with people that I have every experienced. 

Since then my family has been the closest we have ever been.  Not free from conflict, we’re moved forward with the way we handle it now.  No assumptions, no ill feelings just better thinkers of each other. 

Well, today was nice.  I went to church, so late.  It was my fault.  Had lunch with the Margraves, Phil and Thomas at Whole Foods.  Eric says because he didn’t want half foods.  It was good.  I was craving pinapple anyway and I had tons.  Yum!  Then came back to the apt, practiced for the recording and Truth & Life, then went to the Margraves to hang out.  We watched Barak and ate Beef stew and barley with Holly.  It was fun! 

Good break. Now its time to work.  RDs start up Tuesday, Chapel Band instrumentalists come back that night, then we start recording Wednesday through Saturday.  Then rehearsals for TLC start on Sunday through Tuesday.  Monday my RAs come back and the chaos begins. 

Pray for me and all this.


January 6, 2008

I forgot:  if you know of anyone that would be interested in being an RD or you think would be good, let me know.  Gunner and Leslie is leaving for sure (sad) and I’m not sure if anyone else is either (TBA).  We’re not hurtin’ for applicants just want to get that info out there for those of you that would have good suggestions.  Of course I have a list of guys that I think would be great but sometimes its helpful to hear some names.  I already know who I would love to take my place here in Hotchkiss when I leave – is that bad?  We all have our picks and preferences for everything right?  I will say that I did recruit 2 of our current RDs!  My list is growing for guys that I’ve already asked and think should at least apply.  I have a couple of girls in mind but I think its harder to find guys than girls – maybe – either way its fun!

Let me know if you’re interested! 


November 2, 2007

Today someone reminded me that friendship is being able to not go anywhere when a friend of yours is in need  and you’re there to help meet it.  This made me think of it a little more. 

Here are just a few thoughts having thought through the last couple of things in light of the last couple of months, years and relationships:

  • A friend is there when you are being disciplined by the Lord
  • A friend is there when you kick them in the face and even push you away
  • A friend is there when you come back
  • A friend faithfully wounds you and is honest with you and sometimes hard on you 
  • A friend is also encouraging  
  • A friend is there when you doubt and lose faith
  • A friend moves in uninvited and speaks to you about getting back on track
  • A friend will wait
  • A friend doesn’t let you do what you want to do
  • A friend will fight for you 
  • A friend will ask    
  • A friend will love you no matter what
  • A friend will care for you
  • A friend will take care of you
  • A friend surprises you (good and bad)
  • A friend makes you laugh
  • A friend talks with you and not just to you
  • A friend loves at all times
  • A friend misses you when they haven’t seen you and tells you
  • A friend loves Christ even when you don’t
  • A friend knows your family and considers your family as their very own
  • A friend says, “Hey lets move to Africa/Hawaii/Iraq/India together”
  • A friend lays down his life for you

There are others and I am very aware of not doing any of the above well, sometimes not at all.  I fail and have with particular people.  Sad.  But I have had a few people show the above faithfully.  Thank you. 

I am learning (especially as an RD) that these things don’t come easily.  In fact, it is difficult yet very joyful at times.  I love the relationships (people) that have been developed and sad of the ones that have died out…such is life.  

Thanks friend, for reminding me to be a friend.  I have tons to learn about that, really I do. 


October 31, 2007

Okay now the topic is the perfect date, no Team 20 seconds, not a date as in calendar date but taking someone out (this is after having already established that both parties are on the same page about the relationship…”getting to know each other”, dating, courting, married, friendship whatever… 

I think the perfect date would require a couple of elements:

  • a card
  • good conversation, which includes reciprocated inquiries
  • laughs
  • silence
  • good food (doesn’t have to be fancy or pricey) – either mexican or a really good burger – or arabic, samoan good
  • good/fun dessert, like Guppy’s
  • a fun little game like, “coke or pepsi?”…always coke (diet), or “sunset or sunrise?” yadi-yadi-ya…this will happen throughout the day
  • probably some type of exposure to the beach (either a drive along the coast or a bike ride along the beach)
  • then a conversation with the waiter/waitress about the gospel (or anyone for that matter)


  • A time spent serving food at the homeless shelter down town LA – and giving yourself for the gospel and talking with the homeless together…something like this and just getting a taco from the taco truck down the street…this actually sounds better than the above date!

Okay, so I am in a blog write-a-thon with Becca, Beth, Ben & Phil. – and we’re each going to blog about the same topic – so far I’m behind.  So, I decided to go with 20 top reasons why I like laughing inside (and trying to control it) versus laughing out loud in an open forum.

Here I go:

  1. Nothing beats laughing with your family out loud – I’ve noticed at times that there are similarities in our laughs.  My mom’s laugh is high, piercing and kind of takes over the entire room – like mine!  But my brother’s and both my sisters have loud laughs as well – they’re hardy and full and thick laughs.  Contagious!  I love laughing with my family – its never contained, always out loud and fun!
  2. I don’t enjoy malicious, cocky laughs – the laughs that tend to put others down – like the really cynicle.  In fact, I hate that kind of laughing. 
  3.  I enjoy watching people laugh because its so inspiring – especially people who can laugh at themselves – I need to learn how to do that more and more – I use to be able to, now I’m all serious and what not. 
  4. I love to listen to people laugh for the first time – if people laugh with you around it almost seems like your in with them, y’know?  Its like people become closer – I know that’s a little superficial but there’s something to be said about laughing with people – about the same thing. 
  5. I love when others make me laugh. 
  6. I love making other people laugh – people who laugh with me makes it less tense!  I know my humor isn’t everyone else’s but its just nice to bond that way. 
  7. I love the surprise that comes with laughing – when you actually say something or do something that makes someone else respond in such a way…there’s an element of faith there – I like thinking of it as a means of service – I really do enjoy making others laugh! 
  8. In chapel I usually ask the student body to stand when we sing and to sit when we are done.  Monday when we were finished with a song and I prayed and said “amen”.  After the amen, instead of saying, “You may be seated” as I normally would do, I said, “You are seated”.  When I got back to my seat with the rest of chapel band we could not stop laughing because of what I just said – it was no longer a request, it became statement. 
  9. I love laughing uncontrollably with safe people.  Safe people meaning people who don’t care that you’re laughing that ridiculously and don’t pass judgement on you for doing so. 
  10. I love trying to contain your laugh in places and times you’re not suppose to – like during a church service with the worship team – oh, so many times!  
  11. I love thinking about something that has happened in the past that was so hillarious and revisiting what was funny about it and laughing about it – like this last weekend!   
  12. I love laughing at bloopers – mine and everyone else’s.
  13. I love the laughing that involves like mindedness – not even because things are funny (well, that too)j but just because you think that person is funny. 
  14. I love being really intrigued by the emotion and feel laughing brings – its fascinating!
  15. I love the uproar of laughing both in and outside – either way is fine with me – but there’s something freeing about laughing outside yet something so infectious about laughing inside. 
  16. I love laughing with children….okay, I love laughing at them – they’re so honest – when you’re older its interesting to see the dynamics that are at play – older people have developed the wicked ability to hide behind masks and put up fronts that have nothing to do with anything (people that are fake) – then there are children…they’re still trying to learn how to do that – sad.  But in the process of them growing up its funny to hear how they’re are practicing all that – we’ve seen it and we’ve done it, been there and done that – I love how they expose who I am – I love laughing at the irony – we all need to be around children more – they will  remind us how ridiculous we really are. 
  17. I love laughing at slap-stick stuff – like America’s Most Funniest videos – I love watching that with Zane – and my Mom…man, if you can laugh at stuff like that then lets have a party – I’m game!
  18. I love laughing with the guys…I’m a pretty affectionate guy and I know this is going to sound strange but when I laugh really hard, I tend to grab people (by the arm) – there’s something about feeling like you’re falling over and grabbing someone else who is laughing at the same thing – there’s this wierd but intimate connection when that happens – laughing is physical and it allows for some freedom to physically engage with those who you’re enoying that past time with – I guess its some sort of affirmation about being a part of the brotherhood..make sense?  Oh well…hahaha!
  19. I love watching people laugh – I wish I could record people that I love and enjoy being around, laughing – I would even be willing to put in on my ipod just for kicks – not to substitute the real thing but just to have when the days are hard, y’know? 
  20. I love laughing because it is a good gift from God.  I know its not for all occasions and I know its not the basis of my existence but its enjoyable at the appropriate times. 

I don’t think I did this assignment correctly but if you want to check out the others who are involved then check their blogs out: Becca, Beth, Ben & Phil