June 21, 2009

My summer adventure begins tomorrow.  Well, I guess it begins now since I’m packing up for it.  Man, can I just tell you that I never seem to know what to pack, even if I’ve been to where I’m going?  Actually, I’m taking a detour so I suppose this time is different. 

Tomorrow afternoon, I’m helping my college, former co-RD’s/laborers in ministry, and life long friends (Dave & Tricia) drive out to Florida.  I’m not too sure what the actual game plan is but last I heard, we’re going to stop at the Grand Canyon for the evening, then make drive out to Texas, spend a few days there where Tricia’s parents live.  Dave and I will then drive only one of the cars (there’s 2 cars between the 3 of us – they’re having a moving company move there stuff) from Texas to Florida.  So, our plan is to pull into Jacksonville, Florida (final destination) by Sunday, June 28th.  Then I’ll spend that evening, Monday and Tuesday morning with Dave and help get their stuff settled in.  Tricia will stay in Texas and wait for Dave to fly back and then he’ll make that drive again with Tricia and the other car.  I’ll fly out from Jacksonville on my way to New Delhi India. 

I fly from Florida to DC, then to Munich, Germany Wednesday morning, spend 12 hours there (and explore – ideas anyone?), then fly out Wednesday evening and arrive into New Delhi 7am, July 2nd, Thursday morning where I’ll be the following 3 weeks. 

Until then please be mindful of my visa/passport that’s still in process.  I’m hoping to get it by the end of this week, here at Master’s, then it’ll be overnight to some friends already living in Florida.  I hope I get it by the 29th of June…

Anyway, I gotta get some more packing finished, then some little logistical things going here. 

We’ll see you soon!



June 8, 2009

Here’s the last few weeks in a nut shell:

  • had some a really full semester ending very smoothly (kinda)
  • had a lot of last good bye gatherings for Jeff & Dave
  • ate at Ruth’s Chris for the first time with Jeff
  • went to Magic Mountain with Zamroz (it was so fun…goliath was off the chain!)
  • went camping 5 nights within one week (2 separate camping trips)…enjoyed it
  • was rebuked for pushing an issue to far 🙂
  • was confronted a few times this last month
  • wrote 11 papers in the last week
  • got season 1 & 2 of “Rob & Big”
  • found a random mazda key in my apartment – yeah, it’d be nice to have a free new car, hugh?
  • reconnected with some peeps from the Worship Team – so good!
  • been sleeping past 6am
  • enjoying the quietness of the dorm
  • going to India with Gunner (&  other friends) in July after I help Dave & Tricia drive out to Florida
  • said good bye to Jeff – sad, sad times
  • will be saying good bye to Dave & Tricia – sad, sad times
  • hiring new RDs (well, I’m not hiring them, I’m just a part of the process)
  • reading a lot these days
  • writing a lot these days
  • running a lot these days
  • having dinner with Brian & Becca on wednesday
  • Zane’s staying/visiting this week – so good to see him
  • currently making my first summer mix
  • burned 3 mixes already (Jeff, Ginsberg & the Powells…I know, I feel legit or something)
  • been watching a lot of basketball…yeah, seriously…me?
  • excited about my RA team for next year (Brandon O’Sullivan, Thomas Millar, Caleb Hazel & Mark Golike)
  • my sister comes home next week
  • have thoroughly enjoyed the music of Jon Foreman & Phil Wickham
  • went to blue grass/brass band play at some club in L.A. with Jeff and then saw them on T.V. on the grammy’s
  • had the best time eating sushi with Mike Butler, Sam Neylan, Phil Anderson & David Wolter
  • loved my time doing music/elementary ministry in Hawaii
  • excited about the new Chapel Band
  • learning how to be more alert of my own attitudes, actions and motives… and how they impact people (Matthew, the gospel’s been helpful with that and other good graces from God)…man, i really have a lot to learn
  • also listening to a lot of hip-hop/R&B music…reminds me of my roots 🙂 – some good, some fun and others i probably wont listen to anymore
  • thinking a lot about what to do and where to go the rest of my life, after this up coming last year as RD (wow, I’m approaching 6 years…dang, that’s long!)
  • want to be gentle again, and be quiet again, and love again
  • want to paint my car black…all black, tint my windows and thug it out, kinda…ha!
  • learned a new board game from the Hulets
  • learning to think rightly so that i can live rightly
  • want to love God, not godliness

I’ve Got Nothing…

April 9, 2009

This semester seems like a blur – some good and some not as good.  I’ll just update and expound more later:

  • Dave & Jeff are not returning as RDs next year – sooooo bummed about that (but excited about their new opportunities)
  • Chapel Band released their new album
  • went to Hawaii during Spring Break (3rd year in a row going to Hawaii during Spring Break)…..miss the kawaguchi’s & the dirks!!!
  • doing massive amounts of school work
  • randomly hung out in Santa Barbara with J. Lewis and had an awesome RD day away
  • been working through the slim pickings for RAs for next year
  • auditions for next year’s Chapel Band
  • watched The Passion with Pete the other nite (intense)
  • drove up to Nothern Cali in less than a month
  • going to camp Hotchkiss for Easter weekend
  • learning a lot about friendship
  • thinking about going to Germany with Jeff in June
  • planning on going to India with Gunner in July
  • wish I had more sleep
  • miss my family

happy easter everyone!


February 4, 2009

Birthday thanks/blessings/updates:

  • well, like every year, my birthday seems to start a few days early and end a few days later
  • gunner took me to chipotle last tuesday (here’s your shot out gun 🙂
  • my sister deb, emailed me twice (that’s always nice for me, i love my sisters)
  • mom called me the morning of my birthday, missed it then she called me later and we chatted – she’s cute and sweet!
  • other sister Dee called me later – had a great conversation with her about life and God
  • then tons of people wished me happy birthday on FB
  • pete took me to lunch, panda – romantic, i know 🙂   naw, pete’s legit – he’s a good friend.
  • holly left a sweet voicemail
  • a few people text
  • joe, heidi, pete, dave, kristy, bryan and i went to the great greek (sooo good)
  • then guys in the dorm (jackie & laura) had a surprise little celebration, with cookies, ice cream and $100 gift card for itunes – how legit is that?  man, they really did a lot for me – i’ll let you all know my first purchase will be in a future post. 
  • lets see, friday mark golike took me to red robin for dinner for my birthday – he’s frosh and was a real servant about it. 
  • then later, the RDs and friends had an awkward party for me, beth catron and jake ebner – seriously, that was the theme.  and if you know me, i’m not a big fan of awkward.  i either avoid it, ignore it or create it.  but this was ridiculous.  by the end i was grossed out about it.  i was done with it. 
  • then after that, i saw slumdog (again) with holly, mandy, john and beth.  oh, and our friend theodore (i made that name up)- that was fun!  theodore sat in front of us and made commentary the entire movie – it was comical!
  • saturday, ben and phil took me and beth to egg plantation for our birthdays, mainly because saturday was beth’s birthday (and mind you mine was 2 days before that) and ben & phil missed my birthday because they were in WA. 
  • after that, i hung out with team india and saw slumdog with them (again, and last time til the DVD comes out). 
  • then saturday, went to luna (some restaurant in hollywood) with beth, bart, amy, laura and isaiah.  it was fun, the food was excellent and the ambience was cool. 
  • oh, then pastor bob wished me a happy birthday 🙂 on sunday… that was special. 

okay, so that was kind of dreadful going through again.  i guess when you start getting to a certain age, it just doesn’t matter as much – i feel like people think i’m still 25, 21 or even 16 or something.  however, i am thankful, really i am.  i don’t mean to sound like i’m complaining.  its really humbling to know that people do care and are willing to go to great lengths to make me feel special or to show they care or both.  i think i just would prefer to have my birthday be that, a day 🙂  i definitely ate way too much this last week. 

thanks to everyone for your kindness and friendship – the Lord has afforded me much with you all!  i do hope and pray a year of restoration, refreshment and growth.

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.

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).


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
homie (that’s right, you read correctly),
unity (not unified),
plesant (not pleasant but plesant),
power abusive RA’s (this guy was not joking,
he mentioned it twice on his sheet),
good looking (seriously?),
open/exposed/vulnerable (I guess that’s all one word),
jocks etc.
Here are responses to what they enjoy about the dorm:
Ona (haha), outgoing atmosphere,
deep relationships,
Hotchkiss Lower Front,
Small Groups,
my roommate,
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,
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,
missional mindsets,
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! 


November 1, 2008

Tonight Pete Bargas, Andrew Callaway and I hung out.  We grabbed some dinner at Wolf Creek (I highly recommend it), grabbed some Starbucks then hung out at Pete’s for a moment.  It was so refreshing.  These guys are so fun to be with and I can’t tell you how blessed I was/am to have been a part of their lives.  Andrew and I see each other about once a year, even though we live just down the street from each other.  That’s okay.  He was my ARA when I was an RA and we kept in touch through out the years, especially when he moved back to Long Beach and I was back in Carson.  Drew’s one of those that I can not hang out with for a very long time and we can just jump back into things.  Pete see each other 5 days a week.  And I still don’t get tired of him.  It was definitely a duo blessing to talk through life and learn from them, from those moments.  They’re cool!

Then I walked into Hotchkiss lounge about 10:30pm and Ryan Zamroz was on lounge duty.  Ryan’s a star basketball player as well as the captain of the basketball team here at Master’s.  He’s also an ARA on one of the wings here in Hotchkiss.  Ryan is definitely an encouragment and a young man who’s meekness is a clear representation of Christ.  He’s cool, not because he’s a star athlete or because he’s GQ, but because he’s teachable and does well with so much of what he’s been given.   Ryan’s cool!

Wednesday Seth Cotter visited me for the evening and we spent the next morning catching up and just talking, and talking and talking.  It was refreshing to see him and be with him.  i’ve missed my friend Seth.  Seth is a former RA of mine and now a good friend.  Its nice to keep in touch and meet up and be able to reunite.  This got me excited about heaven.  That’s really cool!

Earlier today, I took my half day and drove up the 126 to where it kind of drops into the 101.  Parked in a parking lot, got out and started to walk towards the shore.  I walked along the shore for about and hour and then walked back another hour.  I read Psalm 96, 51 and Colossians 3.  Prayed a lot of thanksgivings to the Lord – there were so many things, people and situations (both good and bad) that I have to be thankful for.  I don’t remember when I stopped because there was so much.  The sky was drenched with textures of clouds.  The sun was glissening on the water.  There were seaguls (I think that’s what they were) that dove into the water, I think to get food – I was struck that God was provided even for the birds of the air, right before my very eyes.  I was happy to see that.  I heard the water crashing on to the shore.  I saw a lot of sand and lots of rock but more sand than rock.  The beach and God’s Word is a cool combo!

Sometime this afternoon, probably around 1:30pm, I talked with Mom for a little bit.  She had 3 missed calls on her cell phone from me, so she called twicee earlier in the day.  But those missed calls from me were from last week =).  She’s so adorable!  I love my mom!!!  She sounded happy…and she was at work.  My mom is so cool!   

This morning Chapel Band lead worship for Grace Brethren High School.  High schooler’s think they’re cool =)  some of them are, I was 🙂

It’s 2:30am and now I’m listening to Phil Wickham.  I kinda just wanna wait all night for the Lord or stay up with Him.  Either reason is keeping me up.  And for the few moments mentioned, I know God will have some sort of those cool moments waiting for me.  That would be cool!


September 29, 2008

Here are some updated pics from WOW Saturday, through Seko’s wedding, my mohawk =), and going with Adam Dickson, Caleb Hazel, Kevin Anderson, Andy Hegg and Stephen Johns (the future of Hotchkiss) to this year’s fall thing…Music Icons…supposedly.  Anyway, the six of us went as the Village People.  Then finally a few pics of me, Thomas and Phil at Logan and Lynn’s wedding!

Check out the pics:


Okay, so Hotchkiss Men won The Master’s Cup for the 3rd consecutive year!  Glorious.  Our women won the cup as well – so, all in all Hotchkiss dominated & swept The Master’s Cup!!!

In all reality, if you’re ever a new student here during WOW or on staff as an RD [in the words of Jen Ginsberg] “this is probably the dumbest thing you’ll ever care about but you will care”

Yeah its dumb, when you don’t win but amazing when you do – especially 3 years in a row! 

I’ll have pics for you soon enough!