Friday, May 30, 2008

Going to the movies

So. There is a new theatre in Gig Harbor with seats that recline. It is delightful! I have been to this theatre twice in the past week to experience its goodness. Ok. So I might have enjoyed the movies too... but the movie going experience was all that more enjoyable because of the awesome seats! The company wasn't too bad either. Love ya friends! Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase going to the movies when you actually have to drive more than a couple miles and over a bridge and pay a toll. It was well worth it in my opinion. Something I hope to make a habit of. Maybe about once a month or every other month. Good times! I just wanted to share the fun. The only people that read my blog may be the ones I have already shared this news and the experience with... but on the off chance that there are others out there needing a new movie going experience, I am glad to share my news with you.
PS. They also show old classics at this theatre I think once a month on Tuesday mornings or something cool like that.
And! And there is a theatre that you have to be 21 or older to go to because they serve you alcohol. It is a couple dollars more to go in that theatre but it is all a part of the same complex.
See ya at the movies!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

hope... it's part of love

So at the beginning of February I went to a womens conference with my church. I had the joy of being a part of worship and ushering in the women of the conference to the presence of the Lord. It was more like God took us each by the hand and gently pursued each us to the throne room. God was very "alive" in the conference. The ladies of our church had not experienced a conference like this before. There were people speaking in tongues, people were being prophecyed over. It was a spiritual awakening for so many. I was so excited to see the great majority of the women taking hold of God's hand and being changed, renewed, transformed, surrendered. It was a powerful weekend to say the least.
The conference was important in my life too. I went to the conference after being offered a free ride with the condition of being a part of the worship team. In no way did I feel like I was in a place to be helping lead a group of women into worship. My walk with the Lord was in the slumps. I had become discouraged about many things in my life. Unsure of the call on my life, practically thrown in the towel about the state of my family, and fretting about the desires in my heart.
On one of the nights God spoke to me loud and clear about Hope. He reminded me that Hope is part of Love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
There it was. Love always hopes. I was not hoping. I had thrown in the towel on my family. Given up on the power of the Lord. I felt like there were too many things that needed restoration and there was no way all or any of those things could change. I was hopeless. A sad state. How can God use a hopeless person? What good is a hopeless person? Can a hopeless person pray for others?
God called me to HOPE in that weekend. Reminding me to love my family like that, to love my friends like that, to love myself like that, because that is the way He loves and I am called to love like that.
So I asked Him to restore a spirit of hope in my life. I began praying for my family again. The state of each of my family members overwhelmed my heart but it was not too big for the heart of God. I began proclaiming hope over the lives of my friends. God showed me that His call of hoping for my friends was ever so important. God renewed my hope in the future He has for me. Refreshing my spirit. Bringing peace to my heart.
Two weeks after the conference had passed a week of jaw dropping happenings occurred.
My family has been going through major struggles for the great majority of my life. As a child and into my teen years my dad was abusive physically, verbally, and emotionally. My dad never recognized his disciplinary actions as abuse. He was sure that a strong hand, or fist, or foot, or word, was an acceptable means of discipline. I had forgiven him many times as a kid and when I did YWAM (youth with a mission) in 2001 God opened my eyes to true forgiveness and gave me the ability to see my dad in the the same way that He sees my dad. Now I can look at my dad and not see the pain of the past and have bitterness in my heart, now I can truly love him.
So first thing to happen that week. My dad called me (which doesn't happen all that often) and he told me he is taking a class at his church. He told me that he needed to call and ask for my forgiveness. He listed one by one the things that he wanted forgiveness for. I told him that I had forgiven him years ago. He was quick to say that he knew that, however, he HAD to ask me for forgiveness himself.
Wow! God of hope indeed! I don't think I had been more shocked out of my mind then on that day. And ecstatic! God was renewing my spirit of hope.
Another great thing to happen that week... my sister was living in Montana, having left her four daughters and husband to a man she met on the Internet. She had given up everything for this relationship. Lost all rights as a parent. Her oldest daughter whose father was different than the three other girls was taken away from the dad and sisters she had grown up with for the past 10 years because of her choice to leave her family. The week of hope renewed I got another call. My sister was moving back to the city where her girls and ex-husband lived. She had found a job and would be moving within two blocks of the girls in less than a months time. Hope renewed yet again!
I don't know why I found all this so surprising. It was blowing my mind what the Lord was doing!
That week I also learned of great things in the lives of one of my brothers and my mom. My brother flat out told me that he recognized the mistake of the relationship that he was in. My mom confessed that she was taking a codependency class. Victory! She has been struggling with that for the great majority of her life and has let many people walk all over her and take advantage of her(myself included). Wow! God of hope is transforming my family!
I was reminded this morning that even though my family may still be struggling and making poor choices again... I am still called to love them with that spirit of hope. Love transforms. Hope transforms. God transforms.
Don't give of hope. Keep hoping for your loved ones and yourself.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

so stinkin blessed!

Today was a fun day at work as most days are. I had some thrilling conversations with co-workers, meaningful moments with customers (going a bit deeper than you might normally go at an ordinary restaurant... but I am not an ordinary waitress), just an all around good day. Not too busy, not too stressful.
I was greeted with smiles and hello's and hugs when I arrived. How many places of business are as wonderful to work at?
One of my co-workers gushed her good news and squeals of delight were heard throughout the place. Joy so often echoes off the walls it is not surprising when heard.
I am just feeling really blessed. God has provided me with a wonderful place to work. I find myself being challenged there, built up, opportunities to share my faith, opportunities to love on many people, opportunities to mentor. It is truly a blessing! And they are flexible with my ever changing college schedule. And their hearts are the best thing about the place. I am just blessed and felt I needed to write it down. So there. I am ever so astonished at the orchestration of the life that I am living... God truly is at work. I am blessed. sigh.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Random Dreams

The other day I had a dream that I was dating a professional cheese taster. I found this really funny in my dream and playfully mocked the cheese taster. He was quick to inform me that cheese tasting is serious business... which just made me laugh more! I also found it funny that I was dating a cheese guy because I am lactose intolerant! Ha! Oh the irony. I do like cheesy guys though. Being comfortable as a goof ball is something I think is very attractive in a guy. Maybe that is what the dream was really trying to tell me... I am going to have a really cheesy guy! Maybe he will like be a comedian or something! That would be rad!
Another dream I keep having... that I win the lottery! I am hoping this one doesn't have any other meaning except that I win the lottery! That would be rad too!
The end.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Do I know Hunger?

Breaking News:
Every seven seconds a child dies at the hands of a silent killer: Hunger. It has been announced in Ethiopia this week that millions of Ethiopians are at risk for hunger. According to the BBC news and UNICEF more than 60,000 children in two Ethiopian regions require immediate specialist feeding just to survive. The situation is expected to worsen in the next few months as crops fail. Aid agencies in Ethiopia say they are short of funds as donors concentrate on the emergencies in China and Burma.
Paulette Jones, of the World Food Program, said a combination of events have led to the situation. "We have drought - a really poor rainy season - and, of course, we have high food prices worldwide."
Food for the Hungry Relief Director Matt Ellingson says the drought has caused enormous loss of livestock and crops, leading to loss of livelihoods and increases in malnutrition rates in many areas. Ellingson also says a number of schools had to close their feeding programs because even though they received food from the international community, they did not have enough water to prepare the food, forcing a number of children to drop out of school.
As predicted in May of 2005 UNICEF’s Eric Durpaire said that in addition to the immediate response, longer-term support is also necessary for Ethiopia. “Otherwise, if we don’t improve the general situation, this problem of chronic acute emergency will come back. Each time the rain delays, we will face the same problem.”
The World Food Program estimates it needs to raise $147million to tackle Ethiopia's needs. "We are hopeful that donors will be forthcoming," said Paulette Jones. Other aid workers are not so confident. They say the money just is not arriving, with donors concentrating on the disasters in Burma and China. The UN estimates it currently has a shortfall of 180,000 tons of food - and presently has no promises to meet this target.
There are several options if you would like to make a donation to the relief efforts in Ethiopia. World Vision has set up a fund that can be found on their website You can also make a donation on the website (world food program) or (food for the hungry).
"I’m just one man – how can I help so many dying people?"
This was the question Food for the Hungry founder. Dr. Larry Ward, asked himself more than 35 years ago. His response set the cornerstone for Food for the Hungry ministries ever since: "They die one at a time; we can help them one at a time."

If you want my sources I will be glad to share them with you.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I have been reading a book called "Blue Like Jazz"... no it is not about music... rather it is an eye opening book about Christianity and Spirituality from the perspective of a man from the Northwest. I have found myself bursting into laughter, sobered by conviction, and shaken to a new reality of how Christians can be perceived.
In one of the more recent chapters I have been reading, the man joined a church that was in the beginning stages of a church plant. There were about 10-15 people attending at that point and they met each week for worship and prayer, expecting the new members to just show up in droves. This was not the reality that they experienced. During one of the worship and prayer nights a challenge was put out there. Everyone was asked to love on someone that week just for the sake of showing them love, not to preach to them or to bring them to church, but just to love on them. They were challenged to love on someone that was different than them. Someone not in their regular circle or sphere of influence. It was a challenge that everyone committed to. As they loved... they saw people coming to church, they saw people being transformed because they had not seen love from a church like they experienced through them.
It is powerful when God calls us to love. I have felt challenged to love more too. It is our responsibility as "the church" to show people what love is. The world is truly polluting and contorting the definition of love. Lets stand up for love and bring it back to the standard that it was given when God first created love. How can you share the love this week? Today? I challenge you, and me, to love someone this week for the sake of loving. Love on!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day!

Me and my mom... it only took us 20 tries to get our smiles right :)

To all my moms out there...

I would not be who I am today if it weren't for you! Thank you for investing in my life and sharing your pearls of wisdom, and kicking my butt when I needed it, and loving me in the way that only moms know how. I love you all!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

who am I in Christ?

Who I Am In Christ
I am accepted...
John 1:12 I am God's child.
John 15:15 As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1 I have been justified.
1 Corinthians 6:17 I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27 I am a member of Christ's body.
Ephesians 1:3-8 I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
Colossians 1:13-14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:9-10 I am complete in Christ.
Hebrews 4:14-16 I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ.

I am secure...
Romans 8:1-2 I am free from condemnation.
Romans 8:28 I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
Romans 8:31-39 I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
Colossians 3:1-4 I am hidden with Christ in God.
Philippians 1:6 I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me.
Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.
2 Timothy 1:7 I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.
1 John 5:18 I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.

I am significant...
John 15:5 I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life.
John 15:16 I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
1 Corinthians 3:16 I am God's temple.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
Ephesians 2:6 I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.
Ephesians 2:10 I am God's workmanship.
Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

"The more you reaffirm who you are in Christ, the more your behavior will begin to reflect your true identity!"
(From Victory Over the Darkness , by Dr. Neil Anderson)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Lost Boys and Girls

Some of you have been asking me why I haven't written on here of late... I am currently in school and have not made blogging a priority. Shocker. To satisfy your literary desires I will leave with you one of my speeches for the quarter about something near and dear to my heart, Africa. The atrocities continue to boggle my mind the more I know about what is happening around the world. I hope that you can not read and forget what is going on... but that you too will find it eating at your heart until you find a way to make a difference in any way no matter how small. We are so blessed to not know war like these children. We are so blessed to not know hunger like these children. We are so blessed to not have to want for food, water, shelter, education... I could go on and on and on and... Know how blessed you are. Thank God. Ask Him how He might want you to bless the children around the world. Whether it be with your time, prayers, education, finances, or sweat. We can make a difference even just one prayer at a time.
So here are some words I shared with my Speech 110 class:

Lost Boys

When you hear the words “lost boys” what comes to mind? In the survey I conducted in class some of you said it made you think of a need for salvation, others thought of an 80s movie with vampires, still some of your thoughts paralleled mine going to a Disney movie with children romping through the woods avoiding the likes of a cranky crocodile and visions of Peter Pan and Tinkerbelle flying through the air. For the “lost boys” of Sudan their story is NOT a fairytale. I would like to share with you what this journey has been like for these lost boys and girls. Explain what brought on this journey. Introduce you to one of the lost boys and the obstacles he came across on his journey to freedom. And show you where the lost boys and girls are today.

According to the website dedicated to the Arizona Lost Boys and Girls. It all began in the mid 1980’s in East Africa. Since the mid-1980's, Sudan has experienced brutal civil war fueled by religious, ethnic and regional strife. Fleeing the violence and bloodshed of Sudan's internal conflict, thousands of innocent children have experienced mind-numbing horrors and intense hardship. Orphaned as young as four years old, they fled into the jungle and began walking to Ethiopia. They stayed in refugee camps in Ethiopia until the government overthrew the Communists in 1991 and forced the young boys to leave at gunpoint. When they returned to Sudan, they were again met with hostility. Thus began another long walk—this time to a United Nations refugee camp in Kenya. Where they have lived since 1992.

I want to introduce you to one of the young boys who made this journey.

Go ahead and close your eyes. Imagine that you are a five year old boy. It is the middle of the night and you are asleep in your hut with your parents.

Suddenly you are startled awake by gun shots and in the darkness you feel your way to your mum and dad. You find pools of hot blood surrounding them.

More gun shots fire… you run for your life out of your hut and into the nearby jungle to escape the men shooting at you.

That was a story depicted by a Red Cross reporter, (Stephanie Kriner.)

The boy in the story is named James.

That was just the beginning of his journey.

James traveled over a thousand miles on foot. Remember that he was only five years old… That’s almost as far as walking from here to North Dakota.

One of the dangers he faced was dehydration.

James sucked the water out of mud to stay hydrated. If he had pains in his legs or became too weak to walk the older boys he journeyed with would carry him.

Another danger he faced along his journey was wild animals.

The children crossed rivers filled with crocodiles. Some made it across and others were not as lucky. If any of the children lagged behind they would become prey to lions.

James walked across Sudan like hundreds of thousands of other children searching for a place of refuge. Thankfully James found a refugee camp. He made it. He was one of the lucky ones.

The lost boys and girls are still facing trials today. Many remain in refugee camps unable to return to their homes where wars continue. Others have no hopes of ever being reunited with their families or relatives because entire villages were decimated.

However, some of the children in Sudan have found hope. . Intolerable living conditions in the camp gave the United States government reason to resettle some of these, now, young men and women in America. In 2001, 3600 of the lost boys and girls were given the gift of a new journey. The children once despairing in the desert are now bright with hope, full of smiles, and ready to become contributing members of their new communities. These young men and women have found security in America. Their fears of being shot at while they sleep are gone. They have been given a chance at the American dream. This gift of a life in the US did not come without hard work. Many of the lost boys and girls have gone on to become US citizens. Many more have graduated high school and gone on to graduate college.

I’d like to introduce you to Samuel. He is one of the boys who was given the opportunity to come to America. According to Leslie Goffe of BBC news…

Samuel Garang, 23, lives in California, somehow managed to work in the day and attend school at night.

"America wasn't paradise and it wasn't as easy as they told you in the camps," says Samuel, who has done the rounds of menial jobs: he's been a security guard and is now a bagger, someone who puts shoppers' groceries in their bags at supermarkets.

He won't be a bagger much longer. Samuel completed his high school diploma, went on to junior college and did well enough to be accepted at one of America's most prestigious universities, Stanford, in California in September.

"It was easier for me," says Samuel. "I didn't have a wife in the camp or people wanting money. I could study.”

Despite the adversities they faced in their past these lost boys and girls are rising above their once destitute circumstances. Their hard work and dedication to building their futures are opening doors to a life of opportunity. Their lives once seemingly doomed now sing a much different song. As one of the lost boys (Joseph Majak Tuok) so rightly proclaims…What we have is hope. Hope that there shall be a better life ahead of us…

These boys and girls are the lucky ones. Lucky to have made it through one of the most brutal journeys a child has ever endured and lucky to have been given the opportunity to start a new journey in the safety of America.

We as Americans can be oblivious to the atrocities facing the rest of the world. I challenge you today to listen… Don’t turn a deaf ear to the noises coming from Africa. Because America opened its doors in 2001 these Sudanese refugees have a hope for their futures. Their lives are in no way fairy tales… but well on their way to happy endings.