Thursday, July 31, 2008


I feel like I am always in meetings...always. Since I work at a church and am in charge of missions, I am the go to person if you are a missionary or a non-profit oganization. I get calls all the time from people wanting time and money from me. Not including calls from those wanting something from me, there is also full staff meetings, meetings with co-workers, meetings with the missions committee, meetings with subcommittees (I go when necessary), and meetings with our missionaries and partner organizations.

My best friend Ashley gave me Demotivational Calendar for Christmas. This is the month of August....

(for your very own calendar, or to see some funny pics, go here)

I have come to dread meetings. But not just the meetings with people or organizations we don't currently support, but with those that we do. It seems that it is just another thing to do. I am getting better at telling people no, setting up my schedule in such a way where meetings take place on certain days, admin on another, reading/studying at another time, and then the many tasks and projects that come and go. There is now a priority to those that I will meet with. And although it may sound like a great ministry, if it doesn't fit with The Bridge's vision, then I'll decide with the help of the Lord if I am suppose to meet with them. And I am getting better at telling people we are not interested right no.

I forget how much I love hearing about the ministry The Bridge is invested in all over the world, and even in my backyard, Fresno. I always go to meetings with a feeling of dread (because, come on, my time is valuable---which is my sinfulness coming out) and leave feeling edified by the conversation, full of joy, and praising the Lord for the things He is choosing to do and how He is choosing to use His people.

I have a feeling this is a predicament that I am going to deal with as long as I am in ministry...

National Cheesecake Day!

Yesterday, at The Cheesecake Factory, was National Cheesecake Day. I think it is their anniversary, but am not sure. Cheesecake was only $1.50! Becky and I were suppose to go to Starbucks to hang out, but when I heard about this phenomenal deal, I sent a text right away.

Luckily, Becky likes cheesecake as much as I do! :) I had the White Chocolote Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake and she had the Adam's Fudge Ripple Peanut Butter Goodness Cheesecake (I can't remember the exact name, but it should be renamed to what I wrote...)

It was a good night, good cheesecake, and great conversation (we got there at 8:30is and left at 11:30)! To get Becky's take on the night, click here!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Favor in a Time of Exile

I am reading through the book of Daniel right now. I find this book so fascinating. Daniel 1-6, Daniel interprets the King's dreams and what not. In Daniel 7-12, Daniel is given his own visions, and these visions are about the end times.

Daniel and his buddies, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are perfect examples of believers living in a secular world. They are captives in Babylon, exiled from Jerusalem, and they continue to live their lives in accordance to the law, even in the midst of much outside pressure. Daniel is constantly standing up for what he believes in, and then is rewarded for it. He does this in Daniel 1:8, which the reward is in Daniel 1:17-20. Daniel sought after the Lord to help him interpret Nebuchadnezzar's dream in chapter 2. The Lord reveals the dream to Daniel, and Daniel does not take the credit, he acknowledged that God is the one who revealed it to him. When Daniel hits the dream right on the head, Nebuchadnezzar falls prostrate and says "Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and revealer of great mysteries"

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego do not worship the image of gold Nebuchadnezzar builds in Daniel 3, so he decides to throw them in the fire. Daniel 3:17-18, this is their response "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up" And the men were saved from the furnace. Nebuchadnezzar sees how they trusted the Lord and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any other god 3:28-29

Again and again this takes place. At the end of Daniel 5, the Medes and Persians took over the Babylonians and the Israelites. In Daniel 6, a decree is published that any man who prays to any god or man besides King Darius must be put to death. Daniel's response....6:10 "Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before" Nothing stopped Daniel from following God with all his being. He knew that God would save him, and He saved him again and again, this time from the mouths of lions.

As Daniel loved the Lord with all of his heart, mind, soul, and strength, as he followed God, the Lord gave Daniel favor in the site of all of the kings. In Daniel 6:28 it says "So Daniel prospered..." He was always in high favor of the ruling king and held a high place in the king's court.

Blake and I have had numerous talks about the way these men lived their lives. It is easy for me to sit here and say that I would do the same things the men did, that I would not succumb to the pressure or threat...but I don't know. My life isn't in life threatening situations on a semi-consistent basis....currently, it has never been. I know that martyrdom is very real in the middle east and other countries....

Since I live in a place where I can practice religious freedom....
What are the little ways in my life that I am giving into secularism? What ways am I denying Christ, whether by word or deed? What ways am I choosing to follow the "rules" set before me, not by a king, but by this culture we live in?

What are some of the ways you fall into secularism?

Sunday, July 27, 2008


It's time for me to go to bed, but I wanted to leave you with a few pictures of mine and Blake's trip to LA, more specifically Disneyland this weekend (oh, and we went to the beach!). Longer post to come soon...

A Life of Significance

On the way home from LA today, we were stuck in traffic on the 405, also known as the largest parking lot in LA. I have been thinking a lot about the future lately. I think a lot of people my age struggle with a sense of significance. I do...

And as the lane we were in wasn't moving, and the cars on each side of us were driving past us, I had this thought "I don't want to become complacent or stagnant in my life while everyone else is moving forward. I don't want to stop because I can't figure out the next step or don't sense significance in what I am doing..."

I want my life to have significance. But I don't even know what that means. I know that I don't want to do a job just to do it. To wake up 20 years from now and wonder how I got in the job I am in...

What I think it comes down to is I want to do what God desires me to do. If that means an office job, being a stay at home mom, running the country...then I will feel or sense that what I am doing is significant. I want whatever I do to benefit the Kingdom of God. And that is possible just as much in a secular job as it is working at a church or for a religious non-profit.

And for now, I continue working at The Bridge. I love my job, but there are times that I sense there is something else to come.

What does living a life of significance mean to you?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Trying to just be

Blake and I don't know how to relax...but we are trying to learn. Life is hectic and busy. It is easy to get caught up in all of the things to do. Part of this is that we feel we aren't accomplishing anything if we aren't doing something, but that is ok. Sundays have become the one day for us to try to not do anything. We go to church (or I am working at church), but other than that, we try not to "plan" anything, and do whatever sounds pleasing and enjoyable to us.

Today, was one of those days were we accomplished this. We had family breakfast this morning at Mimi's since my sister was in town. We made it to church just in time for the 11 o'clock service. After church, we went to Blake's place, put in a movie, and fell asleep. The nap was so needed. Then we went for a drive and looked at some of the new sites in Clovis. Dinner with the parents. We went for a walk since the weather in Fresno was so nice. Sat outside, talked, and looked at the clouds. We sat our butts on the couch and watched Gene Simmons Family Jewels. And before we knew it, it was 10 o'clock.

It was such a nice day. Relaxing. Fun. And we were just able to be.
Its days like today that make me excited for forever...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Did you look in the mirror before you left the house?

On Thursday night Blake and I went to Kiss Country's Summer Concert series concert at Woodward Park featuring Josh Gracin. They could have done without the special guests (more commonly known as opening acts). They were One Flew South and Phil Stacey....and they both sucked. However, Josh Gracin was awesome! I would definitely pay to see him in concert again.

When you go to concerts, especially outdoors, and when it is about 100 degrees outside, there are lots of people to look at...and lots of people that wear things that you can't believe.

First of all, props to the guy that wore a button up plaid shirt with the sleeves torn off, cowboy hat, belt buckle, boots, and gut hanging out. Nobody will ever tell him that he isn't country...or at least a redneck.

What I don't understand is some of the things women choose to wear out of the house...or to put it a different way, not wear out of the house.

Apparently, there are 2 common styles if you are going to a country concert in Fresno/Clovis. The first is the dress and cowboy boots scenario. Except the dress is a summer dress and they look uncomfortable in the boots. Along with this one is the mini skirt, flowing top, and the boots. This look is even more unattractive if the person is overweight.

The second style is the long shirt with the teeny tiny shorts. Except the shirt is so long (just below the but) and the shorts are so short that you can barely see the what's the point, right? One person had this going on and had cowboy boots on looked really bad.

This doesn't account for the females who are hanging out of their tops...and are in their forties.

For the guys...we don't want to see you in a tank top. We don't care if you are fit...don't do it. And if you are overweight, please, please, please spare us from that sight.

I have no doubt that there are "real cowboys" that live in Clovis and in the surrounding areas. But what I saw at the concert was a bunch of wanna be's, and it was really sad. There were many other people out there who were themselves, and they weren't trying to impress anybody...but you mainly notice the ones who are trying to get attention...

So the next time you are leaving the house, take a look at yourself in the mirror, or better yet, if you are someone who dresses like this, call the show What Not to Wear and see if they can help you out...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Josh Gracin in concert!

Blake and I are going to see Josh Gracin in concert tonight at the Woodward Park Ampitheatre. It is part of Kiss Country's summer concert series. We are huge country fans. Besides that, the tickets were only 10 bucks each! We are always looking for new things to do in Fresno, besides going out to eat, the movies, mini golf, bowling, etc. It'll be nice to be outdoors tonight, being with Blake and listening to some good music!


Last Friday night, Blake and I went to the circus! He hasn't been since he was a little boy, and the last time I went was 7 years ago. We were first welcomed by the fake PETA people (fake because they weren't with PETA). This made me a little sad, but then I remembered I was going to the circus, and perked right back up!

The circus was amazing! If you were there, and you happened to have ADD, then you felt right at home. There was so much going on, there was no way that you could be bored.

People who are in the circus amaze me. The type of strength these people have is phenomenal. However cool the people were, the animals were cooler. The elephants were my favorite part. All my sadness about the fake PETA people and the mistreatment of animals faded away as I saw these huge creatures. They stepped over each other, sat on each other, rolled over, stood on their hind legs, and the entire time they looked happy...seriously. They looked like they were smiling. The tigers were good too, but the elephants were better in my opinion.

I have yet to figure out how venues can charge so much for food. Our treat for the night was cotton candy...also something Blake says he has never had (or doesn't remember having). It cost $12!!!!! Which is ridiculous for fluffed up sugar. But they are the circus and I have realized can pretty much do whatever they want. The cool thing about the cotton candy was it came in a hat. This hat will soon be appearing in my parents home with a plant inside of it...