Flower bed behind the student union

Okay. Spring break is over. It’s a sadness and relief wrapped up into one. Sadness that I couldn’t have more time to rest my mind from schoolwork and delve more into creativity. Relief that the semester is almost over and that my circumstances are continuing to change. I like this about life—things will always change, sometimes painfully slowly, but consistently nonetheless.

This first week back after break has been fascinating so far. I came back a day before school started and took advantage of the [mostly] empty campus to pray over the school and rededicate myself and the school to God’s purposes. It feels good to tear down strongholds of spiritual oppression, and there is so much more work to be done. I take joy in knowing that God has established His own stronghold here too!

I think that’s what I really love about life right now: I am seeing the kingdom of heaven break open increasingly often. From the glory-fall (sunshine) to the hopefulness of flowers to the endurance of the man-made buildings around me, I’m beginning to see that a huge part of living in the kingdom of heaven is all about intentionality. When you live and move and interact with other people, the important thing is not necessarily what you do but why you do it. Are you intentionally living to please God in everything you do? Are you intentionally living to pursue goodness, love mercy, and do justice? Amen and amen! Let it be so in my life! I want everything I do to speak life in someway. Renewal. I want my life to be a testimony of renewal from hopelessness and abandonment to joy and belonging.

So, for now, it’s back to the grindstone, but this time with an undercurrent of abundant, renewing life.

Flower bed behind the student union
Here's "hope" for today. The flowers look expectantly toward the sun as we look expectantly toward the Son.

Brand New


Hey there! So, today felt brand new. This has been my fourth day on Spring break and, lest I become complacent, today came with a sudden change of pace. I had to leave the house actually because my mom was doing childcare. Anyhow, I decided to walk to the Bayside Church Cafe (because I don’t have a car) and work on homework. So that’s just what I did. I left the house at 9 AM and made it to church at 9:45. I even finished a whole paper while I was there! Then I left around 2:15 PM and as I was walking home, I stopped to take this picture:

Power Lines
I really love man-made objects.

I don’t know why, but it struck me as particularly picture worthy. It’s just so expansive. I like wide-open spaces. At this point, I was almost home, but instead of going home, I decided to walk through Maidu park nearby and I ran into a guy I know from school who I had no idea lived there! How cool. Then I saw these clouds and just had to take another picture:

Another "Wow" moment. This scene caught me by surprise.

You might be wondering at this point why I’ve bothered to tell you every little detail of my day. It’s because I never used to think this way. Something in me has changed. I don’t really know how, but living at school for nine months out of the year has caused my perspective to change a little bit. Honestly, I don’t like being back at home. I wish I was on my own. I wish I had a car. I wish I had lots of friends that I could go do things with. I wish I had a steady source of income. But that’s the wrong way of looking at things.

I used to be dominated by routine. No longer am I stuck in my circumstance. Somehow, all of the lessons I’ve been learning about seeking Jesus every day has caused me to see that it is possible to live above my circumstances. This whole time that I was walking, I was also praying. What I noticed about today is that, although I am in a familiar environment, my interactions in it have changed. Maybe there is hope after all that change can happen. Maybe there is hope that I bring a little bit of the kingdom of heaven to the world around me as I renew my mind. Maybe there is hope that good things will come of all my desires. It’s a little change, but I’m beginning to feel as though that’s a misnomer because even a “little” change takes a great deal of effort, sometimes more than we can humanly exert. That must mean that God is moving!!! Thank You, Jesus!

Can You Say “Unsettling”?

I had the strangest dream the other night. It was very disturbing; I woke up from the dream at 12:30 AM and started praying. I decided to share it with you here because I hope that talking about it will make me feel better. I changed the names of the people in my dream because they were all people I know and I figured it would be better for them to remain anonymous.

“I am riding piggyback on William (a friend)—we pass two other mutual friends. I jump off when we reach Bloom Coffee (a local coffee shop). I notice an SUV there with Jeremy (a high-profile, very important individual) inside. Matthew (a friend) (suddenly appearing) tells me to talk to Jessica (another friend). I walk up to a table outside of Bloom where Jessica is sitting and she tells me a story of how, in the midst of driving, she and the other people in her car witnessed demon-possessed animals on the freeway throwing themselves at her car (her car was hit by a small bird which splattered in a bloody mess on the windshield, the other animals could not keep up with the car). As she told the story, I saw it as though I were in the front passenger seat. The animals’ eyes were glowing unnaturally bright red—I noticed mainly deer. Matthew mentions that the other Hebrew students in her car believe that it is a sign of the end-times. Apparently, the school’s RAs were called off-campus to the scene in the aftermath of the event, and the school will be hosting the authorities the next day for them to conclude their meeting/investigation. I vaguely remember driving by (as a passenger) the police scene the night of the attack, not knowing at the time what had happened.”

Weird, am I right? Now for something completely different. I’ve been working on a song for my music theory class. It was a semester project and now that I’ve performed it in class and I’m on spring break, I’ve had some time on my hands to do a basic recording. I’m afraid the vocals are as good as they’re going to get right now since I don’t have a good microphone and a decent set of headphones for mixing, but it sounds pretty good for what it is. 🙂 With that said, the name of the song is “Frail.” Click here for the mp3!


Big tree by the stairs

So, yesterday I received a letter. It was a certificate of victory. Wanna see it?

My Certificate of Victory

Wanna know what it says? “Thank you for expressing interest in chapel worship at William Jessup University. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer an opportunity for regular participation in an ’11-’12 worship team. We do, however, encourage you to continue to develop your gifts and will keep you in mind for future opportunities.”

When I first got this, I was sad. So, just like Hezekiah did with the letter from the king of Assyria, I spread this before the LORD in prayer. You know what He told me? Stop thinking about it. Yes, this is a certificate of victory because it has nothing to do with the fact that I won’t be on a worship team at school (you may remember me mentioning the audition process in an earlier post). It was a miracle that I had made it to the point where I could audition for this position without the slightest trace of bitterness in my heart from previous attempts at church. For me, I really don’t care that they said no. I care that they acknowledged my attempt! I think I might frame this. What Satan meant to instill rejection, ridicule, and evil; God used to demonstrate victory, growth, and goodness! I couldn’t have done this a year ago—God is so good!

In parting, here’s a little something I hope you will enjoy. I took four separate photos and stitched them together! 🙂

Big tree by the stairs
When I looked up and saw this, I said, "Wow!"

You might like to check out this zoom-able interactive version of the photo too. 😉

The Sun Is Shining But Clouds Are Periodically Obscuring It

Path in front

I struggle from making mountains out of molehills. My natural tendency is to be overly emotional about the things that I think I need, and very jealous about the things that I don’t have. It’s kind of like my reactions to the weather today. When the sunlight is shining brightly, I feel at peace and productive. Then clouds come casting their shadow over me and I become unsettled and depressed. Huh, I guess that just means I’m human.

I had a chance to talk with my friend Brittany today after choir rehearsal and I have to say that it was one of the most refreshing conversations I’ve had in a while. Now that I think about it, I seem to have a tendency to feel refreshed by my conversations with practically anyone who lives off-campus. I have a feeling it has to do with the maturity that comes from the responsibility of total independence. Perhaps that’s why I crave responsibility so much. I want that maturity. But for now, all I can do pray for change, so that’s what I’ll do. After all, with God all things are possible.

Ha! Come to think of it, I had a chance to talk briefly with another off-campus student today at lunch as well! Guess what we talked about? Maturity. So weird. I think God is telling me that He is about to begin a work of great maturity in me. Let it be so, Jesus!

Path in front
Oh yeah, this is my inspiration to be encouraged today.



God has seen your striving. He knows you may be tired. He knows there are things in your life that you don’t understand. Is God not good? Is God not just? No, if anything, it is we who are unfaithful to Him.

What does it look like to live constantly aware of God’s presence? God’s presence is not one of a parent constantly scrutinizing your actions, waiting to scold at the first sign of disobedience. He is not wanting you to be aware of Him so that you will obey out of fear. He knows your weaknesses. He knows that you are human. He wants you to be aware of His presence so that you may be transformed through the time you spend with Him! He wants you to be aware of His presence so that when your fallen tendencies flare up, you can surrender them over to His power and control. Everything about who you are is completely loved by Him.

Don’t forget to look for the signs of God’s love today. Here’s one for you right now:

How can this not brighten your day? These flowers are a gift from God. 🙂

Adventure Log


This week, I decided to keep a log of my adventures each day. Why go on adventures, you ask? Well, let me tell you! They are fun (usually), and I like them, and it is healthy to be silly (or serious) every now and then. Besides, they also make for great stories later. Without further ado, I present to you, my adventure log for this week:

3-25-11: I stood on my head, just because. I was inspired by my friend Rachel Jackson, who once stood on her head for 5 minutes, although I only made it to 30 seconds. :]

3-26-11: Created an interpretive dance to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with some people in my wing. I felt extremely silly, but it was absolutely hilarious at the same time. Interpretive dance=good memories.

3-27-11: Talked with Jesus for an extended period of time. He helped me to see several spiritual strongholds in my life and gave me courage to begin facing them. Fun? Not really. Adventurous? Oh yes. Worth it? Most definitely!

3-28-11: I went to bed early. It was a long day of schoolwork and practicing violin.

3-29-11: Decided to change my routine. After my first class, I walked outside in the sunshine for a bit, then went to study in the Commons and ran into an old friend. We talked for an hour and it made me feel valued. 🙂

3-30-11: Well, I guess I forgot to go on an explicit adventure today. 🙁 I practiced violin some, and got much reading done. Oh! I sat outside tonight for a little while as I took an online quiz. That was adventurous because I normally sit at my desk to do homework. 🙂

3-31-11: Today I walked around in the glorious sunshiny 78° weather and it was marvelous! Then, I went to practice violin and spent the first ten minutes running joyously around the warehouse the practice rooms are in. Then, after dusk, I skipped (don’t judge, it makes me feel like a little kid) across campus to the library to print off some homework. Then, while I was at the library, I noticed that someone with a severe case of OCD had coiled the chain of the pen mounted to the computer desk. Being a recovering OCD-a-holic myself, I was both initially pleased and internally cringing at the same time. I had to do something about this. So, I picked up the chain and let it fall back on to the table letting it lie as naturally as possible in honor of the second law of thermodynamics. It bugged me somewhat, so I just told myself it was artistic and let it be. =D

Oh my goodness, really? Who does this?

Ok, that's better... yay entropy!