simi/dallas/houston/okc/fresno/bakersfield/san diego/colorado/san marcos/las vegas/long beach/murrieta

hola blogworld:

as you may have noticed there haven't been any post up here in the past 800 years or so, and both of you that read this are probably wondering what happened. to answer the questions both of you have asked:

1: i haven't had an internet connection in a while because our neighbors moved.
b: getting online is not really a big priority.
3: i kinda got blogged out, and switched to journaling for a while.

anyways, i've got a stockpile of stuff to blog about now so never fear, your lunch breaks should be covered for a couple of days. maybe. whatever.

did we have an election? i didn't realize it was this week. i guess i missed everyone's facebook status over the past week. my big question is what is going to happen to Jessie Jackson? will the rainbow coalition break up? i wish i could have been there to see the look of chagrin on his face when we elected our first african american president and it wasn't him. or al sharpton.
i give both senators props for their speeches the other night. sen. obama was a gracious winner, and sen. mccain was gracious in defeat. i think the real winners were the speech writers, who should both have job security for a long time. the biggest losers are the people in hollywood who won't have politics to talk about anymore, and will have to get back to the important issues, like acting.
and to my friends who didn't vote; watch out. P Diddy is is still running his 'Vote or Die' campaign.

i went with some of the ym mafia crew and families this week and this is what i learned:

all in all i came out even, so i'm going to call it a successful trip to vegas. the people there were amazing, and it def rivals nyc in the 'things you won't see anywhere else' category. the cool part is, vegas lived up to all the hype i've heard, it's expensive, kind of dirty, completely lit up at night, and the waitresses there are disturbing.
mi amigo johhnyvegas lit up the roulette tables a couple of nights and did pretty well, and ronald did the up and down thing so all in all i think we had a pretty safe trip to vegas.

oh crap, that's supposed to stay there.

i hate moving. i was packing up all of my stuff into storage, and i bought this 5x10 little piece of real estate to keep my stuff dry, thinking it would be ample room for me and my non-owning-furniture-self. right. saturday rolls around and my little cell is more stuffed than oprah at thanksgiving. that, and i'm pretty sure that we cleaned our apt on a regular basis, but when all of the furniture was moved out you would have thought an entire section of season-ticket-holding raiders fans lived in our apt. the smartest thing i did on this move was setting aside a 'last box out' for everything that was left after we thought we were done packing. because if you have ever moved you know that phenomenon were things keep popping out of every hidden crevice. the fun part was counting how many times we said 'i forgot i had that' during packing week. yeah for moving!

a few weeks ago i went on a hunting trip with dantheman, ronald and a whole crew of guys. and by hunting, i mean camping, because i def do not have a gun, and didn't have it in the budget to buy a deer tag. anyways, colorado was amazing, very good for the soul. we'd get up before dawn every day, go hunt (which is actually quietly hiking for ten minutes, then sitting down quietly for ten) come back for lunch, hang out, go hunt again for a while, cook up some dinner and then sleep. i was real stoked about this trip for several reasons. first off, things are very simple when you are camping like this, you eat, hike and sleep. secondly, it was a blast getting away from the city for a while and being surrounded by nature. i stopped caring about the fact i hadn't had a shower, or what was going on in the rest of the world, or anything outside of what direction i was going to start walking that day. and lastly, the best part of the trip was the silence. actual silence. no distractions, no noise, just me, God, and the nature He created. it's tough going back to church services after spending my own time in worship at the edge of a mountain staring a thousand feet down into a valley. colorado was good for the soul.

right now i'm couch crashing at dantheman's house waiting to hear back from a church in s.d. about a job. i get really nervous about stuff like this, so i'm doing my best not to think about it at all. until now. not having a place to call home is kind of fun. it's nice to be hanging out with people i call family, nice to be out of my old apt, and really cool not having to check all the junk mail every day. in case you were wondering, my new mailing address is: good luck. the funniest part about that is that som-som went ahead and mailed her fundraising letter to dantheman's house so that i would get it. comedy.

cart before the horse.
so in anticipation (hope) of getting a job in sandiago, i've been looking around at apts there. ugh. not fun at all. i'm learning that if the only pictures the apt complex shows on their website are shots of the pool, the place is going to be shaaaaaaady. i've learned this by checking out every shady apt in the miramar/mira mesa area. right now i'm looking in the escondido are if i'm going to live north, or the pb area if i'm going to live south. or i just might buy a boat and live there. if anyone is looking for a roommate that wants to live near the beach... lemme know.

that's what's on the mind right now, the rest are excerpts from my journal over the past few weeks:


thoughts on leaving simi.
i have been feeling very free lately. i'm on a flight back from texas right now, where i've been catching up with friends and family. this is the first time that i feel like i've truly gone on vacation in a while. over the past four years, most of my vacations were short stints that never really let me spend time away from thinking about ministry. one of the lessons i have learned is to take fewer trips, for longer amounts of time, so that i can give my mind a rest from ministry. right now, knowing that i am heading back to absolutely zero crisis, and zero expectations is a very welcome thought.

to answer the question that i'm getting asked the most, i have no idea what i am doing next, or where i am going to end up. my prayers are that i end up in youth ministry somewhere in socal, but in an effort to be free from worry, i am trying my best to allow God to guide me to what's next. keep me in your prayers when it comes to that. i'm excited on calling on God to provide a clear path, and really trying to use this opportunity to stretch my faith. it's a little scary sometimes for me when it comes to putting complete trust in God, but Jesus himself said it best when he told us not to worry. let's just say that i've been looking at a lot of birds lately as a reminder.

i've been doing a lot of reflecting these past few months over my time at simi. it's kind of tough not to dwell a little bit, but i think it's important to go back and examine one's past to make sure that growth occurs. a lot of people have asked if i am going to look for a job in the graphic design field, and while i thought about it at first, i realized that my time at simi would be more meaningful if i can take what i have learned and apply it to another ministry. i don't know if that makes sense to anyone else, but it makes sense when i explain it out loud. anyways, that line of thinking has forced me to ask what i have learned over the last four years.

get filled.
this wednesday i went to the singles class at memorial road in okc, and was truly blessed. it has been a long time that i've been in a class just for me, where i wasn't trying to work out how i could translate what i was learning to my teens. it was such a blessing to be a student, and not a minister for a while. one of the things on my mind lately is how long it has been since i've been taught. yeah, yeah, yeah, i listen to a sermon every week like everyone else. but if we're going to be completely honest, twenty minutes once a week in an auditorium setting hoping you'll be able to a: stay awake and b: get something concrete to push your faith, isn't really enough to keep me filled. don't get me wrong, i get built up by reading the bible, praying, encouragement from the ministry mafia, and the countless books i pour through. however, if we were going to look at my spiritual life in economic terms, my account is deep in the red after spending much more than i am bringing in. the lesson is: get filled so that you can keep pouring out.

divide and conquer.
one thing i have definitely learned is to delegate duties, events, lessons etc to a large group of people. when we set out to define our leadership roles, there were only a couple of people involved. in this dynamic, i take responsibility for everyone's roles, and when expectations are not met it all falls on me. with a larger group of people with fewer responsibilities per person, it is much easier to pick up the slack when one part starts to, for lack of a better term, not show up. also, with more people involved with fewer clearly defined duties it is easier to spot out who on the boat isn't rowing.

the right thing.
one of the things i was struggling with at the end was holding on to doing what i knew was right. i was getting so wrapped up in making others happy, and making sure that 'the ministry is going well', that i lost sight of fighting for things that i believe in, and more importantly what God has called me to do as a christian. basically, i forgot that working for God supersedes working for elders and parents, and those that put their money in the plate.

yes, i will spend time with kiddos that don't have two parents at home, especially when the rest of the family doesn't go to church.
no, i will not stop bringing up the fact that we literally put up a fence around the church.

thoughts from colorado:


thanks for reading,
one love, one heart.

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