Best Christmas Present Ever?

Who wouldn't want a 3d wolf poster?

one love, one heart.



Another NHC Student Ministry Blog

I love Christmas ornaments! In our family we each have our own
Christmas ornaments. Some are store-bought and engraved, while others
are twenty-year-old glitter-covered pieces of construction paper cut
to resemble trees. My favorite is one that probably dates back to
1984, and it is simply a piece of pipe cleaner attached to part of an
egg carton. Of all the artwork I've done over the years, my mom has
kept the stuff from pre-school to decorate the tree!

Decorating the Christmas tree is a tradition that comes from Europe,
and can be traced back to Martin Luther. Legend has it, Luther was
walking in the woods, and he saw the stars shining through the branches
of an evergreen tree. He brought a tree home and decorated it with
candles to illustrate to his children what he had seen.

There are many references to stars in the Bible. Ask Job. It's pretty
easy to see a theme develop with God communicating His love for man
using the sky. Here are a couple of thoughts I'd like to focus on:

In Genesis 22, God promises Abraham that his descendants will be " as
numerous as the stars in the sky".

In Psalm 147, the writer declares that the Lord "determines the number
of the stars and calls them each by name".

I'd like to paint a picture for you. It's a Norman Rockwell piece of
an elderly man gently hanging ornaments on a giant tree that fills the
entire room of his palatial estate. At first you notice the size of
the tree and the room. As you peer closer you notice that there are
already thousands of ornaments on the tree gleaming in the light, with
boxes yet to be unpacked. Finally, with eyes squinted you see that
each ornament is hand carved, hand painted, and uniquely labeled with
various names.

What if we are the ornaments on God's tree?

What if each one of us is handmade, individually named, sitting on
the tree that God is using to decorate His home?

This has a profound impact on my life. When I start to look at myself
as a treasure of God, when I start to look at my life as something
that brings him joy when put on display, I am completely humbled. I
have a place on God's tree. I am a part of His family. There is so
much beauty in an individual ornament. But, as special as each
memento may be, there is nothing like seeing hundreds of thousands of
them together. And there I am…an ornament on the same tree as
David, Moses, Solomon, Peter, Matthew, Stephen...


I hope you find joy this Christmas in knowing that we have a Lord that
knows every one of the stars He has named.

one love, one heart,



This is from my blog from the NHC student ministry site:

Talking points:
Why do so many people make resolutions for the new year?
Why do we have a desire to constantly push ourselves?
What is it that you can be fanatical about this year?
Is there something God has promised you that you are afraid to reach for?
Have you ever been one of the ten?

The Green Bay Packers have some of the greatest fans in all of sports. Every year thousands of fans brave the Wisconsin winter to cheer their team on, despite the insane weather they have up there. It's always a blast watching the crowd shots at Green Bay home games, because you see what it means to be truly fanatical. I remember one year I saw an older guy with no shirt wearing a painted on jersey while it was snowing. Guys like that are a blast to be around. It's easy to imagine his is the truck in the parking lot covered with Packers stickers, and his home is the one painted team colors. I bet he even has one of those cool cheese head hats!

Do you think anyone that knows him even has to ask if he is a Packers fan?

The Word:
In Numbers 13 we catch up with the Israelites as they are in the desert on the outskirts of Canaan, the land that God has promised them. Twelve leaders representing the different tribes have been on a mission to scope out the land and to see what kind of condition it is in. They come back with a report that it is, in fact, the 'land of milk and honey' that God has promised. They even brought back a cluster of grapes to show everyone the fertility of the land.

The scene is easy to imagine. Forty years of wandering in the desert is coming to an end for an entire race of people. The home that they have been promised is right over the hill, and it is everything that they could imagine. Unfortunately, there is something holding these people back from taking what God has promised them. There is a problem with the Promised Land. You see, among other tribes, the descendants of Anak live there- and they are huge. Ten of the scouts start spreading word through the entire nation of Israel about the giants that live in the promised land in these fortified cities. They describe themselves as 'grasshoppers' in the midst of these giants.

And just like that the Promised Land is gone.

Fortunately that is not how the story ends. You see there were a couple of scouts that had a faith in God that could not be quelled by a few obstacles. One of these men, Caleb, silences the crowd of doubters and proclaims, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it."

You see while the rest of the Israelites are wondering if they would be better off as slaves back in Egypt, Caleb and his friend Joshua are crying out for the people to remember that they have the Lord on their side. Caleb is a dedicated 'fanatic' of the Lord. There is no doubt about his faith, or his determination. Can you imagine anyone getting a less than enthusiastic response when asking Caleb about the promised land?

Wrap up:
It's easy to sit back and look at an obstacle as insurmountable. How often are we one of the ten that look for reasons that things can't be done? My encouragement this week is to be Caleb. Be the person that is so trusting in the Lord that the odds are always in your favor. Will you charge into the new year with your jersey 'painted on' cheering loud enough to eliminate all doubt as to which side you are on?

one love, one heart.


The traditions of the season are best enjoyed in the warm embrace of kith and kin. Thith tree is a thymbol of the thpirit of the Griswold Chrithmath.

Mele Kalikimaka blogworld!

I love christmas time. music, decorations, lights, and most importantly my Clark Griswold quotes are suddenly in context.

It's been a crazy year for me with a new job, moving, traveling and all of the other fun stuff that happens in a year. I haven't spent as much time blogging this year (which is either really good or really bad) but that's something i hope to single handedly change that right now.

looking back on the past few months on my life as a bedouin i'm really glad that i had this chance to venture around. there were definitely some slow days, and days where i wasn't sure where i was going to sleep that night, but all in all my travel time was a huge blessing. my list of places that i went is pretty sweet to look at:

san diego
long beach
los angeles

an even more meaningful list is that of my friends and people i call family that have showed an amazing amount of love. i am truly blessed. i may have lost my job, but i feel like i have regained my spirit. a lot of that is God putting me into the presence of some mighty warriors that i am fortunate enough to call friends and family.

this thanksgiving we went to boston to be with mi hermana who started her first hotshot job recently. what a fun trip. for thanksgiving day we went to plymouth rock and had a picnic, which i loved.the little adventures that we stumble into are awesome and it cracks me up to see our family picture in front of the mayflower.
family pic 2
the only thing i would have changed about that day is that we should have dressed up as pilgrims. to top the day off, we decided to do our own 'senior pictures' in the park at plymouth rock.
sarah sr pic
my sr pic

what can i say, we are a goofy family. but we do have fun.

the lion's den.
i capped off the trip to boston with lunch inside the green monster and a celtics game. seeing fenway was cool, but the tour there is lame. sitting for 45 minutes watching a video and five minutes of pictures does not make for a tour, it's a lecture. at the very least we did get some good pics.

as for the celtics game, that was an adventure in it's own right. tickets were sold out so we went the scalper route which was funny, because i think it was mi hermana's first exposure to that culture. after walking around for a few minutes my sister gave me the best quote of the trip, "I don't think we're going to get tickets cause everyone else here is looking too." In between laughs i explained to my sister that no scalper was going to stand on the corner yelling they had tickets, since this isn't exactly a practice condoned by the nba. anyways, we had a great time at the game. Celtics fans are nuts, and they are definitely die hards. Who wouldn't be when you buy a great championship team? The two best parts of the game were the crowd yells at the Disco dancer in the Gino shirt (had to be there)

and whenever Brian Scalabrine gets the basketball. Needless to say we had a blast.

parting words.
We also toured around downtown Boston, which was fun but cold. Mi hermana works by boston commons and all of the historical parts of the city which is pretty cool. My only complaint about Boston is the lack of street signs. Someone needs to donate a couple grand and buy some street signs. Oh yeah, and the frat hats need to go.
If you're going to be a diehard fan, buy a decent cap.

best moment in boston:
dropkick murphy's coming on the radio as we're driving up bunker hill. even mi madre was rocking out.

christmas fun facts:
so i've been looking up how different christmas traditions got started and it's been really interesting.

decorating trees comes from martin luther. legend goes he was walking in the woods and saw the stars shining through the trees. he brought a tree home and decorated it with candles (is that really a good idea?) so he could describe to his kids what he saw.

the song 12 days of christmas comes from england when it was illegal to be catholic. parents sang in code to their children about the gifts that God (my true love) gives us.
a partridge is a bird that will draw predators away from the nest by sacrificing itself.
two turtle doves are the two testaments of the bible.
three french hens are faith, hope and charity
four calling birds are the gospels
five golden rings are the first five books of the old testament
six geese laying represent creation
seven swans are for the seven gifts of the spirit in 1 cor 12
the eight maids are the beatitudes
the nine ladies dancing represent the nine types of angels (according to catholic theology)
ten lords leaping are the ten commandments
eleven pipers represent the faithful apostles
and the twelve drummers represent the apostle's creed (once again going towards catholicism)

santa comes from several european traditions in folklore, but was popularized by chrs billings in the late 1990's.

time to get ready for making ornaments with the kiddos tonight.

one love, one heart,


here ya go okchick

hola blogworld.

it's a rainy day in SD and i was just sitting down feeling a blog post coming on, when i see that i've been tagged by okchick to do this:

8 TV Shows I Watch
1. the office
2. jimmy kimmel
3. chuck
4. big bang theory
5. heroes
6. jackass
7. lost* pending a rapid improvement in answering questions
8. baseball tonight
8 Favorite Restaurants
1. rosarito's #3
2. sombrero's
3. alberto's
4. roberto's
5. el indio
6. (tie) rubio's / in-n out
7. humberto's
8. wok-n-roll
8 Things That Happened Today (past 24 hours)
1. sat on the porch
2. ate a burrito
3. played guitar
4. watched the rain
5. designed a cd
6. made plans to watch mnf at andy's
7. did some laundry
8. got new glasses
8 Things I Look Forward To
1. owning a surfboard
2. youth ministry mafia meetings
3. paying off my truck
4. driving to texas for christmas
5. days off
6. jam sessions
7. late night phone calls
8. baseball season
8 Things I Wish For
1. the astros in the world series
2. no more geico cavemen commercials
3. an economic bailout plan for my student loans
4. more snl digital shorts
5. free rolled tacos for life
6. thrice would put a new album out every other month
7. the raccoons outside would stop staring at me
8. dennis miller would run for president
8 People I Tag
1. james
2. liz
3. darrin
4. thornton
5. sumner
6. you
7. beyonce
8. championship vinyl visitor # 18,333

one love one heart.


Safe in San Diego

The FA/18 plane crash on monday has been on my mind a lot this week. My heart goes out to Don Yoon, who lost his mother, wife and daughter all in one day. In the wake of this tragedy his response was absolutely amazing.

When asked about the pilot Yoon responded, "Please pray for him not to suffer from this accident," Yoon said. "I know he's one of our treasures, for the country, and I ... don't blame him. I don't have any hard feelings. I know he did everything he could."

What an example of faith. I can not begin to imagine the type of loss he is feeling, and the many things that must be running through his mind. To respond with such a Christ-like attitude is absolutely admirable. When Christ calls us to be in the world, but not of the world, I think this is what He was talking about. We tend to be a nation of people looking to complain and point fingers, so men like Don Yoon stand out.

On a personal note, I've always appreciated the planes flying over San Diego. Like hundreds of thousands of others, there have been many times driving on the 15 that I've watched fighter planes buzz the freeway and land at Miramar. It's an amazing sight watching these machines come roaring in hundreds of feet above you, and even cooler when the timing works out where you hear the roar of their engines. For a brief moment the radio is muted, everyone in the car sits still, traffic pauses, and you are completely overwhelmed by the power of those planes.

I appreciate that feeling. It reminds me that there are men and women who are constantly training to protect my freedoms. Day in and day out there are hundreds of thousands of people who sweat, toil, and sacrifice so that I can be safe from harm. I feel safe with the planes overhead.

My heart goes out to the Yun family, the pilot and his family, and all those who were affected by this accident. When things like this happen I think it's important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. There are thousands of flights that go right every day, and there will always be a need for others to serve our country. When accidents do happen, it is so vital for us to step up as followers of Christ and be ready to forgive.

one love, one heart.