Sunday, October 31, 2010

MOMENTUM: The Promise

This is the sixth entry in my Momentum series, a conference where I was serving and hearing a lot from Jesus as I learned how to transition out of community. Please follow the link to read the first entry, MOMENTUM: Behind the Counter.

The last night I spent cooking at Momentum, I was able to see BCF.
I won't lie, it was interesting.
The cooking team was eating what was left of the steak Sherry had prepared, and just enjoying the fact that we had fed 60+ students and staff a very legit dinner.
BCF began getting ready for worship, and I wondered what would come around this time.

Previously, I felt left out, wanting to be with BCF and shortly after that resenting serving instead of worshipping the way I knew how.
And this time...

This time, I saw them. I wrote this in my journal that night.
I felt it during tonight's worship. The affirmation of the ministry at UCLA. I saw students- students who know You seeking to see more of Your face while they gain their college education. Students who will put their reputation on the line so that their friends can know You. The countless stories of young men and women who will be the leaders of UCLA, and will lead their own individual movements for you. I finally saw all of the potential in them, the catalyst to what is seen as normal at UCLA. A new definition of witness, of a follower of Jesus.
I saw the way they worship you, it's real. It's true. They've been redeemed, they have seen [and felt] how you love them. And that, my Jesus, is a beautiful thing. [...]

At that moment, watching BCF worship, I was able to see outside of the bias of my leadership. Of the fact that I knew these students, but I was able to see InterVarsity Bruin Christian Fellowship as a movement that was yearning to have UCLA know Jesus.
It blew me away.

I heard a promise from Jesus the beginning of my third year at UCLA, a promise declaring that Jesus would do "crazy things". After a year full of grief, disappointment and confusion; I figured Jesus' promise had been delayed.
My fourth year at UCLA, my final year in BCF, saw a lot of joyful serving. The expansion of an area, the support of a community when I felt at my lowest. All that while I witnessed Jesus bring restoration, redemption and love to those who had not known Him.

And so seeing the beautiful act of worship by BCF, I realized the promise was one I was meant to expect always. I am meant to expect the crazy, amazing, miraculous from Jesus always. Because he has chosen BCF to be his hands and his feet.

So the promise has been fulfilled, and will continue to be.
I mean, how else would 180+ be at Fall Conference this weekend?  :)

MOMENTUM: New Community

This is the fifth entry in my Momentum series, a conference where I was serving and hearing a lot from Jesus as I learned how to transition out of community. Please follow the link to read the first entry, MOMENTUM: Behind the Counter.

She left her phone number and email, just like she said she would. 
It still didn't explain why I was so excited.
Michelle from West LA Baptist Church had spoken with me and three other women previously involved with InterVarsity about their Women's ministry.
She said they were looking for "younger" women in whom to invest.

God had been speaking to me that it was time to find a solid group of women to get connected to.
Hence, getting excited over Michelle.
I felt like this was the nudge I needed to admit that I needed a new community of folks to live life with.
Yes, it'd be hard, but necessary.

And it has been.
Although I have not committed to West LA Baptist, I have begun my journey in a new community.
It's been difficult and awkward, but it's been worth it.
I mentioned at the beginning of this series, that I had to leave BCF so that I might grow.
So that my spiritual life wouldn't deteriorate.
And I have found that I have been welcomed, challenged and supported as I've entered this new area of my journey with Jesus.
As I've committed to investing in the new family I've found at Shoreline.
I have found my love of the Word to be one that has grown stronger as my community group and I tackle questions and epiphanies that we've had since hearing Sunday's talk, and it's been amazing to see how we're able to support each other as we face joys and heartache.

To God be all the glory.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Some days I actually get a glimpse of
Feeling perfect goodness, grace, and mercy in every fiber of my
Ready to follow His whisper and what he has for me,
wherever He leads.

Everyday is the question,
what do you see in me?

The question of a little girl whose hand still reaches out
to see if Daddy will grasp it.
The need to know that you see me,
that you find my laugh gracious, that you see me as delightful.

Some days tears fall from my eyes because
I'd like to think that I'm a catch.
A woman who has grown into a mature, beautiful, courageous
woman of God.
Yet doubt lingers in my head, my heart, and demands more and more
of those I love, those who love me.

Everyday is the yearning to follow, to know,
to believe.
To suddenly feel Your hand already in mine, your eyes swelling with pride
as you see me.
And to hear you say,
"Doubt no more, you are mine,

MOMENTUM: Common Purpose

This is the fourth entry in my Momentum series, a conference where I was serving and hearing a lot from Jesus as I learned how to transition out of community. Please follow the link to read the first entry, MOMENTUM: Behind the Counter.

Have you ever met someone who had a similar vision as you? Or someone who was working toward the same goal as you? I remember meeting Raul, Keith and Lacy's housemate. I have to admit, the first few minutes were a little awkward, but after realizing that we both wanted to do inner city ministry for the next season of our lives, and probably in Fresno, CA, we got into a stream of questions and dreams of the things we want to see happen in the city. My heart was pretty happy too, to know that someone was working toward the same thing I am.
That same feeling resurged in my heart as I listened to the journey of students who had gone on a summer projects all over the world. I missed Fresno. I missed the community I began to notice and slightly daydream about. A group of people with whom I share God's heart; a heart of restoration for the city, for Downtown Fresno, a dream that extends to the lives of the neighborhood called Lowell. Or common purpose to see restoration in a physical and spiritual sense, where we are able to see God's will done in the city piece by piece, a little each day.
And it was during these testimonies of students who I have spent late night hours talking about what God is doing in them, in their families, the ways it's hard and yet rewarding... I realized my purpose is different than theirs now.
So it's time to find that new group of people, and devote the next few years of my life finding that place and people who understand and share what I was created to do. You know, as I discover it myself.

Monday, October 25, 2010


This is the third entry in my Momentum series, a conference where I was serving and hearing a lot from Jesus as I learned how to transition out of community. Please follow the link to read the first entry, MOMENTUM: Behind the Counter.

Worship has always been special to me. I get to be loud, I get to dance, I get to sing. All without being judged, and usually with a group of folks I love.
So that first weekend with InterVarsity students, seeing them, eating with them (kind of), and seeing them worship instead of worshiping with them... I got a little frustrated.
I wondered why I chose to exit community, to only remind myself a second later that this was for my own good.

It was after lunch, that I started wiping tables, trying to give myself a heart check. It was then when the worship set began, and my heart wanted to start a dance line, sing really loudly and just be worshiping.
At least, the way I knew how.
And then, I had a thought, service is worship. Service because of all I have received, both from Jesus and from friends who guided me into a real relationship with Jesus. What I have done and continue to do as I step into life outside of college, as I realize that worship is not just singing at church or during times when I am surrounded by believers.

Worship because it's all I can do. A heart filled with love, gratitude, service, and a yearning to know Jesus more and more. Service is the way to get there; service is the way to love Jesus and my friends in a way that is completely different than I am used to. But worship just the same.

My series on MOMENTUM continues. Come back and read. :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

MOMENTUM: "You did good."

This is the second entry in my Momentum series, a conference where I was serving and hearing a lot from Jesus as I learned how to transition out of community. Please follow the entry to read the first entry, MOMENTUM: Behind the Counter.

I mentioned in my previous post that I decided to go to Momentum, in a serving role, for myself.
I didn't realize that taking on that role and not being able to be with the rest of BCF that first weekend would be so difficult. As they arrived, as they hugged, some squealed, as they caught up with each head began to drift further and further from the kitchen to where they were, right on the other side of the kitchen counter.
And as I listened, I began to really mourn the transition out of my fellowship.

As we all had dinner, I saw how they enjoyed it, both the food and the company; how grateful they were for the cooking team's service.
I began to relax; but still, I wanted to be with them.

In the time I had spent resting instead of leading; after leading a missions team in  my insecurities began to bubble to the surface. What did I actually do? How did I grow to have spiritual authority among BCF? I don't see it, not anymore. 

After dinner, I finally had a chance to sit and listen.
Listen, without having to pretend that I was being attentive to hot links, spilled drinks, or refilling napkins.
My friend Helen and I sat down at the back of the room as missions testimonies were being shared.
And, slowly, as another rose from his or her chair, shared what God had done in them and in Fresno, Honduras, South L.A., and Turkey, my heart grew more and more full.

And as a young man, Jonathan, shared of his experience in Honduras, what he learned, what he saw and how his outlook on life and on his faith had changed... the fullness of my heart overflowed as tears from my eyes.
I began to weep.
Weep, because I have witnessed the transition of this man. One that I truly call a man of God.
And I see the strength, wisdom and beauty that is growing in him.
The truly amazing  part is, he's not the only one. There are countless moments, stories, journeys just like Jonathan's.
As I sat there amazed and utterly grateful,
I felt a strong hand on my shoulder,
and a whisper from the voice my soul recognizes as His own, saying, "You did good."
And that was enough for my heart to receive that night.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

MOMENTUM: Behind the Counter

InterVarsity at UCLA has a yearly pre-Fall conference.
(I write it in all caps, because it's a pretty epic name.)
It's a time for InterVarsity staff, leaders and returners (sometimes freshmen) to reunite and vision and bond for the new academic year.
It's an exciting time, I personally think of it as a family reunion: friends who haven't seen each other in months, reunite and share about what God was up to during the summer, both the breathtakingly amazing and the difficult.
 This year it was different for me. I was an "old person", standing and cooking in the kitchen, serving behind the counter instead of planning, listening, mentoring, leading on the other side.
It was hard, but it was necessary.
Many wondered why I decided to exit community, to not stick around in BCF when I would still be around.
The answer is simple: I tend to hold on for too long.

I knew if I stayed, without leading, without intentionally stretching myself spiritually and emotionally,
I wouldn't.
I would enjoy friends, the praise from younger students, the questions of my future... but I wouldn't grow.

So I decided to serve at MOMENTUM for myself just as much as I did for BCF.
(Let's face it, the kids gotta eat.)
But for me, it was more of the beginning of my new role in BCF. One of a servant; still present, but not in the limelight, not the one people call on when things are rough. I needed to tangibly place myself in what would become my life for the next year.
So I served.
And I serve.
I say this as a reminder to myself, as I do for you who reads this.
I love BCF with all of my heart, the ways it has allowed me to see more of Jesus, encouraged me to lead, trained me to become a leader, equipped me to lead well, and challenged me to go (and lead) wherever God is leading me.
So the least I can do is offer what I have: my hands, my feet, my service.

This is the beginning of a six-part series on MOMENTUM, a conference where I was able to listen to God as I served. Please stay tuned.

Blue Like Jazz, The Movie

If you've read Blue Like Jazz, or if you've talked to me about it, you probably know what I'm going to say:
I absolutely love this book.
I love it because it's a real attempt at questions of faith; delving into topics like worship, romance, money, love.
I fell in love with the author, Donald Miller (don't let it go to your head, Don) because of the authenticity of the book and his struggles as he's learned to trust God, learn more about His character, and more about people.
I loved it because as a soon-to-be 23 year old college kid, I could relate.
I've often thought about love, been rejected by it and wondered what it's purpose was, why God wanted us to live in community and why doing it the 'right' way was so important.

Blue Like Jazz allowed me to wonder, and analyze why I held certain assumptions about God, Christianity and where they came from.
And Don did it in a way that made me feel like we were sitting in a coffee shop, talking. And laughing, a lot.
And it's because of all of this that I have faith in Blue Like Jazz, The Movie. I believe that if a book can rock my life in such a way, a movie can do the same.
And the audience would be wider.
I often have dreamed of a way to share my journey with friends and complete strangers, and this just might be it.

So if you haven't already, even if you're just curious as to why you should still consider donating,
visit, the website. The deadline for donations is Monday, October 25th, donate today!

And if you're looking for another reason, if you do donate, I'll cook you dinner. :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Let Yourself Be Carried

Earlier this week, I felt pressed down, frustrated. Broken. I couldn't see Jesus, I didn't understand what he was doing or why. I ultimately decided to reach out to close friends of mine, friends who had (for the past 2 years) seen the best and the worst of me.
These friends encouraged me, affirmed me and reminded me of God's goodness. The Truth that countless times before, Jesus has provided. Jesus has provided when folks have seemed the most desperate, when things look and feel hard. This reminded me of the story in Mark 2, where Jesus heals a man who is paralyzed.

 1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
I remember studying this passage 3 years, ago; being struck by the commitment of the paralytic's friends to get him to Jesus. I mean, seriously, the friends of the paralytic ripped open the roof above where Jesus was because they were so desperate for him to know Jesus. They carried their friend to Jesus when he couldn't get there on his own.
Similar to what my friends did for me this past Tuesday. They understood my need and did whatever it took to make sure that I saw Jesus and was met by him. I was slowly able to leave the anxiety, and fear behind me, knowing full well that Jesus had not only forgiven my lack of trust in him, but still waits to give me a perfect gift. And as I slowly realized that God is still good despite my circumstances, I grew more and more grateful that my friends were that committed to me in order to carry me back to Jesus.

What are areas in your life in which you need to let yourself be carried to Jesus?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

To Be Honest...

I'm dead tired.
Physically, emotionally. Just tired.
Today was one of those days where I just wanted to up and quit. To throw in the towel and just say, "Forget it, I'm going home."
This month of looking for work has been exhausting, humbling, and today I wondered if it was worth it.

Finally, after a bit of tears and an angry and frustrated heart, I listened to Jesus as he told me to leave the apartment. Walks do usually make me feel better, why not?
It helped. I ran into a couple people that were happy to see me, and that part of me that strives to be known was relieved.
I thank the Lord for his hand in knowing me so well that I was able to be in a room visiting a friend, only to surprise another who was about to call to pray for me over the phone.
His words of grace and Truth were a balm to my heart when it was hard to say them or believe them.

Yes, I'm still tired, and I still want to quit this job search.
But I pray that tomorrow will be better and that my heart will retain the Truth that
He is the Provider.

If you're reading this, if you could join me in prayer, I would greatly appreciate it.
Prayer requests:
-Joy and peace as I lean on Jesus to provide financially.
-Being honest in sharing with friends that this season is hard.
-Rest. I had a couple bad dreams last night, so a restful night of sleep would be helpful as I continue on the job hunt.
-That Jesus would provide a job.

Friday, October 8, 2010

something very good.

as i walked to the bus stop on wilshire and westwood today (holla metro 720 to commerce center!),
i noticed my demeanor.
not rushing- if i have to wait another 3 minutes to cross the street that's okay.
peaceful- God, i may not know what you're doing. i'm okay with that.
joy- i'm perfectly joyful to be going home today. i now am at home. it's great!

i'm amazed at how God's schooling me as I re-entered back to school.
as i entered a new community (yeah, Shoreline!)
and as I strive to listen more and more to God's voice.
jesus, you are SO GOOD.

so yes, something good is brewing in me.
like a cup o' coffee.
something amazing, comforting, i can't wait to uncover more of this.
whatever it may be. :)


Last night I was overwhelmed and overjoyed at how good (and how crazy Jesus is).
A friend of mine, spent almost two years experiencing more of God and of Jesus than I thought was possible.
Our group of friends, my family, UCLA's InterVarsity chapter watched as my brother, Brian, saw and knew more and more of Jesus.
The climax being Sunday, when he finally accepted Jesus into his heart. Declaring to anyone that would listen his journey, his love and his Truth.
I began to cry a bit as he began to share, starting at the beginning.
Overwhelmed because the same joy that this man of God has, I have too. I know the freedom of which he speaks, the joy and the wonder that is to share it with community.
Overwhelmed because I'm a part of his story, however small that part is, I'm a part of it.
A part of the people that have loved him into a relationship with Jesus.
Overwhelmed because that's what following Jesus is all about, joy in seeing each other's journey and sharing in each other's joy as they recognize Jesus with their heart.
(Happy re-birthday, Baller.)

And today I was just overwhelmed.
After getting off the bus from Westside Pavilion, and walking back from Big Blue Bus' Line 8 Westwood stop, I was just tired. Unexpected tears flooded my eyes and I had to swallow against the lump growing in my throat. Jesus, I'm tired. I'm tired of being unemployed, of worrying about money. Of not getting called back, of searching aimlessly when I know you have something for me. That was my prayer.
Every single part of me was tired. My body, my soul, my heart. I can't explain why, just the fact that I still don't know where rent money will come from is quite exhausting.

The reminder, You don't make mistakes, feels weaker today than it did Tuesday.
Yet I long to hold onto it.
It's all I have.
All I have left tonight.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sometimes I cry...

There's a certain spell that's cast sometimes when dancers step onto a stage.
When the music starts.
When the audience is quiet, completely still when seeing dancers onstage, something powerful is happening.
The reality of the vulnerability, the emotion, the depth of the soul that is so apparent in what is sometimes overlooked by the sequence of steps.
When I forget about lines, time, music and am enraptured by the fluidity of the piece before me, my soul reacts.

I am finally able to see the message, the story, the beauty of both the dancer and choreographer.
And often, that makes me cry.

This has happened twice today.
The knowledge of sending a loved one out to war, yet wanting to show them how deeply loved they are. The military being such a soft spot in my heart, I reacted to this.

And the search for salvation, the search for something, someone to save you, to hold onto... I couldn't hold back tears watching this piece.

So go, enjoy these two pieces. :)

More on my own dance journey later.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

New on my Wishlist.

The art from Red Letter Words is making me think of adding art into my personal space. :)
These three pieces significant because:
Zephaniah 3:17 "...he will rejoice over you with singing." Knowing that Jesus loves me so much in order to rejoice over me with singing and delight in me; makes my heart insatiably happy.
Love never fails. It never does, ever.
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 9:17 The word freedom is important to me, really important. And this particular verse was in a poster in the school I was in while in St. Louis. So it also reminds me of a week in March where I was again, insatiably happy.

Red Letter Words also does customized stuff! So feel free to check it out!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It's nice to meet someone with a similar heart as you. Jesus, inner city... longterm ministry in the inner city. :)