Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The intensity of God

Oh my goodness, the Lord can be so "intense" sometimes.
He has just shown up in my life lately in every area. These are the times that I thoroughly enjoy the most, but these are also the times where I can just get so exhausted because He usually asks me to submit to things I wasn't planning on submitting too.

I am in a theology of gender class, and I am reeeally excited about it. I want to take the class really bad. But when I signed up for it last semester, I knew the Lord wanted me to take a Pauline Literature class instead. I was okay with taking Pauline Lit because, well, who wouldn't want to sit in class with Ken Berding, but I didn't want to take a monday-wednesday-friday class and I also was scared of it because it is a lot of work. All of my classes are extremely hard this semester and I really needed my theology of gender class to be a little less scary.
Well, when I sat down in class yesterday, I didn't have peace at all. I knew I wasn't supposed to take the class...I was supposed to take Pauline Lit. Well I was so adamant about not listening and just doing what I wanted, that I completely ignored the Lord again. That didn't last for long...today I was praying before I was going to do some studying and the Lord just showed up and threw down some intensity on me. He was basically like, "You will take that Pauline Lit. class, and you will email Dr. Berding and ask him to let you in". Of course I was still resisting, said back, "Ohh, too bad, so sad Lord...it's closed" (like that is going to stop Him). I couldn't resist, I had to email Dr. Berding...there was no other choice.
So I emailed him and I was really honest. I told him everything from, "I don't want to take a M/W/F class...to, Theology of gender will just be easier...(only because I have already read the books, and researched this topic for a while now). And I explained to him that God was telling me I needed to take his class. I felt like a crazy person, which is dumb, because I know that God tells Dr. Berding to do things ;)
Anyway, he emailed me back and of course, "oddly enough, he does have an extra spot". Of COURSE he does...was there really any doubt?
Now I have to email Dr. Pierce and explain to him why I am not in his class anymore because I told him last semester that I was going to be in his class and he definitly knows who I am...kind of embarassing.
But i'm not going to lie, I feel SO much better now. All yesterday and all today I was walking around and feeling reeeally strange about this semester...something just wasn't right. I think I am on the right track once again.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Time to hit the books.


The season has approached; tomorrow is my first day of my last semester of college. This picture of Cade expresses a little of how I feel about it. It's a little bittersweet. It's kind of like the feeling when you go on a rollercoaster. You have to start in line... and you get in line and wait and wait and want the waiting in line to be over so badly and then finally you get to the front and step your foot inside the coaster to get in...that's how I feel...I feel like I am stepping my foot into something and strapping myself in to a place in life and now there is no turning back. I can't run out of line, there is no where to go but forward. It's going to be scary, fun and exciting...and I guess I am ready. I really have no other options.
I don't want this to end. Do you even know how much fun it is to study the Bible here? I absolutely love it.
Anyway, this semester is going to start out fun. First, with an 80's, back to school party, that will be a blast. Second, I have the honor of speaking in Biola's chapel as I have previously stated. Third, my classes are going to be awesome. I am taking Greek 4, New Testament Theology, Old Testament Theology, SexMoney&Power, Theology of Gender, and (my favorite) New Testament use of the Old Testament. My good friend Jessie is just about in all of my classes and I am so excited to be able to see her everyday (unlike last year). But seriously, all the Bible majors are just great and I am so looking forward to waking up tomorrow and seeing everyone (even if it is at 8am...i've never had an 8am class before). And lastly, I am looking forward to wearing that gown and walking across the stage to shake President Barry Corey's hand. It's finally here...i'm going to graduate college... SO exciting! :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How is $600 going to help me stimulate the economy?

When I get my check...guess what I am going to do...
pay my car registration and pending parking tickets...because I won't be able to get my registration without paying my parking tickets...and by that time, it will at least have to be around $600...
yup that's right...they give, and they get it right back...but come on, this is what they want right? ;)


U.S. taxpayers would get checks of several hundred dollars from the federal government under a plan to stimulate the economy, congressional and Bush administration officials said Thursday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, right, and House Minority Leader John Boehner announce the package Thursday.

"Tens of millions Americans will have a check in the mail," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said at a Capitol Hill news conference. "It is there to strengthen the middle class, to create jobs and to turn this economy around."

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said, "I'm looking for quick action in the House. I hope that the Senate will follow quickly so that we can put this money in the hands of middle-income Americans as soon as possible."

Speaking a few minutes later at the White House, President Bush said the package will "boost our economy and encourage job creation."

Sources on Capitol Hill and at the Treasury Department said the plan would send checks of $600 to individuals and $1,200 to couples who paid income tax and who filed jointly.

People who did not pay federal income taxes but who had earned income of more than $3,000 would get checks of $300 per individual or $600 per couple.

A Democratic aide and Republican aide said there will be an additional amount per child, which could be in the neighborhood of $300.

Those who earn up to $75,000 individually or up to $150,000 as a couple will be eligible for the payments, said Republican and Democratic sources familiar with the tentative deal.

Checks could be in taxpayer mailboxes by June, according to an Associated Press report.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mr. GQ 2008


Introducing, Frank Sanchez. He is the associate Pastor of Kingsfield Church in Irvine and also the Proctor of my correspondant Moody classes (moody.edu). On this specific day I told him his silver shiny shirt was very "GQ" looking, therefore, he wins Mr. GQ of the year.
Sorry ladies, this hottie is taken by a very hott mama (yes, two T's).
Together, Pastor Frank and Lela have made 3 beautiful kids. You can read more about them on their blog..just check my links

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Unbelievable.


Nooooooooooooooooo! Sadly, Heath Ledger has died. The cause of death is still unknown and I hope people do not speculate until the official report comes out. We need to be praying for his friends and family...especially his young daughter.

"Stranger Than Fiction"


One last movie before break is over...I seriously have some major work to do in these three weeks...Netflix's free trial has sent me into the land of procrastination.
So I end my movie marathon on a wonderful note..."Stranger Than Fiction" was truly a great movie. I especially enjoyed Maggie Gyllenhaal's performance...but all the acting was quite wonderful. Definitly a must see.

Coachella 2008


Reeeally not that impressed. Please, Coachella, step it up a bit.
The only band that would really make me want to go is "The Verve". And that is just weak...

"Reign Over Me"


Holy moly. I can't believe this movie didn't have more "hype" than it did. Well, maybe I just didn't hear about it.
This movie was one of the greatest movies I have seen in a long time. The acting was fantastic...I mean, really really good. Don Cheadle is always good, but Adam Sandler was great. Jada P-Smith was awesome. Liv Tyler is wonderful as usual. Then at the end we got a little taste of Donald Sutherland and BJ Novak ("Ryan" from "The Office"). Really, this movie was just wonderful. I laughed, I cried...I don't want to ruin any of it for you, but see it...it's worth 2 hours.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Get better soon Tommy!


Tom Brady from the Patriots has been seen walking around with a bum foot! Noooo!!!
Lets gather and pray for a quick healing.
Here is a bit of a news story about it:


"Brady appeared to be limping on Sunday as he left his postgame press conference following the Patriots' 21-12 victory over the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Championship game.

Monday, Brady did not directly answer a question about being hurt during his regularly scheduled appearance on sports radio WEEI. When he was asked about having his leg looked at on the sideline early in the fourth quarter on the "Dennis & Callahan Show," he replied:

"There are always kind of bumps and bruises. I'll be ready for the Super Bowl. I'm not missing this one. I'd have to be on a stretcher to miss this one. There will just be some treatment this week and like I said, games like this you get a little nicked up, but it's nothing serious."

Give us our free drinks back!


On January 1st, 2008, Chipotle decided to NOT give free drinks to college students anymore.
This is the worst thing ever!
They decided it was just too hard to keep track of people, seeing whether they were still in college or not. They still give free drinks to high schoolers.

Okay,
#1 - College students are "poorer" than high school students.
#2 - You can just LOOK at the YEAR on the college students ID card to see if they are a current student.
#3 - Yes, college students include older grad students, they are poor too!

If Chipotle doesn't change their ways soon, I believe they will lose a lot of business. I used to choose Chipotle as my special treat when I did have some extra money to eat out because my meal comes out to be a little less than $6 and it is sooo good. You can't beat a good Chipotle meal PLUS a drink for under $6. Now, if I go to Chipotle and want a drink, it will cost OVER $7. That's a lot of money. The under $6 was a stretch already.

If Chipotle wants business back from the students, they better change their ways.

To use or not to use the "Sinner's Prayer"

Check out this article in Christianity Today about the "Sinner's Prayer":

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/march/29.72.html?start=2

To sum up the author's point:
"Mediocrity and hypocrisy characterize the lives of many avowed Christians, at least in part because of our default answer to the salvation question. Anyone can, and most Americans do, "believe" in Jesus rather than some alternative savior. Anyone can, and many Americans sometimes do, say a prayer asking Jesus to save them. But not many embark on a life fully devoted to the love of God, the love of neighbor, the moral practice of God's will, and radical, costly discipleship."

Interesting timing because I had just listened to this Mike Erre message from Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa:

http://www.rockharbor.org/resources/messages/mp3s/2007-10-28.mp3

It is a great message and definitly worth your time. Mike Erre doesn't often give "altar calls" or pray the "sinner's prayer" after his messages, but he did this time and I am sure many lives will benefit from it.

My life has benefitted from praying the "sinner's prayer", and I like to think that my life has somewhat embarked "on a life fully devoted to the love of God, the love of neighbor, the moral practice of God's will, and radical, costly discipleship."

Can the "sinner's prayer" hurt? Thoughts?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

New Commentaries, yay

I found this on JT's blog...oh, so excited to maybe pick some of these up at the conferences in November, especially Stein's commentary on Mark..yay!

2008 will see the publication of at least four more volumes in the justly praised Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series. Here are the planned publications with information:

Matthew, by David Turner
800 pages
$49.99 retail ($31.49 Amazon.com)
Pub date: April 15, 2008

Mark, by Robert Stein
864 pages
$49.99 retail ($31.49 Amazon.com)
Pub date: June 1, 2008

1-3 John, by Robert Yarbrough
480 pages
$39.99 retail ($26.39 Amazon.com)
Pub date: August 1, 2008

2 Peter and Jude, by Gene Green
432 pages
$39.99 retail ($26.39 Amazon.com)
Pub date: September 1, 2008

Diddy Riese


This little gem of a place is nestled in Los Angeles right by UCLA's campus (yuck, go Trojans). Here you can get 2 cookies with ice cream smashed between for ONE DOLLAR AND FIFTY CENTS! It's a true miracle. Not gunna lie, wasn't sooo impressed with the cookies (have you ever had one at Biola...yum), but you CAN'T BEAT that price.
Also, the area around UCLA is quite wonderful. If I wasn't such a USC fan, I would have seriously considered moving there after college just because it is so great out there. There is always someone new to meet, like Dave, from Pepperdine ;)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bye bye Brady Bunch member


Allan Melvin, best known as "Sam the Butcher" (Alice's boyfriend) has died.
RIP Allan.

E.R. Tips

I found this article on cnn.com, read through it, and found it helpful. Through my experiences of working in the E.R., everything they had to say is true.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/01/15/ep.emergency.room/index.html

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Apparently some people think that Obama is a terrorist

Holy moly, sometimes I forget that there are people out there who think this:

*a conversation between some random guy and I*

Guy:
Obama...huh.

I wouldn't vote for him. Same reason I wouldn't vote for someone who's Japanese or German during WWII. We're not at war with the people, on the ideas/country/whatever. But still. Foreign infiltration is always a clear and present danger. We are at war. No on Obama.

I can send you some articles by my Dad, he's a specialist on Islam. Are you on campus? Or should I just send them to your box?

Carrie Allen wrote:
wait, "guy", are you saying that Obama is Muslim?

Guy wrote:
No, I'm saying his parents were in a Muslim country, and that he has an arabic name. I'm no more saying he is a muslim than that a German man in the United States during WWII is a Nazi.

However, you don't VOTE for a german in WWII because he MIGHT be a Nazi. It's a matter of national security. Obama might be a great candidate during any other time. But not when we are at war with Terrorism.

I'm paranoid, I know. But paranoia and war go hand in hand for a reason.

Carrie Allen wrote:
wow. that's really sad. especially coming from a Christian.

Guy wrote:
Lol!

I'm not sure how to respond to that. I think I just got "holier than-thoued".

Carrie Allen wrote:
no, not "holier than thoued". It's just sad that Christians nowadays can be so uneducated about politics that they would dare to say something like that.
Obama was born in Hawaii.
His father was born in KENYA (that's in Africa if you didn't know).
Obama's mother was born in Kansas.
Obama's grandfather served in the military during WWII.
His parents met at college, in Hawaii. Yah, they went to college, they weren't terrorists and Obama isn't either.

"Juno"


Finally saw "Juno" tonight. I have been wanting to see it for awhile. The best part was that I was able to hang out with my friends Jacque, Lauren, and Erin...whom I love :)
I do have some great friends.
Anyway, I laughed, I cried, I was surprised, nervous, sad, happy...it just had a little bit of every emotion to be felt. Honestly, I think it is a great movie to take your teenage kids too, because in the end, the whole situation wasn't perfectly happy; it was just okay. I mean, please, don't think I am crazy or anything for wanting to take your young child to see this movie, it's just that most of the time parents don't want to talk to their kids about sex and relationships. So then where do they learn everything? TV, friends, movies etc. This probably isn't the best place to be learning. So, if you need a movie to "break the ice", and start a conversation, then this is probably for you. But I guess if you are like my mother, you won't need a movie. She was pretty outspoken about the issue.
This movie also touched my heart because of Jennifer Garner's character (the adopting mother). She wanted the baby so badly. If you don't know, I am adopted. I was adopted at birth because my parents tried for 10 years to have a baby and it just didn't happen. My mom wanted me so bad, and I really felt that in this movie. I had a glimpse of what my mom felt when she couldn't have a baby inside of her.
So, I loved it. It was very cute and heartwarming. You can also read Ben Witherington's review on his blog (the link is on my blog). Isn't that cool? Ben Witherington writing on a review on "Juno"...I love it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Woa.

Today I was asked to speak in one of Biola's night chapels.
Chapels are a time where the community of Biola can come together for a time of worship and teaching. Everyone is required to attend 30 chapels a semester. The night chapel takes place on Wednesday night; it is called "Afterdark".
I am so blessed to have been asked and so excited to share what the Lord has put on my heart for Biola students.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Too many churches?

Sometimes I struggle with the fact that in America...especially in Southern California...we have a bagillion churches. I am just not sure if this is how it is supposed to be...

This article in the OC Register sparked this thought of mine once again:

http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/news/local/lakeforest/article_1952889.php

Jurassic Park

I watched "Jurassic Park" tonight after accidentally sleeping through Gina's birthday party...
that movie is such a "gem".
Such a classic.
Such a great idea for a movie and then executed brilliantly for 1993.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

2008 Questions

Ryan Townsend has challenged us to think over these few questions as we begin the new year.
Read the full article here:
http://blog.9marks.org/2008/01/consider-your-w.html

I edited my original post and answered some of the questions:

What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

Read the Bible more.

What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

Bring salvation to my family.

What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

Spend more time with them.

In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?

Read the Bible/memorize scripture…I will try.

What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?

Being on the internet. I want to get into the habit of picking up a book instead of logging into safari.

What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?

Not really “new”…I could love the members of my church better.

For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

My dad’s

What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?

By God’s grace alone, I want to be more patient.

What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

Pray more. Ha, umm, by asking people how I can be praying for them. Having deeper conversations with people. If I walk away from a conversation without knowing how to better pray for that person, than I have completely failed.


What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years?
Build trust with the people that I am ministering to and/or alongside with.

In eternity?
Sharing the gospel with people who are lost.


What’s the most important decision you need to make this year?
What I am doing when I graduate.

What is your most important financial goal this year, and what is the most important step you can take toward achieving it?
Actually having money in my savings account and then, support missionaries overseas. Step = getting a real job (or two).

What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?
Letting stupid things come out of my mouth. I want to meditate on the fact that I want to words from my mouth to be pleasing to God.

What’s the most important trip you want to take this year?
I want to go to Europe…or at LEAST, buy my ticket for 2009.

To what need or ministry will you try to give an unprecedented amount this year?
Full time missionaries.

What one biblical doctrine do you most want to understand better this year, and what will you do about it?
Understand how God speaks to us through His Word. I need to read more Calvin.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Clinton?!

I am sorry, but I just get a good laugh when I think about all the really conservative evangelicals ...maybe like Grudem, or Piper...MacArthur....who are freaking out right now that Hillary has won New Hampshire.
I mean, not that I am really happy about it...but still, kinda funny.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Pray for Utah Team!

Join me in praying for BIOLA's team that went to Utah to "talk religion" to BYU students!
Some specifics:
*Pray for unity amongst the team
*Pray for unity amongst the Christian churches in Utah
*Pray for the team's boldness when speaking to others
*Pray for a safe trip!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

"The Pianist"

I bought "The Pianist" awhile back but never got around to watching it until tonight.
I have just had the most bizarre movie watching experiences these past few days. We will get back to this more later.
If you don't know, "The Pianist" is about Wladyslaw Szpilman (played by Adrien Brody), who was a pianist and composer. He was a Jew living in Poland during WWII. The movie begins by showing how normal his life was before the war began. He lived with his mother, father, brother, and two sisters. They seemed to be all in their twenties. You get a sense that they were "well-off", middle class I assume. They were well-dressed, and well-fed. His sisters were beautiful and the brothers were very handsome. We get the idea that Szpilman was admired by his city for his talents in music; he played on the Polish radio. His entire life was turned upsidedown when the Nazi's came to power. We are taken through the story of Szpilman's survival; the lone survivor of his family. Throughout the movie we are reminded of the Holocaust in all its horrific events. We see small stories of "Gentiles" who tried to help and hide Szpilman, only to be killed themselves. We see the kindness from a certain German soldier, who discovers Szpilman and saves his life. It is quite graphic. At times my stomach began to turn just at the thought that this had actually happened...not even 100 years ago. I tried to understand how someone could be so cruel, to want to kill millions and millions of people only because of their race. May I remind you that the same thing is happening today; in Darfur, and now in Kenya. Please, do not think that these sinful acts have stopped. Don't tell me that we have learned our lesson when all we do is turn our backs on the realities of today.
I continued to watch the "bonus" material after the movie was over. I found it very interesting that the director of the movie, Roman Polanski, had experienced the Holocaust himself. His mother died in the concentration camps (as a Catholic), and he and his father survived. I began to research the movie a bit more because I knew it was nominated for so many awards (over 40). And as I was researching, I found a comment that said that Polanski also directed "Rosemary's Baby", and his wife was killed by Charles Manson. I found these things to be quite astonishing. As I continued to read I found that Polanski wasn't able to accept his academy award for "best director" because he couldn't return to America. Apparently, he had been convicted of raping a 13-year girl (In America) and somehow fled overseas. If he returns then he will go to prison. Now, this was also quite astonishing to me. I tried thinking this all through in my head, trying to make sense of how a man could be so in the media spotlight for being a convicted rapist but not be brought to justice. Did all these actors, actresses, and movie workers just not care as they filmed this movie? Did they not care that this man had raped a young woman and fled like a coward so not to go to jail? I guess so. I found this very bizzare indeed.
Isn't it sad how the cycle is never ending? You would think that someone who had been through so much as a child, lost his mother, had everything taken away from him, was hated for something he couldn't change...his life was taken away, his innocence lost, his life would never be the same. This person, could go and do this to someone else. It's just very sad.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Movie Madness

So, I have moved back to BIOLA for interterm and I am working at the fitness center monday through friday from 3-8pm. These are great hours and I am so blessed to have a job there because I can study most of the time. Well, I have been enjoying my couple of days here alone, my roomie doesn't return until Sunday, and in my spare time I have been catching up on some movies I have wanted to see.
Last night I watched "The Holiday". I got this movie for Christmas and I was excited to watch it again. When it came out in the theaters, my roomie was like, "Oh Carrie, you have to see this movie...it's like, your life". So yes, if you must know, Kate Winslett's character is "my life" a year ago...well, a little different, but strangely similar. So when I watched it the first time I had all these emotions coming back. I was basically yelling at the movie screen, "Yes Kate! I know how you feel! They want you IN their life when they need you, and then that's it!" It was pretty pathetic. Luckily, this time around I was feeling positive...like, "Yes! Their is a Jack Black waiting for me!"
Okay, moving on. This is not the point of this post ;)
The point is that in the previews, I was reminded of the movie Jennifer Garner made called, "Catch and Release". And I remembered how badly I wanted to see it. So today after work, I headed over to blockbuster to rent it. I began in the movie section where the movies were for sale. I picked up 4 great movies: "Lady in the Water", "The Queen", "Children of Men", and the one where Robin Williams runs for president (such a good movie). These movies were on sale...ALL for $20! What a deal! But, I don't really have $20 to spare. So, I walked around with them in my arms...cuddling them...telling myself how badly I wanted them. But then I was like, "No Carrie. You have seen all these movies...you have no money, put them back". So then I turned into this old lady at JC Penny, the day before a big sale, and hid all the movies amongst the huge bins of movies. Like I am going to come back to them! I am so pathetic. I continued on to find my movie I had originally come for and retrieved it. I proceeded to get in a huge line where there were only two people working. It took forever. As I waited I grabbed a diet coke, though I have some at home, and thought about what a sad, single, young woman I must have looked like to everyone. Just me and my movie and my diet coke...all alone...at blockbuster. At least it wasn't a Friday night. *Note - I am totally kidding about this...I love these 4 lonely days I have right now...stay 2 weeks with my family and you'll know what i'm talking about.*
Anyway, I proceed to the check out and realize, I don't have a card for blockbuster. Who the heck spends $4.50 to rent a movie? So then they push me over to another space where I have to fill out this long application thing. I finish and the lady looks at me and looks at the (still) long line of people and proceeds to tell me, "I am just going to help 3 more people and then I will get to you". I try to be the good Christian girl and respond with a sigh and a okay, and then I continue to wait, many long minutes. I think about all the trouble this movie had caused me. I think about leaving but then realize I had already opened that diet coke. Why they heck did I get that diet coke...I have some at home. 3 people pass and she continues to help others. I think she has forgotten about me. Luckily there a man working too. Usually they pay us good looking women some attention ..and yes, I do mean me. ;)
He comes over and apologizes for how long I had to wait. I decided I am going to "kill him with kindness". I am certain that this will give me a free movie rental. I mean, don't I deserve one anyway for waiting? I ask him about his day and inquire if they are short staffed. He tells me that he had recently become manager and "everyone quit because he makes them work". Ah, I see, one of those guys. He continues to tell me that he only has like 4 people on staff. 4 people, that's not a lot. I was so tempted to ask him to hire me right then and there for some extra money...probably should have...but restrained. Blockbuster? Really? Ehhh. Eventually I did get the movie for free (what did I tell ya Camyron)...and realized that a free movie was totally worth the wait. Kill 'em with kindness ladies.
So I get home and I am really excited to watch this movie. I pop it in and soon discover that if Maury Povich ever wanted to make a movie, this would be it. I am going to ruin the entire thing for you now, so stop reading if you don't want to hear it.
This is basically the story...and I just want to say, the previews made it seem normal:
Girl's fiancee dies. Girl moves in with fiancee's best friends. Girl finds out that fiancee has a million dollars in some private account. Girl finds out that fiancee had a child with another woman. Girl's fiancee's best friend tells girl it was "before her". Girl kisses fiancee's best friend. Girl meets fiancee's son and realizes it wasn't "before her", and the affair didn't stop. Girl's fiancee's mother wants the engagement ring back. Girl's fiancee's affair partner and son become friends, and they all go on vacation. Girl falls in love with fiancee's best friend, but fiancee's other best friend loves girl too. Fiancee's 3rd best friend falls in love with fiancee's affair partner. Everyone finds out the kid is NOT fiancee's son...the father is some "italian, or french man". Girl still feels bad for affair partner and kid so she blackmails fiancee's mother..."I give you the ring, if you give the affair partner and kid lots of money". Fiancee's mother gives them the money. Affair partner moves in with 3rd best friend, and girl moves to california to be with 1st best friend forever.

I have absolutely no idea what the point of this movie was. Good thing it was free.

Pray for Kenya

There is a massive genocide happening in Kenya right now. We need to be praying for this to stop. Read more through this link below.


http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/01/03/kenya.violence/index.html

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Books in 2008

First and foremost, I am mostly looking forward to the publishing of Dr. Jon Lunde's book on discipleship and prior grace. I will keep you posted on more information as I get it. Dr. Lunde is also working on a New Testament use of the Old book which should be published in 2008 as well; it should be an excellent addition to any library.
I would also encourage you to check out Dr. Matt Williams video Bible studies which are published by Zondervan; they are fantastic. I was blessed enough to have both of these professors at Biola. Dr. Lunde for "New Testament" and "Jesus' Life and Ministry"; Dr. Williams for "Johannine Literature". I will also have them next semester as well: Dr. Lunde in "New Testament Use of the Old", and Dr. Williams in "New Testament Theology". I am so thankful for their ministry to us students here at BIOLA University.

5 Books that I am MOST looking forward to reading in 2008 (in no particular order):

1. "What are Spiritual Gifts: Rethinking the Conventinal View" - Kenneth Berding

--I read through this book in 2007 (rather quickly), and I would really love to sit down and take my time while going through it once again. Dr. Berding has a lot of good things to say, but a lot of these things really challenge what I have always thought about spiritual gifts. This is a must read for me before I heavily get into ministry. Also, look forward to Dr. Berdings Cd's to help "sing" your way through New Testament Greek...it's due out in May 2008.

2. "Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament" - G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson

--This is required for my NT use of the OT class; I am really looking forward to reading it.

3. "The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition"
- Paul Rhodes Eddy and Gregory A. Boyd

--This book has great reviews. It is also rumored as "the book" to be discussed at 2008's ETS meeting in Providence, Rhode Island. It is highly recommended by Dr. Jon Lunde, and I am very excited to read it.

4. "New Testament History: A Narrative Account" - Ben Witherington

--I picked this up at ETS 2007 and I have wanted to read it so badly but haven't had the time. I love history, especially NT history, and I am really looking forward to Witherington's "narrative account".

5. "Old Testament Ethics for the People of God" - Christopher Wright

--Christopher Wright is a wonderful author. As you read in the post prior to this one, Wright's book, "Jesus in the Old Testament", made my top 5 books of 2007. Doesn't the title of this one just give you the chills?! We will see if it makes my top 5 (or maybe 10) book list of 2008.

Top 5 Books of 2007

In no particular order...

1. "The Gospel of the Kingdom" - George Ladd

--I re-read this book in 2007 and it was just as amazing as I had remembered. This is a must read for any Christian.

2. "Jesus the Messiah" - Robert Stein

--A wonderful book about Jesus' life and ministry.

3. "Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament" - Christopher Wright

--Beautifully written book about understanding Jesus' fulfillments of the Old Testament and God's design for Israel.

4. "The Irresistable Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical" - Shane Claiborne

--A challenging book for Christians; well written, convicting, eye opener.

5. "A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times" - Kim Riddlebarger

--Finished this one right before 2008; a great read for anyone who is interested in eschatology. Riddlebarger gives great evidence for Amillennialism...I am almost convinced!

Does anyone really care?

Okay, well I feel compelled to start my blog again thanks to Frank Sanchez. He better check up on me once and awhile and comment. ;)
But I think it will be good this time.
And what a better way to start off the New Year than to post my resolution.
Drum roll please.....

My resolution is to grow closer to Jesus Christ everyday. I want our relationship to be so good. My desire is to be a good disciple, to receive His grace and to obey. I have found a great way to be encouraged in this venture from a wise professor of mine. He has influenced me to study discipleship more and more and I wrote a big paper on it last semester; I want to share some insights with you.

..."Looking now at the Mosaic covenant, we see that Israel had been in bondage for many years. But God delivered them, by His grace, out of Egypt. Three months after they were delivered from Egypt, God provided Moses with the Ten Commandments; a demand for repentance and righteousness after His prior grace of deliverance. God began the Ten Commandments by saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Exodus 20:2). God was reminding His people of what He had done for them. God continues by demanding that His people have no other gods before Him, because there are no other gods in the universe. God demands that His people rest on the seventh day because God rested on the seventh day. God demands that His people don’t commit adultery because He is always faithful to them. By following the Ten Commandments, His people should eventually take on a “God-like” character. God is demanding a righteousness that will lead people to becoming more like Him. This is His goal; He wants His children to represent Him, so that others may know He is God. “What is spelled out in the Ten Commandments is not what Israel had to do in order to become the people of God, but what she was obligated to do as the people of God.” What Israel must realize is that if they fail to respond to the Mosaic Covenant, then, they lose the Abrahamic covenant blessings. They are in a covenant of grace, and grace demands a response. “When we seek to listen carefully to the Old Testament Scriptures as we press our inquiry about grace and faith, we need to be alert to the form in which we can expect to encounter these concepts in the Old Testament. Even though the words grace and faith may not be especially frequent, the realities are there”.
After the Exodus, there was a long cycle of repeated unfaithfulness from God’s people. Throughout the Old Testament, we continually see the theme of God first giving grace to His people, demanding righteousness, and then failure from His children. God did not give up. He loved His children so much that He “put on” human flesh and came to this world as a man. As we will soon learn, this is when He gave us the ultimate gift of grace; a grace that requires nothing less than a response from His people."...

..."Jesus came to the earth and proclaimed that the Kingdom was here. Despite Jesus’ announcement of the Kingdom of God, he still talked about it in the “not yet” phase. Whereas, the Jewish expectation was the full coming of the Kingdom of God, Jesus had only come to “initiate” His Kingdom. This is understood as “inaugurated eschatology”; the Kingdom is here now on earth, but it is not here “fully”, it has not been consummated. By definition, the word “inaugurated” means, “to make a formal beginning of, or to initiate something.” Whereas “consummated” means, “To bring to a state of perfection, to fulfill, to complete.” Through Jesus’ ministry and teachings, He has shown how the Kingdom is functioning in the inaugurated stage."...

..."We are able to see that the Kingdom is here in this form by witnessing miracles and exorcisms. As we watch someone go through a miraculous healing, we are seeing a “glimpse” of the Kingdom. This glimpse gives us a picture of what the fully consummated Kingdom will be like, when we are all completely healed forever. The Kingdom powers many not be in “full-force” today, but we do have an amazing power through the Spirit. The Spirit helps us overcome sin; He empowers us to live a righteous life. Now that we have seen that disciples of Christ have “power” through the Spirit, and they have the “motivation” through God’s grace, we will look more specifically on how these two themes tie directly into discipleship."...

..."When we give our lives over to Jesus Christ, and follow Him, we become His disciples. We take on the responsibility that Jesus has given us. M.J. Wilkins says there are certain “marks” of a disciple: (1) Abiding in Jesus’ word; (2) Love for others; and (3) A life that bears fruit. Within these broad categories are many specific “rules” that we are to follow. Because of all of these rules, disciples can oftentimes become overwhelmed with the responsibility that they have, and fall into two “potential pitfalls” of discipleship: (1) A legalistic worldview and lifestyle, and (2) Living in “cheap grace .” Dr. Jon Lunde gives a great illustration to help us not fall into either of these categories. He explains his “discipleship dynamic” in a triangular pattern:
Servant King

Disciple

Imagine an arrow pointing from the Servant (Jesus Christ) to the disciple (follower of Jesus Christ), then an arrow pointing from the disciple to the King (Jesus Christ), and finally an arrow pointing from King to Servant. The Servant gives the disciple grace. The disciple receives the Servant’s grace and responds by obeying the King. When the disciple does this, he or she will represent the Servant. In summary: we are to be transformed by the meditation and deeper understanding of Christ’s grace so that we are enabled to walk in righteousness, thus, being a Christ-like example to others."...

..."Because the Kingdom has been inaugurated, we have the power to obey, and to be disciples of Christ"...

..."Meditating on prior grace while knowing the powers we have through the inaugurated kingdom, can help us to live righteously as disciples of Jesus Christ. In the Beatitudes, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6). He goes on to say that we won’t have to worry if we seek His kingdom and righteousness first in our lives (Matthew 6:33). Christ has inaugurated the Kingdom and we now have the power to live in view of God’s Kingdom while seeking righteousness."...