Monday, May 26, 2008

Graduation Day!

I am still getting settled into the new place and the new job...be patient, as I might not be able to blog as much as I would like too.
Cheers!
The Fam


"Diploma"


Yay!

Britt, me, and Joel

Rachee and I

Dr. Lunde and I






Me and Camy

Tita and I

Me and Ryah

Me and the Norman Clan (my pastor)
Me and Jessie


Me and Paul

Lauren and I

Me and Johnny Pepper

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Great is Thy Faithfulness.

God is so faithful.

As we gathered together today to celebrate all of the seniors accomplishments, I specifically marveled in the singing of "Great is Thy Faithfulness". One of my favorite memories of being at Biola is when the students, faculty, and staff, gathered at various occasions and meetings, and sang hymns together. Usually, we did sing "Great is Thy Faithfulness".

"Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!"

I love singing this chorus (or "refrain"). I loved standing at the graduation ceremony today, basking in the sun, surrounded by my peers and loved ones, while singing about the faithfulness of God. God is so faithful to me.

A little less than 6 years ago I began my relationship with Jesus Christ. I have had my "ups and downs", and it is now, more than ever, that I am realizing how patient I need to be with the process of sanctification, but that patience comes with a lot of faith, because I know that God will continue to help me grow. I feel like I am a completely different person than I was 2 years. The only way that I can possibly explain this, is by looking at all the "vine and branches" imagery in the Bible. Not only in John, but there is some good stuff in Ezekiel, and also in Genesis about Joseph being a "fruitful vine". I had so many "branches" hanging off of me, that desperately needed to be torn away. And for the last two years, as I sought the Lord, and prayed, He really began to "prune" me, while adding more of Himself into me. He is good. I am so excited about growing more as a righteous disciple, for the glory of God's name.

I took a huge step coming to Biola. I left things back home, and entered into a whole new world. Now that I am going back home, to the same church, and pretty much the same people, I am really scared. Even though I have been at my church the whole time, I feel like it is a new place. Honestly, it isn't home. Home is at Biola. Home is with the amazing friends I have made here.

"Home" is easy.

A year ago, a friend of mine was filling out a form for me so that I could renew a scholarship. On the form were many questions that he had to answer about me and my spiritual walk/growth. The last question on the form was how I could grow in my relationship with the Lord. He wrote, "She needs to put all of her trust in the Lord, and lean on Him for all things." This really made an impact in my life because it was so honest, so genuine. I knew that I needed this, and so did he. So from then on I began to constantly pray, "Lord, let me lean on You for all things." Because when it comes down to it, all of the things of this world will fade away, people will let us down, but God will be with us forever.

So now as I move into this new adventure of my life, as I move into my new home, I am leaning into the strength of the Lord. I need His wisdom, His guidance, His patience, and His love. I am going to have to work hard to keep myself focused on Him, stay in the Word, and keep up on my meditation and prayer times. It is so easy to become mediocre - yuck.

It is so heart wrenching to leave this place. As I sit here in my apartment, where I will, for one last time, blog while sitting accross from roomie, in my comfortable little bed, in our cozy little room; I am so sad. When I drive away from here tomorrow morning, I won't be coming back. I mean, of course I will come back to visit etc., but I won't ever come back here to a "home", and that is really weird.

I was reading through a pretty popular book nowadays, "90 Minutes in Heaven", while in Barnes in Noble the other night. The author has written a short version, about 120 pages (in a small pocket sized book), and I read the whole thing in one sitting. Honestly, I believe the guy. I think he really did go to heaven in 90 minutes. But nevertheless, reading his description of being in heaven really made me think. He was so descriptive about all the people he saw, all the relationships that were broken through death, only to be reestablished once more in heaven. He said that he was so joyous in seeing everyone, and talking with everyone, and that it seemed that all the people who knew him on earth, but didn't know each other, had now become friends. I always get kind of annoyed by the cheesy line - "Well, I will see you in heaven one day..." - yet, I also think we take this phrase too lightly sometimes.

You see, this made me realize that my "home" isn't at Biola, and my "home" isn't in South Orange County...my home is in heaven. My home is in heaven because that is where my Lord is, and that is where I will live with the body of Christ (until the consummation of the Kingdom on earth, yada yada, another blogpost, complicated debate). Todays graduation ceremony was a foretaste to what we have ahead.

So as I drive away from here tomorrow, looking back at all that has happened, how I have grown as a disciple, and remembering all the wonderful memories I have made, I will probably cry a little, but mostly, I will long for the time that we are all gathered together again...a time where we will never be parted, where we will sing alongside the angels, "Great IS Your Faithfulness", forever and ever, Amen.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Graduating!!!

Put the books away for today...

I am officially a college graduate, with a degree in Biblical Studies...yay!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Some sad news.


Please be praying for Steven Curtis Chapman's family. His daughter was killed in a car accident today. This is going to be a very hard time for the family considering that their teenage son was the driver whom accidentally hit her. Very, very sad. Read more here.

Also, keep in mind that the whole world is looking to him and his family to see how they will react to this. The news carries the story as, "Christian Artist's daughter is killed in accident". Many people will want to see how Christian react to tragedy, so please be praying for them to be strong.

You can share your condolences at this special blog the family has set up.

Statement.

So I am about to quote a pretty "loud" statement in honor of this wonderful picture that my friend Gentry has taken in her beautiful home of Redlands, California. It's just too good to pass up...



From Shane Claiborne's new book, "Jesus for President", he quotes Tony Campola -
"Mixing the church and state is like mixing ice cream with cow manure. It may not do much to the manure, but it sure messes up the ice cream."

My professor's are amazing.

I just need to brag once again about the quality of professors here at Biola, specifically in the Bible department.

Justin Taylor posted this blog, about Dr. Berding's newly published - "Sing and Learn New Testament Greek". There is a full interview about the new sing-along, which also mentions information about Dr. Berding's two other books coming out. One was co-written by Dr. Williams, and the other, co-edited/written by Dr. Lunde.

I know I have bragged before, but I think it is so amazing that I was able to take classes within these professor's specialized field. Dr. Berding for Pauline Literature, Dr. Williams for NT Theology and studies in John, and Dr. Lunde for New Testament, Jesus' Life and Ministry, and NT use of the OT.

I am so blessed.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

4 more days!

Right side, row 2, seat 8...this is where I am sitting for graduation! They sent us the seating chart today...SO excited! The lawn is pretty close to being set up for Saturday...it looks so great. I am so happy! It's finally my turn!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jesus for President


"Jesus for President" is the title of Shane Claiborne's new book and I am SO excited to read it! YOU should read it too!

I saw Shane speak tonight and it was awesome.
Some key points that I jotted down on a scrap piece of paper during the lecture/sermon/whatever it was...

* In Luke 7 when John the Baptist asks if Jesus is "the one", Jesus tells the disciples to report back to John what they "SAW" and what they "HEARD". Jesus didn't go around town shouting out that He was the Messiah (actually He didn't want that at all...). People should be able to know we follow Christ because they can SEE it and HEAR it from our lives.

* With that said, Shane says, " We (Christians) shout so loudly with our mouths, and live so ugly with our lives."

* In a poll taken by the average American questioning them with, "What is the first thing you think of when you think of a Christian", the top three answers were:
1 - Anti-gay
2 - Judgmental
3 - Hypocrites
...great reputations we have.

* Shane says, "If there was ever a picture of "just" war, it would have been Peter protecting Jesus (who was innocent) in the garden. But when Peter cuts off the soldiers ear, Jesus scolds him."
...Shane says no war, no violence (just in case you are wondering...)

Anyway, it was great, he's great, pick up the book...but start with Irresistible Revolution if you haven't read that one yet. I am sure my blog will be full of Shane quotes in the coming days, yay!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

RedBox.


This wonderful gem of an invention makes me so happy.
For only $1, you can rent a movie for the night (that's right folks, only ONE night). But hey, it's ONLY $1!
Seriously, this box has made me so happy. Find one today, at your local grocery store (or apparently, outside of some McDonald's).

Shane Claiborne in Pasadena


Shane Claiborne, Christian extraordinaire, is going to be speaking in Pasadena this Sunday, May 18th at 6pm.

I am so excited!!! See you there!

Senior Banquet.

Tonight was the senior banquet. It was a lovely time! It was held on Metzger lawn, as the sun went down...so beautiful. It was weird that I was finally the senior who was graduating (unlike being the "date" of seniors at banquet's in the past). This is the first of many great times that will be shared in the coming 7 days. It's just so exicting that it's finally MY turn! :)

*pictures soon...

Friday, May 16, 2008

What I will Miss Most About Biola #20

Well, as you can see: #1 - I haven't blogged for 3 whole days! Wow, I have been a busy lady, and I finally caught the cold that has been going around; no fun.
#2 - I am never going to make it through all 30 things I will miss about Biola until after graduation. Which is okay, because I need to get all my pictures uploaded to make my blog posts better.

Next week is my last week of college, and I definitely plan on keeping my camera on me from now until it's all over; trying to capture every last bit of every moment. I am truly going to miss this place so much. I can't even express to you the great memories I am taking from here. This was one of the best times of my life, and it is going to be so hard to say goodbye.

Okay, moving on now - #20 = My Greek class & Dr. Yoshikawa ("Yosh").
I love how the right sided people are standing straight up, while us lefties are squeezing down as far as we can go.

I have been fortunate enough to have had Dr. Yoshikawa as my Greek professor all four semesters of my Greek career! When it was my first day, it was his first day as well. And not only me, but everyone who started that first semester of Greek, has made in impact in Yosh's career as a Prof...we are his first graduating class!!! We have been blessed to have such a brilliant teacher (Calvinist...could it get any better?...), who has studied under D.A. Carson!

My favorite fun facts about Dr. Yosh:
#1 - His son's name is Calvin, can you guess why?
#2 - He holds the record for the longest footnote in the history of the world! Okay, I don't know about the world, but it's the longest one Carson's ever seen, so in my book, that wins.
#3 - He was given the "gift" of teaching at conversion.
#4 - He tells the best stories about demon possession. (Is that appropriate?)
#5 - He will give you more points as long as you write a lot of whatever, or at least make it look "messy".
#6 - He is willing to come dressed in full star trek uniform in honor of finals (just because everyone else said they would).
#7 - He likes parties!
#8 - He likes to play the game, "Name That Tune".
#9 - He likes to talk about the flood and the Noahaic covenant.
#10 - He is the master of the beloved "context dance", to which I still have never seen, gasp!

The other day, we were reminiscing about our first semester together (me and my Greek friends).
Paul was reminding me about how when we introduced ourselves, he noticed that I was the only other "Calvary Chapel" person in the class. I remember sitting in Greek class one day, telling someone about Greg Laurie...they had no idea who that was. I was so confused, how could you not know who Greg Laurie is?! Oooohhh, what a different world it is here at BU. ;)

Anyway, Greek class is where I first met Jessie, Paul, and Derek, who have all become great friends of mine. This is the place where I was able to stay updated on Steve-O's life, because we were in class together at least twice a week. Many, many, great friendships were made because of Greek class. And most importantly - many, many hours were put into staying up all night trying to memorize Greek paradigms...I would hang them by my bed so I could literally fall asleep reading them.




















Yes, that is my beloved Radiohead poster--->


















Greek Paradigms, woot! -->


















It looks so much more simpler now-->












Well, paradigm memorizing will come and go (because it has definitely gone...), and Wallace can't really remember his categories anyway, so why am I accountable?...

but one thing that will never be forgotten is the great times I have had in my two years of Greek class. I met Dr. Yosh and a ton of AMAZING peers...and I can read the Greek New Testament! What more could you ask for?!






This is one of my favorite pictures...so typical of me to be reading my GNT and US Magazine at the same time...Sheesh...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Myanmar and China

There is so much to say about these two devastating incidents. I hope to devote more time to blogging about them in the future, but for now, please join me in praying for all the people involved with these disasters.

Especially in Myanmar, where their government will not let outsiders help with bringing in food and supplies. This is a very grave situation.

If you know of any specific missionaries in these areas we can be praying for, please let me know. For now, we can pray for my friend Kristen's sister who is a missionary in China. Yesterday they found out she is okay; this is all I know. I will keep you updated.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Loving Ladd

I have decided to post random quotes from George Ladd at random points in my blog. What he says is just too good to be passed up sometimes. I am even going to make my own "Ladd Label"...so excited! :)

“The future Kingdom has invaded the present order to bring to human beings the blessings of the Age to come. People need no longer wait for the eschatological consummation to experience the Kingdom of God; in the person and mission of Jesus it has become present reality. The righteousness of the Kingdom therefore can be experienced only by the one who has submitted to the reign of God that has been manifested in Jesus, and who has therefore experienced the powers of God’s Kingdom.”

Sunday, May 11, 2008

"Young, Evangelical...for Obama?"

This article from the "Seattle Times" is really good. It seems to be very honest with its statistics, and I of course love the mention of Shane Claiborne. I highly recommend reading it!

Here are some highlights:

"Dudley's disenchantment with the GOP isn't unique among young, devoutly Christian voters. According to a September 2007 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 15 percent of white evangelicals between 18 and 29, a group traditionally a shoo-in for the GOP, say they no longer identify with the Republican Party. Older evangelicals are also questioning their traditional allegiance, but not at the same rate."

"Shane Claiborne, a Philadelphia Christian activist and author of "Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals," has a different name for these folks: "political misfits."

Claiborne has traveled around the country the past several years, speaking and preaching mostly to college-age Christians who are "both socially conservative and globally aware." That makes them disenchanted with both major parties, he said.

"It's not about liberal or conservative, or Democrats or Republicans," he said. "I don't think it's a new evangelical left. ... There's a new evangelical stuck-in-the-middle."

New Testament Use of the Old

So the reason I haven't been around lately is because I have been working on this major paper for my New Testament use of the Old Testament class. The first thing I want to note in this blog post is the injustice of library book restrictions. As an "undergrad", I am only allowed to check out 25 books at a time. Now, to you, this might sound absolutely insane, but it's not. For this paper we have to use at least 20 sources, and that's just not going to happen without, at the least, looking through 30-35 sources. Here is the crazy part: If I was a "graduate" student, then I would be able to check out 50 books.

Why is this injust? Let me tell you... (1) Officially, some of our "undergrad" Bible classes cross-list with "grad" level classes. Like when I took Hermeneutics with Walt Russell, I was one of ten undergrads, and the rest were grad students. (2) NT use of the OT isn't even offered at the graduate level, yet it is one of the most needed areas of study for any "theologian". Dr. Lunde has designed our class to be just like a grad school course...actually, it's a seminar (I had to work my tail off in this class...).

All this to say, I should be allowed to check out 50 books.

Anyway, back to my paper. For the past year, I have been focusing my studies on the area of discipleship, and how this pertains to living righteously in the inaugurated kingdom today. So for this paper, I really wanted to keep my research in this area. The requirement for the paper is to choose a passage in the New Testament, which quotes a passage from the Old Testament, in order to interpret the New Testament passage (hopefully) correctly. You can also choose to do an "allusion", where the NT author might not have directly quoted from the OT, but only alluded to an OT passage or idea. I chose the hard path, an allusion.

There is only two of us who chose to do allusions, and the other guy's was pretty straightforward. Mine...not so much. I chose Romans 6, and I was going to argue that Paul was alluding to Ezekiel 36 because of his use of "impurities" (akatharsia), which is found in Romans and Ezekiel (LXX). I started my research and found myself becoming very interested in N.T. Wright's stuff on Paul alluding to the Exodus event (and various events around the main Exodus event) in Romans (specifically chapters 3-8, but you can begin in chapter 1...). This is where I have ended up. It's been very exciting, but even though I am currently on page 18, I still feel so unlearned in the area. I had Johnny Pepper (definitely one of the smartest guys I know) read over some of it, and luckily he posed some good questions for me. Wanted to make sure I wasn't getting too "New Perspective", and really pushed me hard to think about all of Paul's other usages of "righteousness" since I am arguing that "righteousness" stands for God, and not a meaning in the "ethical" sense. I have a lot of work still to do, but the paper is due tonight (or at least before 9am on Monday morning). My presentation is on Wednesday; I don't feel prepared. I am really praying that tomorrow will be my major "ah-ha" moment where my brain will really wrap itself around everything I am arguing for, so I can withstand the backlash from my peers on Wednesday.

I look forward to sharing my findings with you soon, especially the practical life implications. To give you a little foreshadowing, think of the way the Israelites were slaves to Egyptians and Pharaoh, and were rescued by God through His mediator Moses. Well, I am going to make the argument (indebted to N.T. Wright) that in the same way, we were once slaves to sin, and (now, my idea) were rescued by God through His mediator Jesus Christ. *Obviously, many people have argued that Moses is a "type" of Jesus, but I haven't found anything about this idea specifically dealing with Romans 6*

Are you still wandering in the wilderness?

Have you been rescued from Egypt but constantly desire to go back?

More on this soon.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

5 Memorable White House Weddings


If you don't know, Jenna Bush is getting married this weekend. She is not getting married at the White House (though, that's totally what I would have done if I were the president's daughter), but she has decided to get married at her hometown in Texas.

Anywhoot, I can't wait to see pictures, because I just love weddings...and whether you like it or not, it's kind of a big deal when the president's daughter gets married.


I found this article today online. It's a really fun historical read on the 5 most memorable white house weddings. Enjoy!




Here are some updated pictures from the wedding!

The Lovely Bride


The Bush Family
Her sister (LEFT) was her maid of honor; she had 12 other ladies who were in her "house party".
I am really starting to love the "house party" idea...I think I am going to do for my wedding.


The Bride and Groom having a lovely time

Cutting the cake

Making Progess...

I spent 8 hours in the library today...no breaks...

PURPLE IS DONE!!! :)

1 Greek projects (plus all homework that I have slacked off on)

James Presentation

Pauline Lit Midterm and project

OT Theology Presentation

Rock4Justice

NT Theo Diversity Paper
Paragraph summary and theological paper on Numbers

Theological Paper on Exodus

Final paper on my marriage research

Presentation for marriage research findings

HUGE NT use of the OT paper and presentation of research findings

Greek Presentation

Pauline Lit Final Exam

OT Theo final paper
NT Theology final exam (whaever it ends up consisting of)

Move all of my stuff out of my apartment and into cousins house
(whom I need to call!)
Say goodbye to all my friends at Biola... *tear*

Friday, May 9, 2008

Important Values for Christian Artists

Read the whole thing here. Thanks to Justin Taylor for posting it!

Here is my fave:

"The Christian artist should not ignore his (or her!) personal responsibility to evaluate the theological soundness of his work."

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Oh gosh...the time is drawing near...

I want to spend time with friends...but I have so much homework...

Tonight was the championship girls intramurals...unfortunately, my girls lost :(
Dream team, better luck next year!

In other news, I don't want to work anymore, so I can, you guessed it, hang out with my friends!

I sound like a two-year old.

Looking forward to the summer!!! Looks like the Biola crew is going to be closer to me than I thought...SO excited.

Afterdark was great tonight. Joel spoke on First Peter...more on that later, when Afterdark is what I will miss most about Biola number whatever I am on.

Changing the subject now, my wisdom teeth are majorly coming in...and I majorly need them to come out.

Time for sleep.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What I will Miss Most About Biola #21

#21 - Intramural Sports (specifically, Longis Magongis games)

It is with sad news that I begin this blog tonight; "Yeah Yeah, Longis Magongis" has lost in the playoffs. If they would have won tonight, then they would have been on their way to the championship game on Thursday night.
As usual, the ref's made some bad calls (but really, they reeeally favored the other team...because Longis fans can be annoying), but we played well. We played hard, we played good, we should have won.

It was a close game; we even had to go into three minutes of overtime. But in the end, we lost it.

I will truly miss shouting at the top of my lungs for Longis' basketball team and "maher shalal hash baz" ultimate frisbee team...these were truly great times in my life.

I love Biola.

*hopefully I will have some pictures soon*

Just Breathe.

19 days until I graduate.

I have so much to do.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Patrick Henry Hughes

I just got finished bawling my eyes out watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition. You can watch it for free on abc.com. It is the one from February (it's a repeat).

It is all about a man named Patrick Henry Hughes; he is truly inspiring.

What also touched me greatly was the story of his father. When Patrick was born blind and crippled, a father's dream of playing baseball with his son was crushed. But he didn't give up, and he taught Patrick to play music. Now, Patrick's father works the night shift so he can rush home, sleep for a few hours, and then go to school all day with Patrick, and then attend to him during marching band practice.

Patrick's entire family is truly extraordinary. Watch this video below:

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ministry Fair

Last Sunday our church had a ministry fair. It was a great time of fellowship in the 100 degree heat. I can't go to my church for a couple of weeks which makes me sad, but looking at these pictures cheers me up!

Two of the cutest kids ever!

Simone doing a mighty fine job fulfilling the needs of the little women next to her

The Sanchez family!

Beautiful Melissa

Tita hard at work

Adorable

So we had a little photo shoot...

Love her...

How cute!

Sisters.

Brother to the sisters

Cooking up some grub

But Chris just went with a sucker

Bro!

Yum

I love this one of Camyron

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Can't wait.

This is the first thing I am going to buy when I have money again...I can't wait. :)

John Calvin's Commentary Set

What I will Miss Most About Biola #22

#22 - Girlie Sleepovers in my wonderful apartment and Biola Brunch

When I came to Biola I was very worried about leaving all my wonderful high school girlies back in OC. I knew I would still see them, but not as much, and I was very sad about that.

Well, it's been two years now, and they have grown up quickly (mostly all of them graduating high school, now in college), and luckily we have been able to bond in a different way. A different way consisting of sleepovers and eating Biola's brunch.

Sad to say, but these past 24 hours have consisted of the final sleepover and Biola brunch. Now, the girls are planning on sleeping over the day before my graduation, but unfortunately, there will be no brunch (but we will have snacks back at my apartment after the graduation...and the party is the next day!).

Today we sat outside in the Cafe for about 3 hours just chatting, eating (a lot), and taking it all in. It was the perfect day; not too hot, not too cold...a little windy. The eggs were always just as good as I remember, and the girls had a great time making waffles. We headed back to the apartment and took a nap (3 to a futon and 2 on the couches)...snuggled up and dealt with the crankiness of all. ;)

I love you girls, and I will miss these times!!!


Jordan is such a rockstar

Jordan and Adam; always putting on a good show

Miss. Ashley

John is so tall and B is so little

Watch out for the wolf finger!

Miss. Aubs

Miss. Tita

Who fits in this little car?!

We were trying to "fro" out our hair

Never thought I would just hang out in Sutherland after the show...