Monday, June 30, 2008

It's about time!

Today, I was stung by a bee for the first time EVER! 

It hurt, it swelled, it was red and ugly...but I lived, and I am not allergic. 

Now, back to the pool. (I just wish I could put my face underneath the water...)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wisdom Teeth - Bye Bye

Well, lets hope I am not writing this to jinx myself, because I guess that all could go bad today, and this blog could be riddled with lies. But I don't think that will be the outcome. 

You see, it's a miracle! I got my wisdom teeth pulled (I only had 3), and besides a little bleeding, and some pain yesterday, I am perfectly fine. I mean, don't me wrong, I am a little sore, but only like maaaybe a 3 out of a 10 scale. My mom woke me up this morning and demanded to see if my face my swollen, and it's not at all! And I actually feel better than before because my wisdom teeth were putting so much pressure on my mouth. 

The bummer about this outcome - my mother would have jumped in the pool and swam to the bottom if she knew that there was something in there that I wanted. I was waited on hand and foot all day yesterday. She bought all my favorite things which don't involve chewing (which will still be useful), and I was able to catch up on about 6 movies. It was great. 

So, just in case you are wondering my story of wisdom teeth extraction, I am going to give it to you, so you can kind of know what it's like, if you have never experienced it. 

I got to the dentist and they immediately gave me a valium to relax me. I didn't think it would, because in the past they would make my jittery. But I don't know what was in that valium, because it worked miracles. I was practically falling asleep in the waiting room. I was so nervous walking into the dentist office, but by the time I went into the surgery room, I was feeling pretty calm. I laid down on the dentist chair and they strapped me in and started giving me laughing gas. They said that the anesthesiologist would come in and answer my questions in a few minutes. Well those few minutes went by and I could barely think of any questions because I was laughing at everything. That laughing gas is awesome. The dentist came over and asked how I was doing. I told him, "Ooohhh yahhh...I'm doing great doc...this stuff really works!" He just laughed. 

Finally the anesthesiologist lady came over and somehow I was able to ask her if she would putting me totally out, or like a "twilight" outage. She then explained to me that sometimes people wake up. Well that laughing gas wore off right there and I was like, "What do you mean sometimes people wake up?!" Then she said, "Well I have to tell you, 99% don't wake up, but there is that 1% who do." I looked at her like "duh". I told her, "Yah, I understand that, and if I am the 1% then dangit, but I am pretty sure I will be in the 99%...don't scare me like that." At that point she proceeded to get my IV in, and I started sucking on that gas even more because she basically ruined my "buzz" by telling me that. Then I started praying to God - "God, please knock me out completely. And please, when I wake up, give me no pain or swelling, because I really want to go to church on Sunday." The next thing I knew, my dentist was over my face, and I said to him, "Doctor, please numb me up good, just in case something goes wrong...", and then I was out. 

I woke up in the same bed, with the same people surrounding me, yelling at me, "Carrie, open your eyes, open your eyes!" I wonder how long they had been screaming at me. I opened my eyes, and the thought went through my head, "Hey what's up guys, did you do it or what?" But I couldn't really say anything. As soon as I opened my eyes, the two dentists were moving me to the recovery room where my dad was waiting there. I laid down and all of a sudden I had this insane headache and jaw pain. It was seriously like the worst pain I had ever felt. I kept telling them, "I need ice, I need ice." They brought me ice and an extra strength motrin, and explained to me that my mouth kept clinching shut (good ol' mouth, even comes through when I am mouth does not like the dentist either), and so they had to pry it open the whole time. This would explain the insane pain I had. But twenty minutes went by, and I was good as new. I was pretty out of it, but I was ready to go home.

Best rule of getting your wisdom teeth out - You must have a milkshake or smoothie as soon as you get home! You have to drink half of your milkshake so you can take your meds, and then drink the rest. So my dad took me to Jamba Juice and ordered me something delicious. It was glorious. 

I got home and followed the smoothie directions, and then put gauze back in my mouth because the bleeding was pretty bad. I started icing like a maniac, according to their rules. All I wanted to do was fall asleep, but I just had my parents wake me up every 15 minutes so I could ice for 15 minutes. Though this was a pain, I think this is why I don't have a lot of swelling. Though, like I said, I could be jinxing myself because they swelling is supposed to come on the second day, and that's today. So we will see...

So, that is my experience. I will update you if anything crazy happens. And if you don't see me at church tomorrow, then you can assume that what happened to this poor girl, happened to me today:

Yikes. Lets hope not...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

5 Years.

Today marks the 5th year that I have been following after Christ!

For some reason, I thought it had been six years, and that is what I wrote on my work profile online, but I figured out it is really only five years. I can't believe it has only been five years because it feels like forever. But in some ways, I am happy it has only been five years, because it feels like I just have so much to learn, and so many areas to grow in. Which, I guess will be a continual thing to look forward too in life... but I know that there is just so much wisdom to gain that is within my human reach. 

Anyway, in honor of remembering my 5 years as a Christ-follower, I thought it would be fitting to write some of my testimony on here. You are reading this today, Thursday, but I have been working on this all enjoy!

It was a cold, cold night on August 6th, 1983, when I was born...
Okay, I am kidding, I am not going to go that into the details of things. But, I was born on that day, to a mother who was going to give me up for adoption (this is probably totally sketchy to write about since it's on the internet...). I was given to the parents I have now, and I had a wonderful childhood. I was an only child until I was seven, and then my sister Sarah was born. Needless to say, I was very spoiled (and some would say I still am...) ;)
When I was nine, my parents had twins - Emily and Tori. 
And then there was six. 

I grew up Catholic, but I had no idea what that meant. I had heard the name of Jesus all my life, but never understood anything about Him. But I think that our enemy always had it out for me, because even when I was little, my mom said that I would scream so loud in church, she had to excuse herself most of the time. One Sunday, a man came up to mom and said, "My daughter used to scream like that in church, and now she's a nun."
Prophetic? :)

When I turned fourteen, my mom forced me to take classes so I could make my confirmation into the Catholic church. I did not want to. At this point, I didn't even really believe in God, and I definitely was not interested in going to church. But it was either that, or groundation, so I chose to submit (can someone tell me why my sisters are not forced to go?...) ;)

When I was fifteen, I was in my second year of classes (though I hadn't learned anything, like, literally, nothing stuck in my head). I was forced to attend a retreat, and I kicked and screamed the entire way there. I did not want to spend an entire Saturday at church! I even called my mom at lunch, crying, begging her to come pick me up (And note - this was before everyone had a cell phone, and I only had one quarter). She wouldn't. I look back now and laugh because how bad could it have been...all we did was sit there. I went in for the last session, and this time, the teachers caught my attention. These teachers were not normal teachers - they were not priests, or anyone I had even seen before. It was a husband and wife, and they started from the beginning. They explained to us how God had created the world, and everything in it. They explained why I was a sinner, and why I needed Jesus. It took them about an hour, and they basically just explained everything. In my head I was thinking, "This all makes so much sense." At the end of the night, they basically gave an "altar call"! They said that whoever wanted to follow Christ, should ask for the Holy Spirit to enter their heart. I was like, "Heck yah I want the Holy Spirit to enter my heart." So I asked Him to come into my life, and in that moment, I physically felt the Holy Spirit enter into the inner beings of my breath; it took away my breath. I started weeping uncontrollably (does anyone know why we weep when we are "saved"?), and I began to look around at everyone else with this look on my face that would have said, "Woa, did you just get a dose of the Holy Spirit as well?"

I didn't talk to anyone else that night who felt the same thing as I did. And I basically didn't talk to anyone who did, after that, for years. Obviously, if you are doing the math in your head, that was not 5 years ago. I believe that I was sealed with the Holy Spirit at the age of fifteen, but I did not become a follower of Christ until I was nineteen. You can take that or leave it. 

After the Holy Spirit entered my life, I became incredibly passionate about God (though I had no idea what I was talking about). I volunteered for the "children's ministry", and I convinced my mom to sign us up to teach a confirmation class for the next year. My mom taught this class, and I was her assistant. To her surprise, sometimes in the middle of class, I would just start blurting out things like, "You don't really have to make your confirmation, all you have to do is accept Jesus Christ into your life and ask for the Holy Spirit to come into your heart!" I would also preach various passages from scripture, though I had never picked up and read the Bible ever in my life; it was solely the Holy Spirit which was giving me this wisdom. 

All I wanted to do was tell people about Jesus, but I had no idea what this meant. I didn't even really know what I was supposed to say. I became frustrated because I wanted to know more, but I thought I would have to become a nun to do this work...and I wanted a family. So, I gave up. I stopped going to church, and after awhile, I was pretty content with living a life that did not involve God. 

I stopped going thinking about God, and I started hanging out with the wrong people. I started getting really involved in the medical field, and I was set on going to nursing school. When I turned 19, I became an EMT, and enjoyed working in the field of "life and death". 

But God was determined to get me. He sought after me with everything He had. The most random people came into my life in the fall and spring of my nineteenth year. God used the ER, and people who came through it, to bring me back to Himself. I knew someone from work who would always tell me about the church he (sometimes) went too (Calvary Laguna). One night I was bored, and I looked it up online. I realized where it was, and kind of memorized in my mind. Well, I didn't consciously do this, but the directions were there that one fateful night I decided to drive over there. I was getting off work (I worked 7am-7pm), and that Wednesday night, I got off a few minutes early and was headed home. I used to live off Lake Forest, so I was headed that way. Well, usually I would make a right on Lake Forest (going towards Foothill Ranch), but on this night, I couldn't help but make a left and drive towards that church. I had no idea what I was doing, and what I was looking for, but something overcame me, and I it was as if I had no choice but to go there. And just for a little background - the Catholic church taught me that all other churches were crazy cults who drank themselves to death with this is what I was expecting to walk in to!

I parked in the parking lot and walked in. I guess I must have been wearing embarrassing. I walked inside the foyer, that I have entered so many times now, and right there was a police chaplain who had been witnessing to me for months. He was so shocked to see me. He said, "Carrie, what are you doing here?!" I said, "I have no idea what I am doing here." He and his girlfriend invited me in to sit with them (which was so nice!), and I sat and listened, and started to realize that everything this pastor was saying, was what those Catholic retreat people had been telling me. I started realizing that this church believed in the same God, the same Jesus, that I think I believe in. The Spirit was moving, and when Joe announced the altar call, I rose my hand. I can't really explain what happened in that moment. It wasn't as physically powerful as when the Holy Spirit entered my life, but this moment was powerful enough to literally make me stop everything and every part of my life, to turn to follow after Christ. 

After service, Rich and Cheryl (the nice couple) took me out for dessert, and tried to figure out whether I rose my hand or not (so cute). They talked to me about some things, and answered some of my questions...gosh, I was so cute and young in the Lord. ;)

That following Sunday, Rich and Cheryl waited for me by the door so we could sit together again, and this time Joe wanted people to stand during the altar call. I was somewhat convinced that raising my hand just didn't do the trick, and I stood up. Now, this time, Rich and Cheryl watched me stand up, and afterwards I was attacked by the "new believers" team. They gave me a Bible (my first one!), and talked to me for a while. Rich and Cheryl were so excited and we went out to lunch after to talk more. Also, on this Sunday, on my way out, I saw Melissa. Melissa and I had been BFF in high school, and then we grew apart when she became a Christian and I did not. Thank goodness she was there because she helped me get plugged into the college group where I made my first Christian friends - Heather, Chris Madson, Chris Vlasak, and Grant Wahlquist. 5 years ago today, this is what had happened. Crazy.

That fall, Cheryl invited me to come along to the women's retreat, and I readily accepted. Oh, have I mentioned my awkward "first time Christian" phase? This is the phase where you drop hundreds of dollars at Sonshine Bookstores. I would go there ALL the time. I bought Bibles, and Lee Strobel books...anything I could get my hands on, I bought it. Oh, and of course I had an obsession with the Left Behind Series. Sheesh. Back to the story - so I go on the women's retreat (which was great by the way), and I go to a session for "single women", taught by, you guessed it - Tatum Norman. In the session she mentioned that she was the youth pastors wife. I was entrigued. I seriously have no idea why, but for some reason I had a passion for the youth. I wanted to share this good news with every young kid I could get ahold of. So I talked to Tatum for the first time that night, and the rest of the adventure began. 

I became heavily involved with the youth ministry and college ministry. A lot of stuff was happening within our church but I think because I was just so excited about Jesus, I never noticed. I took that first year of me being a Christian off from school, because all I wanted to do was study the Bible. I went to Calvary Costa Mesa every night (that there wasn't church at Laguna), so I could learn as much as possible. I read all day, and volunteered all my spare time at the church when I wasn't working. 

After that year, I decided I wanted to go back to school in the fall of 2004, and so I started to go full-time to finish up my general education. At this point, I thought I was going to study history or political science, because I do love those subjects, and I wanted to teach high school kids. In the spring of 2005, I started interning at the church for youth and (a little bit) of college ministries. It was such a blast. I love those kids so much, and I loved all the memories we made together. During this time I was discipled, sent on the mission field, poured what I could into students name it, I was thrown into it. 

In the fall of 2005, I had to make my decision of where I was going to apply for schools. I knew some people who had gone to Biola, and Grant had gone there for Biblical Studies. Honestly, I didn't even know if women were allowed to study the Bible there. So, Grant hooked me up with Dr. Pierce (hehe), and we chatted, and he encouraged me to come and study the Bible if that's what I wanted to do. At that time, I had also met John for the first time, and he also encouraged me towards Biola (thank you). So, I applied, and I got in! Craziness! There I was, not even a Christian for three years yet, and I was going to go study the Bible full-time. My family had thought I had lost my mind. 

My two years at Biola were definitely some of the best years of my life. It was a great time for me to grow closer to the Lord, and become a better disciple of His. I also met the MOST amazing Christian brothers and sisters ever, who never stopped encouraging me, and were always supportive of what God wanted with my life. 

I graduated this past Spring, 2008, with a Bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies from BIOLA University. Now, I am back to Calvary Laguna, now known as Kingsfield Church, working on staff, doing lots of stuff. It's crazy to think that it has only been 5 years since my life has dramatically changed. I am so thankful for the work that the Lord is doing within me, and for His constant provision in not only the "big things", but the everyday things as well. Being a single woman can sometimes be difficult, but I have loved having the opportunity to put myself in a position where Christ is my husband. He is my ultimate provider for all the things I need. He is my rock, and I am able to give all my cares and concerns to Him. 

I am very blessed. 

If you would like to know more about having a relationship with Jesus Christ, please feel free to contact me through this blog, or you can email me at I would love to share more with you about how God, your creator, loves you very much. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Walk & Swim

My new favorite things to do every night: Take an hour walk and an hour swim. 

It is very convenient to have a pool so close by. I love it. 

Tonight, I swam for two hours! I just love it so much! 

Back and forth, back and is so pleasant, and it relieves all my stress. 

I highly recommend...even more than bike riding... ;)

Monday, June 23, 2008

"They Like Jesus But Not the Church"

So, I am reading through this book, and I have already found it to be very interesting. I would like to start by giving a disclaimer: I do not think this book is of an "emergent" nature, but will admit it is coming from a guy who is all about the "emerging" church". I believe the emerging church is not a bad thing, and if you would like to talk about more with me, I would be happy to buy you coffee. 

Anyway, Kimball said something in the intro of his book that has not left my mind ever since, and I want to share it to maybe get your brainwaves a thinking and your mouths a talking to me. This statement seems almost prophetic, and that's a scary thing. 

"We are living in an increasingly 'post-Christian' culture. America once was more of a 'Christian nation' who influences and values were aligned with Judeo-Christianity values and ethics. Even most atheists had a good sense of the story line of the Bible and its main characters, and usually respected the Bible and Christian pastors..."

...but now, "Emerging generations don't have one God as the predominant God to worship. Rather, they are open to all types of faiths, including new mixtures of religions...Most church leaders now actually feel embarrassed to tell people they are pastors...Some people aren't even comfortable saying they are a Christian but come up with new terms such as 'Christ-Follower' to avoid negative and distorted associations..."

..."I heard once someone explain that the church in America is not above what happened in Europe. Europeans nations have truly become post-Christian nations. Their great cathedrals and church buildings once were filled with people, but now they sit almost empty on Sunday mornings and serve as tourist attractions. Far more people go through them sightseeing than actually worship there. We shouldn't think that we're above such a thing happening here. With the increasing dropout rate of people in emerging generations, it could be our destiny that in thirty or forty years, all of our recently constructed megachurch buildings, which are now filled with people, will end up as virtually empty tourist attractions. I bet in Europe they never guessed that was their future, and we shouldn't be so overly confident that is won't happen here too."

Melissa's Mission

Find updates here!

I want one.

I finally got around to watching the entire two-hours of the keynote address about the new iphone, and I am officially wanting to buy one really, really bad. You can't really beat the price, and I would buy one in a heartbeat if the monthly bill wouldn't add up to so much. Having an iphone would make my life so much more enjoyable. 

  • I could blog better, and with lots of pictures!
  • I could answer emails from wherever! 
  • I could access directions and maps when I was lost in my car!
  • I could bring my calendar with me everywhere, therefore, cutting down on forgetting certain important meetings and things to do!
Oh wow, it would just be so great...

Saturday, June 21, 2008


So often, we can imagine this perfect picture in our minds of how things are supposed to go, and when they don't go our way, we act like the world is falling down all around us. 

God brought a person into my life, a very important and influential person, for a season. Things did not go how I had perfectly imagined, and sad to say, our relationship is unable to be "restored". 

I was convinced deep down in my heart that this could not be the case because God is a God of restoration! But I finally realized, God is restoring this relationship in His own way, and not mine. 

I was reminded of the gospel. Yes, pretty much the whole big picture of the gospel. God had been promising His people a Messiah, a Savior, to come and rescue them from the oppression that had endured for years. The Jewish people expected a mighty King, whom would overtake the Roman Empire by force. But instead, they received Jesus Christ, a mighty King, who had to suffer death on a cross, to usher in the new age. 

This is not what the Jews had imagined when they thought of restoration for themselves. 

The Kingdom had only been inaugurated, it hadn't been consummated. They were given new laws to live by, and the Holy Spirit to help them with that. And why these things are good, and are a blessing, we are still in a state where we are waiting for the consummation of Christ's kingdom, where we will finally be rescued from sin, this ugly world, our nasty hearts, and broken relationships. 

My relationship with this person may not be restored in the way that I had imagined, just as the Jewish expectations from the Messiah were also not met. And why this may pain my heart in unexplainable ways, I must have faith in my Lord that He is doing what He needs to do. 

Even if our relationship can never be mended on this earth, I can look forward to the day when it will be ultimately restored, and stay restored for eternity. On that day, there will be no more tears, no more miscommunication, no more pain; there will only be completed restoration as we bend our knees to worship our Father in Heaven. 

So with that said, Maranatha!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


So, I have always been kinda oblivious to Delirious...horrible decision!

I have just become an instant fan due to this song:


I couldn't help but feel jealous of worship leaders. What an honor it would be to lead people into a time of worship; of worshipping our Creator, our Servant, our King. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Schreiner's NT Theology

Wow. I am so impressed with what little I know about Schreiner's New Testament theology book. I took a look through the table of contents I WISH we could have gone through this book in NT Theo. Dare I say it's better than Ladd's?'s gotta be better than Thielman's (sorry Dr. Thielman).

I love how Schreiner doesn't go book by book, but by theme. And all his themes are riddled with inaugurated eschatology and talk of the Kingdom of God. Awesome. 

I am definitely purchasing this bad-boy with my next paycheck. 

Monday, June 16, 2008



I had such a great weekend! 

I was able to catch up with some friends on Friday night at the Knaup's beautiful home. Then off to the CBEST at 630am Saturday morning, where I enjoyed my Saturday taking a 3 hour test (but seriously, it was kind of satisfying to be taking tests again). Then I had the pleasure of spending part of the afternoon at the Asbill home, where they were hosting a goodbye party for Michelle. Michelle is headed to Bulgaria where she will be a full-time missionary! Then I was off to another Knaup event; this time in celebration of Jonathan's graduation from CSUF with a philosophy degree. It was great to see people from the Knaup's church and the Knaup fam; such great people. Sunday was Father's Day, where I enjoyed church in the morning with guest musician Danny Larsh (great guy). Then I was off to visit G-Pa, and uncles and such. We ended the night with a steak dinner and a Laker win! Tonight I will be headed over to party it up with Melissa as we send her out to Africa for the next 7 weeks. This morning at church, we prayed for her and Aubree (who is going to Germany this summer), and my eyes started to fill with tears at the thought of those two ladies taking a step of faith for the gospel of Christ. It's a beautiful thing to watch God take a life and form it into one ball of glorification for His name! 

Christians in Context gave us some GREAT links, so I am going to link to them, highlighting a few of my faves, and other things that I found on the internet. 

  • Create your own President Bush speech! This is hilarious!

  • Grudem's Systematic Theology is not for free online...

  • Cult Comparison Chart

  • Our church's "Steak and Study" is this Thursday. If you are a man, you should be there. It is my favorite event that I can never attend. 

  • Coldplay's new album comes out on Tuesday! Some friends have somehow already accessed this precious musical compact disc, and you can listen to the entire album on myspace, but I am waiting; waiting to walk into Best Buy to buy it with all its glory (and TWO bonus tracks!).

    *Sidenote* - as you will read in this article (from the link), Brian Eno produced this album. Eno has worked in music FORever. But my favorite thing about Eno is that when he started a little record company, he recorded and released a famous little tune by the name of, "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet". This song was eventually recorded by Jars of Clay (one of my fave's by them). Therefore, this album is bound to be riddled with religious connotations. I mean, I think it's a lot coming from Catholicism (if you factor in where this album was recorded), but still, I think all these people involved are on the brink of knowing Jesus (if not already)...I pray all the time. I need Coldplay in Heaven. ;)
  • Frankie shares with us his story of his accident...
  • This is definitely the video of the week:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I Will Possess Your Heart.

So lately I have been totally caught up in Death Cab's new single, "I will possess your heart". I will be honest, I doubted Ben Gibbard and his new album, because I am usually disappointed by new albums from bands who have been around for awhile. I refused to buy tickets to their concert and I didn't even listen to their single until I heard it on the radio one day. Then, suddenly, the beautiful sound of Ben's voice came ringing back into my ears, and I was hooked. Seriously, Ben could be singing in another language and the song would still be so beautiful...

...his voice just sounds that good.

So I have been singing along, all excited about how the song is talking about a boy wanting to win a girls heart. I started thinking about past relationships, and found myself passionately singing the lyrics as if I wrote them :)

Well, tonight I watched the music video and it hit me - the song is not about a boy wanting a girl.

Lets read some lyrics:

How I wish you could see the potential
The potential of you and me
It’s like a book elegantly bound, but
In a language that you can’t read just yet

You got to spend some time, love
You got to spend some time with me
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart
You got to spend some time, love
You got to spend some time with me
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart

There are days when, outside your window
I see my reflection as I slowly pass
And I long for this mirrored perspective
When we’ll be lovers, lovers at last

You got to spend some time, love
You got to spend some time with me
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart
You got to spend some time, love
You got to spend some time with me
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart
I will possess your heart
I will possess your heart

You reject my advances and desperate pleas
I won’t let you let me down so easily
So easily

You got to spend some time, love
You got to spend some time with me
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart


Don't you see it?!

Okay, probably not yet...time to watch the video...yes, all 8 minutes.

Do you see it yet?! Do you hear it?!

You see, what "slowly passes by our window" is THIS WORLD. This beautiful world that God has created. We are supposed to take some time to be with God's creation.

Now, I definitely believe that this is where Death Cab was going with this song, but I am going to take it even further because I always like to worship God with my music, even when the writer didn't make it for that.

Okay, so lets imagine that this is God singing to us. Now, read the lyrics again:

How I (God!) wish you (you!) could see the potential
The potential of you and me
It’s like a book elegantly bound, but
In a language that you can’t read just yet

You got to spend some time, love
You got to spend some time with me
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart

There are days when, outside your window
I see my reflection as I slowly pass
And I long for this mirrored perspective
When we’ll be lovers, lovers at last

You got to spend some time, love
You got to spend some time with me
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart
You got to spend some time, love
You got to spend some time with me
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart
I will possess your heart
I will possess your heart

You reject my advances and desperate pleas
I won’t let you let me down so easily
So easily

You got to spend some time, love
You got to spend some time with me
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart

So I am going to make a statement that is not very "reformed", but I believe it is true. I feel like this could easily be the song that God sings to all of His creation - the people whom are made in His image.

"you reject My advanced and desperate pleas, I won't let you let me down so easily"

I just encourage you to meditate on this song for awhile. Whether you want to think about how this could be God speaking to us...or whether this song tells you, "hey, slow down, and look at the beautiful world God has created." My favorite scene in the video is the one where the lady stops to chat with the guy working in the store...what a statement! And then to end the video with her just looking out at the ocean...we just take so much for we not?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gray Hairs.

The other night, I was at the Normans house, and Tatum grabbed a hair off of my head, ripped it out, and yelled, "You have a gray hair!" We laughed, and talked about what it was like to get older, and I mostly made fun of her because she has way more gray hair than I do.

Well, this morning, I was getting ready for work, and I spotted another little rascal of a hair! At this point, I was pretty sad. I mean, it's not like I am this old, old lady, but I am going to be 25 in August, and I am starting to get nervous about it. I found myself kind of obsessing over this whole thing lately, and it got me thinking about a lot of things. Like, how it's not fair that men seem to get better looking as they get older, and women don't. Our culture is really caught up in younger women. Men have affairs with younger women (while women usually have affairs with older men). It's almost as if younger women are more respected because of their younger looks and beauty. **Note: I am being really honest here, because I think this topic is important for a lot of women** It seems as if when women start getting older, they are not taken as seriously. They have kids and are stuck at home all day, while their husbands are at work where they are usually in some kind of role which would ask for respect. We can tell that all of these things are sort of true by the way women are constantly wanting to better their looks. They want plastic surgery and face lifts. They will spend all the money in the world to fix how they look.

Lately, I have been looking into getting some laser treatments on my face because I have a ton of sun spots. I am not really too big of a makeup person, but there is no way that I feel comfortable leaving the house without foundation on first. I hate that feeling. I want to feel comfortable with no makeup, and that is why I want to get this treatment done. I hate that I feel this way. I hate that when I look in the mirror, all I see are things I want to fix about myself. I was talking to a friend about this, and we were talking about all the things we want to fix about ourselves (physically), and we were laughing at each other because every time we would say something that we wanted to fix, the other person would say, "Really, I never even noticed you had that..." I have a feeling this is the case for everyone. I, myself, can think of nothing else but the sun spots on my face...and no one else even notices!

So with all of these thoughts rolling around in my head, I kept thinking, "Oh, I wish I was younger again." But then I stopped myself, and took that statement immediately back. Because if I was younger again (physically), than I would be younger again mentally and spiritually. Focusing in on women now - as we grow older, we may physically be dissatisfied with how we look, but we must be encouraged to know that we are growing more "beautiful" on the inside. We can look to proverbs for some comfort:

Proverbs 16:31
"Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life"

Proverbs 31:30
"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised"

In Proverbs 16, we read specifically about gray hair! And back in that day, there was no dye to cover it up...people knew when you were getting old. And when you were old, it was assumed that you had lived a righteous life...and were full of wisdom.

Proverbs 31 reminds us that beauty is fleeting; here today and gone tomorrow. But (my translation now...), a woman who is living a life through a process of sanctification leading to righteousness, is to be praised.

The older I get, the wiser I get.

The older I get, the more Christ-like I become.

In 1 Timothy, Paul gives us a description of what deaconesses are supposed to be like, he says they are "to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything."

Paul also tells us in Galatians that we are to live by the Spirit, and that the fruits of the Spirit are, " love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."

As I get older, and have more time to have meditated on these things, and pray to God to help me be a woman who is worthy of respect, and a woman who lives by the Spirit, the easier it gets to do so. I believe this comes with practice and maturity. And practice and maturity only comes with years.

Three things come out of this:

First, I want to encourage husbands to really understand where their wives are coming from when it comes to self-esteem. As a woman gets older, she will naturally feel less-desirable. I would encourage husbands to daily remind their wives of how much they love them and think that they are beautiful on the inside and the outside. For Christian wives, I am sure that it is unanimous that they want to be beautiful on the outside for you and only them that you notice the little things like a hair cut etc.

Second, for all men (married or single), remember what Paul tells us in Ephesians 5 about the husband being the head of the wife. Husbands are to love their wives just as "Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." For single men, this is important to think about the responsibility you have as a husband. Will you be hindering to your wife as she grows in holiness, or will you be helping to present her holy and blameless? Are you marrying someone who is more concerned with her outside beauty than her inside beauty? For married men - again, are you helping with your wife's walk with the Lord so that she may be presented as holy and blameless? Though it is important (I believe) that women take care of themselves physically, we must also remember that the Bible never explicitly demands that women are to be physically beautiful, but internally "beautiful".

Finally, for women, I would encourage you (as I encourage myself!), to feel confident as we grow older. Feel confident that your husband will love you no matter if you have gray hairs or wrinkles on your face. Single ladies - feel confident that God will bring the right man who cares more about your relationship with Christ, than your relationship with your hair stylist (because if he doesn't, then that is not the man you want anyway). And be excited that as you grow in years and gray hairs, it is only a sign that you have been walking with Christ for a longer amount of time. And that time will result in you being respected as a godly woman, as you walk in the Spirit, righteously, for the glory of God.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Kingsfield Church Staff Retreat

Finally, finally, finally...I have time to blog.

A couple weekends ago, the Kingsfield Church Staff (this includes me now), went on a retreat to Lake Arrowhead. I was so excited to go, considering that I really wanted a chance to connect with everyone that I will be working with. Fortunately, we were able to go during the second half of my first week on the new job, which was nice considering the fact that I cried during my first hour of work on Tuesday. I tried my best to explain through the tears (and a laugh) that I wasn't crying because I was sad to be working there, but just overwhelmed with the fact that I wasn't going to be returning to Biola, while also with remembering how faithful God has been to me in the journey that He has brought me through so far.

Our journey started on Thursday morning where we all settled in Redlands (typical) for some Chipotle, Starbucks, and Trader Joes time. Some highlights: The two men with guns, Jono giving his food away to the sketchy "homeless" guy, and Mark finally giving in and buying those potato chips (which were very good by the way).

Off we went to the mountain, where I proceeded to become "car nauseous", and had to pull over so I could sit in the front. Why do I always forget my car sickness medicine?! We pulled up to the glorious house we were staying in, thanks to a wonderful couple that attends our church. This house is amazing. You might remember that I stayed here over the New Years Weekend. This house comes fully equipped with 4 bedrooms (though the singles - Chris and I, slept on seperate...rooms...don't worry), a family room, a living room, a dining room, kitchen, gym, sauna, steam room, hot tub, putting green, fire pit, pool table, ping pong table, the series of "Left Behind", and a sweet boat with lots of fishing poles. Basically, when you stay here, you never have to leave because there is just endless entertainment. Oh, and did I mention that the house is right on the lake? Yah, pretty sweet.

My bed

Chris R's bed


This is where you can find Tatum

We spent our first day unwinding, and just hanging out. We took the boat out and did a little fishing, though we didn't catch anything. It was so much fun because I don't even remember the last time I went fishing...I was determined to catch something. We cooked up some good food (the Norman's classic), of chicken, tri-tip, mashed potatoes, salad, fruit, and Tatum's famous bread.

We continued the night with a time of worship in song, and prayer. This went on for awhile, and it was so awesome to see how the Lord was molding all of our hearts together to the same themes: God's faithfulness, and His glory. I was pretty stuck on God's glory that night (well I have been all semester). My heart desires for every step that I take to be glorifying to God...and yet, it can be so hard sometimes. But God is so faithful, and He has been so faithful to me, which just does a full circle always pointing back to Him, giving Him the glory for what He has done through my life...and through our church. During that time of worship, I felt such peace, such comfort. I kept meditating on what it would be like to finally be with the Lord forever once my life on earth is over, and this meditation time gave me motivation to want to share the gospel with those who don't know Christ, so they too could spend eternity with the Lord, who loves them so much.

We ended this time together at about 10:45pm, where I decided that I was just going to run downstairs and watch the last 15-minutes of the LOST finale. Everyone thought I was crazy, but it was tooootally worth it. Especially because the last 15-minutes was the best part of the whole season finale. After that, we just hung out a little more, and I tried to finish reading "The Shack", which I think I am just going to give up on. My conclusion - everyone is making way too big of a deal about it. "Fooor meee", it's just weak theology, and this equals BORING! But for some people, maybe dealing with tragedies, I could see how it would give them some comfort. And if this is the case, then I support that (though I would always recommend that people seek comfort in the Word of God!).

I woke up the next morning (refreshed, because I actually do love sleeping on couches) excited for what the day would bring. Simone made us some fabulous crepes...seriously, yum! And we were on our way to boat! This is always my favorite part...I absolutely love going to town, pulling up in a boat, and parking. We are so used to getting everywhere by car (or lately, by bike), but never a boat.

We went to a little pizza/sub place and enjoyed some wonderful food, with wonderful people, in wonderful weather. The highlight of lunch (and probably the highlight of my weekend) was having the opportunity to learn so much about Frank and Lela's time in Spain. Before they came to Kingsfield, they were missionaries in Spain for about a year. It was interesting to see how God used them there for only a year, though they were planning on being "lifers". It made my heart desperate to share the gospel as I learned that so few people know Jesus Christ in Spain...but even worse - the people in Spain are just not open to organized religion at all (due to the Catholic church leaving a bad taste in their mouth - see Spain's history for more information on that). Frank and Lela are two of the most legit people I have ever known. They are great to look too when it comes to marriage and raising a family, and I am so blessed to have the opportunity to work alongside them during this time.

After lunch we headed back to the house where Frank and Lela then drove back into town so he could download the episode of LOST (is it strange that Frank and I are both completely obsessed with the same things - LOST, and blogging??) and Lela could buy new shoes, everyone else took "naps", while Tatum and I spent all afternoon trying to catch a fish, to no avail.

That night, Brenda cooked us up some of her famous, amazing, spaghetti, and we all sat around the table laughing, and enjoying each other's company. Highlight of the dinner - discovering that Jono can ALWAYS out-do your story, no matter what it is.

We then gathered into the living room where we met once again, and just talked about where the church is going. At this point, our theme of the weekend came full circle when we just realized how we constantly need to rely on God for everything, because we can't do anything in our own strength or power. At the next staff retreat, we will have some amazing stories of God's faithfulness (which will be interesting to see what they are), and in the end, the stories will bring glory to His name.

Then finally, the moment I have been waiting for for months - GAME TIME.

Apparently, the boys have been just KILLING the girls in all the games at every staff function. Well, I have been threatening Frank (fellow-blogger) for months that when I come on staff, the girls are going to win. Here is my logic: (1) I am a pretty good player at guesstures and catch phrase (especially catch phrase); (2) Tatum and I have a lot of inside stories/information, and that helps tremendously when playing these games; (3) I can spell dessert.

Anyway, it just so happened that Jono and Simone forgot all the games! But don't worry, if this house has a fully equipped gym, I would think they would have games...and they did. Now, our options were limited. Jono, Chris R., and I wanted to take a stab at something new - "Win, Lose, or Draw" (do you remember that game?!!!), but no one else wanted too. They all wanted to stick with what they always did - Guesstures (because there was no catchphrase). One problem though - the edition of Guesstures was old, and there were many new rules attached to this edition, but everyone was up to the challenge.

On the boys side, we had:


(husband of Simone and youth director, fathers a little cat names Pico, was attacked by a bear and a shark, winner of "Pimp My Ride", a free wedding, and probably a million other things...basically, the Knepper's are the luckiest people alive.)


(husband of Lela, and father of 3 beautiful children, while tackling men's ministry, home fellowships, and counseling ministry, and practicing his jokes out on the congregation...oh, and he cannot swim, and he is serious, he can't)

Chris R.

(Professional bicyclist, worship director, and creator of all things beautiful that consists of a flyer or logo of any sort...oh, and did I mention that he is pretty handy, and has saved me lots of money that I should have given the apple store)


(Husband of Brenda, ruler of all things donuts and coffee on Sunday mornings, father of 3 beautiful children and grandfather of 2 of the cutest grand babies ever, driver of the oldest van I have ever seen which is still running even though I almost broke it driving in "drive" all the way down a mountain)

Chris N

(Our senior pastor, husband of Tatum, father of 3 beautiful children, new blogger, fixer of all things that go wrong with the staff's cars, and lover of the weirdest combinations of flavors at yogurtland)

And on the ladies side, we have:


(Wife of Frank, mother of 3 beautiful children, famous lyricist of such notable tunes such as "Let Me Cling," "I Believe" and "Worthy To Be Praised", wonderful vocal addition to Sunday mornings and women studies on Fridays, and a mighty women of the Lord whom baked from scratch with no air conditioning in Spain for a year)


(A native of South Africa, wife of Jono, voice of the church, youth director, lover of guesstures, writer of winning essay from "Pimp my Ride", had the most beautiful wedding I have ever seen, mother of Pico)


(Children's Ministry Director Extraordinaire, mother of 3 beautiful children and grandmother of 2 little ones, loves singing along to Elvis' Jail House Rock, makes a mean pot of spaghetti, and pretty much got saved in a bookstore...where I like to witness)


(Wife of Chris N., director of women's ministry, mother of 3 beautiful children, famous for her bread making abilities, fellow-blogger for less than a week and chai lover)

The game was a rollin', and you betcha, the women were on a ROLL! We burned through game 1, beating the boys so badly they could barely stand for the second round. Maybe we should have stopped at game 1, but we took the chance and decided to play the best out of three games. On to game 2 it was tense. The boys were majorly ahead of us when we made a huge comeback at the end of the final round. Luckily, I got some of this on video...

Here is's pretty dark, but still funny nonetheless:

And then a classic - Chris R. was picking out his cards and he was getting really pumped up that he had some funny cards, so I whipped out my camera to make sure to get this on video (for the sake of Frank and I's blogs) was a good thing I did:

Just in case you couldn't understand (or see) anything...he was trying to describe "quadruplets"...classic.

In the end, the ladies won, just as I had predicted. And we will continue to win throughout the rest of history. The ladies have traded some people around, and have recruited the "Kobe" and "Shaq" (Brenda and I)...fella's you are going down from now on...

Ladies = #1!

The boys are sore losers...

Now, to be fair, I will let you read this story from a boy's perspective. Click here to read Frank's view of the story...

All in all, the staff retreat was amazing, and I really wish we could do them more often. Everyone is amazing, and I am so blessed to have the opportunity to grow in my relationship with Christ with their support, encouragement, and love.

This post took me so many hours...

The new iphone is here!

Look at its beauty...
Only $199...
July 11th...
I want one...
Read about it here

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Sometimes, prayer can be reeeally reeeally hard to understand.

We know the Bible..Jesus...God...demands us to pray. But there are so many unanswered questions concerning everything about prayer.

I've realized that it's just one of those things that I will never fully understand...but fully grasp for on a minutely basis (I have been making up the coolest words these days).

Oh how I wish I had time to say more about this, but I am just so exhausted. But I can't even begin to describe how God's strength is being manifested through me and all of my weaknesses right now. And I am convinced it is only because I asked Him to help me. I feel the happiest I have been in a long time. And I don't want to use the word "happy", like I would to describe how happy I get when I go to Disneyland. But the word "happy" for me right now encompasses so many things -- fulfillment, satisfaction with serving Christ and His Kingdom, a sense that I am doing something that is really changing the lives of people around me...

I have such a peace.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Bored? Wanna read some interesting things? Here you go!

Monday, June 2, 2008

First day off.

Today was my first day off as a working woman, and it started out with a bang...literally.

It all started around 1am last night when I was minding my own business, watching a little TV, and I heard a garage open with a loud "bang!". Seeing as I am living all alone, I assumed it was the neighbor because why would MY garage door be opening?

I went back to watching TV, and about 10 minutes later I heard the garage door open again. I thought to myself, "What the heck are the neighbors doing up so late, making so much noise?"

About 5 minutes later I heard it again, but this time I really felt it coming from my (cousin's) house. I realized that there is no way the neighbors garage could make so much noise into my house. I started getting worried (especially because I forgot to lock the door that is between the house and the garage...though if someone would have walked through it, the alarm would have went off). I decided that there was nothing to get worried about if it wasn't my garage, and that I needed to check it. I grabbed a bat, and walked downstairs (scared out of my mind). I got to the door, and opened it. Sure enough, my garage door was open! I quickly slammed the door, locked it, and ran into my bedroom which is right around the corner. Right then, I heard the garage door close and open again.

At this point I started to panic. I started to cry a little, especially because I had realized that I left my cell phone in my car (which was in the driveway). I wanted to call my cousins to ask if this normally happens, and if I shouldn't be freaking out at all, but I didn't know their number by heart. Actually, I didn't know hardly anyone's number by heart except for some former co-workers/current co-workers - the Normans and Mr. Reinhardt. I felt bad calling the Normans so late, so I tried calling Chris, in hopes that he would tell me that garage doors open and close all the time, especially when young females are staying alone in a house. I am not sure why girls think that men will have the answers (like that) to every question, but we do. Unfortunately, he didn't answer. But who can blame him, it was 1am, and some random number (cousin's house) was calling him.

After I had no success in reaching someone from the outside world, I had no other choice; I had to call 911. I mean, what else was I supposed to do!? It seemed as if someone was in my garage. And to make matters worse, all the lights in the garage were burned out, so it was pitch black.

So I called 911, and apparently there was a fight in the Knaup's new neighborhood of Las Flores, and it took police THIRTY MINUTES to come to my rescue. Those were the thirty longest minutes of my life! I stayed on the phone with the nice 911 operator the whole time because I refused to hang up. She told me to "let her know if I heard someone in the house" comforting.

Finally the police arrived, and I went outside to discover that the loud "bang" I heard was the ladder falling over after the garage door had opened. Unfortunately, this still gave us no answers to how the heck the door opened in the first place. The officer was veeeery nice, and reassured me that it was probably something to do with the wiring, and he came in and looked around the house just so I would feel better. Did I mention that he was cute? Okay, just thought that I would throw that out there. :)
Me on the other hand, had just finished putting a mask on my face, and was in my pajama's - specifically, my "Bye-ola" shirt...typical.

The officer left, and I was still scared out of my mind of course, but I just wanted to go to bed because it was 2am. I called Chris back (because my call-waiting went off, and I think it was him...) and started rambling on about what had happened. He was probably half-asleep, but at least his reactions made it seem like he cared ;)
I asked him to pray for me, because I can't be scared to stay at the house...I have to live here the whole summer!

I fell asleep quickly, and awoke to Tatum calling me. I told her the whole story, and of course she sympathized greatly with me because she is just as much as a wuss as I am. I finally registered for the CBEST so I can substitute teach (hopefully) on my Mondays off from the church. My test is next Saturday, and I need to start studying math. I continued my day off by telling more and more people about what had happened. My cousin was convinced that the dying batteries in the clicker set it off. So I headed out on errands that would include a stop at radioshack.

I began by seeing my mom because I needed my healthcare card for some dentistry things (wisdom teeth). We ended up at Carls Jr. for lunch where I had a "divine appointment" with a crazy woman who was all into "The Secret". We talked for awhile as her 10 year old daughter watched (sad). My mom was pretty surprised at our conversations, but why wouldn't she be, it's not like she has ever even heard of "street witnessing" ;)

That conversation kind of ended abruptly, with the daughter pulling her mom away from me (I think she was embarassed). I was sad nonetheless, and as I drove away I wished that I would have invited her daughter to VBS...super bummed about that.

Off I went to my dentist appointment, where I was yelled at for 10 consecutive minutes for having earrings that I couldn't take off for the x-ray...waaa.

Then to the highlight of my day - the DMV, yuck. I spent 2 hours at the DMV today but I accomplished a lot. I talked about the Lord with one person (2 in one day! successful day!). I figured out that I do NOT have a point on my driving record (take that insurance company full of liars!), and I paid for my registration! The only thing left to do is to pay off my 3 outstanding tickets (one of which I am pretty sure I can fight off). I left pretty satisfied...not so overwhelmed anymore.

Finally, I went to Radioshack where it was sooo busy. Waited forever but finally got new batteries for the clicker. The guy behind me kept calling me "man", but he helped me figure out a possibility of why the garage was going all crazy. "Ohh, man, you just connect those laser beams together, because, man, if those beams aren't together, man, then that garage will go crazy man." Ummm yah.

So I got home and I did something that I would never do before...I changed a lightbulb in a garage! I climbed up on a ladder and changed a lightbulb. I felt so accomplished. This still hasn't solved the problem of the bigger lighting problem I am having (the light won't come on when I open the garage with my clicker), and Mr. Kruts said he would come over and help me with it...hopefully he I am not scared to leave the house after the sun goes down like an elderly woman.

All in all, a very eventful first day off. I am pretty tired from everything, and hopefully I will get some sleep tonight.

I hope you are well. And if you think of it, pray that I wouldn't be scared to stay here... "fearing" only the One who can take away my soul, as well as my life, having confidence that the Lord is my great protector.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

This kid can hit.

3 posts in a row, sheesh, I had a lot to say... :)
Here is a recent article about my cousin Mike Lamb. Seems like he is doing well in Minnesota. This article is so great because it mentions the whole family! I especially love the shout out about Andrew's hitting skills, because that kid can hit. Here is a picture of us from the summer of 2006.
He was only a one-year old at that point, but he could hit well even then! Now, he is such a slugger, it's amazing. I also like the shout out to Teresa, mentioning about Mike marrying her for her DNA, which is something they always joke about. Though they joke, it is true, there kids will be very athletic. 

Johnny Pepper.

One of my favorite person's in this world (and you are probably one too if you are reading this, don't worry) is John Dunne (aka. Johnny Pepper). 
A little about John Dunne:
* He does not like banana's
* He loves his chocolate fountain (btw, I have your directions to it Johnny...)
* He is really anal about his dishes being washed like me
* He is a staunch calvinist, amillenialist, and Mormon lover
* He loves God
* He loves theology
* He loves hardcore music and the movie "Saw"
* He loves coffee, and tea, but mostly coffee...all the time
* He pretty much knows the Bible better than any undergrad Bible student I know, but it's not all in his head...he actually lives it
* He loves the library
* He studies for all classes, even lacrosse
* He is a little obsessed with things being in when he is in the library - he has his chapstick, and his gum, and his Bible, always there, always orderly
* He is always supportive, and always forgiving, and soooo patient and understanding
* aaaand, he likes spicy food (hence, "pepper"). 
Okay, I could keep going, but I am sure you are convinced that John Dunne is a legit guy. 

Anyway, the reason that I am bringing John Dunne up on my blog, is because I want to promote his blog. He already has some GREAT stuff on there, but he is working on an eschatology series for the summer (you can read about it here). If you have ever wanted to know stuff about amillenialism, covenant theology, dispensationialism..etc. etc, this is the place for you. Not only will you get a well written, easily understandable essay, but I am sure he will dialog with you about everything he writes, whenever you want...because that's just how John Dunne does life... loving people, and talking to people about all things - Jesus.

I highly recommend you putting him under your favorites, and stay tuned for what he has to say. He is definitely one of the brightest guys I know, and I look forward to what the Lord is going to lead him to write this summer!

It's been so long!

Last night I was falling asleep and I was SO worried about all the amazing people that check my blog regularly, but haven't had anything to read for awhile, because I haven't been writing. I thought to myself, "I am going to lose all of my readers!" 

Well, I hope I don't lose you as a reader. I have been abnormally busy lately, but things are starting to come together. I am going to copy Blythe and Maritza, and the million other people who have been doing "posi/neg" on their blog; it's fun. :)

Coming soon this week: A blog all about the wonderful staff retreat we had this weekend, and how the girls dominated the boys in games. Look forward to reading about that with funny pictures and you tube videos (for you Frank!)


+ Staff retreat was awesome
- I have to go to the DMV tomorrow
+ I taught the pre-school class in church this morning
- I have to get my wisdom teeth out next week
+ Looking forward to reading some good books in these next few weeks
- Steve is leaving for 3 weeks...sad
+ Jacque's sister had her baby - Ruthi, so cute!
- Gas prices are sooooo high
+ LOST season finale was so amazing
- I need to clean my car
+ God is always good.