Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bye Bye Computer

My computer is in it's final days. It's tragic. 

And since I have no computer, I can't blog! Ah! It's a nightmare!

So, if you don't see me around for a while, this is the reason why :(

Pray that $1300 would fall out of the sky and land in my lap in the form of an Apple Computer store gift certificate (so I don't feel AS guilty spending so much money on computers...). 

*sigh*

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Obama's First 100 Days

The times published some amazing photos of President Obama's adventures during his first 100 days in office, and I wanted to share some of my fave's (you know how I love him...)! See all of them here

And a big thank you to CK for the link (and you should check out his blog anyway because he is a missionary in Africa, and he takes beautiful pictures). :)



Hope.





Laughter.





Peace.





Freedom.





Joy.





Endurance.





Love.






And finally, I learned that President Obama hand writes 10 responses, to people's letter, per day! I am sooo writing him a letter...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

All I Need Is You, Lord, Is You Lord...

I went to the Hillsong United "worship night" a couple days ago, and it was awe.some. I was a little hesitant at first because I thought it was strange that I would have to pay $25 to worship God, but I just kept trying to tell myself that travel wasn't free (for all of them). ;)

The show started out strong, and I was pretty stoked to be around people who are a little more charismatic in their worship (in song) of God. They played some awesome songs, and then they started playing the song called, "All I need is You". As they were playing this song, and it got to the lyrics of: 
You hold the universe
You hold everyone on earth
You hold the universe
You hold
You hold

... I began to realize how amazing God is. Singing this truth over and over, just delighted every inch of my being. The point of the song is that ALL we need is God. Is this true for us? Is God actually all we need? Do we live like that? 

For me personally, I have been convicted by this lately, which in turn caused me to cleanse. I donated clothes, and threw away things (emotionally and physically) that I was SO convinced I needed, but began to get in the way of my relationship with God. I started to become so convinced that God truly was all that I needed, but out of worship to Him, I wanted to cleanse my life of things so that He would really believe it. 

He holds the Universe. 

He holds everyone is His hands. 

If I am truly believing this truth about God, then yes, I truly should ONLY need Him. He is all I need. 

Brook Fraser from Hillsong was telling us the classic story about an ironsmith who works to get all the impurities out of the iron. We've heard that God does the same with us. Bring all the impurities to the surface, so that they can be severed off. This process of sanctification can be so difficult and painful, but it's worth it. And for me, so many times the yucky stuff that God wants to get rid of, is this mustard seed faith within me, and this reliance upon everything else that I can get my hands on... just.not.God. 

Lately I feel like God knows that I need Him now more than ever. I feel like such a child as He walks me through each day. He helps me find lost books and CD's I need, and He speaks to me on a daily basis. But when I step back and realize what God has been doing this in my life, I realize that it's probably because I have placed my whole dependence upon Him. I go to Him first with my fears and tears, and I make sure that He is the #1 priority for me. 

I've been learning that as humans, we go through many different seasons within our lives. And as we go through seasons we can begin to put our hopes and trust into different things, people, and institutions. But most of the time, those things that are with us for a season, eventually fade away. High School friends and teachers, gone. College is so far away. Different people who have come in and out of my life, love them, but accept that it's over. And sometimes the goodbyes are good, and sometimes the goodbyes are really painful, but in all goodbyes there is still hope, because there is still God. God doesn't come in and out of seasons; He is always with us... constant, and consistent. He is the beginning and the end, and He will never leave us or forsake. And this is why....

All I need is You Lord...
is You Lord.
All I need is You. 



Here's the whole song. Watch the video, you will love it. 

"Left my fear by the side of the road
Hear You speak
Won't let go
Fall to my knees as I lift my hands to pray

Got every reason to be here again
Father's love that draws me in
And all my eyes wanna see is a glimpse of You

All I need is You
All I need is You Lord
Is you Lord

One more day and it's not the same
Your spirit calls my heart to sing
Drawn to the voice of my Saviour once again
Where would my soul be without Your Son
Gave His life to save the earth
Rest in the thought that You're watching over me

All I need is You
All I need is You Lord
Is You Lord

You hold the universe
You hold everyone on earth
You hold the universe
You hold
You hold

All I need is You
All I need is You Lord
Is You Lord"


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'll take off my shoes...

"I’ll take off my shoes, I’m coming in,
Untie this rope, I’m staying with him,
Love of my life, I’ll live and die,
Just for the moments for my king and I.

Why did you call, why did you wait,
For someone so guilty, someone so fake.
There are no words for my beautiful song,
Now I’m in the arms of my beautiful one.

Hold me, blow all the pride from my bones,
With your fire.
Hold me, breathe on this heart made of stone,
Keep it pure.
Hold me, saviour of heaven and earth,
King forever.
Hold me, love of my life lead me on,
Through the fire, lead me on...

I’ll take off this crown and fall at your feet,
The secret of joy are the moments we meet.
How could a man with all of your fame,
Pull me from darkness and call me by name.

So hold me today, as I carry your cross,
Into the desert to find who is lost.
Look at my hands, they’re still full of faith,
God keep them clean till we finish the race."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bad boys bad boys, whatcha gunna do when they come for you?

Ok, so the other day I am leisurely driving down the highway, and I notice a CHP officer behind me. I immediately take my foot off the gas and slow down to 55, and he (or she) passes me. He stays right in front of me for almost 5 miles, and I am watching him because I totally know what he's going to do. All of a sudden, this little old honda enters onto the freeway, maaaybe going 55-60 miles an hour, and was just hanging out in the slow lane, but at the exact same pace as me. The CHP-ee is in the FAST lane, and he throws on his lights (behind NO ONE), and begins to change lanes to the right. As he comes over into each lane behind a new car, I am like yelling in the car, "Don't pull over! Don't pull over!" As he got behind each car, none of them were pulling over, so he just kept changing lanes to the right. Finally, he gets behind the little old honda (whom it was impossible for him to EVER even see!), and the poor little honda pulls over. 

I was SO mad. I wanted to take down the cops license plate and report him because there is no way he caught that little honda doing ANYTHING wrong, it's just a game they play. One time a CHP-ee told me that that's what they legitimately do - they just flip on their lights and see who is stupid enough to pull over. I learned this, and fought against one night as a CHP-ee lighted up behind me (and I was NOT speeding at ALL), and so I proceeded to change lanes to the LEFT, and the poor guy who was in the lane to the right of me was dumb enough to pull over to the right, so the CHP-ee totally went after him instead. 

So anyway, I am not recommending for you to run away from the police in any way, and I'm probably going to go to jail if a cop finds this blog entry (but I guess they can't really prove that I wrote it), but my recommendation would be that on the freeway, don't be so quick to pull over to the right. Assume he is going for the guy ahead of you. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Secret (or not so secret) Love

I have a secret love...

////Christian rap music////

Yikes.

I am feeling incredibly motivated by this recent Desiring God music video called "Don't waste your life"... Like the John Piper book...




I also love a guy named "Flame". Do yourself a favor, go to iTunes, search Flame, buy the song called "Rewind"... it's a gem indeed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Tiny Vessels"

I had a little epiphany of the song titled "Tiny Vessels", by Death Cab for Cutie. Neeever really paid any attention to these lyrics... so weird, especially for me. So the other day I was listening to the song and the bridge lyrics finally caught my attention, and I was like, "woa"... these lyrics are super intense. I love Death Cab.

This is the moment that you know
That you told her that you loved her but you don't.
You touch her skin and then you think
That she is beautiful but she don't mean a thing to me.
Yeah, she is beautiful but she don't mean a thing to me.

I spent two weeks in Silver lake
The California sun cascading down my face
There was a girl with light brown streaks,
And she was beautiful but she didn't mean a thing to me.
Yeah, she was beautiful but she didn't mean a thing to me.

I wanted to believe in all the words that I was speaking,
As we moved together in the dark
And all the friends that I was telling
All the playful misspellings
and every bite I gave you left a mark

Tiny vessels oozed into your neck
And formed the bruises
That you said you didn't want to fade
But they did, and so did I that day

All I see are dark Grey clouds
In the distance moving closer with every hour
So when you ask "Is something wrong?"
I think "You're damn right there is but we can't talk about it now.
No, we can't talk about it now."

So one last touch and then you'll go
And we'll pretend that it meant something so much more
But it was vile, and it was cheap
and you are beautiful but you don't mean a thing to me
yeah you are beautiful but you don't mean a thing to me

Take a gander... 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Two ridiculous, but funny, stories.

I can be pretty ridiculous sometimes, and I love it. 

//////////

The other day I was at Andrew and Britt's wedding (pictures soon!). It was sooo much fun, especially because I was able to catch up with a bunch of Biola friends I hadn't seen in a while. I was also able to finally meet The Thoennes' little girl, Caroline, whom they had recently adopted. At one point I found myself having a conversation with the wife of my all time favorite professors (you know), and I was just so in awe with her because it had been about a year since I had last spoken with her, and yet she remembered all the things I had told her! Seriously, what the heck? This couple is just amazing. Anyway, I was having a pretty deep conversation with her, and as she was right in the middle of speaking, a fly just flew into my mouth. I could feel it, just buzzing on my tongue. I knew that I could just say excuse me, and swipe it off easily, but I just didn't want to ruin our vibe. I am already intimidated by their amazing presence, and I did not want to make the situation awkward in any way. My thoughts were going a million miles a minute - thoughts of how disgusting it was that a fly was in my mouth... and how sad I would be if it had to die; it was obviously fighting for it's freedom. But in the end, I decided to do the unthinkable - eat it. It was a fighter, and I actually had to end up chewing it a little because it just would not stand to be swallowed, but eventually, it went down the pipe. Awkwardness avoided, wonderful conversation completed. 

/////////////////

Easter Sunday. My poor mother always slaves away in the kitchen for hours preparing food, and though I love her food, I wish that we could just order a pizza on holidays. It's always SO stressful, and way more work to spend time with my parents on holidays, than any other time. Honestly, I am just not a big fan of holidays. 

So after all of the stresses, we finally sit down at the table. Usually my mom cooks ham on Easter, and I hate ham, so I am used to eating all the sides. But this year my mom thought she would do something nice for me and make me chicken. I appreciate her efforts, and was expecting some lean piece of boneless chicken, because she knows that's what I like. I like to eat certain kinds of meat, but I cannot stand any meat with fat or bone on it. I can't stand it because it reminds me that it was an animal at one point. As a pacifist, I am just not big on killing things, and this does include animals. I am not a vegetarian, and would never put a trip on anyone for eating meat, I just can't see it, or think about it. Like on Thanksgiving when my mom makes the turkey, I can't see the actual frame of the turkey or I will freak out. 

Well, apparently my mom forgot this (as she forgets most things), and all of a sudden there is a huge freaking cornish hen sitting on my plate (click the link for a cooked picture... I didn't want it on my blog...). I completely freaked out. My sisters were of course making fun of me, and came over and ripped the legs off! I fully started crying, and was just freaking out. I couldn't handle it. Plus, I was kind of mad because for goodness sakes, for 15 years I have been telling my mom of my fear of seeing the actual animal form of meat I eat! At that point I was seriously considering just telling my parents I was a vegetarian now so it would never happen again (though, my mom would probably forget...). To make matters worse, my old roomie Lindsay was there, and so she had a whole hen too! I have no idea if she was okay with that, but she barely ate any of it. So embarrassing. Thank GOD I didn't bring my other roomie Holli - she's a vegetarian, and probably would have started crying too. It was seriously the worst thing ever. 

Later on I felt bad about crying over our Easter meal, but I hope my mom finally learned her lesson ;). Also, my new fear is that I will be at my future in law's house for dinner at one point, and they will serve me a cornish hen. This will probably come up on date #2 for every single potential spouse from now on. 

***Note: As Melissa Murphy and I had talked about in the past, I would quickly get over this fear of killing animals, and eating animals that seem to still be intact, whilst in Africa, or in any culture that would be offended by my repulsive, crying response.***

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sometimes, you're the only "Jesus" people know.

So I would definitely classify myself as an evangelist. One of my favorite things to do, is to tell people about Jesus. Sometimes it can be hard for me to be pushed to do organized street witnessing (because it can be very awkward), but I still think it's a good, especially if you go out with the right partner. But I believe the best way to tell people about Jesus is through friendship. The dictionary defines "friendship" as having, "good will, kindness, and benevolence" towards someone. And of course, we must not forget love. God loves the whooole world, and He calls us to do the same. 

Sometimes I get frustrated in trying to explain to people at my church that we need to represent Christ and His Kingdom, because they fail. Not that I don't fail, but if you're in ministry, you might know what I mean. For instance, we tried to take our church street witnessing this summer, and maybe only 1 person showed up... every. single. week. One day I was so frustrated, I emailed an old Biola professor of mine (Dr. Williams), and I asked, "Dr. Williams, how can I motivate the Christian who works in a secular job, to be as passionate as a person in ministry? A person in ministry chose this route, because hopefully they are passionate about God, but is it fair to force this passion upon someone who is just not in ministry?"

Dr. Williams said back (basically), "Are you kidding me?! They are the most important people out there. While you are surrounded by Christians all day (not a bad thing), they are surrounded by the people who NEED Jesus. When I worked as an engineer, I was the only Jesus those people knew. Train your people to be Jesus', for the people who don't Him."

This hit me hard. This is kind of where I began my little journey of wanting to work in a secular field again, but I will digress on that, so I will stay on point. 

I have a friend, and she goes to a public university. She has become great friends with a man who is an unbeliever. He's a sinner, just like the rest of us, and really doesn't want much to do with God. I've been encouraging my friend in this relationship, telling her that the day will come when that conversation will arise about her beliefs, and all he's going to be able to do is to look back on what a great friend she has been to him. He will see Jesus, through her. My friend, is the only "Jesus" that guy knows right now. 

The other night I was on my way to Target to pick up some things, and as I pulled into the parking lot, I saw 4 cop cars, and lots of cops meticulously searching through a guys car. I immediately suspected that they might have found drugs on him or something. I did my shopping and on my way out, I saw that everyone was still over there, but that the car was getting towed now. There was a young kid who was standing there watching the whole thing, on and off his cell phone, and I began to feel God tell me to go offer him a ride. Now, I am all about giving random people rides, but I usually stick with women. But, I'm also very used to hearing God's voice in this kind of situation, and have passed by women I've wanted to pick up, but God clearly tells me "no" sometimes. 

I fought with God for a little bit, telling Him that I just wanted to go, because I was running late to go to Jono and Simone's for game night, but He just kept impressing it upon me that I needed to go to talk to this kid. So I quickly prayed and started to walk over there...

Me: Hi, are you okay? Do you need a ride?

Kid: Umm, actually ya, that would be really amazing if you could help me right now. 

Me: Okay, I would be happy to help you, where do you live?

Kid: Costa Mesa

Me: (trying to hold in my sadness that it's sooo far away!) Ok, hop in!

The cops were looking at me like I was crazy. I love it. Right away I felt safe, and I knew that this kid wasn't going to hurt me. He got in my car, and we headed north. We started talking about our lives, and what had happened to him tonight. Who knows if his story was true that he gave me, but whatever, no judgment from over here. I told him I worked at a church, which always brings up the God conversation, and he told me that he grew up Catholic, but that he was just kind of searching for what was real. We're about half way to his house, and he just exclaims, "You are so nice! I just love... being around you. Do you want to hang out tonight?" This is my absolute favorite comment to get from unbelievers, because I KNOW that they only want to be around me because of Christ in me. I told him that I was actually headed to my friends house for a game night, and that he could come if he wanted. He was totally stoked about the idea, and so I turned around the car and headed back to Aliso Viejo. 

Now I have been in situations before where I have brought random non-Christians that I just pick up from nowhere to social events with other Christians, and they are not always very welcoming (which is so lame), so I was a little nervous. The Kneppers haven't known me that long, and they don't know about my little antics of doing these things. Plus, we were hanging out with Zach, a new friend from UCI, who has recently started attending our church. But things went better than I had ever imagined (I am literally crying as I write this, because I truly believe that God's Kingdom, His church on earth, was displayed beautifully last night to our new friend). 

I walked in, and the kid was right behind me (he's 20 by the way), and I'm like, "Heeey guys, this is "Kid", ummm,  I actually saw him as his car was getting towed, so I offered him a ride, but he just really wanted to come hang out with us tonight." Everyone was like, "Cool! Hey Kid, how's it going, come in, sit down." Simone was cooking up some dinner, and she offered him food and drink, and anything he needed. Then everyone was asking him all about himself, and we were all just having a fun conversation. It was the one of the greatest things I had seen in a long time. 

We played the game of "Life" until 1am, and we all just had a great time. In the end it worked out perfectly, because Jono had to give Zach a ride home semi-close to where Kid had to go, and we said our goodbyes. We all exchanged numbers with Kid, and told him that we wanted to hang out more. Later on that night, Kid texted me and thanked me for everything, and said I was like an "angel" who was sent to him. I texted him back and I said that God loves him very much, and that He will always take care of the one's He loves, and that I was happy to have made a new friend tonight. It was a beautiful display of being Jesus on everyones part, and I know our actions were truly glorifying to God. 

Tomorrow we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without the resurrection, we would have nothing, but now, we have everything. And of course, one of my favorite things Jesus gives the believer because of the resurrection is the Holy Spirit (where God dwells within us). He gives us the Holy Spirit so that we may be a light to the world... so that we can be Him, to people who don't know Him. 

With all of this said, I want to encourage you to BE Jesus to people. Next time someone is in need, or maybe your co-worker is having a bad day at work, or maybe an old lady needs help getting something from the top shelf at the grocery store... BE Jesus... 

...because you might just be, the only Jesus they know. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Simone Love

I have decided to create a new label for my blog called "Simone Love". This will tell the stories of the random, but great times that Simone shows her love to me (and maybe others...). You see, Simone and I are different in the sense that I think I might over-love people and things. I looove everything, and everyone. I am just one big ball of love. And I hug people, and I rub people's backs, and I tell them that I love them, to show my love. 

But Simone, her love gestures are awesome because they don't come often But when they do, you reeeally know that she loves you. Earlier in the year I had written about "Simone Love" during my winter camp blog, and now I have another story. 

Yesterday I was talking to her on the phone, and I have been sick so I haven't seen her in forever. She was offering to bring me soup and OJ etc., and at the end of our conversation, she said, "Ok Carrie, well, I love you..." I couldn't help but giggle a little, and I was like, "I love you too Simone" (though I tell her this already). In that moment, I felt very loved by Simone. 

Have you felt the "Simone Love"?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Boo Boo Bunny

I haven't been feeling very good for a while. Kinda had a health scare there for a bit... 

still kind of scared.

Wish I knew exactly what was going on. Wish a "boo boo bunny" could fix it. Google it if you don't know ;)

Been kind of secretive about it all. But I would covet your prayers, so the secret is not a secret no mo. 

In the meantime - I am kind of learning to enjoy the little things that seem to always pass me by so quickly\\\\

roomies helping out
lifetime movies
text messages from friends
junior high kids knocking on my door to visit
nice messages
the beautiful sunshine
a wonderful nurse
diet 7-up
chicken noodle soup
my parents



life is a little fuzzy right now, and yet, so much clearer.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Human Trafficking Week at Biola

It's true, protesting Human Trafficking might be the new "fad," but I like it.

I remember when I was involved in Social Justice Ministry, and my passion lied in raising awareness to the Genocide happening in Darfur (as it still does...). I directed a week similar to this Human Trafficking week, highlighting the tragedy of genocide, and it was amazing to me how many people DIDN'T want to be involved.

That next year, I was still passionate about Darfur, but there was this little group of activists, who were solely committed to the cause of Human Trafficking, that were taking over. Out of nowhere there were young people who started to sprout up and demand for the Christians at Biola to take notice of what was happening around them. Social Justice Ministry started out slowly... no one was really interested. Now, a wave of activism is beginning, and I hope it doesn't die out...

There were signs like these placed all over campus... but this prayer one was one of my fave's

One day they had a mattress placed outside the cafeteria with girls on it who looked battered and bruised



This is NOT just an international problem

They had students chained up in the main Biola student area

Richard (left) was one of my old High School kiddos (so proud) and he directs the Human Trafficking movement at Biola, and Matt (right) is in charge of the overall movement of raising awareness towards social justice issues at Biola (he's great). I love coming back to Biola and talking to people like Richard and Matt because I feel like they are some of the only people who understand me... who understand the world...


This one brought me to tears... I love the Biola prof's and staff


Love this one of Richard :)

Now that you have seen, don't remain silent.

If you are interested in learning more, there is an awesome event happening on April 11th at Cal State Fullerton. The guest speaker at this event will be the young girl who was recently found in an IRVINE home who had been trafficked over here to America years ago. She lived as a family's slave, never going to school, or feeling in the least bit, loved. All this right here in our backyard!



Have you ever seen ads like these before... in your newspapers... magazines?
Maybe you are naive (like I used to be), thinking that these women who work for these ad places actually want to be in this kind of business. Yes, I suppose some do, but for the most part, all of these women have been trafficked into Orange County.

At the lecture I went too on Monday night, the speaker was telling us how the trafficker's have been getting the women into the country. They basically go to countries like Thailand, and sign the young girls up for school - massage therapy school. The girls sign up like any other school, paying $35,000 to go. Usually they agree to take the loan out through the trafficker's. They come to the states on student visa's, so no one recognizes them as possible sex traffickers. Apparently they get here to the OC and they start working. The women are then told that there massages cost $60, but they are only able to keep their tips. Then at the end of the month, they are given a bill for all their housing, food, and loans (plus interest), realizing that their tip money will never be able to pay off their bills. Once they realize this, the trafficker's go to the women explaining that they will have to start doing other "things" to make money, because they are now in debt to them. And if they refuse, they are threatened with the lives of their families back at home. After all, the girls filled out applications, the trafficker's know where they live.

Disgusting. Heart wrenching. Horrible.

But day by day these women are being rescued, and many people are working hard so that this doesn't happen anymore. But we have a long way to go. Don't act like you don't know anymore...

You might think you have to travel thousands of miles to go on mission trips to help other people... open your eyes! It's time to realize that people need our help right here at home.

For more information:

Thursday, April 2, 2009