Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pig Fears

My own eyes have seen multiple people die from Swine Flu (H1N1).

These own hands have been washed multiple time throughout the day to try and avoid catching it from all of the people around me who have it. 

SO many people have the swine flu. 

And while the Swine is not usually deadly, it DOES indeed make you very sick, for a couple of weeks.  

Today at work, my director started walking around handing out forms that we had to fill out and sign, stating whether or not we wanted the H1N1 vaccine. I'll be honest, 2/3'rd's of the people want it, and the rest don't. It's scary. I really hate taking any kind of vaccine, and I have NEVER taken a flu shot until this year. I am not sure what made me even want to take the flu shot... I guess I just wanted to face the unknown - if I would react negatively to it, or not. 

The fears lie in videos like these - about young people who develop "dystonia" after getting the flu shot. The scary part is that it take about 2 weeks to show signs of dystonia, which will make me stressed out for 14 days. 






And while these incidents are extremely rare, they still happen. I am not too worried about it because I had no reaction to the flu shot, and if I do end up with neuro problems, at least I don't have a husband and/or children (my roomie thought I was weird for saying this, but seriously, at least I wouldn't burden anyone, except for my parents). 

So the question is - is the risk of catching the Swine Flu, bigger than taking the vaccine? 

I have had pneumonia before, and so I could easily see myself becoming quite sick if I caught the Swine Flu, and this makes me nervous. It's the young people that are becoming really really sick. 

But at the same time, I know I would catch the Swine early on, and go to the doctor right away, so I think I would be able to fight it off. 

But even if I fight it off, I will still probably be out sick for like two weeks from work and school... this doesn't work well at all. 

But is the chance of becoming neurologically damaged, worth the risk of trying to not lose out on work and school? 

The infectious disease docs at my work have already taken the vaccine, and recommend for us all to take it. On my paper for the vaccine, I checked "yes"... I want it. This means it's now or never. When that vaccine comes in, I need to take it, or they will give it to someone else, and I probably won't have a chance for another one (since they are so low in supply). 

And even the Obama girls got the shot...

So what do you think? Should I take it? Would you take it?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There.

If you know me (too) well, then you know that in the past when I was trying to pay off my Camaro, I used to call Wells Fargo and tell them about my life. I would call in to make a payment, and then I would just start laying out my life to them. It was like free counseling, and I always felt better afterwards. Plus, I felt like I was getting a little more from my money. 

So when the search began for a insurance plan on my new Corolla this past month, I was really seeking for something more. I called Geico (my former company), and Progressive, and All State (because of that awesome guy in their commercials), until finally finding State Farm. While looking at State Farms website, I realized that they actually had agent's, from the local area, who would ALWAYS be the person we would call. 

I liked this idea. 

So I called State Farm, and not only did they give me the best rate, but they also gave me the personal service I was looking for. Now I know a little about my agent (Greg), and he knows about me. Plus, State Farm has great deals on Renters Insurance, which would involve covering my possessions if anything were to happen to them inside OR outside my house (even while on vacation!). Having car insurance with State Farm, makes my Renters Insurance only a little over $2! 

All in all, State Farm IS like a good neighbor. 

So if you are looking for new insurance, and you want to give State Farm a try, go ahead and give Greg a call - 949.600.9673. 

What are your experiences with car insurance?

Friday, October 23, 2009

...

The more I live this life, the more I realize that I have no idea what I am doing. 

I am content with that. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Picture Party

I used to post blogs of pictures about stuff I was up too, but for some reason, I don't really do that anymore. But there are so many good things to remember from these past couple of months. So, here we go!! In crazy, random order...

This is what I look at while working...


I was stuck between two large trucks once...


Dinner and Dessert with friends... though I have no idea how we all ended up in the bedroom...


My blurry birthday party


Game night at the Kneppers...


Stef's birthday at Chili's...


B and I in Savannah, Georgia...



Lunch with my fave person, and my fave restaurant, in my fave city (Manhattan Beach)...


My cousin got married...
This is my grandpa's girlfriend. Awesome. 


Then she decided to have a baby... but what really comes first anyway, the chicken or the egg? ;) ...
Ya, it's a boy...



Wine tasting with my fave's...


A blurry baby shower for a co-worker...


Simone brought me this from South Africa, she loves me...


Late night with Tita...


Last time doing this here...


My OTHER cousin got married...


*sigh*... wonderful Fuller...


Friends...


My first free book to review! Woo!...


A family BBQ...


Ordered dessert at Claim Jumper (for $6), and was actually really pissed when they brought me this. Why the big portions Claim Jumper?!...


Salisbury Wedding!!!

House we stayed in...




Coldplay concert with Simone... (I accidentally did these backwards)
Lawn, or front row... couldn't tell :)





Healthcare within healthcare...


Disney with my love's...


B's birthday...


My "Office" wedding party...



Running into Ben at Fuller...


There was a crash... I had to get out and help...



Bye church!...


And finally... no words...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

To School, or not to School... that is the Question...

Well, I am pretty sure I figured out who “anonymous” is that keeps commenting on my blog. Or at least, ONE of the anonymous people that keeps commenting on my blog. There is one person that freaks me out a little, but I don't think he/she visits anymore. So, to the person who this blog post is written for, I only have one thing to say to you - I wish we were still friends. 

If you read below on my blog, I made a bold statement about how I think that grad school is a good thing, and I recommend going, if you are able too. Long ago I have decided that I will not publish comments that are left anonymous (stand up for what you believe in…), but I want to address what this anonymous commenter had written,  so I will quote what he/she had said to me:

“Do you realize that studying the bible and all the numerous books you will be reading can be done on your own? I know many men with great knowledge of the bible and awesome ministries that never went to grad school. Good for you that you are doing this, but shame on you for thinking that everyone in ministry should. After all, God used a bunch of undereducated men to start His church! Lets keep education in perspective and remember that GOD is the authority, not man’s attempt at knowledge.”

With all of this said, I am going to focus on 5 things:

1 – A+B, doesn’t have to equal C. College + Degrees doesn’t equal an “awesome ministry”. I never said that.

2 – Numerous book reading can be done on your own, but most of the time, that just never happens. And numerous book reading, does not equal a college education.

3 – Lets talk about the difference of an undergraduate education, and a seminary education.

4 – God TOTALLY used educated men.

5 – God IS indeed the authority… but maybe the problem with today’s church is that people are not striving for knowledge at all – they leave it all in the pastor’s hand to teach them. Pastor’s really need to start teaching teaching teaching their congregations. And in that case, an “attempt at knowledge”, is really important.

Disclaimer: I know that this conversation can get heated. I reeeally don't want to offend anyone with this post. Honestly, what I want to do, is encourage people to further their education. The majority of my family doesn't have degrees, and a lot of my friends don't either, and I don't think less of them at all. In fact, I have some REALLY brilliant friends who never went to college. School is not for everyone, but I think it's a really good thing. And I really think that it's extra important for Pastors to have some kind of education. 

1 – A+B, doesn’t have to equal C. College + Degrees doesn’t equal an “awesome ministry”. I never said that.

>>>I am sure there are plenty of pastors with no college education, and "awesome ministries". But, I think we need to define the word "awesome" a bit more carefully, and I will address this point more within #5. 

2 – Numerous book reading can be done on your own, but most of the time, that just never happens. And numerous book reading, does not equal a college education.

>>>One of my old pastors, Frank Sanchez, is a rare gem. Frank is a perfect example of a person who is just plain well educated. Frank does not have any accredited degrees. Frank is completely committed to studying God’s word, and the scholars who have gone before him. Frank loses sleep at night after his family is asleep, because he is up listening to lectures, and reading. Frank’s bookshelves are filled with books that have actually been read. Frank is probably one of the most gifted Pastors I have ever met, and every ministry he touches, is awesome. So it’s a total bummer that Frank is limited in certain things that he does because his degrees aren’t recognized by the "recognizing important people", because I fully believe he has the abilities to obtain jobs and position that are aligned with the M.Div. qualification.

But like I said, Frank is a RARE gem. I don’t know anyone else like him. Unfortunately, there are numerous pastors who have not been well educated, and are not committed in keeping their studies up. Because of this, I believe that the people they are pasturing, will suffer from this.

I sit next to a guy who is a pastor. He has been going to Fuller for 10 years. He never has had the time, or capability to go to seminary full-time, and so he just keeps plugging away. He says he probably won't ever get his masters degree, but that he feels better equipped to be a pastor by keeping up on his education. Also, he has an accounting degree, which he says was probably the best decision for his work now as a pastor, because he understands money and business. I think this is great. 

My friend Jessie also has her undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies. She's a youth pastor. She's brilliant. I definitely think she will go to grad school one day, but for now, it's her hubby's turn. Jessie is committed to staying up on her education by reading books, and studying for her bible studies. And even better, at Biola, she was prepared for this. 

My point is, it's not the degree hanging on the wall that counts, it's the knowledge that you are able to obtain. Having knowledge about your faith (especially if you are a pastor), is hugely important. 

But with this said, I am not a huge fan of no degrees when it comes to something important. You can't become a doctor just by reading books... or a lawyer, or a police man, or even my job! Yup, I had to take many classes on how to read those cardiac dysrhythmias. 

I have another friend - probably one of the most brilliant people that I know. He's like a sponge - just soaks up everything. But I don't think he would have been able to reach his full potential unless he went to school. I would LOVE to see him in law school one day, or get his Ph.D. 

I just think that people are a huge big ball of potential, and an education will help make that ball bounce. 

One last important thing about actually attending a school – the experience. Sitting at home reading books will bring you knowledge, but it wont give you any room to sharpen your sword. You aren’t in class discussing these things with peers and professors. You aren’t learning the discipline and structure of writing papers, and completing your reading on time. 

I am not going to sit here and undermine a college education. Getting an undergraduate degree is rough. It is hard work, and it gives a person a certain kind of character, and an experience in life that no one else can relate too unless they have been through it. On a job application, you can't write down your experience as a person who has "read a lot of books", vs. "I have a degree". And I think there is a legitimate reason why. I am proud of my degree, and the work I did to obtain it. 

3 – Lets talk about the difference of an undergraduate education, and a seminary education.

>>>I want to break up my segments of education:
  1. Community college for my EMT cert. This helped me grow as an adult, and gave me really helpful trade knowledge. 
  2. Community College for my AA. I am a firm believer that general education is ridiculously important. To be well versed in general knowledge is something that cannot be replaced with anything. For instance - Those people Jay Leno runs into on Jay Walking - funny funny stuff, but kind of sad. A basic knowledge of history, government, english, math, and science, is important. 
  3. Finished my undergraduate degree at Biola University in Biblical Studies. After obtaining this degree, I didn't feel completely ready to dive into ministry. Ya, I felt pretty confident about leading a Junior High Ministry, but those kids asked some good questions, that I wasn't sure about what the answers were. I didn't feel ready to lead anything bigger than that ministry, because I didn't feel like I had enough education. 
  4. Now into my first semester at grad school. Every class I sit in, I feel like an idiot because of how much I DON'T know. And when I talk to my friends who have graduated from Seminary, I realize that I have a lot to learn. I am realizing now that my undergraduate degree prepared me for my seminary education... but that I do NEED a seminary education. 
I have always heard it been said - an undergraduate degree prepares you for life, and a masters degree prepares you for what you REALLY want to do. I believe this so much more now. 

4 – God TOTALLY used educated men. 

>>>And even if the disciples were completely uneducated before they met Jesus, they went to the best 3-year seminary out there - one taught by Jesus, Himself! 

But seriously, the men back then were not stupid. And they were at least well educated in their Jewish faith. 

5 – God IS indeed the authority… but maybe the problem with today’s church is that people are not striving for knowledge at all – they leave it all in the pastor’s hand to teach them. Pastor’s really need to start teaching teaching teaching their congregations. And in that case, an “attempt at knowledge”, is really important.

>>>Like I said, degrees don't equal an awesome ministry and/or life, but they sure do help. 

Two different thoughts:
  1. My mom has always wanted to be a school teacher, but she never had a chance to go to college because her mom died when my mom was 19, and she had two little siblings to care for. Sucks. So she decided to go down the career path of healthcare administration. She has worked in that field for over TWENTY years, and will never get out of it. This is all she knows. And she can't move any higher up in the company, because she doesn't have a degree. Double sucks. My mom is the most amazing person I have ever known, and my love for her is off the charts. Because I love her so much, I just always have wished that she would have been able to work her dream job. Because of this, my mom has always pushed me to get an education in what I LOVE. And though she may not understand me getting all these theology degrees, she loves seeing me happy. And she loves knowing that (hopefully) I will be able to work at a job that I love one day, because of my education. 
  2. Some church's are not taking time to teach their congregations about the Bible. And I believe that they are not, because they don't have the resources to do so, because they are not well educated. In turn, people do not feel "fed", and people don't get their questions answered, which in turn, can lead to people becoming confused about Christianity. But at the same time, I will admit, that there are some well educated men and women, who can also lead people astray. But my point still stands - an education is better than no education. 
I know this post is going to offend some people, but what else is there to do?! Tell me Andrew Faris!! ;)

Seriously though, for many years I was told the advice to not go to school, and prepare to be married. What if I would have listened to that crap?! People are out there telling young students this advice, and I just feel like I need to speak my feelings (hopefully in a loving way) as well. 

Friday, October 9, 2009

Grad School Comics

I just love these comics. 

Still can't believe I am in Grad School (it's so intense!), because I barely passed Junior High...



More on Grad School this weekend...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I love Jay-Z.

Tonight, while at dinner with friends, I made the following statement - "I honestly don't think you can honestly say that you have good taste in music, unless you like Jay-Z's music." 

I was kind of surprised, because my Indie loving friends immediately began talking about their love for Jay-Z. In that moment, I knew (1) My friends are awesome, and (2) I am right. 

I think that Jay-Z is one of the best rappers of my time, and I love him. 


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Grad School Update...

Some people have been asking for an update on how grad school is going, so I must oblige. I don't really have much to say because it's only been a week now, but I feel like I am able to say that Fuller is exceeding all of my expectations. Some key points:
  • Driving up to class, I had a coffee with me, and I was a little nervous about whether it would be allowed in the classroom. When I walked into class, I saw that the school had already set up coffee, and every tea imaginable, while our professor confessed to waking up at 5am and making cookies. I finally felt like an adult. ;)
  • Our prof gave us his cell number, and demanded we call him "Nate". 
  • About 5 people in my class have already taken this class (and graduated), but wanted to come back because "Nate's" lectures are just "that good". 
  • Fuller offers alumni the chance to take TWO audit classes EVERY year, for the rest of their life. Are.you.kidding.me.?
  • "Nate's" lecture blew.my.mind. Maybe this was because my Church History course at Biola was so horrible, but I don't think so. Everything was tied together so nicely with pictures and stories ("Nate" is an amaaazing story teller), and he kept it at a nice pace to where I had time to type out everything he was saying. And the best part about it was, I was actually learning A LOT! 
  • Both of my prof's have written and published books (standard), but they are very accessible, and both have websites built for each class they teach. This way, we can go online and download everything we need. 
  • My New Testament prof gave us his skype name, and told us to iChat with him for our questions. Sweetness. 
  • I have realized that grad school is really important. I remember having a conversation about this with Dr. Yoshikawa (my Greek prof at Biola). I told him how I felt really unprepared for ministry after graduating with my Biblical Studies degree. He wasn't too surprised, and quickly told me that seminary was to prepare a person for ministry. Obviously, some would differ with this opinion (which is fine), but I am kind of with Dr. Yosh on this one. Not that a person would be horrible in ministry or something, it just seems that spending more time studying what you preach, isn't such a bad thing. It's like anything in this world - lets look at nursing. You can be a great nurse with your AA or BA in nursing, but the more you are educated (Nurse practitioner, critical care nursing, open heart surgery nursing.. any of the specialities), the more well rounded, and skilled nurse you will be. With that said, two things: (1) I just kind of want to encourage a person to go to grad school, if they have the opportunity... and, (2) I am humbled and blessed by this opportunity to be here, and my prayer is that through this experience, God would fill me with knowledge, that would glorify His name. 
So anyway, this is the gist of it so far. It's going to be super intense for a little while, because I have a lot of work to do. I am going to give you a list of all the books I'm reading (would love to hear any opinions if you have them), and I pretty much have to read the entirety of all the books. It's a lot. Plus papers, midterms, finals... grad school really is a lot of work (and A LOT of reading!). I definitely need to start getting focused. For the last 16 months, I haven't been in school, so I am definitely very rusty, and I have already been avoiding my reading like the plague. 

Needless to say, your prayers would be HUGELY appreciated. 

Reading list:
  • All four canonical gospels in either NRSV or TNIV translation (hehe). 
  • Achtemeier, Paul J., Joel B. Green, and Marianne Meye Thompson. Introducing the New Testament: Its Literature and Theology.
  • Aland, Kurt. Synopsis of the Four Gospels (Greek-English)
  • Barton, Stephen C. (editor). The Cambridge Companion to the Gospels
  • Kirk, J. R. Daniel, Jesus the Man (This is an excerpt of my prof's book that he is in the middle of writing. 
  • Murphy, Frederick J. Early Judaism: The Exile to the Time of Jesus 
  • Wright, N. T. The Challenge of Jesus 
  • Bettenson, Henry, ed. Documents of the Christian Church
  • Feldmeth, Nathan P. Pocket Dictionary of Church History. (This is my prof's handy little book, that I basically have to memorize). 
  • Froehlich, Karlfried, ed. and trans. Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church
  • Clark, Elizabeth A. Women in the Early Church
  • Latourette, Kenneth Scott. A History of Christianity. Vol. 1. (This book is intense, but really great). 
  • Rausch, William C. The Trinitarian Controversy.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I hate the "middle".

I've always said that I hate the "middle". I hate the "middle" of most debates in this world. And one of these worlds is within politics. To me, Republicans are the epitome of "middle". I've always said, "call me a liberal or a libertarian... that way, I am not a hypocrite". 

Anyway, mostly I am a liberal, but I do struggle with some ideas of libertarianism. And I never thought I would say this, but I actually agree with Ron Paul about something!!! 

As you read in my Michael Moore post below, I have been saying forever (just ask my roommate, we had a huge debate about this), that it is ridiculous that Madoff would go to jail for his ponzi scheme, because the government is in on the biggest of ponzi schemes ever! Thank you Ron Paul for backing me up on this, I think I will definitely pick up your book. 




**Writer's Note**
This is why I definitely do struggle with the whole political debate of liberalism and libertarianism. Do I think the government does a great job? No, not really. Is a bigger government the answer? Honestly, I don't know. But like I said, I HATE the middle ground. Republicans are NOT about small government... Libertarians are. So my struggle is that I think it should be one or the other - big government, or little government. But the problem with little government, I believe, is shown in our history... it just doesn't work. I don't know... it's a constant battle within my brain...

I might be a libertarian one day, but I'll never be a repub.