Friday, December 10, 2010

Hello Readers.

Hi Everyone, I am going to shut down my blog for a few months. I am applying to graduate schools for social work, and I don't really want to be found on any internet type of things. I hope you continue to follow me though, because I will be back in full force once I am accepted (fingers crossed!!)

Love.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Love Netflix

Netflix has given me the ability to watch movies that I have always wanted to watch, but never have had the chance. During this fall and winter, I have watched a few that are noteworthy, and I want to recommend them to you now:









Friday, October 29, 2010

The Election & Sarah Palin

The election is 4 days away, and I think everyone has he same thing on their mind - frustration.

The more I think about the candidates running, the more I am confused about how we got to this place. Something that screams at me is MONEY. It's all about the money. How and why Meg W. is able to run for governor boggles my mind. Jerry B.? Didn't he already kind of screw things up like thirty years ago? There HAS to be a better candidate out there. Actually, I KNOW there is a better candidate(s) out there, but I bet they don't have the cash needed to run for office. It's sad, and it's tragic.

In other news, Sarah Palin has a new reality TV show coming out. The commercials keep popping up, and something that she says is driving me bananas. In the preview she says that she would rather be doing this (hanging outdoors), than in some stuffy political office. Whaaaat?! This makes me really angry. This person was extremely close to being the next vice president of this country. And John McCain is OLD. He could have easily gotten sick and died, which would have made Palin THE president of the United States of America. And she just said that she doesn't want to be stuffed in a political office?

All of these things make politics frustrating, exciting, and tiring, all at the same time. I am going to vote, and I encourage you to vote, but I hope that while you do, you won't forget that our system needs some changing in the near future, and I hope you will help to make the change. Real change.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Christians: Taken Advantage Of?

Does anyone else get super annoyed about how Christians treat Christians? Or even how non-Christians treat Christians?

I feel as if the church, para church organizations, non-Christians, and Christian schools treat Christians "badly" because they know they can get away with it.

EXAMPLE.

Today while I was at Fuller, I was trying to get some things taken care of in the registrar office. The guy at the front desk was anything BUT helpful. He literally was treating me like I was 5 years old, telling me that their office was unable to help me, because they like to encourage everyone to use the internet for answers. I was trying to make a case for the fact that I was present now, and only commute once a week to Pasadena, but he wasn't having it.

So, I wasn't very nice. Or maybe I wasn't that bad, but I knew I wasn't acting in the "Christian ways" that I was probably expected to act like. The systems at Fuller (excuse the french...) suck. Most all of them just really suck. But I feel like a lot of the employees there just feel as if they can get away with this because, as Christians, we won't "cause any problems" in getting our stuff taken care of.

My friends know how I am - I get my way, and I get the job done. I finally had to walk away and just give up on the issue, and I felt so angry at the fact that the only reason I gave up was because I didn't want to be judged as a bad Christian for being pushy.

Another time, I was at work (recently) and I was having a reeeally bad day. Like, just the worst day ever. I was SO busy, and I just didn't have time to be my "cheerful" self, which is fake half of the time (but that's what I get paid for...). One of my coworkers noticed this, and schooled me in how I should be acting because I was Christian. Coming from someone who isn't a Christian, I was like, what the heck? Are you serious right now? Christians can be REAL people too!! But I swallowed my pride and just took the hit as I continuously apologized. Deep down, I don't want any problems, and I have no problem with that coworker, in fact, I like her a lot, but I also am just a human being... I am not Jesus Christ. I can try to be like Him... but I am fallen.

So I started to think about all the other ways that business' and organizations with "Christian" attached to them mistreat people a lot of time. A lot of these places get away with murder, and I don't like it. Or how often do you pray at a public restaurant, are caught by the waitress, and then therefore feel like you have to tip well?

Maybe you think I am being extreme in my statements, but I would like to hear your opinions on this. Have you experienced a time where you felt taken advantage of as a Christian? How do you think a Christian should respond?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Health Insurance Reform

"After a century of struggle and a year of debate, health insurance reform became law six months ago today -- and this week, key provisions of the Affordable Care Act take effect.

Today, we also celebrate an end to some of the worst insurance company abuses, like rescinding coverage when someone needs it most. Those previously considered uninsurable because of a pre-existing condition -- 400,000 Americans -- now have access to insurance through the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. And all new health plans must now provide free preventive care, like mammograms, colonoscopies, immunizations, and pre-natal care.

Millions will see expanded benefits -- and more control over the care they receive.

This is real change."


Click here for more stories...


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Urban Health Ministry Conference

Wow - a month since I have last blogged?! Weird.

Well, I am back (for now), and want to share a few things I learned at a conference I went to this past weekend. I went to the "Urban Health Ministry Conference", which was held at Fuller Seminary. I heard about the conference only a few days before it was happening, so I quickly registered, and anxiously awaited Friday. When I arrived Friday evening, I had no idea what to expect, but was welcomed by many wonderful people. Later I learned that the majority of these "wonderful people" were doctors, or med students... a little intimidating to say the least.

The first plenary session was taught by Dr. Rick Donlon, who is a mighty force in Urban Health Ministry. Honestly, before meeting Dr. Donlon, I didn't know that people like him existed. Dr. Donlon was one of the doctors who founded "Christ Community Health Services" (clinics) in Tennessee. After a few years of working there, he realized that he was leaving the "hood" every day to go home to the nice suburbs, where he hid from his neighbors. He had a desire to be IN the community he served. His wife later agreed, and they moved there with their SIX children (2 adopted from China, and his wife is now prego with the 7th).

Dr. Donlon told us heartwarming stories about how he has been able to be 100x more effective because he was not just working in an inner city, but was a part of one completely. Not only does Dr. Donlon run a clinic and live in his neighborhood, his family also hosts "house church", where the neighbors come to worship. They are truly living out a "Christian community", and it's a beautiful thing.

On Saturday the sessions were filled with just as inspiring people. Doctors, nurses, and lay people all had a special part. So I just want to share some random thoughts from the notes I took:
  • Remember the differences between "heath" and "health care"
  • Just as there is a huge fear of death in America, there is also a huge fear of losing health
  • "Life is not a necessity, it is a miracle.. life is to be graciously received"
  • "Many people pretend to look well, but they are not"
  • "Fetal prenatal care is a chance for a do-over in many people's minds.. one day it might be considered illegal to have a disabled child..."
  • "Idolatrous health for ourselves is leaving others without any care"
  • "We are no more healthy than our sickest neighbor"
  • 2.7 Million people are uninsured in Los Angeles - this is 28.9% of residents
  • God loves to heal (Jeremiah 33:6, Exodus 15:26, Proverbs 14:31)
  • "In the health care field, we oppress the poor"
  • gospel = holistic
  • "We tend to deny the reality of the impoverished person, assuming they are lazy"
I was so thankful for God providing me a way to attend this conference, as it has inspired me to continue in my endeavors of making some kind of difference within the world of "health" and "health care".


Sunday, August 8, 2010

"Friday Night Lights"


"Friday Night Lights" is the best show.

The entire series has been great, though if you compare season 1 to this last season (4), it will almost be like watching two completely different television shows. The first three seasons are fun, sexy, and cool, as they represent a small little rich football town, while telling stories of football players and cheerleaders. There are good solid stories as the show is based off of a very popular book - "Friday Night Lights".

By the end of the third season, there really is no more story to tell, and rumor had it that the show was going off the air. I was devastated. But they brought it back in all its glory, yet in a very different way.

Not to give too much away, I will be brief:

Season 4 highlighted a not so rich football team and surrounding characters (some new, some old). I didn't know what to think at first, as the stories were incredibly serious. But the show turned into more than just a mind-numbing waste of time, and developed into an hour of captivating, and thought provoking entertainment. Issues of poverty, justice, gangs, pregnancy and abortion, religion, love, racism, losses of a job, being forced to break laws to make a living in this day and age, charity work, life, death, and so much more.

The best part of season 4 is that the acting was phenomenal. There is one episode where the character "Matt Saracen" gave the performance of a lifetime. Character "Vince Howard" is a force each and every episode. "Tim Riggins" is a returning 4 season veteran who just blew me away in the season finale. Also want to mention character "Landry Clarke" who also does a great job, and was also in "Varsity Blues", another fun football movie. Finally, characters "Eric and Tami Taylor" just carry this show each and every episode.

I hear that all seasons are on instant play with Netflix right now, so you could start at the beginning, but just because this season was so different, you could really just pick up at season 4 when they all come out on Hulu.com. I definitely recommend.

Friday, August 6, 2010

two.seven.

Well, it's that time again - BIRTHDAY TIME!

I am officially waaay over the 25 hill, and so that means that basically it's all downhill from here. No more exciting milestones. Every birthday will be a tad depressing. If I marry anytime after now, people will secretly whisper, "Whew, that was a close one...".

As teenagers seem to be getting younger and younger these days, I officially feel like the old person that they fear to be. I have also started wearing 70 spf sunscreen on my face while moisturizing twice a day, plus putting on a little eye wrinkle cream, just to ensure I stay young looking as long as possible. No sunlight will ever hit this face again. Tonight I just found out that one of my roommates is 22, so that was a punch to the stomach.

Anyway, enough about me.... well, not really, it's my birthday, so it's all about me.

Here are my 27 goals for my 27th year of life!

#1 - Grow closer to the Lord (a given...)

#2 - Travel some of Europe (a goal that will be posted every year until I make it there)...

#3 - Do stand up comedy in a club (ya, I just thought of this the other day and deemed it a good idea)...

#4 - Get settled and satisfied in a church...

#5 - Visit the Knaup's in DC...

#6 - Visit Erin in Colorado (just so I can for sure accomplish one...)

#7 - Dominate the GRE...

#8 - Get into a really great MSW program, and/or figure out what the heck I am doing in that area...

#9 - Go on date's with my sisters...

#10 -

#11 - Plan and execute a HUGE family Thanksgiving at my house...

#12 - Read 75% of the books that are already on my bookshelf, that have never been read

#13 -

#14 -

#15 - keep it real...

#16 -

#17 - Watch more movies...

#18 - Go on a reeeally stellar road trip...

#19 - Watch "The Union Line" make it to the Billboard Top 40...

#20 - Write more...

#21 -

#22 - Pray more

#23 - Visit Maritza in Seattle...

#24 -

#25 -

#26 -

#27 -

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ya, it's pretty much all about me...

Last year on my 25th BDAY, I made of list of goals for the next year. I am lovin' that I did this, because it is so fun to see how things have progressed. So today I will see how I did, and then tomorrow I will post my new year's goals. :)

#1 - Grow closer to the Lord (a given...) - Definitely happened! In new and unique ways!

#2 - Travel some of Europe - Still hasn't happened... boo.

#3 - Hang with the fam more - I rocked this goal of mine! Feeling closer to the fam than ever before!

#4 - Get involved in a really good home group - Also didn't happen, but I DID try...

#5 - Do something that I am really scared of (and ya, I already know what this is...) - Done and DONE!!!

#6 - Learn how to cook better - Well, I learned more of my mother's recipe's...

#7 - Be more encouraging - I think I did reeeally well with this one :)

#8 - Explore areas of California I have never seen before - Ummm, I went to Berkeley for the first time - it's beautiful there.

#9 - read.read.read.more. - fail, fail, fail.

#10 - Disciple more, and BE discipled, more - well, I was discipled more...

#11 - Not to miss, the one thing, that was missing, from my 26th birthday - ACCOMPLISHED!

#12 - Read 75% of the books that are already on my bookshelf, that have never been read - This is for year 27...

#13 - STILL be driving my car! - Failed. Got a new ride - Toyota Corolla

#14 - Visit Erin in Colorado - I am going in 2 weeks!!!

#15 - be.more.real - it feels great to be more real... never stopping that one.

#16 - blog more - major fail. but this next year looks veeeery promising...

#17 - Watch all 10 seasons of "Friends" - If I would have remembered this one I would have made it happen! I am in season 9! Gah!

#18 - Take my mom to NYC (and see Jon Stewart live) - I had tickets to Jon Stewart, but never made it there so I had to cancel them. Sigh.

#19 - Use my Disneyland pass A LOT - Majorly failed, and not renewing that ish.

#20 - Get rid of more of my things I don't need - Trying. It's a work in progress.

#21 - Buy a camera (mine broke) - Ha. I am still satisfied with my iPhone cam.

#22 - Pray more - Always a goal of mine...

#23 - Listen more - For SURE did this, and loving it!

#24 - Finish the bible study I am writing - Uhhh, negatory.

#25 - Spend more time with my friends - YUP!

#26 - FIGURE OUT MY LIFE! ;) - Well, I am kind of there, but kind of not...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

work work work

Frustrated.

Perpetually frustrated is more like it. Why can't things ever just be easy?

The job market has not been kind to me lately, as things have taken a turn for the worst in the medical field. People are unemployed, and therefore have no insurance, and therefore do not see doctors, and therefore do not come to hospitals. This, in turn, has caused a great decrease in patients at the ICU I am so lucky to "work" for. While our ICU usually holds anywhere between 22 to 34 patients, we have been hitting all time low numbers of EIGHT.

EIGHT.

8888 8888

When this happens, I receive phone calls at 5am on the day I am supposed to work saying, "Don't come in, we don't need you." While this makes me feel a little insecure, usually the thought going through any sane persons mind would be - "Whooooopi!!!! I don't have to work today!!!!!!"

But when the "at home" days outweigh the working days, and all your PTO (paid time off) is gone, the word "Whoopi" is not something that goes through a persons mind. It's more like a word that starts with an "S", ends with a "T", and has an "HI" in the middle of it, that is going through my mind.

SO here I am. Carrie Allen. Started working when I was 15 years old at a bagel shop, and moved myself all the way up the ladder (of nothing really), to get to this point. All I do is WORK. Work work work. I worked 2 jobs through community college, worked through Biola, worked through graduate school. I have never taken a break. I have literally never had more than 2 weeks off of work. I have never traveled to Europe for months on end... I have never even traveled to friggin' Europe! I haven't done a lot of things, because my whole life has been about working hard. And even now, all I want to do is just study for the GRE, take it, and finish some kind of graduate school. But noooo, life had to throw this in the mix.

Well I am tired of it. I got bitter, and angry... for like a day. And then I realized, wait, if I have been working all of this time, then I have a "pot". Oh no you naughty thang, not that kind of "pot", but the kind us Obama lovers like to bring up all the time - an unemployment pot. For the past 12 years it has been getting filled up with MY money, and now it's my time to take some back for the team!

So what am I going to do the rest of the summer? Well, I am not going to Europe, but I am going to lay by the pool a lot and sleep in... live off the pennies of an unemployment check, and maybe a part-time job at Starbucks. Yup, that's what I will do...


Friday, July 30, 2010

Who You Are.

Death has become a peculiar thing.

It's something that people do not like to think about - especially Americans. As a self-centered nation, we don't think that it will ever really happen to us, or even happen around us. And yet, it does. Every single day, it does.

And because we don't think about death, we don't think about the consequences of how we behave.

"What do you mean I have lung cancer?!"

"Well, sir, you have smoked for the past 30 years of your life..."

Because we don't think about death, we don't consider our everlasting impressions.

"I hate you".

"Well, sweetheart, I don't hate you."

Because we don't think about death, we don't imagine what it will be like to suffer in the end. Maybe from cancer... maybe from old age... maybe from a terrible car accident. Either way, no one really talks about it, and in the end, too often than not, life is not treated with dignity.

I recently watched the movie, "Wit", and was surprised at how accurate the film portrayed hospital life. Unbelievably accurate. The movie is based on a middle-aged woman dying from cancer. She agrees to be a part of very intense chemotherapy treatments, but to no avail. This woman goes from being a highly esteemed scholar, to just another "no-name" in a hospital full of people who are "too busy". In the end, there are two main conclusions:

(1) This woman has a revelation that she could have been kinder throughout her life, and regrets all the time she spent working on intellectual "wit", instead of building any kind of relationship. The person with her at her death (and subsequently, the only visitor she ever received) was her advisor from her PhD studies.

And (2), as the hospital messes up her DNR status due to a faulty resident, she is stripped of her clothes and CPR is begun. This pursues even though it is obvious to the audience that she has been dead for quite a while now. In death, not only is she alone, but her dignity is taken from her. The only person who is remotely close to being her advocate is her beloved nurse, who has taken great care of her. The nurse yells for everyone to leave as she shows them all the DNR. Everyone makes their remarks under their breath, which sound so childish as the watcher has become close to this now, dead, woman. The nurse covers her up, and tries to fix the situation as best as possible. This flashes the watchers brain back to 20 minutes prior when the resident chuckles and asks the beloved nurse with an arrogant tone, "What do they even teach you in nursing school?"

Life goes on for everyone. The woman is remembered for her scholarly contribution. There are no children, no friends, no lover... nothing. Now, I cannot say this in itself is a bad thing. An individual chooses how their life is going to play out (most of the time), and so we are able to choose what we are to be remembered for. And so I leave you with this last and final thought:

Who you are in this life, will be utterly obvious, in your death.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Nate Henn: Forever in Our Hearts.


With the Tragic Death of Invisible Children's, Nate Henn, I am reminded of how short, and fleeting, life is. I didn't know Nate personally, but when you become involved with IC, it's kind of like a sorority/fraternity; everyone is family. I may not have known Nate, but he was family to me, and to so many of us. I spent today mourning the loss of Nate, praying for his family, my friends within the IC staff who lost a co-worker, Nate's girlfriend, everyone affected by this tragedy. I surfed the web for any sign of a story that would dispute what had already been broadcasted throughout the world. I very much wanted Nate to be alive and breathing once again. I sought comfort through God's word, and asked Him to give peace to so many. But mostly, I sat inspired by Nate's life, and felt ready to take action, to continue the fight that Nate ultimately has died for.

Nate worked with IC in San Diego, was a Roadie, and will forever be remembered as "Oteka" - Strong One. He was 25, and had finally made it to Uganda, which had been a long time dream of his. To all of our devastation, Nate was killed while watching the final game of the World Cup on a Rugby Field in Kampala. The people responsible were terrorists - suicide bombers to be exact. The ocean deep irony is what pierces my heart, as I think about what Nate was fighting for, and how he died. Is "peace", "love", or "justice" ever a bad thing? Is "hate", "murder", or "genocide" ever a good thing? With everything that Nate was, he was fighting against the cause of his death.

Not only was Nate killed in this horrendous attack, but 74 other people were as well. Within the 74, mostly Ugandan's were taken from us, which is also very much like 74 family members being taken as well. If you love Invisible Children, then you loooove Uganda and her people.

In Nate's honor, I also want to take a moment to remember THE actual bombers. Christ tells us to love our enemies, and seek peace. These bombers... "they do not know what they are doing"... as they are brain washed, and raised to be killers, just like the army that Nate was fighting against (LRA). We must remember to pray for these radical terrorists, as they are still thinking that it is a wonderful thing to kill Ugandans and Americans.

To everyone's ultimate shock, we also got wind of the news that Nate's brother was in a plane crash on his way to his parents home. We praise God tonight that Nate's brother is fine. Yet, we also mourn for the pilot who was killed, and for the co-pilot who is in critical condition.

Lord, how much more can this family handle?

what.a.day.

What an eye opening day.


"Nate worked with us at Invisible Children for a year and a half and leaves behind a legacy of honor, integrity, and service. From traveling the United States without pay advocating for the freedom of abducted child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s war, to raising thousands of dollars to put war-affected Ugandan students in school, Nate lived a life that demanded explanation. He sacrificed his comfort to live in the humble service of God and of a better world, and his is a life to be emulated."

Nate >>>

Your life will never be looked at as "in vain". People will remember you as an activist, peacemaker, Christ serving, loving, giving, and genuine man. You will forever be remembered in people's hearts who you never have even met. People will be inspired by you, and what you have done in your short life. You will never, ever be forgotten.

Nate's family is asking for donations to be made to a fund that will go towards another generation of young kids who want to go on the road to spread the good news about IC. Find more here.

And if for some crazy reason I have never talked with you about IC, contact me and let me share with you... in honor of Nate.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Nail in a Tire.

I have the worse trouble with cars.

Every single time I have extra money, something goes wrong. So now, I plan for it. I had worked a bunch of over time and I knew my paycheck was going to be significantly larger than normal, and so I planned to get new tires (booooring). I am taking a trip up north for my birthday in August, and I knew that 2 of my tires were not in the best shape.

But you all know how it is - once the money is in the bank, the LAST thing you want to buy is tires. So, the plan was to procrastinate. Telling myself how I could make it 14 hours round trip with unhealthy tires. God had other plans...

God basically just came down from the sky, put a nail in my tire, and led me off of the freeway safely. First off, the nail was in one of the hurt tires, so I don't have to get 3 replaced. Second, now I am forced to get new tires for the safety of myself and my friends. Third, God had it pop right by a police station so I had somewhere of a nice place to park and wait for the AAA guy (I don't think God had planned for the drunk guy who wanted to be my boyfriend, and said if the tow truck guy never came, he could have fixed my tire)... but I was still safe.

I have never been more calm about a popped tire in my life, because I just knew it was... right.

And even when the drunk guy kept asking me where "my man was to help me", I finally said, "I can take care of myself." To which he replied, "Ohhhh guuurllll, you like a Beyonce independent woman or somethin' or whaaaat?" "Exactly", I replied. "A Beyonce Independent women is what I am."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"You Are My Hiding Place"

Today was rough.

Work can be rough.

People can be difficult.

For about 30 seconds I had a pity party with myself, and thought about how I was SO tired of fighting for myself, all by myself. Sometimes I just want someone to stick up for me. Sometimes being single doesn't help with this battle...

But then God pretty much instantly reminded me that He was my protector.


"You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Selah"

-Psalm 32:7




"for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones."

Proverbs 2:8

It's easy to worry about the future... what could be. It's easy to try and control things with your own two hands, and your own set of lips. It's easy to become discouraged because you feel as if the powers at be may be against you.

But today, today I felt like God really had my back. In one moment so vulnerable, and the next - covered by the shield of the Lord.

Thank you, Lord.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Job Fair

I went to my first job fair today.

Very interesting.

I wasn't looking. I was there in support of a friend, and I looked the part in my hat and jeans. Hey, it's my day off.

Thoughts that came into my mind while there...

#1 - Hey, maybe there will be cute guys here... wait, they are all unemployed. Fail.

#2 - Woa, that lady smells like alcohol. Hopefully there are liquor stores here recruiting.

#3 - I'm loving the cool dude in skinny jeans and a suit jacket trying to talk with law offices. Not. Come on! Jeans?!

#4 - Why are there 6 Aflac booths? And why are they covered in huge stuffed animal ducks? Maybe the duck thing has gone too far.

All in all it was a great experience. Of course it was a people-watching hayday, and I looove that. I was so encouraged by the people who were really trying to get a job. Times are tough right now, and these people are working hard to find work. I can appreciate that.

It's days like these that make me very thankful for the awesome and perfect fitting job that I have right now. God's hands in my life are so clear, as He has prepared me specifically to work where I do now during this transitional and changing time in my life. Very thankful for all that I have.

To all of you looking for work - be encouraged, because there seems to be a quite a few jobs out there in Orange County!!

Monday, May 31, 2010

In Awe.

It's been a while since I have been overwhelmed by God's grace.

Hope to be still in this all week.

God is good.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Celebrating Mom.

Aren't mothers wonderful?

My mom is pretty amazing (to say the least). When I was 1 month, my parents brought me home (... adopted). Apparently I never wore the same outfit twice for many years, and have the pictures to prove it.

When I was a two-year old screaming and crying in church (like usual apparently), some guy told my mom that his daughter did the same thing, and now she's a nun. The devils at work even when you're a baby.

My mom bought Disneyland passes for me and my friends when I was 5, and picked us up from school and took us there... a lot.

When I was 7, God gave my mom a natural child. It was a miracle. She was 41, and had never been able to great pregnant.

When I was 9, my mom decided to try fertility treatments and had twins.

Now there were 4.

When my dad acted not so great at the age of 12, my mom made him his favorite dinner.

When I got suspended from school when I was 13, my mom didn't ground me because I had straight A's. If only that would have motivated me...

When I was 14, my mom reminded me that if I ever got pregnant, I could come to her, and she would never abandon me.

When I was 16, I lied a big lie. My mom covered for me.

For my senior prom, my mom came up with the idea of my entire family leaving the house, while I had a raging after party.

My mom believed in Jesus, even when I hated God. Now we both have faith through Jesus.

When I turned 18, I became too cool for my mom. Didn't really want to spend time with my mom.

And yet, she got me a job, paid for my college, paid for a lot of things really, bought me new tires when they popped, brought me flowers on Valentines day, cooked me dinner every night, took my side with everything, worked her butt off, and always reminded me that she loved me.

Now that I am older, and I can see the world for what it is, I have realized that not a lot of people are as lucky as me to have a mother like I do. Or even, have a mother. Even my mother lost her mother when she was 19. I can't imagine how much my mother must have hurt. My mom is so strong.

People ask me all the time, "Don't you want to meet your birth parents"? When I say "no", people are always surprised. You may wonder why. Well, I don't like to be disappointed, and I know that whoever my birth mother is, could never live up to the woman who has MY mother all these years. I am thankful for my birth mother's selfless act, and I hope that a bit of her compassion and dignity rubbed off on me in the womb, but I have no connection to her. MY mother is who I am bound with.

My mother is the one person on this earth who I know will never forsake me. This is love. So much love. It blows my mind when Jesus tells us to love strangers with that same love, because in my head I think - only a mother could do that.

I am so thankful for what my mother has done for me, and continues to do today. And every single day, I thank God for giving us one more day together.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Arizona's Immigration Laws



It's been an incredible couple of weeks with the signing of the new Arizona immigration laws. They were revised just yesterday to include changes that would require police officers to question legal status ONLY if they are stopped for some reason (ie. traffic violation). Before that change, it was encouraged to seek out illegal immigrants, ask for their papers and if they didn't have them, to deport them. Most will say, "there is no difference" in Friday's change. I tend to agree. Unfortunately, law officers are not always the most honest people in the world, and tend to use their power unlawfully. So I am sure many illegal immigrants will be pulled over for "traffic violations", who were doing nothing wrong.

There are many people who have some fierce opinions on this issue, but instead of blatantly telling you mine, I just want to bring up some facts/issues/point that have been weighing heavily on my mind and my heart in regards to this issue. I am going to keep religion out of this one, and base the following statements on history and little facts.

-------------------------------------------------

#1 - When people do things that are classified as "illegal" in America, they are punished. Whether it's with jail or a ticket that must be paid, most of us have had to pay the price for doing an illegal act over the time of our lives. But for some reason in America, no one is ever really punished for living in America "illegally".

>>>I think of my friend Simone who is from South Africa - she had to go through A LOT of trouble to get into America legally, and is finally taking her citizenship test in a couple months. She has done everything right, paid a lot of money for it, and has gone through many trials to get there, but she did it.

#2 - I checked out California's medi-cal benefits, and Arizona's medi-caid benefits, and was surprised to find that anyone (even if you are an illegal immigrant) could get health benefits and welfare if you lived in California. In Arizona, you HAD to be not only a US Citizen, but an Arizona resident. When it comes to this matter, Arizona's laws make sense to me... Especially because California illegal immigrants are pushing $3 Million, and Arizona has a measly $500,000.

#3 - Is the US being hypocritical? The US is FOUNDED on illegal immigration. Unless you are full-on American Indian, then you have no right to say anything about illegal immigrants not getting a fair shot. Unfortunately, it seems as if anger over immigration is tied to racism and greed. Even in the 1930's, when white people immigrated it wasn't much of a problem. But at one point between the years of 1929 - 1930, 500,000 Mexicans were deported back to Mexico from the United States.

>>>>The first American law in regards to immigration was the Naturalization Act of 1790, which stated that "any free white man" with "good moral character" could become a legal citizen of the US.

>>>In 1913, the American Indians were stripped of their legal status and land.
This was overturned in 1952

>>Immigration was shut down during the Great Depression


#4 - In the 80's, there were only 500,000 illegal immigrants migrating to the US on a YEARLY basis.

#5 - In 1990, President Bush signed an Immigration Act that allowed 700,000 more illegal immigrants enter the US, per YEAR. Since 1986, congress has passed SEVEN amnesties for illegal immigrants.

>>>>>How is it fair that the US seemed to have an "open door" policy since 1990,
and now one state just wants to change their mind?

#6 - Illegal immigrants pay about $7 billion into social security every year.

#7 - Most children from illegal immigrants are citizens of the US because they were born here. It's the parents and grandparents who are illegal. And if they are deported in Arizona, looks like they will need to hire more social workers to place all these kids in foster homes, as they literally rip families apart.


#8 - This issue is too closely related to "genocide", and it makes me very nervous. Jews were always allowed to live in peace until Hitler came along and changed the rules around. What was first - they were required to carry around their papers, and wear a Jewish star on their clothes to identify who they were. We all know what happened from there...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Parenthood


I briefly already said it, but I have to remind you all - I LOVE THIS SHOW.

The writing is phenomenal, and the acting is brilliant. The stories are amazing, and the warmth my heart feels after watching each and every episode is magnificent.

To top it off - the music selection is superb, as the last episode played selections from amazing bands such as - Spoon, and Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah (what?!). Throughout the season we have had Amos Lee, Peter Bjorn and John, Iron and Wine, Wilco, Grizzly Bear, and Bob Dylan. TV is made so much better when during a great moment, one of the greatest artists in history starts singing.

Parenthood is not strictly a comedy or a drama, but it is an hour-long late night show that tells you the stories of LIFE. It is based off of (my favorite movie of all time, no joke) "Parenthood", a very popular movie from the 80's, with Steve Martin.

For more info, or to watch for free - click here. It'll make your heart warm and fuzzy.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

oh.my.gosh.

We MUST be honest with ourselves and realize where the money went from the bank bailouts. Michael Moore will help you understand this.

Let me be completely honest here - I am a huge fan of Michael Moore, but I hadn't seen his new movie on capitalism until today. Call it a conspiracy, call it an result of the recession, but Moore's movie could not be found on netflix or in Blockbuster until RECENTLY, which is crazy to me because it was released SO long ago.

Alright, SO, I finally got a hold of a copy of the documentary and watched it tonight, and I am seriously so incredibly shocked right now.

I have a fair amount of education in the area of economics, recent bank bailouts, health care reform etc. etc. And I am telling YOU - democrat and republicans ALL to blame - YOU, as an American Citizen, need to watch this film.

I know that a lot of you think that Moore leans left throughout his entire films, but I am telling you, this is NOT the case for this film. Moore exposes the wrongs of both democrats and republicans, for their deals with big business. The interviews Moore has with HIGH HIGH HIGH people in these areas, and old tapes of former presidents are shocking. SHOCKING.

I know I can usually be more leftist (because I am), but please just forget about that for a moment and watch this movie. I have it, I will come over and watch it with you.

I also want to be clear that Moore doesn't attack capitalism - he attacks the bail outs. It's true, he explains capitalism, and shows the affects of capitalism (or the recession and bank bailouts), but he doesn't try to make you a socialist the whole time, he just presents the info. Then you decide what to do with it.

WATCH THIS FILM!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sex Trafficking in Orange County

This past week/weekend I had the immense privilege of helping/attending a wonderful fundraiser event for a non-profit organization called, "iSanctuary". This organization was dreamed up, and started by a young girl named Stephanie, who now lives full-time in India. Stephanie has started a jewelry making business, and she employs women who have been rescued from sex trafficking. The jewelry is fabulous, the women are paid great wages for the work that they do. The fundraising event was specifically held because they are trying to raise money to start an Orange County office. Some may think that is silly, as sex trafficking does not happen in the United States, but unfortunately this is not the case.

Sex trafficking is rampant not only throughout the world, but all through the United States as well. It's hard to know exact number, but the estimates for trafficked children in the US is somewhere between 100,000 and 300,000. Most women and children who are trafficked, have been promised a better life in the States through working at restaurants or clothing stores, and realize that they are in trouble when it is too late.

Have you ever read through a newspaper, or an "OC Weekly" and skimmed through the ads in the back? The ads where is shows a young Asian girl offering massages? Those places are sex trafficking places. The women who work in those parlors are there against their own will, and have no way of escaping. It is so disgusting to me that we even have this problem, as men take up these offers of sexual interaction.

Right here in our own backyards this is happening.

So I am asking you to pray. There are many different Orange County organizations that are trying to (1) Fight against trafficking, and (2) Place the women into rehabilitation programs. The problem is - they are not working together. The one thing that really struck me in my homelessness class last quarter, was that people working in the areas of homelessness were not receiving enough money until they were working together to write their grant requests, etc. The same kind of comradery needs to happen within the sex trafficking in Orange County, and Southern California on a whole. And most importantly, awareness needs to continue to be raised, as we fight this local battle.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Sweet Things in Life...

I know that life can be incredibly difficult at times, but I also know that there are sweet sweet times to cherish as well. The older I get, the rougher it gets, so the sweet times come in the big and small things.

  • Getting straight A's in grad school (oh, so sweet!)
  • Spending time in hopes to help stop human trafficking
  • Watching this new show called "Parenthood" - it makes me cry, and my heart go pitter patter (it's based off my FAVORITE movie of all time - "Parenthood"; the stories are stellar, and the music selection is magical)
  • Hearing that my aunt's cancer is g.o.n.e. after her first session of chemo
  • Europe in the fall with my mama
  • Thanking God for many friendships, but at this moment in time - sustaining my relationships with Cam, Tita, and B
  • Reading amazing blog posts written by my good friend, Matt
  • NPR
  • All the blessings that my job brings
  • The joy of just "taking a break"
  • Amazon's - buy 3 books get one free
  • Erin Bowen
  • Wonderful family
  • Living close to the beach
  • Rock Harbor - starting in a life group soon
  • And of course, the one constant - Jesus Christ

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Shopping.

I was out shopping the other day and I found myself running into two very peculiar things.


#1 - The Ultimate Coke Machine



This machine is outta controoool! I found it at the Rubio's in Tustin, and basically you can pick from over 100 drinks! So when I rolled up to the machine, I was ecstatic to find DIET sprite (which you can never find in a machine), but even THEN, when I clicked on the "diet sprite" option, it said I could have - "diet cherry sprite", "diet raspberry sprite", diet orange sprite"... seriously, there were SEVEN different kinds of diet sprite! Whaaaat?! It was purely amazing.


#2 - CVS Coupon finally paid off...


This one is especially for Simone because we always rant on about CVS coupons. But look at this little gem they gave me the other day - $8.50! I thought there was a catch - like $8.50 off a $2,000 purchase. But no, the guy said to me, "It's just like money, spend it however you like..." Ah yes, music to my sweet little ears...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort
at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships,
so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger
at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears
to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain to joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
to believe that you can make a difference in the world,
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done,
to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

Amen

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I’ll see your health care plan, and I’ll raise you a decrease on abortion.

For my more “conservative” brothers and sisters…

Let me pose a question to you – could the proposed health care plan for America*, help to decrease abortion?

Since the issue of abortion seems to be all Christians care about in America, I thought I would connect the dots a little, and get your brain waves a thinkin’...

The fact is, most women who have abortion’s do it because they are scared. I just talked to a woman the other day who told me that if her pregnancy tests come up positive for some kind of birth defect (down syndrome specifically), that she will definitely abort. Needless to say, I was a little speechless. I thought to myself, “I will adopt that baby”…

It was no coincidence that within the same day, I also had a conversation with another woman who told me about her experience with her son who has special needs. He is older now, and it was a huge goal of hers to get him out into the world, but under a special board and care. She said that his whole life it was incredibly difficult to get any help from the state or federal government.

Lets talk basics here – the special needs adult cannot work, and therefore cannot obtain healthcare, and can’t stay on his parents plan forever. How is this fair… just… right?

If the special needs mom, talks to the prego mom, it’s no wonder that prego would want to have an abortion. She would never be able to afford a special needs baby…

Though this situation might seem rare, I beg to say that it’s not; and it is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Another thought: if health care is obtainable for everyone, and there is more of an emphasis on preventative care, maybe young women will visit their doctors early on in age, and find them to be someone they can confide in, and be educated by.

I remember being young, and my doctor asking my mother to step out of the room so she could talk to me alone. In that conversation, things got personal, and I also felt safe with her. She explained what “safe sex” was (which trust me, A LOT of people do NOT receive this education). She explained the risks to me… pregnancy… STD’s… emotional scars. She also gave me a little talk on men in general, and the beauty of abstinence.

I came into my teen years a well educated and prepared youth, who knew the facts. And to be honest, most of my education about sex, abortion, and birth control, came from my doctor and my friends. So I am not sure where I would be today without my doctor.

*I want to be clear that I am specifically focusing on the health care plan that Obama has proposed and NOT Universalized health care. Yes, there is a difference...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"Sermon on the Mount" - For you, and you and you and you??...

I haven’t been able to write for way too long, as I have been busy with a move, and currently, my internet at home isn’t working. Needless to say, I have been doing a lot more reading... (which is definitely a good thing).

As I have been doing my reading, I came upon an assigned book written by Fuller’s Christian Ethics professor – Glen Stassen. It’s called, “Living the Sermon on the Mount”. The book overall isn't something to rave about, but the overall idea is pretty fascinating. The theory is that the “sermon on the mount” is not only for Christians, but for everyone. Stassen turns Martin Luther King’s view on the church and state upside-down, as he expresses his view that the church should not be the sole responsibility for helping the poor, and living an honest life, because God has created all people in His image (whether they believe in Him or not), and so all should feel a responsibility towards the morals that Jesus gives in His "sermon". This, in turn, would make it a priority for the Christian to fight for human rights (and other things), within the political arena.

Fascinating!

My professor is passionate about our country providing healthcare for everyone, and treating illegal immigrants with love and dignity; he is a great man.

Though this blog entry is not supposed to be focused on universal healthcare (that will come later…), I would like you take this issue into consideration as you think about this “sermon on the mount” theory.

Does it seem to make sense for everyone to be under this “rule”? And if everyone obeyed what Jesus had to say on the mount, would the world be a better place?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

with everything.

i'm a Christ follower. a Christian. a Jesus lover.

sometimes i get lost in the crowd...

lost in the busyness of the day... week... month...

sometimes i become so distracted, i forget to think about God.
... i wonder where He went>>>>>

it's hard when the church, doesn't appear to be the church you would think She would be.

am i being the church, that my heart desires?

.................................................................................................

walls.walls.walls.walls.walls.walls.walls.
walls.walls.walls.walls.walls.walls.
walls.walls.walls.walls.walls.
walls.walls.walls.walls.
walls.walls.walls.
walls.walls.
walls.
they build themselves so easily.



and sometimes, it's hard to see the light...



but when you can't see the light, just look for the darkness... Because wherever you look, the answer will stay the same... the truth, will the stay the same.


........................................

He's undeniable.

.....................................................

maybe I forget about Him for a bit, but He never forgets about me.

So,
it's with everything.

with everything.

that I will shout for His praise.

and it's with everything.

with everything.

that i will shout. for. his. glory.



Sunday, February 7, 2010

Best New Comedy of 09/10

From watching a dad try to be his kids "best friend", and old guy marrying a beautiful foreign woman, and two gay guys adopting an asian baby, this is the best new comedy on television this year. If you haven't watched, then I am sorry. But you can start by taking a gander at this new episode.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lost Thoughts: Final Season Episode One

  • Sawyer makes me want to fall in love with him, as he tries to save Juliet.
  • That blue Volkswagen has been through A LOT of stuff!
  • Jack's attempts to save Charlie in the bathroom were ridiculous.
  • Black smoke! What?! Now I have to go re-watch the entire freaking series!
  • "I have to tell you something... it's really, really important"... are you kidding me right now?!?!
  • Why is there ALWAYS another crew to kidnap the oceanic crew? Stewardess... whaaaaat?
  • Where is home, "Locke"?
  • Richard better not be dead.
  • If someone is alive in Locke, I think Jacob is alive in Sayid...
Though I don't really have any idea what is happening in the show, it's like I have my old friends back in town again. Love love love it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The end of an era...

If you haven't heard, I moved from my cozy little condo in Aliso Viejo, to an even cozier little condo in Fullerton. I am loving it. I basically feel like I have my own little studio, because the upstairs portion of the condo is a bedroom, a little nook area, and a bathroom, and it's all mine!

This past weekend was crAzy, as I keep realizing that I would have so much less stuff to move if I didn't have a huge book collection. It's frustrating, but I neeeed my books. I was very proud of myself as I drove a 15 foot truck ALL day, by myself. I received some really weird looks from people, and some comments were made from women about how they "could never drive one of those". I would have said that too 4 days ago, but I really want to start being more independent. Although I relied on my friends and family to help me move, I wanted to organize the entire move by myself - independently. I love that I am becoming more independent; it gives me a huge source of strength for every aspect of my life.

It was definitely a bittersweet move, as I am moving away from my entire life in south OC, and continuing on with my life in north OC (closer to my Biola peeps now). It was also hard moving from the Aliso Viejo townhome, because I can't even count how many memories from my early 20's happened there. If you don't know, some of my guy friends lived in that house before I did, so my friends and I have been hanging out in that house for a long time. It was hard to say goodbye...

It was hard to say goodbye, and a few months ago I didn't want to say goodbye. It was a great house, in a great city, and I could have been totally comfortable living there for a long time. But I don't think that's who I am. If I stay in the same place all the time, then I am never experiencing new things. And "new things" is what I want my life to be filled with.

So, I am only in this little house in Fullerton for 4 months (I know, I am crazy), and then I am not sure what comes after that. But doesn't that make life a bit more exciting? I think so...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Haiti.

As everyone knows, Haiti has been the talk of the world in the last few weeks. Unfortunately, Haiti is already THE poorest county in the Western Hemisphere, and being hit by a huge earthquake does not help the problem. 

I have been hesitant to write about this tragic event because a lot of factors that came alongside it really make me angry. And I have a feeling a lot of people will be automatically upset, or offended, when I say how I feel, but I hope that what I have to say will challenge at least one person to change their ways, and myself too. 

#1 - Pat Robertson. 

>> Mr. Robertson is known as a conservative evangelical pastor, and when he heard the news of what was happening, he decided to come out and say:


Okay, so even if this story was legitimately 100% true, why would you even mention that aspect of things, rather than just saying that you are praying for the people of Haiti or something? But, since the main problem with this is that this story is a folklore, Robertson has just made every single evangelical Christian look completely insane. Good work, Robertson. Not. 

#2 - I know it might sounds stupid, but it really upsets me that everyone who does not care about anyone but themselves, comes out during a tragedy like this, and acts like they really care. And they probably do, but usually it only lasts a few days, and I think that that is the real tragedy. I really want to know the statistic of Americans who first learned that Haiti was even a country because of this earthquake. 

I have been to protests, slept overnight in fields, and I have sat for hours in the sun to make people aware of the social injustice's in the world. Everyone looks at me like I am crazy, and because I am Christian, I am apparently the worst kind of Christian - a "liberal" one. 

Well you know what, me and my friends have cared about Haiti for a long time. And we have been concerned about them and their poverty level for years. Why didn't anyone want to help before? Now... now, it's just a real mess. 

#3 - This might sound reeeally horrible of me, but this story about the Mission Viejo missionaries who were in Haiti on a missions trip, and then flew out on a private jet through one ladies husband's company, really upsets me. As soon as I read that article, I asked God, "God, please don't ever give me a heart that wouldn't drop everything in my life to stay."

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I guess the point of this blog is to just remind people that are many injustice's in the world, happening everyday. There are many people suffering, and I highly affirm the fact that Christians need to be very aware of these situations. And once you become aware, don't stop there - take action. give.give.give. however you can, just give of yourself. 

Finally, there is one organization that I am POSITIVE of the fact that all the money will go towards helping Haitians. This organization is called "Hope Force", and I highly recommend that you check out their website, and give what you can. 


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fight On.

Well you know me, always moving on to the next "best thing". Though my graduation from Fuller is still over a year away, my studies up until now have inspired me to move further in the same direction that I constantly am taking one step forward, and two steps back, in. 

As I mentioned before, one of my assignments this quarter is to write a new public policy for Pasadena. I have never been so excited for something in my whole life. It's all I think about, and research on the internet. We have also talked a lot about social work. How I have avoided this profession for so long, I honestly don't know, but I think it's time to start seriously considering it. As I dream of writing public policies for social programs, and changing the world, I am led to many degree programs that are 3-year long Masters of Public Policy and Social Work. Though my increasing age is the scary part, the possibility of stepping into this field is thrilling. 

At this point, my main choice would be UCLA. The location is great, the price is right, and the dual degree program is brilliant. The more and more I look into programs (and my heart desires to stay in California at this time), UCLA seems to be the one. Of course I would apply to other schools as a backup, but UCLA's program seems fantastic. 

But there is a problem. 

It's UCLA. 

I swear to you, from the beginning of my life until now, I have been brainwashed by my father to love, and only love, USC. And to hate, UCLA. Could it be that the biggest dream of my life (attending a college with a football team) could be fulfilled with a team that I have hated for 26 years? Why must USC's tuition be $40,000 per year? 

Though this post might sound like I am being silly, I am actually being really serious. I am haunted by this. I always swore up and down, that I would never, ever, apply to UCLA. 

Can my hate be overcome? Will I be able to attend UCLA, and attend every single football game, except when they play USC (I will just sleep through that whole day, and act like it's not happening). Will I be able to raise MY own children to love USC, though I have attended UCLA? 

So anyway, social work... public policy. What do you think? (But most importantly, what do you think about this football dilemma?)....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Question for you...

Why do you want to have kids? Or, why DID you have kids? Be honest. Give me all of the reasons...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Shake it, come on shake shake it...

There have been quite a few earthquakers over here in the OC lately. Well, not exactly hitting the OC, but near the OC. 

For both of the recent ones, I was in my room, on the second floor of my townhome, sitting on my bed. During the first one I was awakened from my sleep, and all I could think of was - "Woooo, this is kind of like a Disneyland ride." Yes, I was still half asleep, but I was definitely feeling the rolling. 

For last nights quaker, I literally thought a car had crashed into my home. The quake was loud (though I don't remember earthquakes making noises... they do), and it was a little scary. My whole room was shaking pretty hard, and as I sat there and pondered whether or not this was the "big one" or not, I still didn't move an inch. I was also too lazy to investigate the whole car crashing deal, and was even too lazy to search for news on the internet. So instead, I went to facebook, and posted my thoughts in hopes that someone else would do the research for me, and they did, and I was lead to this article

In the OC Register article, they said that the OC felt the quake as "mild". My thoughts on this were - if the quake is ever "severe" in Aliso Viejo, this house is going down. Hopefully there will be no more earthquakes until February, as I will already be moved in to my new place in Fullerton. 

Stay strong. Stay steady. And stay sexy. 

======couldn't think of another "s" word. 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Posi/Neg's about Fuller

neg>> Compared to Biola, there is no community at Fuller. I will give this negative the benefit of the doubt, by hoping that I just haven't found it yet, but I don't think so. The campus is just "dead", all the time. There is no one really sitting around, and all the food places close by dinner time. It's so weird, and so different from the Biola community, and it is a real bummer. I think that the problem lies in the fact that there is no undergraduate school at Fuller. Most grad schools/seminaries are within an undergraduate school, and therefore have a bit more life to them. This is also a bummer because I desire to minister to undergraduate college students, and there are none around. This is definitely one of the main reasons I almost didn't go to Fuller. 

pos>> My classes are legit. I am 99.9% sure that I would not be able to attend another seminary within California who offers classes on how to change public policy, studies of globalization, and topics within the realm of politics. Being around older and wiser men and women, who are well educated and passionate about being a Christian, and being involved in political and justice issues, is invigorating. 

neg>> I am not super excited about being around campus at night. It's pitch black, there is no one around, and I don't know anyone in the area... It's weird. 

pos>> I feel challenged. The classes are difficult. 

neg>> Taking care of life business at Fuller is a pain in the butt. For instance, I have to prove that I have health insurance by filling out a form online, then sending in a paper I have to fill out all about myself, a copy of my insurance card, AND a summary of my benefits. To make matters worse, I can't bring this to the Fuller campus insurance office area, but I have to send it or fax it to some random place. Total pain. Again, compared to Biola, the administrative side of Fuller is not so organized. But (again I will sing Biola's praises) you can't even compete with the staff at Biola University - they are the best people I know, and I have literally never felt more safe than when I was at Biola. From the secretaries, to campus safety, I knew that they cared for the students. So anyway (back to Fuller)... all of my classes were not in the buildings where the internet said they were (I was a tad panicky), and you have to payoff your account by the first day of each quarter, or you receive a $250 fine. No payment plans, no couple of weeks grace... they.want.your.money. 

pos>> PASADENA. Pasadena is THE most amazing city I have ever spent a legitimate amount of time in. It's absolutely beautiful, and full of life. I can't wait to have the chance to explore more of it as time goes. 

All in all, Fuller is very different than the Christian campus that I am used too. If Fuller wasn't so academically strong in the areas that I want to study, I definitely wouldn't be going there. Going to Fuller has made me realize how important it is to be going to a school based on what you are academically pursuing, even when other areas that are important are sacrificed. 

I love the fact that within my Christian Ethics emphasis, they are teaching us to be leaders in this area. I believe that this will really come in handy in my future as I continue to minister to young students. There are many ethical questions that need answering and attention, and I am so excited to increase my knowledge in this area. 

In my politics and policy course, we are supposed to come up with something that we would like to change within the Pasadena community, and write a proposal on it for our final project. God has put it on my heart to hopefully look into the area of the "Safe Surrender" law. This law says that if a woman has a baby, she can leave it at a "safe haven" (including hospitals, and fire stations), and won't be held reliable for a crime. This law is to try and stop women from leaving their babies to die in dumpsters etc. Well, I would like to propose that within the Pasadena school system, this law is taught every year, in the homeroom class. Just a simple reminder could help give a chance to newborn babies. 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Movies movies movieees

Over Christmas break I was able to spend some time watching movies. It was lovely. I want to share my finds with the world and my friends, so you will know what to pick up next time you are ordering from Netflix, or walking by a Blockbuster.


First and foremost, "Food Inc."

Food Inc. is a fantastic documentary that everyone in America should see. It exposes the corrupt ways of the food industry, hitting on issues not just about the actual (gross) food we are eating, but on the way it gets to our dining room tables. Maybe you are not an animal activist, but you have to also not care about human beings to accept what the food industry is doing today. Organic organic organic. If you don't want to watch the movie, then I will just encourage you to buy organic. Also, your eyes will be opened to the fact that there are a lot of young kids who are dying from e-coli. They feature one mom who lost her son after he ate a Jack in the Box hamburger. Crazy. 

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

"The Proposal"
Bullock and Reynolds work so well together, as their timing is right on. It's hilarious. Weird ending, but worth the watch. Super light, funny comedic romance, to watch on a night where you just want to relax. 

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"Away we go"
Well who doesn't love John Krasinski? This movie was worth the chance to just sit and stare at him for 2 hours. This is a great, low budget, indie film that makes you think about your own life. What does "home" really mean? Where is our home? How do we make a home? These two travel the country trying to figure those questions out, while meeting up with well written, and hilarious characters. I also LOVED the underlining stories of the hurtful past that Rudolph's character experienced, as they never went fully into detail, but you could just see that she carried it around at all times. Superb acting. Great movie to gather the friends around, and discuss afterwards. 

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"When Harry Met Sally"
In all my life I had never seen this movie until now. I figured it was time because I feel as if in every modern movie that I watch, there is always a reference to "When Harry met Sally". I loved it. I loved the 70's and 80's styles that we rarely see anymore, and I loved the story. Now that I have seen it, other movies are beginning to make sense to me. If you are like me, and have been living under a cave for the last 20 years, pick up this flick, pop a bag of organic popcorn, and snuggle up to watch this classic gem. 

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"My Sisters Keeper"
***Warning, hysterical sobbing will ensue at the watching of this movie***
Most importantly I need to tell you that this movie is NOT what I expected it to be. I avoided it for so long with the expectation that it would be just like every other "cancer movie" that has been made. I was wrong. I was pleasantly surprised at the way that they set this movie to play out, and I honestly could not predict what was going to happen next. I cried and laughed throughout this movie, and it felt good for my soul. I also want to give a shout out to Sofia Vassilieva, who played the cancer stricken sister in this movie. She is known to me by her acting in the TV series, "Medium", and I think that she is one of the most fantastic, unknown, actresses of our time. Getting a chance to see her in action, is worth the watch of "My Sisters Keeper". 

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