Sunday, November 30, 2008

Road Trip

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to go to Northwest Portland. I think it is officially my favorite part of the city. I went into all these different shops and encountered all sorts of wonderful people. I met a man named Babik and his cat Simba. He owns a Turkish rug store and I talked with him for a little bit. Before I left, he told me he had something for me….he brought out a Turkish ornament and told me it was from “Me and Simba…from our hearts, for your kindness”. All I had done was have a 5 minute conversation with him. It made my day.

I meet some other very nice people in various shops. Portland is amazing that way, nearly everyone you meet is extremely nice. Every stereotype remaining in my head has been shattered due to my time in Portland. Whether it be 3 thugs walking by and making friendly conversation with you, or your bus driver becoming one of your dearest friends, people in Portland are amazing.

The next day, I went to an event hosted by the place I volunteer at (a homeless shelter). It was an interfaith Thanksgiving, thanking every church who had helped with the shelter. There were all sorts of denominations represented: Islamic, Baha’i, Judaism, Christianity and Mormons. Every person from every faith was so kind and beautiful in the way that they cared for others. It got me to thinking….

The bible says we were knit in our mother’s womb by God. It says we were created in His image. It also says He began a good work in us. Then we were born….and encountered all the results from the fall. Sin.

In almost everyone, I see a quality that is in the image of our maker: whether it is in kindness, artistry, discernment etc. We have qualities of God….he began a good work in us and is faithful to complete it.

But I have found myself reading that verse and getting depressed when I see good people not following the one way to heaven (Christ). I kind of had an epiphany with the meaning behind that verse though. I realized that God is ready to complete that good work in us, if we are willing to give our lives completely and only to Christ as the one true way. He started a good work in all of us by making us in His image; it is up to us to let him complete that good work. It’s our responsibility to inform the world of this.

In other news, I just finished the book Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell. In typical Orwellian style, there are a handful of lessons, along with an overarching societal commentary via an enthralling story. This book is essentially his autobiography of when he was (surprise, surprise) down and out in both London and Paris. He points out how society has ostracized and subhumanized the homeless in such a way that everything from their idleness to their sexuality is inadvertently affected. He also talked about the time where he wrote for a Russian communist paper to make some money. It got me to thinking, if it was from that experience that he wrote 1984, discovering the harms of big government through this group, or if he wrote it to cover his tracts (to not be black listed). I tend to think of the former rather than the latter, but it got me thinking just the same. I highly recommend this book if you are an Orwell fan at all.

I had a Planes, Trains and Automobiles kind of Thanksgiving (which turned out to be one epic journey). My roommates (Katie and Hilary) and I left at 3am on Tuesday morning. We drove straight through to Fresno and I crashed there. The next day, I met up with my friend Sharayah who goes to Fresno State and we drove down to so cal. We had fun listening to all sorts of music, but especially the Disney sound tracks. It got me to thinking about how as kids, we had a new Disney animated film come out every year and I just added it to the list on how the 1990’s was the best era to grow up in. It took 7 hours due to the rain and holiday traffic to get there. L I stopped by my friend Serena’s house, to say hi. Her mom has terminal cancer, so I stopped by to say my good byes essentially. I have known her mom for years, a wonderful woman. It is tough to think she will be gone any day now, but I rejoice in the fact that she will no longer be in pain, and that she will be with our Father. It was nice to be with Serena and Desi, to reminisce to get our minds off of the situation. After that, Sharayah dropped me off at home. Got to spend some time with the fam and went to bed. The next day I woke up and we had our Thanksgiving tradition of watching the parade and eating cinnamon rolls. After that we got ready and went and picked up my sister and Skylar (her boyfriend….I know right?) to have Thanksgiving with us. All my relatives met him and loved him. I found myself getting a bit envious, wishing I could bring my man to family events like this. Soon after that though, my Grandpa’s girlfriend Barbara told me how she really wanted me to bring Jerry over during Christmas break. That put a smile on my face, and we planned a day for that and to see the movie Australia together. I love my Grandpa and Barbara. I wouldn’t say my Grandpa picks favorites, but I know that he and I have a special connection, being that we are the only ones in our family to have our B.A.’s (he always brings it up). We have a pretty similar sense of humor and always make sarcastic remarks to each other under our breaths. At the same time, he too is a sentimental fool (where my brother and I get it I suppose). Some of our other relatives are a bit much at times. I saw a bottle of Jack (with a little bit left) on the counter. My sister was talking to one of these relatives with Skylar and I set the bottle next to her. Barbara saw that and couldn’t stop laughing. Then Skylar said “Is that apple juice Emily?” Barbara laughed even more, and the other relatives didn’t get it. It was great. We left the house and drove back to San Clemente. We dropped Skylar off. It was funny to see Skylar next to my dad (towering over him). I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that my sister ended up with a giant. It is just kind of funny to see I suppose. I came home hung out for a bit and went to bed. I woke up the next morning and my dad took me to the train station. I took a train to LA, a bus to Bakersfield and a train to Fresno. Katie picked me up and we drove back home. Pretty epic traveling for such a short amount of time I deduce, but it was worth it (especially since the whole thing only ended up costing me less than $100).

I sure love my family and continue to pray that God will work a miracle in situations that seem impossible. I know that He works in mysterious ways and that He is the sovereign Lord that loves me no matter how many times I fall. I have so much to be thankful for during this season of thanks. Christmas is officially here. This week my roommies and friends get to buy decorations and a tree and hang up lights and decorations!!! We are hosting a Christmas caroling party….I am so excited!!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008


I have had a lot of forced time to wait and think this year (mainly walking and waiting for the bus for at least a total for 2 hours everyday). It is crazy the places your mind wanders, or the memories that are stirred up.

For example, as I was hearing people talk over their Thanksgiving plans, it brought me back to Thanksgiving growing up. We would have cinnamon rolls in the morning, as we watched the parade. Then, we would head over to the church barn (an old golf cart barn) and have a Thanksgiving feast with the church. Everyone would bring some sort of dish and we would dine together (which was nice since many of our relatives were on the mainland).

I find myself getting sad sometimes, sad that things are not the way they once were. Instead of knowing what a wonderful Thanksgiving I am going to have with loved ones, I am not sure what it will look like. I am sad at how much people and situations have changed. Usually I do just fine with change, but I think when negative change out of my control is at hand, it is very difficult for me.

So I cling to the happy times of old and look to the future for happy times to come. I know that things will never be as they were, so I find joy in the memories. I decided that every random memory that comes to mind, I am going to write down. I know there are a lot of good ones stowed in my memory.

I am so looking forward to the future; I am marrying an amazing man. For some reason, last night I was looking at some of his old blog postings. His blogs are so honest and heart felt. He always has a heart of thankfulness and praise to God. He has inspired me to grow in my walk so much so. He is a leader by quiet example. Sometimes I feel so inadequate to be with such a man. I am decayed with imperfection, I say and do things I shouldn't, but he loves me despite and encourages me to improve in a loving manner. What a wonderful living example of Christ he is! When I miss the things of the pass, I look to the glorious future God has given me. I am so undeserving.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Have you ever noticed the little wheelchair symbol next to the word verification before you post a comment on a blog? out of curiosity, I clicked on it and the only thing it did was say "Type the letters above". I assume that blogger is thinking one of three things:
1. If you use a wheelchair it may be difficult to understand what do do with a word preceededby a blank box.
2. If you use a wheelchair your vision is impaired
3. If you use a wheelchair, you must be illiterate....but still using blogger.
How offensive is that? Or here is another good one. I was talking to these guys and they showed me a picture of a person with a stick (in the same vain as the wheelchair symbol). They told me it was in line at Safeway. I said...well its probably for the blind. Then I realized that a blind person couldn't see that symbol. There was no purpose at all for the sign.
So the people developing these symbols are either very offensive or very stupid (or both). In today's "PC" society, we are far from politically correct, or just plainly decent at all. That frustrates me. I know theese are just symbols, but they truly represent the thoughts of those who develop them. Burke said it best: "Man is/the symbol-using (symbol making, symbol-misusing) animal/inventor of the negative (or moralized by the negative)/separated from his natural condition by instruments of his own making/goaded by the spirit of hierarchy (or moved by the sense of order)/and rotten with perfection."
Speaking of being un PC...I love people watching. Bus stops are a great place to do this. This morning I saw a girl with a brand new ICP backpack. a). I didn't know they were still a band. b). I didn't know they made backpacks. scratch that....i didnt know Hot Topic made those.
At the bus stop this morning, I saw ,my friend Diana. She was sitting under the covering with 2 guys who wouldnt move to let me in, so I stood in the rain. She looked at me in disbelief, all the would have had to do was to move 2 inches to the left, but oh well....chivilery is dead.
I then saw two gay guys walk by with matching umbrellas. You could tell that they were recently "out" because they still seemed a bit unsure about being outwardly flambouant.
1 more day of work after today....then I get next week off for Thanksgiving. I have had to work late at night to get caught up on things for Open Doors. Im also trying to study for the GRE, write my book, apply for grad school and plan a wedding. I am feeling a bit I wont get it all done. I am sticking to a strict timeline to get it done. I think this feeling will subside tomorrow ar 6:50pm....a whole week to get caught up :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

my man

For having a man as amazing as mine, I do not blog about him nearly enough. He is so full of encouragement, wisdom and insight. It is amazing to hear his thoughts on our ministry together and his encouragement when it comes to a crappy day at work. God has really given him a way with words. And I get to marry him in 204 days!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Raising Sand

I just got the semi new Robert Plant/ Alison Krauss CD, Raising Sand. It's AMAZING!!! It has been awhile since a song has stopped me in my tracks or has given me chills. Killing the Blues did just that. The other songs are also phenomenal. BUY IT.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I apologize in advance...

for this slight rant.
I think that I have vaugely mentioned that I am writing a book before. It is called 95. It follows the format of Martin Luther's 95 Theses, drawing a direct paralel to the 95 things that he was calling the universal church out on in 1517 to the 95 things I believe that the modern church needs to be called out on (things that we are not doing bibically). I am dedicating a chapter to each subject, with a corelating bible verse to go along with it. I am 5 chapters in and hope to complete it by April.
Anywho, I was doing a little research on this great founder of our modern protestant fatih and began to look at a list of his works. The last book I saw was entitled The Jews and their Lies. The title caught me off guard, so I decided to look into it more.
This book was written 3 years before his death. In his previous years, Luther campaigned the need to bring the Jews to the saving grace of Christ. He acknowledged that they were God's chosen people and were just misguided. In this book, he switched from that mind frame to some extremely anti semetic undertones, that were later used as Nazi propaganda. In his book, Luther recommends that Jews be deprived of money, civil rights, religious teaching, and education, and that they be forced to labor on the land, or else be expelled from Germany and possibly killed. Here are a few excerpts:
"There is no other explanation for this than the one cited earlier from Moses — namely, that God has struck [the Jews] with 'madness and blindness and confusion of mind.' So we are even at fault in not avenging all this innocent blood of our Lord and of the Christians which they shed for three hundred years after the destruction of Jerusalem, and the blood of the children they have shed since then (which still shines forth from their eyes and their skin). We are at fault in not slaying them. Rather we allow them to live freely in our midst despite all their murdering, cursing, blaspheming, lying, and defaming; we protect and shield their synagogues, houses, life, and property. In this way we make them lazy and secure and encourage them to fleece us boldly of our money and goods, as well as to mock and deride us, with a view to finally overcoming us, killing us all for such a great sin, and robbing us of all our property (as they daily pray and hope). Now tell me whether they do not have every reason to be the enemies of us accursed Goyim to curse us and to strive for our final, complete, and eternal ruin!"
"First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. ...Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. ...Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them. ...Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. ...Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. ...Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them. ... Such money should now be used in ... the following [way]... Whenever a Jew is sincerely converted, he should be handed [a certain amount]...Seventh, I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow... For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants. If we wish to wash our hands of the Jews' blasphemy and not share in their guilt, we have to part company with them. They must be driven from our country and we must drive them out like mad dogs."
This great leader of our faith went off the deep end with anti semetic works and I didn't know about it till the age of 22? I checked with Corri and Jerry (both went through Christian Heritage at Vanguard) and they were just as shocked as I was. Upon further research I found out the the Luthern denomination denounced these staements, but most Christians either do not know, or do not mention Luthers anti semetic work.
That said, I do not think by any means any of Luther's works are void. I believe God truly used him most of his life, but He went off the deep end in his latter years and the church needs to acknowledge this. No wonder so many believe Christians are anti semetic. If we aren't willing to acknowledge the truth of this and then say that Luther had it right in his early years, but not in last years....we cannot progress. It is vital to acknowledge this.
This also got me thinking about how people change when they get older in their faith...obviously not everyone, but some change drastically. I think of how that bible often highlights "the faith of our youth". The faith that is untainted and vibrant....wanting to know more of the Lord and wanting to bring EVERYONE to him. I do not want to be stuck in my ways when I am older....i want to have kind of untainted pure faith all of my days. Help me Lord, please grant me this.

Monday, November 10, 2008

This week

This week has been crazy, and upon review I understand why:

1. We elected our first black president. A beautiful and historical moment.

2. We had prayer week at church (so good).

3. Had a wonderful meal/office time at our friend Courtney's.

4. Found out I get to go home for Thanksgiving. It is going to be an epic journey...road trip with Katie and Hil, then with Sharayah. Spend 2 days with my family (to their surprise) and then a train ride back to Hanford to drive back with Katie and Hil. Epic truly is the only word to describe this.

5. Registered to take the GRE. December 29th.

6. Took care of a ton of wedding stuff

7. Outlined my book that I am writing.

8. Went to Wordstock. This was a book and writing festival.

9. Took care of my extremely long to do list

10. My roommate is officially dating a wonderful guy. We all couldn’t be happier. :)

What a great week!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Today Corri and I went to Wordstock in the city. It was a book and writing convention (aka nerd convention) and it was wonderful. We met some cool people and got a ton of free books. I being the kind person that I am got one for Kyo. I cant wait till he opens it :)

I found out that I get to go home for Thanksgiving. I am going to surprise my family and I am super excited.

We found out that our friends got held at gunpoint last night. Thank goodness they are safe. The gunmen must have thought they were someone else because they took of after a second. The gunmen were also their neighbors down the street, so they were able to ID them to the police.

I have to work on GRE/Grad School app, wedding stuff and writing my book. So much to little time :(

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I have been reading quite a bit of Vonnegut lately. I truly enjoy his writing. He is able to tell a gripping story with such an eloquent use of pathos, sarcasm and societal commentary, all with a hint of A.D.D.

I have a few book ideas going in my head. Whenever I am somewhere, observing something, I find that I am narrating the situation. Maybe it is just a weird battle for control, or perhaps I need to start outlining some ideas. Before, I thought simply stating your thoughts and opinions in a pristine, well thought out way argued for intellect. The older I get, the more I see the intelligence in stories laced with these messages.

So it goes.

I have had the hardest time concentrating lately. I am trying to check emails, blog and look up anything that I need to before work, so I no longer deal with the temptation to take a 2 minute break (that usually ends up taking longer than 2 minutes). We'll see.

The weekend is almost here. I plan on sleeping in, working out, doing chores, maybe going to Wordstock, hanging out with friends and going to church. We will see what else happens.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I have not said a ton on this subject during this election, except for a few words here or there to a couple of friends, but the last 24 hours have sent me over the top. I am enraged.

I'm sure if I took a hiatus from facebook, i would not be so upset. But the bummer is, these so called friends and acquaintances are saying things like "67% of 18-29 year olds voted for Obama because he is black", "will it still be called the White House" or "upset this has turned into a racial victory - this is the presidency!". They will have these racists’ thoughts if I read them or not. The worst part is most of it is in ignorance. None of these people would believe that what they are saying is racist.

I have seen a few of my friends refer to Romans 13. I love that passage. Obama is not going to save this country, nor is he a politician that i agree with on everything. But he is our leader. We need to respect him as Romans 13 calls us to. The first step in doing this is by removing racism from our thoughts and speech.

All I ask is that you would think about things before you say them. Think about the undertones your statement could have.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

Here we go:

Both candidates are against gay marriage. Both have voted pro choice before. Both care about the environment. Though most of these issues are dealt with by other branches, or are state by state, the President has a say in whom he selects as a Supreme Court Judge and has direct influences over the states. Both candidates are fairly moderate and vote pretty similarly when it comes to key issues. However, I voted for Obama because John McCain's policies are too close to President Bush. Though I feel like President Bush has gotten a lot more crap than he deserves, I have been in utter disagreement wit most of his policies. I need a leader who is at least going to make an attempt to dissipate from this war. I need a leader who cares about how the rest of the world views us.

That said, I do not really care for Obama. I think his rhetoric is what has gotten him where he is today. I don’t think he is going to be one of our greatest leaders, nor do I think he will be able to turn a lot of things around. I know that only God can. The bible calls us to respect and pray for those in authority, so I am committed to do just that. Whoever becomes president, I know that I need to respect their authority and pray for them daily. Pray that God would direct their decisions and that they would follow His way.

Though I am in Oregon, I voted absentee, so I was able to vote for California Measures. I voted yes on prop 8. I did this because 8 years ago, Californians democratically voted against gay marriage. Over a weekend earlier this year, a few judges made gay marriage constitutional. That was in no way democratic. That was a government over stepping it boundaries, making a decision for the people who had already made a different decision. That is too much like 1984 or a communist country to me. I live in a land that practices democracy, not in a land dictated by the government. I live in a land that advocates for the separation of church and state, so I know that I have a right to vote to keep marriage as a religious holy ordinance between a man and a woman. I can advocate for the government not to step on my religion. It doesn’t mean I am intolerant, or that I am against equality. It simply means that I am an American who has her set beliefs and is allowed to practice them separate from the government. I am an American who will not let my government become a dictatorship.

I voted for the parental notification when a minor is going to get an abortion. The main argument against this is that girls who come from abusive homes will face great hardships if this happens. Here is the thing...nobody is telling these teenage girls how physically dangerous abortions can be (internal bleeding, becoming sterile, death). We are considered minors until we are 18, because we are still in our formative years until then. When we hit 18, we can decide if we want to gamble, smoke or get an abortion. But before then, it is unfair to out that much responsibility in the hands of someone so vulnerable. For the girls who come from abusive backgrounds, there is hope. Shelters for minor girls who are pregnant. This keeps them away from their abuser. My roommate works at one of these.

I decided not to increase police pay because of their continued misuse of money, racial profiling and power. They are among the highest paid in the nation and LA and Long Beach are the cities most infamous for police brutality. I will not support that behavior. (Note: I do not believe all police are bad, but until things get under control, I will not vote to grant my money to those who misuse. Christ has called me to be a good steward of my funds).

I voted for the humane treatment of farm animals.

More than you wanted to know? Probably not if you are still reading this :)

I am a moderate voter as many of you know. I do not affiliate with one political party. I do not use God as a means to push a political agenda, but I try to make every political decision with a biblically informed mind frame. I wanted to write all of this out, so you knew why I was voting the way that I was. I know that a lot of my brothers and sisters in Christ have voted differently than I have. It doesn’t mean one is right and one is wrong. It simply means that we are trying to be the most Christ like that we can be in this imperfect world. I was talking to a new friend the other day about how Heaven wouldn’t be a democracy, but rather communism, under a perfect ruler, something we could never obtain on earth....true utopia. Until then, we strive to be His light under the imperfect rulings of this earth. I am thankful for the freedoms I have in America, though they are not nearly as perfect as the freedom in Christ.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Full House

Katie Froberg has the ability to bring Full House into any conversation. It is truly a gift. She told me that bed frame looked like Stephanie's and that my hair looked like DJ's.

We had 11 people in our home this weekend, thus making it a full house :) The Helblings and Kyo both stayed with us which was awesome. And we had about 15 guest for our Halloween party last night. Also awesome, but a full house.

We are getting so much accomplished for the wedding. It is a good feeling. :)

If you think about it, I'd really be thankful for your prayers for the usual. God is faithful and I know He will work everything out.