8/31/2010

Crazy Love...

I mentioned in a previous post that I bought (as my first purchase) Crazy Love on my Kindle.

I have to say, I got to this party a little late. Almost everyone I know had already read (and loved) this book, but I had avoided it. Although, I'm not sure why. And, honestly, one of the big reasons why I bought it was that it was the best/cheapest book I could find upon my initial search of Kindle books. But boy, oh boy, am I glad I picked it up.

What Francis Chan has here is an incredibly simple, yet incredibly profound, book that would serve as a great read (or discussion starter) for anyone.

I wanted to make sure that I recorded some of the passages that made me pause and think, as well as some thoughts on each, so that I could remember them in the future...

  • "In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him." This is a great reminder of why developing spiritual disciplines (like daily Bible reading, prayer, solitude to be with God, etc.) is so important. In a world filled with distractions, a person with mega-ADD like me doesn't stand a chance without discipline...

  • "If life were stable, I'd never need God's help. Since it's not, I reach out for Him regularly. I am thankful for the unknowns and that I don't have control, because it makes me run to God." This one knocked me for a loop. On one hand, I struggle with the unknown. At heart, I love to imagine I'm in control and have a say in how the universe operates. But on the other hand, I recognize that it's been during the crazy times of my life that I've run hardest to God. So how can I hate on the hard times? They've been responsible for some serious spiritual growth in my life...

  • "The greatest knowledge we can ever have is knowing God treasures us." I'm not sure anything gets any better than this...

  • "The irony is that while God doesn't need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don't really want Him most of the time. He treasures us and anticipates our departure from this earth to be with Him-and we wonder, indifferently, how much we have to do for Him to get by." Wow. This may be the best example of a truth that hurts, ever. I think this might be a result of living your life trying to follow rules rather than living in a relationship...

  • "As we begin to focus more on Christ, loving Him and others becomes more natural. As long as we are pursuing Him, we are satisfied in Him. It is when we stop actively loving Him that we find ourselves restless and gravitating toward other means of fulfillment." It's like two forces battling with each other. When one rises, the other falls, and vice versa...

  • "Jesus is saying that we show tangible love for God in how we care for the poor and those who are suffering. He expects us to treat the poor and the desperate as if they were Christ Himself." In today's world, it's very popular to be passionate about social justice. But this is a definition of social justice that I can really get behind...

  • "The average Christian in the United States spends ten minutes per day with God; meanwhile, the average American spends over four hours a day watching television." I have no idea if this stat is true. But if it is, it makes me sick. It especially makes me sick to realize that this is true right now in my life...
  • 8/24/2010

    Counting Down...

    I am not a patient person by nature.

    In fact, one of the biggest things I've learned from this season of my life is how to be patient (and content) while waiting on the Lord.

    But that has to do with a "big wait". For the purpose of this post, I'm really talking about a "little wait". As in, the waiting that you do when you know something is approaching. Be it a birthday, a holiday, a vacation, or the beginning of school; the anticipation of counting down to something can be terrible.

    I have some friends who like to make their countdowns physical by making paper chains. But I thought that was a little... well, not my style. So I made this (pictured above).

    One post it notepad, one sharpie marker, and 63 days...

    Ugh. I hate waiting...

    8/20/2010

    Love at First Sip...

    I think it was sometime last year (or maybe the year before) that I started seeing things appear on my OC friends' blogs about the new fountain drink dispenser at Pei Wei. I knew I had to experience it for myself. So on this last visit, I went.

    So, it all starts with you placing your cup inside the machine and getting some ice. Next, you go to the screen...

    You see that there are many options of drinks. All you do is touch the one you want, and it opens up flavor options for that drink. (Like folders on a computer.) For instance, i clicked Diet Coke, and I was presented with the options of Diet Coke with Lemon, Raspberry, Vanilla, Lime, and Orange. I chose Orange and loved it!

    I also chose (as my refill later) Sprite Zero with Grape. I did not love it. I couldn't even finish it. Which is strange, considering my universal love for purple flavor.

    As I understand it, the machine keeps track of what drinks people are ordering and reports back to Coke HQ in Atlanta. That way, they know what people like, and whether to mass produce it.

    Here's hoping bottled Diet Coke with Orange will be in my fridge soon...

    8/19/2010

    The Proof Is In the Pudding... Pop...

    I don't get sick a lot. Well, I guess "a lot" is subjective. Last year, I got sick twice (once in January, and once in November). I suppose to some, that could be a lot. To others, that could be practically never. But to me, it's too much. It probably doesn't help that I'm a total baby when I'm sick.

    And here it is again...

    I've never been one for homeopathic medicine. I believe too much in drugs. But last year, I discovered an incredible natural cure for sickness. So this time, I figured I'd at least be open to finding something else. And I've done it. I've made another incredible discovery.

    This time, I've been coughing. A lot. And so, in turn, I've been going through a lot of cough drops. And no, I'm not talking about the cherry Sucrets or Ludens or other such candy flavored deliciousness. No. I'm talking about full on Halls. Menthol. Blech...

    But the menthol wasn't working. Which is why I was so happy yesterday when I opened my freezer to find Jello Pudding Pops.

    Now, you may find this hard to believe, but Jello Pudding Pops totally make a sore throat feel better. Plus they're delicious. I mean, has anyone ever turned down a pudding pop? No. Never.

    I hope the New England Journal of Medicine is reading. Because I'm convinced that Kenny Loggins and Jello Pudding Pops could cure almost any disease...

    8/17/2010

    Thoughts on Camp...

    I had the incredible privilege of being able to go back to a place I called home for so long this past week when my old church asked if I'd return and speak at their summer camp. But rather than try to type out a lengthy summary of what happened, I thought I'd hit some brief thoughts...

  • Doing something you love (teaching), with people you love (my friends from Saddleback), in a place that you love (Thousand Pines Christian Camp), all for God (who you love) is an absolutely beautiful thing. This past week was a great reminder of God's calling on my life...

  • This was my fourth role at Thousand Pines. I've gone as an intern (3x), a pastor (3x), a volunteer (1x), and now, the speaker. I asked if I could cook and lead rec while I was there, just so I could bat for the cycle. But they didn't go for it...

  • This was the first year I have experienced students, who were campers when I was an intern, now in the role of leaders. To see those that I invested in, investing in their own students was so cool. And, when one of them turned 21 at camp, it made me feel so old...

  • Being the speaker, and not having my own cabin of students, was a little strange... at first. But I ended up enjoying the freedom it afforded me to spend time talking with every student, rather than concentrating my time on 10 or 12...

  • For those interested, I didn't fall off the stage...

  • Basically, I got to fly out to California and get paid to do something that I would do for free. Don't tell them I said that...

  • Scrabble Slam! is amazing...

    Thanks to everyone involved for making this one of the best camps I've ever been involved in. I'm so proud and thankful to have been a part of it...
  • 8/06/2010

    Camp, Camp, Camp...

    Wow. In about a day and a half I'll be flying back to Orange County (which I haven't been in since I think last August) to teach at Saddleback's Junior High summer camp. TO give you an idea of how I'm feeling right now, I'm going to tell you this:

    My left eye started twitching yesterday.

    My teaching outlines need a little more work, I have loads of laundry to do, I need to make a few important phone calls, and I still have some last minute shopping to do (you know, for travel essentials). On top of that, I've got to work today (in an hour). It's days like today that I'm very glad that His grace is sufficient for me.

    Anyway, camp is from Monday through Friday (ninth - thirteenth). I'll be teaching on "growing up in your faith". Basically encouraging students to take their spiritual growth seriously and then, to take a next step. We'll have somewhere around two hundred fifty junior high students there, that God wants to love on. Would you be in prayer for them, for me, and for all of Saddleback's incredible leaders (both staff and volunteer)?

    I know it's going to be a great week at camp! Not sure if I'll be able to post while I'm there. If I can, I'll update here. If not, you can be sure I'll be tweeting all the goodness. You can follow my tweets here.

    See you in a week...

    8/03/2010

    I Want To Go To There...

    The time is quickly approaching for me to make my temporary return to California.

    And while the big item on my schedule will be teaching at Summer Camp, there are a few smaller items that I will need to attend to while I'm in town. (Or... state.)

    Places I Want To Go To In SoCal:
  • In-N-Out
  • Pei Wei
  • 7 Eleven
  • The Rainbow Factory

    I would like to eat at three of these places and wear something from one of them. I'm not going to say which is which, but let's just say 7 Eleven's chili feels fabulous on your feet...