Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Movie Reviews

Just a quick review of a few movies I've seen lately. I went to see the new Star Trek movie, and was pleasantly surprised. Though I am a lover of sci-fi, I've never been much of a Star Trek person. I just never got into any of the TV shows, and before this one, I'd never seen any of the movies. I saw the preview a couple of months ago, and I was sold! I went with my sister and her husband Bob who is a certified trekkie. I thought the movie was great. It was funny, and there was lots of action. I was pleasantly surprised by Zachary Quinto as Spock. For all you fellow Heroes fans out there, you know Zachary as Sylar. It was cool to see him not be the bad guy. Plus Leonard Nimoy was also in the movie. I thought it was great that J.J. Abrams (the director) chose to pay homage to the original crew. Seeing this movie and enjoying it like I did, actually made me want to give Star Trek another chance. So I may be searching for some Star Trek on DVD in the near future!

I've been wanting to see Valkyrie for a while now. I saw a great Documentary about the Valkyrie plot on The History Channel that fueled my desire even more. On my flight to Spain a couple of weeks ago it was one of the movie choices so I finally got to see it. For those who don't know the movie is about the Valkyrie plot which was a plot to assassinate Adolph Hitler. I'm such a history buff, and I thought they did a great job building the suspense, and sticking really closely to the story. Plus the movie has a stellar cast - Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, and Bill Nighy just to name a few. It reminded me of another historical type movie that I really liked which was Thirteen Days with Kevin Costner. It's about the Cuban missile crisis. Great movie!

On a completely different front, I'm still looking for a job, and hopefully will have a few interviews this week. I'm headed back to California at the beginning of June for a wedding which should be fun. My goal is to get to work, and get my own place within the next couple of months. I've had a blast living with my mom, but it's time to move onward and upward!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Left my Heart...

I've been up in Northern California visiting my good friends Larry and Rhonda for the past week. They're always so much fun. They live near San Francisco, so we actually got to go and spend a day in the city. Here's some of what I saw...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Book Reviews

Okay kids it’s time for some BOOK REVIEWS! I know you’re all excited! Here are my thoughts on two of my most recent reads…

I borrowed Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey from my sister. I wanted to see what all the hype was about. This book has been on top of the non-fiction bestsellers list for weeks and weeks. Plus he was on Oprah. That’s like instant book credibility! Well after reading his book, I must say that I was disappointed. Basically the whole point of the book is Steve Harvey letting us ladies in on the secret of what men are really like. What they’re thinking, and what motivates them etc…Overall, I just felt like it was one big excuse for some men to act like jerks. Grow up! I think the number one reason women date crappy men is because they don’t value themselves. So I’ll give him a little credit because I think that’s some of what he’s trying to say. Some of the stories he shares are pretty funny, but overall this one did NOT live up to the hype for me.

I got the book Columbine by Dave Cullen after reading a dozen or so reviews on Amazon.com. I finished it in less than 24 hours. I literally couldn't put this one down. The book sheds light on a lot of the false information that got out about the killings during the initial media firestorm. I’m sure we all remember watching the news that day and hearing all about the trench coat mafia, or that the killers were targeting jocks. There was lots of information that was later proven false. I think the big reason why people are still fascinated by Columbine is that they’re still looking for answers. What makes a person do something like this? It’s of course a question that we may never know the answer to. I thought the book was really well written, and that he did a good job looking at the whole picture. He didn’t just focus on the killers; there was a lot of follow up with people who will be dealing with the aftermath of Columbine for the rest of their lives. I definitely recommend this one.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Hello all! I have returned home from my European adventure. It was to say at the very least - life changing...

Now that I’m at least a little rested here is my official trip report. I’ll apologize in advance because it’s a little long. There are lots of details for those of you who like that (Jenny!). And also loads of pictures... Enjoy!
So before I went to Spain, I flew to California a few days early so that I could go to the Worship Central conference that was being held at my old church Rock Harbor. The conference was fantastic! It was even better than last years. The worship was great, and exactly what I needed. There were several seminars and one that sticks out was taught by a seminary professor named J.D. Walt. It was about the theology of doxology…it was very deep! Here are a few quotes from the class:

“Worship is where we construct a context for revelation from the Holy Spirit.”

“The only way to measure the impact of worship is to watch what happens after. How does it affect people’s lives?”

I got a few new CD’s and a new book. If you’ve never heard of Brenton Brown, I suggest you go out and get his new worship CD. It’s called Because of Your Love. There’s a song on it called “Adoration” that is quickly becoming a favorite. I also heard Francis Chan speak for the first time, and he was very thought provoking. I love it when a speaker makes me reflect, and then apply what they’ve said to my own life. Overall the conference was just what I needed before my trip. While in California I stayed with my friends Amber and Kevin (and Brody!) Their couch was fit for a queen, and much appreciated. I also want to say thanks to Renee for being my conference buddy. It’s amazing how God knows exactly what we need.

The conference was Friday and Saturday and on Sunday morning the WONDERFUL Ms. Linda Chang took me to the airport at 5:00 am! What a trooper! From Los Angeles, I flew to Charlotte, then to Frankfurt Germany, and finally to Barcelona. In Barcelona I met up with most of the team that was headed to Ibiza. Henrike and Sandra from Germany, and Charl, Carla, Jemma, and Tina who are all living in the U.K. doing a year out with 24/7 prayer. Tina is actually from the U.S. so I wasn’t the only American! We met and grabbed a bite to eat before catching our flight to Ibiza.

Once in Ibiza we met up with Tracy Heasley who picked us up from the airport. She dropped us at the hotel where we met our final team member Casey who was also from the UK.

The year round 24/7 Ibiza team consists of Brian and Tracey Heasley (and their two sons), and Bruce and Helen. They live in Ibiza year round. During the busy season, which lasts from May to October, they have others volunteers who come in to help them with the work they do. They also have 2 week long mission’s teams that come in during various weeks over the summer.

The next morning after breakfast we headed to the 24/7 Ibiza center in the West End. The cool thing is that they are actually right there in the middle of all the action.

As you can see from the picture the West End is a street that’s full of bars, and strip clubs. During the summer months this street is crowded with tourists. 24/7 Ibiza basically sends teams out into the streets to talk to, and help people. They may get to pray with a group of young people, or they may intervene to make sure that someone who’s had too much to drink get’s back to their hotel without being robbed or worse. The team I was on is the prayer team. We were there to pray for the upcoming season, and to help them get ready in practical ways. We did several prayer walks, and it was great to listen to Brian tell us all about the history of the island of Ibiza. We walked in pairs and just prayed for the coming season.

That afternoon we went to Es Vedra…

Isn’t it beautiful! First Brian shared more history about the island and then we split up and spent some time alone in reflection and prayer. Back in the day if pirates were trying to come into port there where lookouts that would light a warning beacon to let the people know that trouble was coming. When that happened the people would flee to the churches which were considered places of refuge. I thought that was so cool! I definitely spent some time praying that 24/7 Ibiza would be a refuge for the people that visit Ibiza.

That night we also got to experience an Ibiza sunset. It was breathtaking. During the busy season hundreds of people sit out on the rocks and watch the sunset each night…and then they applaud. It’s like they’re acknowledging the beauty of God’s creation without even knowing it! Here are a few pictures of the sunset…

The next two days we got the chance to spend some quality time on the farm where the team lives. It was beautiful. We got to pray and work and eat, and it was altogether wonderful!

One day we took a hike up to a prayer chapel that is near the house. There were notebooks full of the prayers of people that had made the trek up the trail. People had also posted pictures of loved ones, or written their names on the wall of the chapel.

On our last full day we did another prayer walk through the West End and helped the team actually clean the center which was getting ready for its opening day. The center is a place where they get to connect with a lot of the workers on the Island. They offer them free internet service, and they have a Wii and a pool table. It’s a place for workers to come and hang out and get a chance to chat with someone if they want.

We also got to take a siesta which was great! Any excuse for a nap is okay by me! That night we headed to Pacha. It’s one of the best nightclubs in the world. One of the things that the team does is they go into the clubs and they dance, worship and pray. It was amazing to see how even as we danced and prayed we had people asking us what we were doing. At one point we had a few guys come up to us and ask what we were doing in Ibiza. Imagine their surprise when we told them we had come to pray. It was an interesting conversation starter. Before we headed into the club we actually got to go eat at this wonderful restaurant that was in the hotel across the street. It was a real treat! Of course I took pictures of everything...

The next day was Saturday and it was time to head home. My flight didn’t leave until late so I got to spend the day exploring the city, and doing some last minute souvenir shopping. I read my bible by the water and basically had a really chill day.

Overall I feel like I’m barely scratching the surface of what my trip was really like.

One of my favorite scriptures is Jeremiah 29:13 -

“ When you come looking for me, you'll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed." (MSG)

It was so cool to see that in action. Every time we sought God he was there to be found. It was also so powerful to know and trust that my prayers were sowing the seed for what’s going to happen this summer in Ibiza. I was challenged to remember that power is present in my everyday life as well. The same God who spoke to me so powerfully in Ibiza is here with me now. I was so moved by what is happening in Spain that I’m going to try and go back to Ibiza to experience what the summer is like. There’s some space on a team in September, and I believe that if it’s God’s desire for me to go back he will provide the funds for me just like he did for this trip.

And speaking of that, I just want to say a HUGE thank you again and again to everyone who prayed and donated for my trip. I’m praying that God blesses you as much as you have blessed me!

I also challenge you to pray for 24/7 Ibiza. To learn more about what they do, go check out their website HERE Or go check out Brian’s blog HERE

Until next time…

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Prayer of Blessing

I read this on a blog that I follow, and was so moved by it that I snagged it to post on my own blog!

May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.
May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.
May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God's grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.
And the blessing of God the Supreme Majesty and our Creator, Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word who is our brother and Saviour, and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Guide, be with you and remain with you, this day and forevermore.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Back Home...

Ibiza was AWESOME! I'll be doing a more in depth post about my trip later. Right now there are three important things to know:

1. I am home.
2. Jet lag is in full affect.
3. My trip was amazing!

Here's a little taste of some of the beauty that I saw...