Kairos, Part 2

One of my favorite things about having an active, healthy relationship (never perfect, but hopefully always growing!) with Jesus is the hindsight. Looking back on my life and seeing so clearly (sometimes even so blatantly obviously) his hand at work is such a joy and is often what moves me to deeper devotion and commitment to him.

Two months and three days ago, I wrote a blog post about kairos. Exactly one week after posting the blog, I received a call from Azusa Pacific University (APU) to come in for an interview. And now, two months and three days later, I have ended my tenure at University College and begin my new job at APU tomorrow.

Whew, does our God move quickly when he’s movin’ and shakin’. The scary-exciting thing is I don’t think he’s done yet, either.

Kairos, a moment of indeterminate time in which everything happens.

The past two weeks have had me experiencing all the emotions that come with leaving a job and community I love, and transitioning to a similar yet unfamiliar new job and community. Friday was especially overwhelming, and it hasn’t sunk in yet that tomorrow I won’t be at “Donuts & Devotions” in the morning, won’t get to catch up and collaborate with my friends in our weekly managers meeting in the afternoon, won’t be able to (lovingly) prank my colleagues anymore… Actually, that last one I’ll still do, just will need to be more creative now.

The verse of my heart song remains the same: “Call me,” says the Lord, “and I’ll show you great and mighty things you have not yet seen.”

I am scared, optimistic, nervous, and excited to step into this new season, and am ready to embrace whatever God’s got in store for me. Just like when Hobbits trust Gandalf, once I decide to trust God and commit to the new adventures he’s calling me to, excitement and enthusiasm overtake me. I know there will be times of doubt (I am, after all, human), but my God is greater and stronger and never fails.

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”

America’s Favorite Pastime

Recent polls, surveys, articles, blogs, etc., claim that football is now “America’s Favorite Pastime.” But if it were up to me, there’d be only baseball. I don’t have much interest in watching football on tv (though it helps having the digitally-added first down line), and I blame this entirely on my upbringing. I grew up in East County, San Diego, where the Chargers were good once maybe (I have a faint memory of getting a Super Bowl shirt sometime in the 90s) and where my high school’s team won just two games in four years. Football really stinks when your team always loses.

If we go outside of the United States, “football” is an entirely different game. I played soccer/football/futbol for six years as a kid and refereed for a while after that. I don’t follow any team religiously (though when I was living in Spain and Beckham was playing for Real Madrid, it was impossible not to get caught up in the fervor), but when the World Cup or Olympic games are on, you can count on me to be watching, regardless of the hour. I quite enjoy soccer, and have even been to a few Galaxy games.

But I’m not talking about football or soccer; I’m talking about baseball.

My dad and I made a short weekend visit to Arizona this weekend to catch a couple of spring training games. The theme for this year’s MLB spring training season is “train to reign,” which at first I thought was just the Padres’ mantra for the season but then I saw every team wearing the slogan on their warm-up jerseys. (How can they all “train to reign,” when at least a handful of teams – yes, possibly the Padres – will be doing anything but reigning?)

Friday night found us at the Peoria Sports Complex, spring training home for the Mariners and Padres. The Padres were taking on World Series champs, the Kansas City Royals. It was definitely a little magical to see the Royals in person, especially after watching them fight their way to the top last season. It was even more magical to see the Padres beat them, 3-1.

Former Padre Cody Decker.

Former Padre Cody Decker

Travis Jankowski at bat.

Non-roster invitee Adam Rosales had a great night.

Non-roster invitee Adam Rosales had a great night.

Saturday afternoon’s game had Pops and I heading over to Camelback Ranch, spring training home for the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Little bit bigger stadium than Peoria, and definitely a lot more crowded. The Dodgers (originally from Brooklyn) used to train in Florida but moved to Arizona in 2009. So it was the home state team (Diamondbacks) taking on the Dodgers, and the stadium was full.

Before the game, Dodger oldie (literally – he’s 88 years old) Tommy Lasorda was signing autographs and greeting fans. It was warm, but the clouds kept us comfortable. The game had more action than the Padres/Royals game the night before, with two home runs, a couple of double-plays, and stolen bases. Pops and I were wearing our Adrian Gonzalez Padres jerseys, and I wore my new SD hat, and we only got booed once (in the parking lot, after the game).

Tommy Lasorda

Tommy Lasorda

Proverbs 22:6 in action.

Proverbs 22:6 in action.

Former Padre Adrian Gonzalez

Former Padre Adrian Gonzalez

I now have 28 days before the 2016 baseball season opens, and thus 28 days to watch Ken Burns’ documentary Baseball.

Let’s go, Padres!

**All photos property of Emily Belsey, (c) 2016. To check out more photos from the weekend, click here.


The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos and kairosChronos, as one might infer, refers to chronological and sequential time and is where the word chronology comes from. The word kairos signifies a time lapse, a moment of indeterminate time in which everything happens. Kairos is a propitious moment for decision or action, a time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action; the opportune and decisive moment. In the New Testament, kairos (used approximately 81 times) means the appointed time in the purpose of God, the time when God acts. Mark 1:15 – “Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.'”

“This is the right time, and this is the right thing” – Sir Thomas More


On Monday, January 25th, a good friend and colleague of mine had her last day at work. She’d been offered a job to coordinate for weddings at a high-end florist she’d been doing part-time work for. Not a hard choice, really, save for leaving a community she loved and who loved and cherished her. But no one blamed her for leaving HR to work with the flowers and bridezillas (I’m sure there are bridezillas) of Beverly Hills.

Four days later, she was admitted to the hospital and began her first round of chemotherapy for leukemia (AML). I was already missing my friend when she left us for Fleurish, but now the missing is bittersweet. Julia is a Christian and is surrounded by a family of strong believers, and she’s responding really well to treatment (click here to check out her Caring Bridge site, and click here to donate).

But after hearing the news, last weekend was a hard one for me. We had no idea how Julia would respond to treatment, and diagnosis like this one was hard to swallow; it was so unexpected, she’s so young, etc. I spent the weekend reflecting on my own life, wondering if there was enough carpe diem going on. What was I wasting time on, what did I need to be spending more time on, was I doing what I wanted to do?

On Monday, February 1st, Julia’s mom posted a journal entry in which she highlights an encounter her husband had with another patient’s family member that led to Julia’s family praying for the man and his hospitalized father. Reading this, I was reminded of a professor’s lesson about kairos.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller


God is always at work, whether we recognize it or not. Instead of worrying about my own agenda and plans for my life and being nervous about not having enough carpe diem going on (what’s the next step for me professionally, when will I start dating my future husband, should I dye my hair red again [I did], to list a few), I needed to fix my focus wholly on Jesus.

Modern rhetorical definitions of kairos agree that knowledge, awareness, and action are key to making the most of a kairos moment or season.

If I am not in a living, breathing, growing relationship with Jesus, I will not recognize his voice or his hand at work. Over the past couple years I have often described my relationship with Christ as a partnership. The older I get, the more confident I am in this partnership, and the easier it is for me to trust that this human will never know the future but that she can walk boldly into it with Jesus as her fearless leader. A weekend of wallowing (accompanied by a day of rain and an oncoming cold) was but a momentary lapse, and the rest of my week was spent in prayer and reflection on this season I’m in and what journey God is leading me on.

Lately, I have felt an acceleration of moments, as if they’re swirling about me like leaves swirled around Pocahontas and her compass. I’m noticing more and more little and larger kairos moments happening. I feel as if I am heading into a kairos moment bigger than I’ve ever experienced before. It’s the anticipation that makes the pleasure, said the wrapper of a Dove’s dark chocolate candy once.

And so I end this post with the verse that’s been my heart song these past few years:

“Call me, says the Lord, and I’ll show you great and mighty things you have not yet seen.” – Jeremiah 33:3

A Prayer for Peace

From My Prayer Book:

O Father of all people and Ruler of nations, who would have all people dwell together in peace and unity, raise up, we ask You, leaders in every land who will choose peace instead of war and direct their people in pathways of friendship and understanding toward others.

Help us all in our respective places to seek justice, to cultivate righteousness, and to walk humbly before You. Remove all pride from our hearts. Give us understanding minds so that, regardless of race or nationality, color or station in life, we may realize that we are all of the same flesh and blood, Your common creation.

You have offered to all of us the Gospel of forgiveness and reconciling peace through the precious blood of Your dear Son. Grant us all the grace to accept Your terms of reconciliation, and let me, too, enjoy the forgiveness of all my sin. I ask You, because of Your pardon to us, to make us forgiving, thoughtful, and considerate of one another. Grant that we of this generation may live side by side in quietness and peace, recognizing that each one of us has rights and privileges given to us by You in Your goodness of heart.

Restrain the efforts of those who would sow seeds of hatred and ill will among nations. Bless all efforts for peace. Direct the course of this world that Your will may be done and Your kingdom come. Cause quiet and order to prevail everywhere, that the message of Your Gospel may without any obstacle or hindrance be carried to the far corners of the earth; for the sake of Him who died and rose again that we might live forever.



There has been a strange quiet ever since I returned from Japan, and it is unsettling. Every time I travel, whether locally or abroad, I return from great adventures to a life that feels quite ordinary. One day I am eating caught-that-morning scallops and exploring Shinto shrines, the next I am stuck in a cubicle and staring at a computer screen, eating a pb&j. Life has felt the same for a while now, and suddenly eight years have passed since I first moved to Los Angeles.

I am restless.


I went to church twice today. After knowing Jesus for so many years, I am less surprised and more delighted at how his truth for me finds me no matter where I am. (Sometimes, it is less delightful and more “Okay, God, I get it!” There were many times in college when what was shared in chapel was the same topic we’d discuss in my life-changing New Testament class [taught by the wonderful Dr. John Wright] which would then be the same message preached by the pastor in church that weekend.)

This morning at Hope Christian Fellowship, Pastor Mike spoke about generational bondage and strongholds, and how sin has a ripple effect through generations. In Matthew 23:29-39, the Pharisees (those hypocrites) tried to make the excuse that they would not have done as their ancestors did, but Jesus called them out and said that they have done exactly as their ancestors did, murdering prophets and sages and teachers. The Pharisees were exactly the same as their ancestors, and deceiving themselves and others by claiming they were different. But then we heard testimony how with Christ we can break free from these strongholds, that we do not have continue the family line and be who our ancestors were.

Stronghold: a place dominated by a particular group or marked by a particular characteristic; a place of security or survival.

I have two strongholds in my family: divorce and broken families, and God’s enduring faithfulness. I will break free from one, and cling to the other.

Jesus says to the Pharisees “look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say ‘blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord'” (Matthew 23:38-39). The fourth commandment reminds us that God is a jealous God and that he punishes “the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” (Deuteronomy 5:9b). This is almost too much to comprehend. It’s overwhelming to think that Sin has such an effect not only on my life but on the lives of so many others. And then there is anger and bitterness that my life is affected by the sins of my ancestors.

But the very next verse holds a great promise, one that my family has experienced personally for nearly 400 years. Deuteronomy 5:10 says that God, though he be a jealous one, shows “love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” My ancestor John Robinson was the pastor of the “Pilgrim Fathers,” and even though he sent his congregation to the New World in 1619, my family is still only 16 generations in to the thousand that God promised. Whew, how exciting! I feel the blessing of this promise, and the privilege to be a part of continuing that promise to future generations.

This evening at Fellowship Monrovia, Pastor Becky spoke about faith in action, citing Hebrews 11 as examples of people who lived their life in faith: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Sarah. The list could go on. These were not just people who lived faith in action, but they lived in the hope and promises of what God had yet to do. “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth,” (vs. 13). They all lived not for the promises on earth, but for the promises of God’s heavenly kingdom.

It is so easy, especially as a sinner in a fallen world, to remember the failures and forget the faithfulness. And this sinful, human flesh of mine wants to see promises delivered here on earth: the perfect job, the perfect husband, the perfect family, the perfect retirement plan (complete with a little bookshop in England with a flat above where my perfect husband and I can spend the last of our days, cozy in front of a fire, drinking tea, and reading to our hearts’ content). “Well done, good and faithful servant,” but I want my reward here on earth, too.

Becky challenged me tonight. I don’t serve Jesus for my reward here on earth. (That actually sounds gross, writing “reward.” I think I have claim to a reward??) Living for the heavenly kingdom means letting go of the earthly one. How, then, does my faith change? How does the way I hope for things change, if God’s promises to me extend beyond my earthly life? Is living for God’s promises truly enough?


There are things I need to stop; there are things I need to start. I feel I am on the cusp of a new season, and I am restless. After hearing from God today, I feel that restlessness turning into renewed hope and excitement. I long for a better a heavenly kingdom, one God has prepared for us.

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” – C.S. Lewis


Hallelujah Anyhow

On Sunday we joined the Be One team (a mix of missionaries from different churches/denominations) at The Rock for church. One of the Be One members, Joey Millard, preached on Acts 16:25-34 and how Paul and Silas worshipped God in spite of their circumstances. He talked about what it takes to turn our words from grumbling to praise and that it is a change of attitude. This is a choice we are free to make in every circumstance – grumble, or praise; moaning or praise; crying or praise.

He ended the sermon by recalling an old gospel song he loves (the irony, he said, is that he only listens to gospel music once a year and that’s at the annual gospel festival which just happened on Saturday), “Hallelujah Anyhow.”

No matter what comes my way,

I’ll lift my voice and say,

hallelujah anyhow.

Oh, yes Lord, me, too. Though I am sore from sleeping on the floor and am perpetually perspiring on account of the humidity and can never seem to get enough coffee, hallelujah anyhow. I only have wifi in the evenings back at the house and the shower is too short (though maybe I am too tall – I have to duck everywhere!) and I have not had sushi yet, but hallelujah anyhow.

Monday morning found us bright and early with a 40-minute drive to a nearby costal village. We joined up with another L.A. church (whose leader teaches at APU and whom I’ve met before – small world) and we were dropped off at different job sites around the village for a day of work alongside local farmers and fishermen.

My group’s task for the day was to shuck barnacles from lead weights used by the fishermen to keep their nets taut and in one place in the water. Little by little, we learned about the fisherman we were helping. He used to be the fire chief, and used to have workers who would help him with his scallops business. We also learned that this little garage-sized hut that housed the “factory” we’d been working at all day stands on the site where his house used to stand.

Hallelujah anyhow.

Everyone here remembers where they were on March 11, 2011. We have yet to meet someone who can talk about it without tearing up and getting lost in vivid memories. Some have not yet been able to clean up and repair the damage to their homes. We have been told many times by both the missionaries here and by the locals that lots of people helped immediately after the tsunami, but that it is the Christians who keep coming.

Culturally, the Japanese people are very polite, kind, and reserved. It takes relationships to win them over, not just gifts or acts of service – it takes time. The missionaries here emphasize and prioritize relationships over any task or chore we may do while we are here. Prayers are full of pleading for soft hearts, wisdom for discernment, and time to spend with the people of Ishinomaki. Servant leadership is on full display here with the Be One group, and they give most freely of their time.

Hallelujah anyhow.

Selfishly, this is why I do short-term missions – perspective. My “hallelujah anyhow” is a lot different from Paul’s. It is a lot different from the Be One group and the Christians here in Ishinomaki. But my “hallelujah anyhow” has value, too, when used wisely. Go ahead and roll your eyes at me for the things I mentioned above – I certainly did as I wrote them. Yes, they are “hallelujah anyhow” moments for me, but honestly? I know better than that. 

But there are seasons in life when it seems too hard to do anything but put one foot in front of the other, times when I worry if God has forgotten about me, times when I feel like I am on my own. We all have unknown battles we are fighting, and it is in these battles that we cry out “hallelujah anyhow.” There is a lot of pain and fear in these cries, but cry out I must. My battles are not insignificant compared to the battles of Ishinomaki; my battles are different. And I thank God with all my heart that He is bigger than everything. Just as he provides and cares for the birds (see? they’re everywhere!), so he provides for me, the Be One team, and the people of Ishinomaki.

Hallelujah anyhow.

Hallelujah anyhow.

Japan – thoughts after just 14 hours here.

It is a strange thing to be in another country where they do not speak English and they also do not speak Spanish. I found myself trying to default to Spanish upon hearing a language that was not English and that I did not understand. “Gracias” does not mean “thank you” in Japan; “arrigato” means “thank you” in Japan. Spanish is my comfort zone, my security blanket, for when I am hearing unfamiliar language, and here it does me no good. There is still unspoken language, however, and that has served me well. My eyes wide open, accompanied by a big grin, and constant bowing seem to get across how grateful I am for all the assistance I have received.

Tokyo itself, what I’ve seen of it in the past 12 hours so far, is for the most part exactly what one would expect. My expectations are a little off, but this is most likely due to my recent viewing of “The Last Samauri.” (Japan, as it turns out, is not still in the late 1800s.) There are lots of people, but polite people. Busy people. Lots going on here in Tokyo, even at 9:30pm. The weather is humid, but it is not too hot yet so the humidity is bearable in shorts and a tank top. I literally forgot to bring pants on this trip, but think I will manage just fine with only shorts and one skirt. Lots of bright lights, smells of savory food, and sounds of busy traffic. I will be ending my trip with two days of sightseeing in Tokyo, so I will have lots more to share in a week.

Figuring out the trains – where to buy tickets, how to buy tickets, which platform to wait on – is tricky. Most of the signs also have English on them, but not all. And did I mention the busy people? They are patient when you get in their way, but barely. We had been told that Americans are given quite a lot of grace here in Japan, and I have definitely seen that. Whenever I travel, I try to not be the stereotypical “dumb American.” I try to be respectful of local customs, traditions, behaviors, etc., participating in the culture here and trying new foods and drinks (instead of sticking to McDonalds and Starbucks, both of which are right outside the train station), and I like to think that generally I succeed. Even so, there is not a lot I can do to hide my blue eyes, blonde hair, and freckles.

I definitely would have been overwhelmed coming here on my own for the first time. But now, even after less than a day here, I know I would be fine to navigate around on my own.

I have often said that my experience living abroad opened my heart and soul to foreign experiences, that it keeps wanderlust close to the surface, and that it has made me ready for whatever adventure God has next in store for me. This current adventure has been an exciting one so far, and I look forward to the days ahead!

Keep praying for me, the team, and the missionaries we are partnering with here. Everyone is in good health and good spirits so far, but I suspect jet lag has yet to catch up to us…

Stay tuned!

Past and Future

A friend of mine (who is a great writer – check out his blog here!) asked me the other day when was the last time I blogged. I was shocked to discover how long it’s been. It’s been over a year since my last blog post. I’m going to go ahead and blame grad school for that (more on that in a bit).

I started a blog post on October 22, 2014 (which would’ve been 6 months after the previous post and 9 months before this one), but never published it. That entry was to be about a new hero of mine – Sir Nicholas Winton. Apt timing, I suppose, for me to find this draft, as he just passed away on July 1 at the age of 106. Winton organized the rescue of 669 children during World War II, most of them Jewish, and he never told anyone of his involvement. He didn’t even tell his wife, so she (and the world) only learned of his actions when she stumbled across an old scrapbook of his in 1988 – over 40 years after the end of the war. For a brief video of an incredible reunion with Winton and some of the children he rescued, check out this video from the BBC.

The last non-Instragram entry on my blog was written on April 30, 2014. It was about birds, and how I see God’s faithfulness and care in birds. It’s one of my favorite posts (that feels weird to write), mostly because I need that reminder every day. If God cares that much for birds, to provide for their every want and need, how much more does he care and provide for me?

So what have I been up to since April 30th, 2014? A lot, as my many Instagram posts have illustrated. But here are some highlights:

  • Grad school. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! I’m on track to graduate in December, with only a summer course and my thesis left to complete. It has been an incredible experience for me and I am so blessed to have met the people I have through this program. There are the ones who have moved away (I’m looking at you, Dr. Visser!), the ones who have graduated, the ones who have partnered with me in many classes… Every book, paper, project, presentation, discussion, and field trip has been worth every dollar, tear, and minute. What I’m going to do after graduation, I have no idea. But I’m excited!
  • My home. In July 2013 I moved from a condo in Glendale, CA to a house in Temple City, CA. My house mate/landlord was a good friend of mine I knew from church and the two of us lived with 3 other women in a 5-bedroom, 3.5 bathroom house. After a year living at the Jaylee house, my introvert soul decided it was time to find a quieter place to live. And so, in April this year I moved into a condo in Monrovia, CA. I’ve noticed a trend in my abodes since I first moved to Los Angeles back in 2007(!). I keep moving further and further east. It makes sense, I guess, especially since I work for Azusa Pacific University in an office in San Dimas – of course I’d be moving closer to work. I’m getting a little too close to the San Bernardino County border though…San Bernardino
  • New car. In November I finally said goodbye to my 20-year-old Honda Accord and got a new Buick Encore with the help of some friends at Thorson Buick. I’ve never had a new car before and I’m still kinda overwhelmed with all the bells and whistles. I mean, it has air conditioning, speakers that work, all its mirrors, and a sunroof! Most importantly, I feel safe in my car.
  • New job. In March of last year I transitioned from my program representative role to a position in the Registrar’s office doing transfer evaluations at University College at Azusa Pacific University (yes, it’s a mouthful). In November 2014, an opportunity came up and I was encouraged by many to apply for the position of Enrollment Supervisor at University College. I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave the position I was in, especially after only having been there for 8 months, but one of my co-workers reminded me that I was studying for a master of arts in leadership and here I was being given an opportunity to lead. I had to do it. It’s been 8 months and I’m still standing. Lots of life lessons learned, and I’ve even learned a little bit more about enrollment. So, anyone interested in starting classes in the fall? I know a place…
  • Adventures! Last summer I took my first vacation in years and spent 5 days in Seattle visiting old friends from college and my cousins. I’d been to the city once before, but over 15 years ago, so it felt like I was visiting for the very first time. I loved it. So much, in fact, that I can see myself living there someday. And it was so great to reconnect with the Achesons and their boys, and to spend time with my cousins. I also have had the opportunity to go to Mexico with my church twice this past year. The last time I’d gone to Mexico was before 9/11, when my friends and I would park at the border, walk across, and spend the day there with nothing more on us than $20 and our drivers licenses. I’d nearly forgotten how much I love Mexico and speaking Spanish. My Andalusian accent came back quickly, and we laughed at the different idioms and slang.

What’s coming up for me in the next year?

  • Japan! I leave for Japan on Thursday and will be gone for two weeks on a mission trip with my church. I am excited to cross off a bucket list item (to visit every continent; this trip brings my number to 3) and to see where the missionaries from my church live and work.
  • Homecoming! This year is my 10-year reunion at PLNU. Can’t believe it’s been 10 years already since I graduated. I am really looking forward to being back on campus and seeing old friends again.
  • Graduation! I’ll be graduating in December from Azusa Pacific University with a Master of Arts in Leadership. I’m gonna be a leader!
  • Free time! Once I graduate, I’ll have time to read for fun again! I cheated along the way, mostly to read Game of Thrones, but always in the back of my head there is this thought of “You should really be doing homework instead…”
  • More blogs! Going along with the previous, once I graduate I’ll have more time (and motivation) to write for fun.
  • Maybe I’ll get a cat.

That’s it! That’s the news from the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in my little town of Monrovia. I’m excited for what this next year holds in store for me and I’m ready for the adventure.

Sorry it took so long.


Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about birds.

According to local legend, many parrots were released during a 1958 fire which destroyed Simpson’s Gardenland and Bird Farm in Pasadena. The most common breed of parrot still living in Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley is the Red-Crowned Amazon.

So I get to see and hear these beauties every morning:

Red-Crowned Amazons (Photo credit: Salvatore Angius)

Red-Crowned Amazons (Photo credit: Salvatore Angius)

I grew to love them when I first moved to the San Gabriel Valley back in July 2013 (I’m an early riser, so their morning chatter never woke me), and I actively missed them when they migrated south to Mexico for the winter.

But they’re back now, and I look forward to hearing and seeing them every morning.

And then last week writer/comedian Jon Acuff reposted something he wrote last year about birds. You can read the original blog post here, but the part that still lingers with me is this:

“In Matthew 6:26, Jesus tells us to look at the birds of the air. He intones that “they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Have you ever thought about how common birds are?

You can find them on every continent. In fact, scientists estimate there are 200 to 400 billion birds on the planet.

Have you ever thought about the kindness of Jesus, using birds as his example?

He could have picked any rare animal in the world, but he didn’t. Instead, he picks one that blankets the planet. One you’d find in Antarctica or hundreds of miles out to sea. One you’ll see in the city or the suburbs, the desert or the jungle.

He picked one that’s everywhere.


Because that’s where God’s love for you is too.

Look at the birds.”

So this morning, when the birds and I were waking up at 5:45, I was reminded of Jesus’ analogy and of the abundance of God’s love for me.

And that has made all the difference.

Instead of being cranky because it’s only Wednesday, I need to go grocery shopping, I’ve lots of never-ending homework to do, and the birds won’t let me snooze, I woke up feeling like Cinderella from the 1950 Disney animated film.

Cinderella and her birds.

The next time you’re annoyed or bothered by birds (or as my friend Vanessa calls them, “mocking, slumber-stealing beasts”), remember that Jesus used them to remind us of God’s love for us.

It’s everywhere.

Reflections: On “The Lion King,” and Nelson Mandela

Yesterday, December 5, 2013, was a big day.

As I was running around yesterday doing errands and getting my hair cut and highlighted, I read the news that former South African president Nelson Mandela had passed away. 

I must admit that my knowledge of Mandela and his story in South Africa is pretty limited. I vaguely remember hearing as a child when he was released from prison (I was just seven years old at the time), but all I knew was that he’d been in jail for a really long time. I don’t remember hearing about what happened after that, though. It probably wasn’t until high school that he came onto my radar as the leader who led South Africa through ending apartheid.

And that is still pretty much all I know about Mandela. After his term in office ended (just four years!), he continued his works of activism and philanthropy, eventually “retiring from retirement” in 2004 due to his health problems.

Clint Eastwood directed and produced the film Invictus (2009), which chronicles Mandela in his first term as the South African President and how he initiated a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

I’d not seen the film until just two weeks ago when we watched it one night in my grad school class (yep, back in school!). Now I get it, a little bit, the impact Mandela has on his country. So when I read the news that Mandela had passed away, I felt the heaviness and grief of not just South Africa, but the whole world.


Fast forward through a hectic drive to Hollywood and an intimate meal with an old friend to 7:30pm which found me in literally THE most perfect seat in which to see Disney’s “The Lion King” on stage at the Pantages Theatre. With me were the aforementioned old friend (Nick), as well as my cousin and his wife (Nate and Sara).

My cousins had seen the show before, but eleven years ago. For me and Nick, it was our first time seeing The Lion King on stage. (Random note: my cousin Nate has never seen the Disney cartoon “The Lion King.” I suspect his children will change this within the next few years.)

The show was truly fantastic.



That opening note (you know the one) sent me into a wave of goosebumps, and the goosebumps remained throughout the rest of the song. It’s an overwhelming number, with emotions running the gamut, a spectrum of colors everywhere, a pulse-pounding score, and amazing puppetry.

And that’s pretty much how the rest of the show went.

A friend of mine is in the touring cast, so that made seeing the show extra special. He is a member of the ensemble as well as the understudy for Banzai the Hyena. We messaged briefly during intermission, and when I told him I’d already teared up three times and was basically a mess of goosebumps the whole first act, he replied that that means the production is doing their job!

When the show ended, the cast stayed onstage and did a brief call for donations to benefit local charities in Los Angeles and Broadway Cares, which was neat, especially going into the holiday season.

Then the cast asked us all to stand with them while cast members from South Africa shared a brief farewell and sang the South African national anthem in honor of their beloved Madiba, Nelson Mandela. I felt honored to join them in celebrating Mandela and sending him off to rest in well-deserved peace.

I am grateful for this quiet morning I’ve had to reflect and write about what happened yesterday. It was a wonderful way to kick off my birthday celebrations, and a fitting way to honor a great man.

I will leave you with this: go see the show if it’s ever at a theatre close to you and be prepared to experience a beloved story in a new and fresh way, and be inspired and motivated by Mandela and the life he lived.

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.” – Rafiki

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” – Mandela


A Year Ago Today

A year ago today was my first day of work at Azusa Pacific Online University.

Wow, time flies. I’ve also moved, started grad school, and visited Disneyland, so it’s been a pretty good year for Emily!

I’ve been learning a lot, professionally and personally, and I am excited for the future and the opportunities ahead of me.

Here’s to many more years, APOU!

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It’s Back To School I Go…

By the time September rolls around, summer is (mostly) over and everyone is going back to school.

This year, I thought I’d join the crowd.

Yep, today is my first day of grad school! It’s been a few years (8) since I’ve been in school, so I’m a little nervous about doing homework again.

But I’m also really excited to be starting a new chapter in my life. Really really excited – I was up until sometime after 1am this morning, too excited to sleep.

I am studying for a masters in leadership at Azusa Pacific University. I’ve already met my professors and fellow students, and tonight is our first class meeting.

So from here on out, I will be accepting prayers, letters, care packages, food, Cougarbucks (APU currency, usable at on-campus stores), etc…

Woo hoo!

photo (37)

All ready to go!

Becoming a Dodgers Fan: A Father’s Sacrifice

In what feels like the beginning of a modern-day prodigal son (or in my case, daughter) story, my father has given me his blessing to be a Dodgers fan.

He left a voicemail for me the other day, and it’s just too good not to share.

Note: He starts the voicemail speaking in a low, melancholy tone.

Hi, Emily! Can’t take my call? This is Dad calling. Calling ’cause I’m worried about you, and I’m also worried about some news on Facebook. There was one that was very disturbing to me. It, ah, seems like you’re becoming a Dodgers fan. It’s… It’s pretty evident to me. So, I want you to know, I let you go. I will let you be a Dodgers fan. You’ve been living in L.A. for a while and you probably should embrace the local team. Like I did when I moved to San Diego!  I grew up a Dodger fan, as you know. But then I moved to San Diego. You grew up a Padres fan, and you moved to L.A. It’s okay. (big sigh) I’ll get over it.

If that’s not a father’s love, then I don’t know what is.

** I would like to clear up for the record that I’ve not yet traded the last-place Padres for the first-place Dodgers. Tonight, in fact, I’m going to the Angels game (my roommate is from Texas). I left a follow-up voicemail for my dad telling him that at no matter who is playing, deep down at the root of it all, he instilled in me a simple love of the game.

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres

America’s Favorite Pastime


This is a real text I sent to my cousin Nate this morning:

“You know how Up-Goer 5 only uses the most common words of English? Well, you should code a thingy to only use words that were lines of dialogue in Friends.”

I followed that text with this:

“I feel that then Sara and I would really be at a peak efficiency in communication.”

I suppose you’ll need some context.

Nate is my cousin, a computer genius extraordinaire who works with Media Temple. Sara, his wife, is my best friend.

Sara and I often (always) quote the still-popular WB tv show “Friends” to each other. We quote it for joke punchlines, to breakup a monotonous meeting, or just to let each other know which episode we’re watching. We’ve even been known to start telling a story about our friends, only to realize we aren’t actually friends with Joey, Monica, Chandler, Rachel, Ross and Phoebe.

So my thought this morning was that if my brilliant cousin could design a simple program like the Up Goer Five translator (more on that in a second), then it would be even easier for Sara and I to speak only Friends. You know, without having to think too much.

SIDE NOTE: I am at Nate and Sara’s home right now and the three of us are watching – yep, you guessed it – Friends. Which means that this post is taking about two-to-three episodes longer to write than normal.

Now to the Up Goer Five…

There’s this clever little comic called “xkcd,” and a while ago the Up Goer Five was posted online. Take the time to check out Randall’s site (hi, Randall!) and peruse his comics. I don’t always get them, in the intellectual sense, but when I do I’m always lol-ing.

According to the xkcd wiki (check out ALL the info here)

Most of the jargon used in rocket science is not among the most commonly used words in everyday life. This comic is a commentary on the absurdity of boiling down technical explanations for lay people, with Randall challenging himself to “translate” the blueprints using only the one thousand most commonly-used words in the English language.

So how cool would it be to have a text editor that speaks only Friends?

Come on, Internet, please?

In the meantime, I will just have to keep playing with The Up-Goer Five Text Editor.

This end should point toward the ground if you want to go to space. If it starts pointing toward space you are having a bad problem and you will not go to space today.



I am addicted to Pinterest and Candy Crush.

That’s the first step, right, admitting the addictions? Good, so I’m on the road to recovery/beating all the levels.


I tried Pinterest a few years ago and just didn’t get it. I was overwhelmed, easily distracted, and just didn’t know what to do with all of my pins. (You can follow my boards, by the way, if you want to know what kind of look I’m going for with my bedroom or where I want to travel to.) I didn’t get what you DO with all those pins. It felt weirdly like trolling, spying on what other people were doing (or saying they were doing).

What finally clicked was when I realized what Pinterest can be for me. I think that’s the trick, personalizing Pinterest and making it work for you.

I, being a little obsessed with learning and reading and gathering information, am always emailing links to myself. Links to recipes, inspiring quotes and articles, places to go, ways to decorate, etc. And then I all I end up with is tons of emails with nothing but links to visit. No pictures, no mini description, just a link.

With Pinterest, I just “pin” the page to the corresponding “board,” and I’m all set! When pinning a link, you choose an image from that page and write a little description. Voila! Done. No more emails.

I am also really inspired by Pinterest and have actually done some of the things I’ve pinned for later perusal. Why, just this morning I cooked my bacon in my waffle iron, which was a GENIUS idea I found on Pinterest. Seriously, try it, you’ll never go back. And having recently moved into a house, I am currently trolling (yes, it still feels like trolling) Pinterest for ideas on how to decorate and to do it inexpensively. And I’ve found so many great ideas! Pinterest is great for providing the cream of the crop. It’s a lot more focused than just a random Google search for decorating ideas, and most of the ideas pinned on Pinterest have been tried by someone. Most pinners even add their own ideas or advice.

So now that I’ve finally managed to wrap my head around Pinterest and what it can do for me, I’m obsessed. I have the app on my phone, I check it at work and at home, and it literally keeps up at night when I want to find just one more idea for a rustic bohemian bedroom.


Where to even begin?

It’s the kind of game that I usually don’t have patience for. Some levels require planning and strategy, persistence and care, and (to quote Sweet Brown) “ain’t nobody got time for that!”

This game is a variation of match-three games such as Bejeweled. Each level has a game board filled with differently colored candies, and might contain obstacles. The basic move of this game is horizontally or vertically swapping the positions of two adjacent candies, to create sets of three (or more) candies of the same color. (says Wikipedia)

What they DON’T tell you is how it gets under your skin. I pretty much always want to play Candy Crush. I just played a game right now, in fact (didn’t beat the level though, so I showed remarkable restraint and didn’t try again). I think part of the draw for me is the colorful graphics. It’s so pretty! Especially when you do a whopper of a move and all sorts of matches line up and disappear off your board.

A couple of my co-workers are also Candy Crushers, so we often sympathize with and encourage each other. And at least a couple of times a day, sighs and hisses of exasperation can be heard from cubicles around the office. A beaten Candy Crush levels is cause for true celebration, complete with genuine slow claps and admiring words. It’s one more thing we bond over, and it strengthens us as a team.

Candy Crush also fosters community, at least if you’re logged in through Facebook. You can send (for free) lives and extra moves to your friends, give them tickets to pass through to the next round of levels. And that’s part of the thing about being addicted to Candy Crush is that you become an enabler, too. I always enable my friends, sending them more lives, moves, and tickets. “Can’t stop, won’t stop” seems to be my motto with Candy Crush.


Of these two addictions, I’m most concerned about my Candy Crush addiction. So far I’ve refused to spend any actual money on this game (you can purchase extra lives, special candies, etc), but if I stay stuck on this level (165 of ??) much longer, I may cave in.


What about you? Do you have any addictions that you’re just not ready to quit?

An Ode to BluBlockers

I love my BluBlockers, and I want to share with you the story of how they changed my life.

Back story:

From June of 2007 until the end of October 2012, I was a studio tour guide at Warner Bros. Studios. Most of the time, I loved my job. I made some great friends, met a lot of fascinating people, and got to see and experience movie magic on a daily basis. Part of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour is a brief stop at the studio museum. Featuring props and costumes from the beginnings of Warner Bros. through movies that have yet to hit theaters, the museum is always a highlight for visitors and employees alike.

About a year and a half ago, museum curators brought in costumes and props from the wildly successful comedy film The Hangover. I was probably the last person to jump on the bandwagon for this film, but jump I did. I love it. It’s hilarious, fun, and over-the-top just the right amount. (Side note: don’t waste your time with The Hangover II – it was terrible. I have modest hopes for the third and

final Hangover film, due out this summer. We’ll see.) I own the film, have a movie poster from the film, and have been in a very real inner debate about whether or not to purchase and wear this shirt.

Three tours a day took me to the museum three times a day, so I spent a lot of time checking out all the exhibits. I’ve read every placard, examined every button, and learned many secrets. And every single time I walked into the museum and saw that baby doll wearing Alan’s BluBlockers, the same thought popped into my head without fail – that baby looks so darn cool!The Hangover exhibit is modest, including one full costume for each of the three main characters (Alan, Stu, and Phil). A giant stuffed tiger that served as the stand-in for the real tiger and photos from Stu’s Vegas wedding round out the exhibit. But on the mannequin modeling Alan’s clothes there is also a baby carrier with a baby doll, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the actual baby who played Carlos, and that baby doll is wearing Alan’s BluBlockers.

And that’s why I bought my BluBlockers. I wanted to be as cool as that synthetic baby in the Warner Bros. Studios museum.

Ordering my BluBlockers:

A simple Google search directed me to the official BluBlockers website. The website, as you should see for yourself, is simple and smooth, easy to navigate, and even confirms that it was their product that was used in the film.

I ordered a pair of the demi-tortoise original aviator BluBlockers 2681K. Easy-peasy, standard ground shipping, arrival in two weeks.

In the meantime:

While waiting for my BluBlockers to arrive (and for me to finally be as cool as Carlos), I explored their site and read first about the history of the brand.

The origin of the BluBlocker Sunglasses started with NASA, y’all! Apparently the UV rays are much stronger in space, so “a California sunglass manufacturer designed a pair that not only blocked UV rays but blue rays as well. By blocking blue rays, objects would appear sharper and clearer since blue light did not focus on the retina which is the focusing screen of your eye.”

And according to WiseGeek.com, “the blu blocker lens has been around for decades. Its popularity continues to grow due to the extreme eye coverage these lenses offer. Those with highly sensitive eyes often find that blu blockers are the only type of lenses they can wear when in the sun or glaring conditions, such as on the slopes skiing or when snowmobiling. Blu blockers are a year-round eye choice.”

Highly sensitive eyes like my baby blues? Awesome.

Then I read a little bit about the technology and design of the sunglasses:

  • The lenses are scratch resistant and shatterproof.
  • The frames are made out of a flexible memory-retention nylon material, and can be stretched but will always return to their original shape.

In conclusion: “BluBlocker Corporation has sold over 20 million pair of sunglasses worldwide and has been turning out the most advanced sunglasses—all at a reasonable price. In short, you can’t buy a better pair of sunglasses at any price.”

I completely agree.

My BluBlockers:

A few weeks after placing the order, my BluBlockers arrived. Prior to this pair of perfect sunglasses, my sunglasses were whatever I could find in the lost and found at work. Sometimes this worked out well (hello, Ray Bans!), but most of the time they were cheap glasses that scratched and broke easily. But hey, free is free, right?

This pair, however, I treasured. To this day, nearly a year later, I still store them in a case.

And they’re perfect. I don’t squint at all anymore (even at midday), and I see things clearer, especially while driving. I make my friends try them on (but only for a minute or so – my baby blues, remember?), after which they declare that they, too, NEED BluBlockers.

Yes, it’s a need. Now onto the secret bonus (and true purpose) of BluBlockers.

Happy heart:

I wear my BluBlockers all the time unless it’s nighttime. This means that I wear my BluBlockers on cloudy days, too. I still squint on cloudy days because the sun is still out, as are the blue rays and UV rays.

But when I’m wearing my BluBlockers, even if it’s cloudy and overcast and dreary for everyone else, for me, it’s warm and sunny.

I’ve done an informal study and have observed that on cloudy overcast days, people’s moods and attitudes reflect the weather. Much like Eeyore, they become gloomy and melancholy.

But put the magical BluBlockers on and go for a brisk walk around the block, and the fresh air and yellow-tinted views will perk you up in no time.

See? The BluBlockers block the physical blues and the emotional blues.

In conclusion:

That’s why I love BluBlockers.


I’m a trendsetter.

Well, my roommate is. But I’m her enabler, and I’m officially spreading the word, so I’m the real trendsetter.

Living room karaoke.

Think about it. Why go to a bar, pay to sing in front of strangers (and your friends, if they’re with you), and not even get to sing your favorite song? Instead, do it in the comfort of your own home (sweatpants and tank tops are highly recommended), choose from an endless selection of songs, and belt your heart out.

And no microphone needed.

I figure most of us living in a first-world country have at least some way of connecting their tv to the internet. My roommates and I have our Blu-Ray player hooked up, and it’s through that little machine that all the magic happens.

If your Blu-Ray player, Wii or PS3 consoles have access to the internet, then they have access to YouTube.

YouTube! Just a simple search of “karaoke” and then the name of your favorite musical turns up dozens of song choices. Pick your favorite song, turn up the volume, and you’re all set!

I’m sure our neighbors are enjoying our new-found hobby, too.

Living room karaoke – try it tonight!


I haven’t written anything in a very long time. I apologise.

I’ve been inspired to post a few times but

All I really want to say right now is that peanut butter is the best food EVER, the only thing that makes it better is chocolate, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a great meal because sometimes life is just that simple.

I’ll write again soon, I promise.

Sir Duke

Yeah, this happened.

A dear friend of mine works at Clear Channel Radio (which is housed in the building right across the street from where I work) and she often has access to really cool perks.

A couple of months ago she got us tickets to go see Tina Fey and Steve Martin at the Nokia Live theater downtown (which was just as amazing and funny as you think it was). So, thinking that her company probably has tickets often to events at the Nokia, I emailed her two weeks ago about getting tickets to see Stevie Wonder perform at “Stevie Wonder’s 16th Annual Full House of Toy Benefit Concert ft. Drake.” You know, if she happened to hear of any tickets lying around.

“Oh Stevie!! He’s so amazing!!” she replied.

Two hours later, I got another email from her.

“Guess who is going to be in studio doing a private performance next Wednesday 11/30 at 8:30am?? Guess who got herself +1 on the list.  Oh snap!  Be my +1!  You’ll be seeing Stevie Wonder in a private in studio performance (less than 40 people) up close!  Way better than a big show!

You have to get off work and come over here Wednesday 11/30 at 8:15am!   Can you come??”

Um, heck yes!

It ended up being a small crowd of about 25 people, a lot of them employees of Clear Channel. I love it when employees, people who see the magic happen every day, are just as jazzed as regular Joes. It’s how you know something truly special is happening.

To kick off the show, Stevie asked us what he should open with. People called out song titles, someone suggested “Isn’t She Lovely.” “No, we can’t start with that one,” Stevie exclaimed. We all laughed. There was a lull in the conversation, so I called out the name of my favorite song “Sir Duke.”

“Yeah. Now that’s a song we can start with. Let’s play ‘Sir Duke,'” he said to his band. And then they played this song: Sir Duke.

Some other highlights from the morning:

  • When introducing his bandmates, Stevie forgot about his percussion player. “Oh!” Stevie laughed, “I didn’t see him back there.” Get it? Stevie’s blind – of course he didn’t SEE him.
  • Stevie was tickling the keys the whole time, even while chatting with us. It was something he seemed to do without thinking. And, of course, he always sounded great.

What a great way to kick off this holidays season. Up next, Christmas Celebration at church and my golden birthday (29 years old on December 29th).

Merry Christmas, everyone!



Happy Thanksgiving

It’s not really a Thanksgiving story.

In fact, I can’t remember at all when it happened.

But it’s a family story, and family stories ought to be shared at Thanksgiving.

My family loves to play games. We all have our preferred games, games that usually line up with our strengths. My dad loves math games, my mom word games. I excel at speed games, and Cameron is a master strategist. (Side note: still, to this day, no one will play Monopoly with Cameron. He always wins. Don’t believe me? Challenge him to a game.) We have yet to find Carter’s preferred game genre, though if there were games where the snarkiest computer programmer would win, maybe that’d be it.

Before I get too much further into the story, here’s a brief introduction to my family.

Dad, patriarch. Mom, matriarch. Me (oldest, smartest, prettiest child), Cameron (turns 25 on Saturday!), and Carter (18.5 years old & much smarter than he lets on).

Like I said, brief.

So a few years ago (five, ten?), Dad, Mom, Carter and I were all playing Rummikub. Not my favorite game, especially since I have a hard time adding when I run out of fingers. We were mostly just killing time until Cameron brought over his new-ish girlfriend (Holly, probably).

I think we’d met her before, but this was the first time we were going to hang out with her. You know, casual family dinner, maybe a game or two, dessert.

Minutes before Cameron arrived with the girl, I had a flash of genius. Let’s all be completely silent when she arrived. Seriously, not a word, grunt, or exclamation. The consensus was immediate.

When Cameron arrived home, he called out a greeting.

We, in the dining room and completely out of sight, waved enthusiastic hellos back.

“Guys? We’re here.”

Holding back laughter, we wave harder.

Finally, Cameron and Holly see us in the dining room.

“What are you guys doing?”

We gesture theatrically at the game on the table.

“Why didn’t’ you say anything when we came in?”

The four of us just grinned like idiots. Then, ignoring, Cam and Holly, we proceeded with our game. Who’s turn was it? No one remembered. You can imagine the silent hilarity that ensued as we reenacted our last moves to discover who’s turn it was.

“I think they’re playing another game, too,” said Holly.

“Guys, knock it off,” Cam pleaded. Prior to his college years at Azusa Pacific University, our Cameron was very much like Cameron Frye from the film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Seriously, the kid was so uptight, “if you stuck a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks you’d have a diamond.”

He did not think our game of silent Rummikub was funny.

“You guys are so lame,” he whined.

Cam and Holly left us to our frivolity, and we finished out our game in silence. Good times.

I hope you all had a chance to spend some extra time with family or friends this Thanksgiving. I observed my tradition of decorating my home for Christmas while watching Christmas movies and I helped a friend get a live Christmas tree. I can’t believe it’s almost December and my 29th(!) birthday is just a few weeks away.

Happy Thanksgiving, and Merry Christmas!

Storage Wars

Last night when I got home from work, I opened the door to my apartment and my roommate jumped and sat up straight on the couch. I’d caught her redhanded.

I cautiously said hello, to which she just replied by widening her eyes, and stealing a furtive glance at the tv.

I followed her gaze.

Frozen on the screen was a shot from a tv show I recognized instantly: Storage Wars.

“You’re watching ‘Storage Wars’ without me???”

“It’s on Netflix,” she sheepishly replied.

We. Love. Storage Wars.

The premise of the show is (basically) this: when a storage unit defaults (mostly due to non payment), the storage facility then auctions off the rights to the unit. This allows them to clear the unit, as well as hopefully recover some of their lost payments. The bidders are (sometimes self-proclaimed) resale experts:  Barry the collector, Darrell the gambler, Dave the pro, and Jarrod & Brandi the newbies. They’ll bid on a unit virtually unseen (they can stand in the doorway and peruse for five minutes, but they can’t enter and no boxes can be opened or stuff moved around), and then the rest of the episode follows the four teams as they go through their unit, searching for hidden treasures.

It sounds simple, but it’s very addicting. And since the show films all over southern California, they’re visiting cities and towns that I know. And I can’t shake the feeling that I know or have met Darrell. He’s from San Diego (my gorgeous hometown), and he has that East County style.

Anyway, if you’re not watching yet, watch at least one episode and see if you don’t get hooked.

Like Dani says, it’s on Netflix.

Today I Found Out

There is a delightful little website I recently discovered called “Today I Found Out.”

Today, I found out how trick candles work. They’re really quite simple, really. Just a little extra mineral that’s highly flammable at low heat. No big deal.

I also found out how Albert Einstein got his wife to agree to a divorce: he promised her the prize money if he ever won the Nobel Peace Prize (he did, in 1921 – guess he thought he wouldn’t win).

So poke around, read some fun stuff, add the site to your Google Reader. You’ll learn something new every day!

Oh, and yesterday I found out that my dad is a real-life Sandlot kid. More on that soon…

Shark Week!

Things I learned from Shark Week:

1. Don’t live in Australia. Or South Africa. “Why does anyone ever go in the water??”

2. Don’t put your hand in a shark’s mouth. It will bite you.

3. Don’t kiss a shark on the mouth. It will bite you. “Idiot. Why would you kiss a shark?”

4. When the seals are getting out of the water, you probably should, too.

5. Even sharks want their fifteen minutes of fame, like the one that “evacuated its bowels” in front of the camera.

6. Don’t get between a whale and its dinner. It does not care that you are fragile.

7. Maybe it’s just the way the Discovery Channel programs their shows, but it seems like it’s mostly just men who are dumb enough to get in the water with the deadliest ocean predators. Seriously, why does anyone ever get in the water???


Until next summer, Shark Week. I’ll miss you.

And now I’m craving fresh tuna.

It’s been a while…

And for that, I apologize.

This post won’t do much to make it better. I’m a little busy watching the FIFA final game between USA and Japan.

But I ran across a few fun things I wanted to pass along.


Re: the final NASA shuttle flight that launched a few weeks ago. Moon perspective.

Re: being a good leader (going along with hiring good people and then getting out of their way). Be a leader, not a pusher.

Re: when happiness is not enough. Calvin and Hobbes.

With a little bit of love, and a little yeah yeah

Um, hello, February.  January, where’d ya go?

It’s crazy how busy I’ve been, how my priorities have shifted, how my heart’s been changed, and how good God is.

So it’s “with a little bit of love, and a little yeah yeah” that I take things just one day at a time.  It’s all I can do, and for now, that’s okay.

“Today was the day that I put everything in perspective.”


Sixty-nine years later, December 7th still continues to be a “date which will live in infamy.”

But this year, now that I’ve seen HBO’s “Band of Brothers” and am watching “The Pacific” this week, the impact of what happened at Pearl Harbor and its resonation throughout the world is hitting me a little bit harder. I wish I could say “thank you” enough to the men and women who have fought for this country.

Today, I especially wish I could thank all of those who served in World War II. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to be so cut off from every bit of life you knew before you left.  War is so different nowadays, fought with technology just as much as it is fought with bodies.

The method has changed, but the effect is just as devastating and lingering.

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”  — G.K. Chesterton


I just got back from an amazing weekend at the CA Young Adult Retreat. Wow. Mind-blowing, refreshing, perspective-changing, and a ton of fun.

I feel even more connected now to the community I love so much. I love my home and there’s no place I’d rather be.

And here’s something I’ve been thinking about lately: why are we more concerned with making truth than finding truth? Does this affect who we are? How can it not?

Oh What A Night

Yep, it’s exactly what it looks like.

Last night at Warner Bros., there was an employee screening of “The Goonies” at the SJR Theater. But it wasn’t just a screening. In addition to giving all employees a free copy of the 25th anniversary collector’s edition DVD, Warner Bros. gave us the cast!

Well, they loaned them to us. Director Richard Donner was there, as were Corey Feldman, Jeff Cohen, Jonathan Ke Quan, Robert Davi, Joe Pantoliano, Lupe Ontiveros, and the casting director for the movie, Mike Fenton. They were all there a few hours before the movie, doing press photos and interviews, and then they all went on a little scavenger hunt with contest winners (Feldman and Quan’s team won).

After we’d all filed into the 500-seat theater, the cast and crew did a little intro. Just during those few minutes of intro, we could see how much fun they had making the film.

Thanks, Warner Bros., for putting together such a fun night.

And to top it all of, my date for the evening, Kevin Davis, and I went to visit the awesome Mark Christopher Lawrence on the set of “Chuck.” We watched them film for a few minutes, then chatted with Mark, then poked around on the other two Chuck soundstages. I love being on the Warner Bros. lot after hours. 🙂

UPDATE: For more photos (and professional ones) from “The Goonies” screening, check out Broadway World’s link here.