Monday, January 28, 2008

Passion Regionals '08 - Los Angeles

A weekend of worship like none other I have ever experienced. The Passion Conferences came to the West Coast this year (and right in our backyard of LA), and I was privileged to go with 20+ college students from our church to the brand new Nokia Theater. It was a short program (Friday night to Saturday night), but I think it made a big impact on those who never went to Passion, which was about 95% of them. =)

Louie Giglio Francis Chan

Well raising Towels

A few highlights:
  • Worshiping with 4000+ college/young adults from all across the West Coast. Leaders included Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and David Crowder Band - all less than 10 feet away from me.

  • Valuable lessons from inspirational speakers Louie Giglio and Francis Chan
      • Our decisions ultimately draw attention to someone - would that be us or God?
      • Not even God would waste time on those who refuse to follow Him (even though we do). That's why in speaking parables, Jesus is reaching the "good soil" - those people who really want to understand who God is. (Luke 8:4)
      • The Holy Spirit is IN us (John 14) - such a promise helps us to naturally please God!
      • Possibly the most glorifying moment for God is when we are suffering the most in our lives. When all things seem hopeless and the bottom falls out - yet we still go against everything sensible and say...."Praise God!" =)

  • Joining with others to write the story of God by together raising:
      • $54,000 to build 18 wells for African villages who don't have access to water
      • Giving 2,260 towels and 10,500 pairs of socks to LA shelters, AND
      • $42,707 to extend this God-filled weekend experience to Jakarta, Indonesia for 1.5 million university students.
      • In Mr. Giglio's words, "all this from less than 4000 'poor' college students". Amazing what God can do, yes? =P

CEFC bunch Cross
Behind the stage UCLA bunch

"Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts." ~ Isaiah 26:8

Front Line
Photo courtesy of Passion Conferences =)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pick & Choose

Currently Watching
No Country for Old Men
By Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald
see related

I want to say that this movie was really good. A well-rounded cast (Javier Bardem stole the show with his chilling performance) along with sharp direction and great production values put this on top of my list for 2007. Now I have to rent "Fargo", "O' Brother, Where Art Thou?" and some other Coen Brothers' films.

Lately, I've realized how far I've come in choosing what movies to watch in the theaters and which ones to save for home viewing. Whenever a TV spot came on that had my acting idol or some cool action scenes explode on the small screen, I used to jump on it and make plans to go see it with a friend or two. It was as simple as that.

Nowadays, I feel the need to research a bit before heading out to the silver screen (come on, matinee / student discounts point to $9.50??). If I hear really good things about the film (specifically about story and acting) or if it's something fun to watch with lots of friends (i.e. "300", "Transformers"), then you can bet on me saving a seat for you before the lights dim. Otherwise, it's a good chance that seat will be in my living room in front of an HDTV - with lots of free snacks.

Don't get me wrong - I still love the movie cinema and that will always be one of my favorite hobbies. Just a little change in location & venue can do wonders for enjoying the experience. =)

Everything in its right time and place.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Tribute to a prophet

Going through this long weekend, I found it surprisingly difficult to appreciate MLK beyond what I was taught in school and what he accomplished 40 years ago. Then I found this quote from a friend's blog that helped me see this extraordinary man in a new light.

"Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lord, help me to dream.
Lord, help me to see.
Lord, help me to follow your will.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

AOW Retreat

Last weekend, all 12 AOW cast members, along with Marvin and his family, took a retreat up to Big Bear for a nice getaway from the city and life in general. We initially planned out so many tasks to be done for our upcoming season, but God was gracious enough for this to be an actual time of rest, worship, prayer, and just to be. Needless to say, it was a fun and splendid experience.

Highlights of the fun weekend:

  • Hanging out together and playing improvisation games to loosen our

  • Snowball fights all around on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

  • Drafting together an AOW introduction or "preamble" we would do together as a group when we go on the road to other churches.

  • Team sketching on challenging sermon topics to flush out ideas for future skits.

God is good. =)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Goodbye 2007, Hello 2008

What a year 2007 was....


A definite improvement over 2006, and I think a good part of that was having more of what I love in my life: God and His people everywhere I go. Thank you all (whether you are in the pictures or not) for being my blessings and making 2007 one to remember for a long time. =)

With that, here is to the new year of 2008 and all the great things God has in store for us.

The Boys (B&W)

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17