Archive | April 2005

Prayer would be appreciated…


Here’s the dealio:

Just recently, I got switched to doing Internet & Mail Order parts sales in my dealership’s parts department.  Doing it is all right for the most part, but there are days when it wears on me and I get frustrated with things that go wrong such as customers cancelling an order for parts or discovering an order was shipped incomplete or a part on the order wasn’t order the day it was supposed to be–things out of my control.  When things out of my control go wrong, the occasion is usually a sobering reminder that even though they’re out of my control they are still in God’s control and that I need to depend on Him for everything.

 

Here’s where things get interesting:

Two weeks ago, I was approached by a manager in my service department who let me know that I should consider throwing my hat into the ring (my way of saying “applying”) for a warranty administrator opening they had.  It totally caught me off guard.  She remembered that I had shared with her in an e-mail that I wasn’t really happy with what I was doing in the parts department.  We started talking a little bit more and at the end of last week, I decided to apply for the position.  I interviewed with our Human Resources director on Monday morning and have an interview with our service department’s senior manager and assistant manager this morning at 10:00 AM.  The HR director made it sound like my probability of getting the job are far from a sure thing whereas others (our operations manager, my parts department senior manager) are saying they are putting a good word in for me.

 

“Brain-racker” #1: If I switch over to the service department, I would probably be taking myself off any sort of path that I was “destined” for in the parts department to become an assistant manager or something like that.  That was what my parts manager had hinted at for a while.  It isn’t too clear to me what advancement opportunities would exist for me in the service department.  However, I honestly think I would probably be happier working there.

 

The “wrinkle”:

I received a letter from the City of Los Angeles three weeks ago regarding a systems analyst position in their retirement department.  They said they wanted me to report in by the 15th of April (which I did) and from there, they would schedule another interview with me (which still has yet to happen…I even called my contact lady after I had “reported” and she never returned my call).  I originally interviewed with them in 2003 a few months after I had graduated from college.  It totally surprised me to receive this letter from them.  If I were to be a systems analyst for the city, I would have the opportunity to apply some of the things I learned in school (I was a business major with an emphasis in information systems).  Since it’s been so long though, I’ve lost most of my desire to do anything information systems/information technology related.  The fact that I’m around cars all the time may have had a lot to do with that.  During my breaks, I really enjoying hanging out with some of the technicians/mechanics while they’re working and watching what they’re doing or taking the time to “appreciate” (drool over…not literally of course) some of the cars in the parking lot or the cars that are being serviced at the time.  Regarding the position with the city, I’m not going to wait around for anything to happen because they just move so slow.

 

My “hope”:

My “plan” right now (again, who am I to know if this truly is on the same page as God’s plan for my life or not) is to get out of debt and pursue His true call for my life.  Again, it’s not crystal clear to me what that would be.  There are days when I think it’d be awesome to get into full-time ministry such as becoming a pastor.  And then there are days when I think it’d be okay for me to be an average Joe with a job (and hopefully a family that loves God) just trying to live for Him.  The biggest (and scariest!) challenge for me would be for God to call me to missions in a foreign land.  I am so (maybe too?) comfortable here in the United States and I just love things here so much!!!  I also have thought God using me as a Youth For Christ staff worker would be cool too.  As you can see, I’m still pretty clueless as to what specifically God may want me to do with my life.  But it is because of this “hope” I have that having some sort of super duper well-paying career isn’t a big deal to me.  Knowing God will provide for me in all things according to His riches is what I will cling to for now.  :o)

 

The goal:
When all is said and done, please pray that God will give me His wisdom and discernment and that I will hopefully choose to do whatever gives Him the most glory, not necessarily what may be best for me.  Like the song (by Chris Tomlin) says, “Not to us, but to Your name be the glory.”  At this time, if I am offered the position in the service department, I would take it.

Whaddya’ll think?  I’d appreciate your comments, thoughts, and most importantly, prayers.


An early Happy 24th Birthday (April 29, 2005) to my brotha, Hanley (Xanga: randomranting).  He has become an extremely dear brother in Christ to me the last couple of years and I have such an awesome time when I am in his presence.  His trademark laugh is unforgettable.  His heart for God is admirable and inspirational.  If you’re reading this Hanley, know I will have your back through thick and thin.  I am privileged and honored to know you.  Let’s continue to partner together in loving our God more and serving Him and His people!

GM Recalls 2 Million Vehicles in Latest Setback


Date Posted 04-25-2005


WASHINGTON, D.C. — General Motors has issued six recalls covering 2 million vehicles.

The largest of the recalls is for nearly 1.5 million SUVs and pickups for problems with second-row seatbelts. GM said passengers in the center seat may not be able to position the lap belt in a way that cuts the risk of abdominal and internal organ injuries.

Dealers will repair the safety belts without charge.

GM also is recalling more than 330,000 SUVs from the 2000 and 2001 model years for possible overheating of fuel-pump wires that could lead to engine stalling or failure to start, a possible fuel leak or inaccurate fuel-level readings.

Another 142,000 pickups with manual transmissions are being recalled for parking brake friction, and 69,000 Buicks are being recalled for a possible bent clip that secures the brake pushrod to the brake-pedal-arm pin. The company said it is aware of one crash, but no injuries, from the bent clip, which could result in brake loss.

GM also will recall 39,000 Buick Rendezvous and Pontiac Azteks for intermittent stalling or failure to start due to faulty ignition relays.

And finally, GM is recalling 22,000 Saturn station wagons that have a center and passenger-side rear-seatbelt anchor that doesn’t comply with U.S. and Canadian safety standards.

In total, more than 2 million vehicles are included in the six recalls.

What it means to you: GM has gone from Detroit’s hottest company to a painful nightmare of seemingly endless unfortunate news in the span of a few months. Even the best company’s have recalls, but when sales are down, it only multiplies the misery. This one hurts.


My take: All Pontiac Azteks should be recalled for being the ugliest vehicle of all-time.


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In other news, Mark Prior collected his third win of the season for the Chicago Cubs (10-9) with another fine outing as the Cubs beat the Cincinatti Reds, 10-6 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.  He pitched 6 innings, gave up 2 earned runs, struck out 10 batters, allowed 6 hits, and walked 2 batters.  For the year, he is 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA (earned run average).


The San Diego Padres (9-11) beat the San Francisco Giants tonight, 5-3.  Hopefully the Pads can start getting their act together now.


The Angels had today off.


Best of all, the Los Angeles Dodger$ are showing their true blue once again losing 4 of their last 6 games to the Padres (split two games in SD), Colorado Rockies (lost 2 out of 3 in CO), and came up with a marvelous loss tonight to the Arizona Diamondbacks, a team that has played surprisingly well so far in 2005.  The New York Yankee$ are still tied for last place in the American League East with a record of 8-11.  It’s not going to get any better for them with the Angels coming into town!

In response to Sunday’s message, here is quite possibly one of the greatest songs of ALL-TIME…written by my two favorite musicians of all-time…


Speechless
Words and music by Steven Curtis Chapman and Geoff Moore from the album Speechless (©1999 Sparrow Records)


Words fall like drops of rain
My lips are like clouds
I say so many things
Trying to figure You out
But as mercy opens my eyes
My words are stolen away
With this breath-taking view of Your grace


Chorus
And I am speechless
I’m astonished and amazed
I am silenced by Your wondrous grace
You have saved me
You have raised me from the grave
I am speechless in Your presence now
I’m astounded as I consider how
You have shown us a love that leaves us
Speechless


So what kind of love could this be
That would trade heaven’s throne for a cross
And to think You still celebrate
Over finding just one who was lost
And to know You rejoice over us
The God of this whole universe
It’s a story that’s too great for words


Chorus


Oh how great is the love
The Father has lavished upon us
That we should be called the sons and the daughters of God


We stand in awe of Your grace
We stand in awe of Your mercy
We stand in awe of Your love
We are speechless


We stand in awe of Your cross
We stand in awe of Your power
We are speechless

What Now
Words and music by Steven Curtis Chapman from the album All Things New (©2004 Sparrow Records)


Matthew 25:31-46


I saw the face of Jesus
In a little orphan girl
She was standing in the corner
On the other side of the world
And I heard the voice of Jesus
Gently whisper to my heart
Didn’t you say you wanted to find Me
Well, here I am
Here you are

Chorus
So what now
What will you do now that you’ve found Me
What now
What will you do with this treasure you’ve found
I know I may not look like what you expected
But if you’ll remember
This is right where I said I would be
You found Me
What now

And I saw the face of Jesus
Down on 16th Avenue
He was sleeping in an old car
While his mom went looking for food
And I heard the voice of Jesus
Gently whisper to my soul
Didn’t you say you wanted to know Me
Well, here I am
And it’s getting cold


Chorus


Bridge
So come and know
Come and know, know Me now
Come, come and know, know Me now
Oh, come and know
Come, come and know, know Me now
Come, come and know, know Me now


Chorus

I got my batting cage fix today during my lunch break!  82 mph is too slow!  I need to find some faster cages in the San Gabriel Valley/Downtown LA/Glendale area.  It was the first time I hit in months.  I am fairly susceptible to the high heat…the high cheese…the alto queso…the cajun fastballs (bayou)… though.  They’re hard to lay off of until you realize they’re high and out of the (strike) zone.  It’s so tempting seeing them which is why it’s so easy to chase them.  I used a 31 oz. bat with a 34 in. barrel.  It was my first time ever using a bat that heavy and that long.  I still pulled at least 90% of the balls though.


Before going to the batting cages, I went to my car and a car had parked with its rear bumper still touching my front bumper!  Grrr.  Oh well!  I went to the house the car’s owner resides at and knocked on the door a few times and got no answer.  I think it’s probably better that I just let it go anyway instead of making an issue of it.  I just wanted to speak with the driver and tell her (I’m pretty sure it’s a she, because I’ve seen a lady parking the same car there before and also witnessed kids getting in and out of the car) to be more careful when parking.  So if you ever see a dark green 1992-1994 Toyota Camry sedan with chrome 3-spoke wheels and a pretty mangled rear bumper to begin with (dents here and there, paint coming off in places), please proceed with caution.  My car is far from in showroom condition anyway.  :shrug:  And it is just a car after all.  The house also had some cockatiels in a cage which is what we have here (we have 18 I think) which was kind of neat. 


Since Aaron has been feelin’ this song lately, I might as well bring it back! 


In Christ Alone (sung by Geoff Moore and Adrienne Liesching)
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again (YEAH!!!!!!!)
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt of life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
‘til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand


Here in the love/death/power of Christ I stand!!!

Football fans at our church…LET’S GET IT STARTED!!!


The video clip below (dial-up users, see you next year) was made by my summer of 2002 roommate, Joe Chang of Chinese Evangelical Church in San Diego.  It would be awesome if we could establish a tradition of our own with the glorified pigskin.  I’m itching to play!  Are you?



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WHEN LOVE TAKES YOU IN


On a different note, I sure miss Geoff (Moore) a lot.  It’s been almost two years since I last saw and talked to him.  God’s used him and his music to minister to me so much over the years.  Reading the following interview made me hope I could see him again soon.  I probably won’t get to see him until at least a year from now, but when we’re all in heaven, we’re going to have a blast worshiping our God!


From Compassion International’s web site: http://www.compassion.com/sponsordonor/countrynews/ec/talkingwithgeoffmoore.htm
Talking with Geoff Moore

Learning — and Relearning — Lessons of Compassion




For almost 18 years, Geoff Moore has been partnering with Compassion International, encouraging his listeners and concert audiences to sponsor children in need around the world. He and his family currently sponsor children in Ecuador and Guatemala.

On his way to a friend’s wedding in 2002, Geoff stopped by Compassion’s International Ministry Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. During his visit, he took a few moments to talk about his music and his relationship with Compassion over the past two decades.

Compassion: How did you become involved in music?

Geoff: One time when my college roommate’s band was supposed to perform a couple of songs, their lead singer got sick. So my roommate said, “Geoff, I’ve heard you sing in the shower. Can you give it a try?” I did and I loved it.

I got married and moved to Nashville right after college and got a job selling clothes in a mall. I still remember being in the store feeling really depressed and Michael W. Smith came in. I told him, “Hey, I’m in music too.” He was kind and introduced me to some people.

Relationships I still have today I formed in that clothing store. So if you’re ever in a place where you think, “I’m so far from where I need to be,” you may be exactly where you need to be.

Compassion: How did you first hear about Compassion?

Geoff: An artist named Steve Camp called and said, “An organization called Compassion International helps kids around the world. We’re getting a group together to record a song and the proceeds will help Compassion. Will you come?”

I went and met a man from Compassion there. I told him I’d like to know more, so we set up a time to meet. As he told me about Compassion, I thought, “Yes, I want to be involved with this.”

I felt sufficiently guilty about poverty and I had never really done anything about it. So I initially responded the way I think most people respond to need — out of guilt. It was later that it became more personal.

Compassion told me, “We’re glad you’re interested, but we’d never ask you to work with us without seeing what we do. You need to go on a trip.” So we planned a trip to Haiti.

Compassion: How were you affected by that trip?

Geoff: I walked out of the airport and was immediately surrounded by people selling things. I’d never been in a developing country and I thought, “What have I done?” But by the time I climbed back on the plane at the end, my life was changed. I started sponsoring a little boy on that first trip. He’s about 23 years old now. I think we’ve sponsored a child as a result of almost every Compassion trip I’ve been on since.

Before every trip I’m a little hesitant to go. But every time, the Lord meets me — in all those places, in all the children, in all the workers at the projects, all the parents. Traveling with Compassion has become an integral part of my faith journey. God has used it to continually make me aware of my need for Him.

Compassion: Your son Josh joined you for your most recent Compassion trip to Peru. How was that?

Geoff: Well, I made a commitment not to have expectations about what I wanted him to get out of the trip. I just told him, “You know, God brought us here for more than an adventure. Try to be open to anything God might be trying to tell you.”

Josh loved Peru. He loved the culture. As we walked through the streets, he kept saying, “Dad, we have so much.” It was great because I can say over and over, “Son, you don’t appreciate everything you have.” But it doesn’t really sink in.

Compassion has helped me teach these kinds of lessons to my children — and learn and relearn lessons myself. Watching Josh play soccer with those Peruvian kids, I saw how similar they were. Whether it’s poverty or racial issues or anything else, I think we often have barriers that keep us from doing things. Once we face those, whether it’s our choice or against our will, we usually come to the realization of how similar we all are.

I encourage parents to take their children out to see what other people are like. It doesn’t have to be an international trip, but introduce them to a culture that’s different from their own. It will make them better citizens, more compassionate individuals. It will help them realize that God’s love has nothing to do with race or financial condition.


 



Geoff Moore and his son, Josh, pause for a picture with their new friends — a Compassion-assisted boy and his father who live near a student center in Peru. Geoff has had several opportunities to visit Compassion projects around the world during the last two decades. But his trip to Peru was especially exciting because he was able to share the experience with Josh.

Compassion: You recently adopted a little girl, Anna, from China. How has she affected your family?

Geoff: Anna joined our family last summer when she was 9 months old. We are completely smitten by her. She waddled into the bedroom a few days ago and one of my CDs was laying on the floor. I was standing across the hall and my wife, Jan, was in the bathroom getting ready to go somewhere. Anna picked up the CD and said, “Mom! Mom!” Jan poked her head out the bathroom door. Anna pointed at my picture on the CD case and said, “My Daddy,” and kissed it. I was undone.

When Jan first talked to me about adoption, I didn’t really know how I felt about it. Over the years, Compassion has exposed me to the importance of children growing up in their own culture with a family who loves them. But God also used the years of Compassion trips and the hundreds of kids that I’ve played with and cried over to soften my heart — to prepare me to say, “There are some kids in the world who need to be rescued.”

The daughters of China are some of those children. Many have no family, nobody waiting for them. They’re abandoned or orphaned and no one in their country wants them. So they live in institutions. Or worse, in slave labor or prostitution.

In a very deep way, my story of adoption is tied to my story of Compassion. I didn’t think I could love or respect Compassion anymore than I already did, but I found that I do now because of Anna.

They say there’s a thread that attaches the heart of the child you adopt to your heart and it’s symbolic that it runs through different people and places and experiences that eventually allow you to find each other. I believe God uses Compassion in the same way. I think the same kind of thread that attached us to Anna attaches the hearts of Compassion sponsors to their sponsored children.


 



Jan and Geoff Moore with their daughter Anna Grace shortly after adopting her from China


 


The Many Miracles of Adoption – Today’s Christian



Steven Curtis Chapman with his family’s three adopted daughters, Shaohannah (top), Stevey Joy (right), and Maria (bottom)


 



Shaoey and Anna Grace together


 



Two men of faith, great friends, and God followers


 


For more information on adoption, please check out the following sites:


Shaohannah’s Hope
Bethany Christian Services Adoption Agency – The Moore and Chapman families went through Bethany to adopt their children

Yesterday (Friday) was a very important day…


Not only were taxes due, but it was also my parents’ 36th anniversary.  The thing that breaks my heart is that my mom and I don’t think my dad remembered.  How can you not remember if taxes are due?!  I really hope he’s aware of going on.  I’ve can’t recall my dad ever saying, “I love you,” to my mom.  I *vow* I will not be the same way with my wife well after we’re married.  I am determined to love her as Christ loves His church!!!


Last night’s message in high school Friday night fellowship was from 2 Corinthians 7:8-10 and was preached by Hanley.


This is the song that came to my mind as Hanley was delivering God’s message to us…it may not necessarily fully pertain to the message, but it’s what came to my mind and heart.


Running to You
Words and music by Geoff Moore & The Distance from the Threads album (©1997 ForeFront Records)


Like the sun on a winter’s day
You can see the light but the heat is so far away
Like a dream of how things should be
Then awaking to a different reality
I’ve grown tired of isolation


I am running to You
Like a prisoner cut loose
In the distance I
Can’t believe my eyes
But You’re running for me too


Like a bird in a guilded cage
Bars of gold that I fought for locked me away
Like a king who’s an exiled man
Waiting to make his break for the promised land
I need to find liberation


I am running to You
Like a prisoner cut loose
And I am reaching out for You
In the distance I
Can’t believe my eyes
But You’re running for me too


There’s a light that is arising
Like a beacon on the horizon


I am running to You
Like a prisoner cut loose
And I am reaching out for You
Like a desperate man will do
In the distance I
Can’t believe my eyes
But You’re running for me
Running for me
Running for me
Running for me too

Let’s play two!!!


The Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres played a doubleheader today because yesterday’s game was rained out (it would’ve been a good one with 2004 National League ERA (earned run average) leader, 23 year-old Jake Peavy, going against 24 year-old Mark Prior).


The Padres won game 1 of the doubleheader, 8-3.  Kerry Wood of the Cubs got shelled.  Jake Peavy had another fine performance for his second start of the season to go 1-0 with a 1.32 ERA.  If any of ya’ll out there play fantasy baseball, pick this man up!



The Cubbies won game 2 of the doubleheader, 8-3, with Mark having an impressive outing.  He pitched 6 innings, gave up no runs, struck out 6 batters, and walked one, using 92 pitches.  He also went 2-for-3 (2 singles, strikeout, 1 run scored) at the plate to help his own cause.


It’s cool that both of the teams I like split the doubleheader.  I’m happy!


Other things I forgot to mention in Sunday’s entry:
1) Isn’t it AWESOME that our bodies can heal from so many things?!  Thank You, God, for designing us humans in general the way you did!  We are blessed to be Your special creation compared to the other living things You made on this planet.  My praise is in response to the healing of my index and middle fingers on my right (less important j/k) hand.  I cut them helping Jerry Gee, Jonathan Ng, Dann Chen, and Ted Kau move a large, metal refrigerator two Sundays ago.  I was holding the edge of a metal panel near the top of the refrigerator and I was trying to pull on it so we could tilt the refrigerator when it basically sliced my fingers.  It didn’t cut super deep, but my index finger was bleeding quite a bit.  After we were done moving that behemoth, I went into the church office, washed up, and put two Band-Aid™s on.  By Friday, the cuts were pretty much fully healed!


2) I received a letter in the mail on Thursday to report to set up an interview with them for a Systems Analyst position.  I originally interviewed with them in the summer of 2003.  I’m racking my brain over how I should get away from work to do it.  Personal days where I work must be requested at least a month in advance.  It bugs me that I’d probably have to use a sick day when I’m not technically sick.  I mentioned what was going on last Friday to two of my co-workers (not management) who told me to, “Go for it!” and get myself outta that place.  It would totally be nice to put my college “edumacation” to much more use.  Working for the City of LA would be much more better for me vocationally.  On the flip side, I’ve lost most of my interest in doing Informations Systems/Information Technology-type work.  I love being around the cars and parts all day.  I also know that where I currently am is the mission field where God has placed me.


The transition has finally begun for me to work in the internet/mail order section of Pacific BMW’s parts department.  Being a phone operator was not cool/fun, but I thank God that He helped me endure through a situation where others may have just given up and said, “Forget this!”  When dealing with some customers, I say a quick prayer to God to be in control over the situation since I know it’s something I don’t have control over.  For example, here are some of the things that can go wrong:
1) Customer orders the wrong part(s)
2) Our packaging and shipping guys pack the wrong parts or forget to pack the right parts or ship the order to the wrong address or late
3) Part(s) come(s) from BMW of North America or BMW AG in Germany defective or damaged
4) Customers’ attitudes and temperaments when either of the first three occur


I would appreciate it if ya’ll in Xanga-land could keep that whole situation in your prayers.  We’ll see what God has in store for me next in this Great Adventure that is the life He allows me to live!


Happy Birthday shout outs to Renee Kau (04/13) (did you ask to go to Albertson’s like Sammie did?) and Candice Wong (04/14)!


Holy is the Lord God Almighty!!!  YEAH!!!  I love when the electric guitar joins in the intro!

As difficult as this may be to believe, I forgot to write a few things last night/this morning.


Web sites you should check out:
1) Counter Counterfeit Commission – http://www.counterfeitmini.org/ – I personally guarantee you’ll get at least one good laugh out of this!
2) ESUVEE – http://www.esuvee.com/flash.html – Get the word out regarding this web site to people you know who own or drive SUVs, especially those who use them as glorified (think: status symbol) minivans/wagons.  What Would Jesus Drive?  j/k!!!


Last but not least, I wanted to thank Pastor Ted again for having small group leader training at his residence.  Pretty much every Sunday seems so long and draining (almost like a regular work day) for me because of things going on at church.  Before going to the training, it’s so easy to think, “Ugh!  Another thing to go to.”  However, when I’m actually there (sometimes half-asleep), I feel relaxed and in a state where I can enjoy being there (versus having to “endure” through the time).


Tomorrow, my classmate from USC, Mark Prior, will make his first start of the 2005 season for the Chicago Cubs against the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field.  If only both teams could win!

After one of our cost accounting classes in Spring 2001


Before a Cubs vs. Dodgers game – August 13, 2003

This is the one thing
This is the one thing
The one thing that I know


What is the one thing that I know?


For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
-1 Corinthians 2:2 (NASB)
(Thanks, Steve, for the reference…biblegateway.com is down ya’ll…my guess…too many pastors were trying to use it at the same time instead of looking in the actual Good Book j/k!)


I saw Jars of Clay last night (Saturday night, 04/09/2005) at Azusa Pacific University.  Believe it or not, after all these years, this was my first time ever seeing them live (even though I own four of their albums – the fourth one, “The Eleventh Hour”, I was even convinced that I didn’t own because in my mind, I lost interest in the group after “If I Left the Zoo”).  Well, now that I’ve re-discovered Jars again, I suppose will start listening to them more now and share with ya’ll through my lil page here too.


Those of you who are usually pretty observant and/or watch me like a hawk to make sure I’m not getting myself into trouble may have noticed that I was wearing a blue wristband today on my left wrist.  This is to remember the Titans.  No, it’s not.  Seriously though, it is a reminder for me of the 1,000 wells project that Jars of Clay shared about with the audience last night.  This project is a part of Blood:Water Mission, a non-profit organization started by Jars of Clay to promote clean blood and clean water in Africa, to tangibly reduce the impact of the African HIV/AIDS pandemic, and to address the underlying issues of poverty, injustice, and oppression.


From www.bloodwatermission.com:
“Clean water is a powerful way to begin a large scale conversation about AIDS. The 1000 Wells Project is a simple campaign that has very little controversy surrounding it. It is difficult to argue whether or not a person should have clean water. It is also difficult to deny the equation: $1= clean water for 1 person for 1 year. And it is vital that the church begin to build relationships with African communities. When a well is built, a conversation is started, a relationship between the church and the community benefiting from the project begins. This is the seed of a worldview shift. This is what excites us about this project.” —Dan Haseltine, Jars of Clay


“As a fan, I don’t think anyone has had a bigger voice than the activists in Jars of Clay.” —Bono of U2


“Since the introduction of a well into our community, our stomach problems have completely disappeared.” —Bina Community in Kisumu, Kenya


“It is indeed great that Blood:Water Mission has once again done it for the poor faces they have not seen. These are all fruits of your meekness and love to us. Thank you again. You are deeply rooted in my heart and I lack words to express our gratitude. I’ll be visiting the two groups over the weekend to pass the message to them about their new wells.” —Benjamin K’Oyoo of GWAKO Ministries, Kisumu, Kenya


My personal favorite while I’m at it:


I went to the concert with a few of my good friends from USC’s Asian American Christian Fellowship.  Thanks to Angie Lin (Xanga: sarkie12) for scoring the ticket and letting me know about the concert back in February!  I also met a few sophomore girls that were seated in my row to my left.  Two of them were from Biola and the other from Vanguard.  The one that was seated right next to me said that Geoff had visited her church in Grass Valley (NorCal ya’ll) a few years ago!  Since she knew who Geoff was and heard his music, that made her cool in my book.  They were fun and loud!  But some of my AACF friends were “jumpers”, especial when Jars came back out to play “Flood!”


Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Reprove the ruthless,
Defend the orphan,
Plead for the widow
-Isaiah 1:17


Fairway and Sunday School were all right.  Aaron & Co. played “In Christ Alone” during their set.  In the verse I’m going to paste below, I’m so used to hearing children laughing and shouting for joy in the recording of this song by Geoff and Adrienne Liesching.  I just want to let out a “Woooo!!!” (think wrestler Ric Flair-style here) every time after “Up from the grave He rose again.”


There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again (YEAH!!! )
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ


In Sunday School, I gave a lesson on Evangelism & The Sovereignty of God based mostly from my reading of J.I. Packer’s (drum roll please) Evangelism & The Sovereignty of God.  I am really privileged and blessed to get my baptism under fire so to speak with the high school senior class.  Being around them is like a breath of life for me.  They are young like I once was many years ago and full of life!  Please keep them in your prayers as they finish up their high school careers and embark upon the chapter of The Great Adventure known as the real world at an institution of higher learning or into the work force (I don’t know of any seniors going this route, but mentioned it since I’m not automatically assuming that all are going to some sort of college or university).


Congratulations again to Jerry (Xanga: scaryhairyjerry) and Jackie (Xanga: wackijackie) on the birth of their daughter, Josette!  I’m so proud and happy for them!!!


Praise God that one of the Mark patriachs is back home!  Uncle Wilson Mark, Kimmie, Kristen, and Willie’s father, returned home last Thursday!


Baseball (the REAL bball) update of the teams I like:
San Diego Padres – 3-3
Chicago Cubs – 3-3
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (proper name, folks) – 3-3 (they should be called the California Angels (I miss Wally World) or Anaheim Angels)
Hmmmm…common theme here?



Congratulations to Subaru World Rally Team’s Petter Solberg of Norway who finished 3rd in this weekend’s 2005 Propecia Rally New Zealand round of the World Rally Championship (WRC).  He retains his 1 point lead in the Driver’s championship over the new 2nd place driver in the championship, 2005 New Zealand Rally-winner and 2004 WRC champion, Sebastian Loeb of France.  With Petter’s 3rd place and WRC rookie Chris Atkinson’s (of Australia) 7th place finish, Subaru moved into 3rd place in the Constructor’s championship.


EDIT: Congratulations to Jonathan Ng (Xanga: j0nathankng) on getting into The Master’s College!  Praise the Lord!