I wish I sat in on this message! The acronym for the message is great too :P

I wish I sat in on this message! The acronym for the message is great too :P

day 360

i am SO physically tired…but what a great day for the big move!

woke up a bit early this morning because my dad had to go pick up the u-haul truck, and realized it was snowing! oh boy… 

church this morning felt a bit sparse since we started our service an hour earlier than usual and there was some snow falling…which i bet prevented some people from coming, unless they were on vacation :P but, it was great too because we got to see some old faces! namely, matt from college and julia from arizona :) and well, as announcements were being made about the big move today, i’m pretty sure everyone was getting excited! 

i really liked the message this morning as my mom spoke about vision:

where there is no vision, the people perish (Prov. 29:18, KJV)

as we went over examples of how God gave visions to his people, i was reminded how as a leader as the youth group, we need to have a vision! because, this vision turns into our mission and guides our direction….and well, without vision, we have nothing to strive for. i think as of now, ROFL’s vision is pretty general: “love god, love others,” and we need to work on what our mission entails…hmm. anyways, as my mom related this to our church and how it came to be and how it has progressed till now, we realized that all of this has been done, not by our own wisdom, but by God’s leading because there have been countless events and stories that were at first glance, impossible to accomplish, but it happened by what seemed to be miracles! sometimes, it’s difficult to see what’s gonna happen next, but looking back, i cannot believe we have come so far, and well, we have a new story beginning for us! 

so, things ended pretty early around noon, but by then, there was a good amount of people too since we had a LOT of things to do! immediately after the message was over, everyone kicked it into high gear, taking apart stuff, packing up boxes, taping boxes, and moving them onto dollys. it was SUCH a good idea that my dad decided to make more because we had unbelievably heavy tables and other stuff, and it just made moving things out of the church THAT much easier. also, we had a quick secret santa exchange with the last few people (matt & julia) who couldn’t do so last week, and so we wrapped it up =) some people still need to pick up their gifts…. haha.

anyways, i cannot believe how much stuff we had accumulated in these past four (almost five!) years… it took three trips of a loaded u-haul truck to finish all our moving… and that’s not including the countless vans that also brought over the more delicate stuff, like the audio visual equipment. it was stunning to see just piles of chairs, desks, drawers, and like EVERYTHING ELSE, lined up at the door despite a truck being filled…. and we had like 30 or 40 adults helping constantly, whether it was moving the heavy furniture, packing up various boxes, or cleaning up the church… and yet it still took at least 3 or 4 hours! and that’s not counting how long it took us to unload and set up again… but we worked very efficiently, so i’m VERY thankful at everyone’s efforts =) even the kids were very well behaved!

well, the blizzard set in around 3:30 or 4… so people who lived far away started heading back to avoid bad driving conditions. i stayed to work on setting up the new sanctuary with all the sound stuff, but it was getting late around 5:30, and we had to head back as well… there’s just STILL so much work to do, but i guess we’ll come back another day. 

however, my dad and i weren’t done… because we had to go help julia’s family finish moving. so we took the empty uhaul truck to their house in the blizzard. it was a fun ride because i got to drive in the snow :P there were a couple times that the car was slipping, but nothing felt like it was really out of control because there were no cars to be seen! but i still drove slow… and so the trip took a long time. better safe than sorry! when we got their house, my dad and i worked with mr. ni and his son timmy in moving out bookcases, desks, and other furniture… we had to go outside a lot because some things were just too big to carry down the basement stairs! this was really tiring, and required a lot of heavy lifting… i guess i didn’t do much at the church since i was more focused on taking apart and setting up the sound stuff. gosh, i can’t imagine how tired my dad must’ve been… but eventually, we finished at 7, and drove back home exhausted.

after a well-needed dinner (i can’t believe i forgot to eat the entire day! lol…), we both felt much better, and it was so good to just relax =) i guess i won’t look over my tumblr entries tonight since i just don’t have the energy to do so… but i’ll start tomorrow! also, work may possibly be cancelled because of this blizzard… oh boy.

day 176

whew such a long day! woke up at 7 because we had to get ready and eat breakfast by 845 to catch the bus. so early… but i somehow managed to wake up :P. and i called dr. bob before getting breakfast to talk about retreat stuff, and it’s so fun to talk to him. he’s very down to earth and always willing to have a conversation with shaw. hopefully, his meeting with reslife will go well concerning shaw…

the breakfast line was SO long! i forgot that overnight, a FLOOD of people came, so by 8 there was already a line. luckily, my mom and sisters already had a table so i could just step into the buffet line :) went to the jubilee site, and i played a little basketball before the actual service started. the morning worship was led by vincent lim and the vancouver worship team! they were really good too, especially the guitars and bass :P though i didn’t know most of the songs they sang. but, they were easy enough to catch on. oh and they did a better job with putting lyrics on the slides… for some reason, the hendrickson family squeeze all the lyrics on one slide, making it impossible to see due to small font size for songs that have a lot of lyrics… and it looked like the vancouver team also had a specially designed background. and they had their own t-shirts… haha, man they’re so cool. oh and vincent is JACKED! i don’t remember that two or three years ago when i saw him lead worship, but now reminds me of jeremy camp with a mohawk :P

for the morning session, sean smith spoke, and i really liked it. he shared his testimony of how he grew up in the ghettos of oakland, and how his dad was unjustly killed by two police officers due to his skin color. while the law found those two officers guilty and paid reparations…, that really doesn’t make up for the fact that he grew up without a positive male role model. so that really broke my heart, just understanding how important male role models are needed for this generation. oh i guess since he has a common last name, it should be noted that he is african american. but gosh, the way he talks reminds me of obama! (and i’m not trying to be racist…he just speaks THAT eloquently). so he didn’t lead a healthy lifestyle until college when he had an encounter with God that radically changed his life! like, he basically passed out on his rug from partying, but prayed that if God revealed himself, he would give his entire life. and a couple hours later, he awoke to the light and glory of the King and immediately began telling others about jesus! so crazy. actually, he shared about how he’s never backslidden, not due to his own strength, but he understands that if he doesn’t constantly strive to seek God, he will backslide and he knows that what is there is unsatisfying and destructive. man, i was so impressed by his mindset of not compromising… i gotta work on that!

anyways, he shared his message from numbers 22-23 about the story of balak and balaam with the cursing/blessing of israel. and it’s so funny how even though balak summons a prophet to curse the israelites, it can’t happen because God doesn’t allow balaam to do so. i think sean talked about: deception, distraction and divination. yet, the israelites stumble when they allow the moabite women to enter into their tribes…and so, in a sense, the israelites cause their own downfall because they reject god. and so a plague breaks out. and the only way it’s stopped is when phineas drives a javelin into a man who is flaunting the sinful act during the plague. so sean talked about how we need people who are willing to be passionate for god (not kill people, lols!…that was more of OT context) but to be his burning ones. oh and i thought it was a good reminder how in the promised land, there are other tribes because the israelites need those resistances in order to grow. without trials, the israelites would just remain childish or stagnant in their growth, and in the same sense, we shouldn’t be avoiding pain because it’s in those times that we actually grow. yeah… i wish i made more sense here, but i think that’s because i never take notes during messages… perhaps i should… doh.

after the message, it was time for lunch and we had quiznos! my goodness, there’s just TONS of food, and it’s incredible how much preparation is needed to feed 600+ kids! well, after lunch, i decided to play basketball until the worship team with the hendricksons. it was good too, despite the small lyrics, because i knew most of the songs. after that, we broke up into regions… and basically it split up into norcal, socal, NW pacific (vancouver, washington, oregon), and east coast… which wasn’t really east coast because it included massachusetts, florida, georgia, texas, and north dakota. REALLY? North dakota?! haha, so that was interesting during our meeting. we only had 10 or so people, but it was good nonetheless, actually possibly better :P because it was easier to listen and understand how each church was doing. and in a sense, the east coast churches are a bit remote compared to the ones on west coast, but i think the sharing really encouraged me, and reminded me to be thankful for what God is doing at our church!

after that, we had regional games… and since the east coast came a bit late… we were presented in front of the crowd… and that was a bit awkward because i didn’t want to jump and shake my booty. errrrr. and to make matters worse, after that, they asked for representatives from each region and i was chosen since i was the oldest of the group… greaaaaaat. i decided to be awkward and slowly do my jump and shake. oh well. i got a free tshirt! but it’s too big :/

afterwards, we had group games, but i just watched because it was so chaotic. then it was time for dinner, and the pizza was very bland… at first, they were telling us to only take two slices, but soon, they were telling everyone to take more, but by then, i think everyone figured out the quality of the pizza :/ i think they decided to sell the leftovers at the snack shack. i was tired from the basketball i played in the morning, so i found a quiet spot for a nap.but then 20 or 30 minutes into my nap, i was awoken by rumblings… but i decided to ignore it and just listen to my ipod as i closed my eyes. but then someone decided to wake me up! the nerve… lol, i was obviously sleeping! but at least i didn’t act irritated, more just out of it. anyways, she just wanted to sell me stuff…and i didn’t feel like buying stuff from someone who woke me up especially since it was a notebook. i have tumblr! so i went back to sleep, but by then it was too loud, and i guess my sisters were around the area because when i awoke, they were telling me how people almost sat on me since they didn’t notice i was there. oh that and the fact that they decided to have a breakdancing contest in that area. no wonder it was so loud…

bought some cds, and gosh that girl who woke me up was so aggressive in selling, that i decided to buy a book and cd from her too… haha. i’m not good at saying no. her voice was very high too… bordering annoying. or child-like :P ok no judging. i’m just trying to state facts here..

for the rest of the break, i just watched people play basketball, and finally got a chance to play the last game. it was pretty fun despite the loss. and i hated how i sweat so much after the game… i felt so sticky and sweaty. ugh. then, it was time for service, and i met nate and dave sun as we entered the place. 

the place was packed! the urgency youth had come too, so the chairs were taken out, and everyone sat down. gosh, their youth group is so much more culturally diverse… white, black, asian (uhhh other than chinese i guess?), hispanic. hmm. im impressed by urgency’s cutting edge way of attracting youth… i mean, it’s more than the videogames and basketball court, but i think in a sense, it does make newcomers feel welcome without forcing them to sit in a pew or something. anyways, their worship team (i forget the name…) ROCKED the house! it was SO much louder with the bass blasting through the subs…heart numbing :P but musically, i was so impressed at how they covered the new hillsong songs! wow, i don’t think i’ve ever seen it done so well, and they had a lead singer, a bassist, drummer, and two electric guitarists, both with teles. it seems like all worship bands have teles now… haha. anyways, they opened with no reason to hide, freedom is here, take all of me, tear down the walls, and ended it with an IHOP matt gilman song: holy.  I really liked it, probably because i knew the songs, though i guess hillsong united’s newest album wasn’t as good… without the proper electric guitar sounds, they’re difficult to introduce, but urgency nailed them! and the lead singer was great! despite the fact that i couldn’t sing as high as her and had to change octaves, she led really well!

so, sean smith spoke again for the night session, and it was great! first, his son (brandon josiah smith) shared about taking a stand on purity, and this guy is a scholarship basketball player for cal berkeley, and they recently won the pac-10! i thought that was pretty cool, look him up! :P actually, it was more interesting how he stood up for the fact that he’s a virgin, and how he’s not ashamed of it… yeah i don’t understand why it should be shameful. society is messed. anyways, building off of that, his dad spoke about being a generation that brings a revolution. he talked about how revivals always begin with a small group of young people, and he focused on king josiah from 2 kings 22-23. i guess what i took away was the fact that in the bible, it states that there was no king before or after him who obeyed god like him. wow, not even king david?! and just as crazy, josiah’s acts were prophesied in 1kings 13, and this was fulfilled like 250 years after! that’s probably one of the reasons why josiah ripped his clothes after discovering the book of the law…wow. that’s conviction. and one another thing, looking on his past, growing up in an ungodly environment, because his dad Amon brought in all the idols and practices, it’s unbelievable how god can use people and bring about such change! and that says a lot about josiah’s character too! shoooot. i never realized this before. anyways, sean focused again on being the generation that will be relentless. to not compromise on ideals or character. and not to just live a coasting christian life. but to fight and to grow. i know this is SUCH a long post, but already, if i have to sum it up, my destiny and vision for my senior year is to make evident the life of christ in my life and to take the campus for jesus! (i know it’s a jesuit school, but honestly, it’s become more of a tradition than anything else…and everyone, myself included, wants a kingdom invasion!)

the bus ride back was fun too! i got to meet a new guy named ray, who is from LA, and we just talked about the conference and such. he’s 17, a junior in high school, moved from taiwan just 3 years ago but his english is pretty good!, and he was surprised to find that i was 20 because he said he looked older than me… haha. doh! :P oh and he’s going into culinary school… impressive :) a good day indeed :D