4.25.2009

Elijah "E.J." Nabua

Yesterday was the funeral of Elijah, a high school student that attended Driven Youth at South Hills. When I first heard the name I must admit I had no clue who everyone was talking about. I had been with Driven Youth from the get go but couldn't for the life of me remember the name. But when I saw his picture I knew EXACTLY who he was. Even before knowing for sure who he was my heart was saddened for him and his family. So young and so much to offer this crazy world of ours.

I remember him being quiet most the time when I'd see him in service. I would say what's up to him and ask how he was. He always seemed so shy. But a great kid none the less. When I went to the funeral yesterday I saw a couple of his buddies that I would talk to back when I was in that youth group full time. I was shocked at how well they seemed to be taking it. Everyone was more concerned with celebrating his life more than mourning it.

This death hit me a little bit harder than I thought it would. I think Jeremy Solis (Youth Pastor for Driven Youth) said what I felt best when he gave his speech yesterday. He said that he always knew him to be a quiet kid and that he didn't know his favorite color or who his best friends are at school, but that he knew he was a great kid who loved God with all his heart. After the service I told Jeremy that I was feeling the same way, that I didn't know those details about him but I knew he special.

I felt so convicted to reach out more to our kids and to really get to know them. And not just on the superficial level of "what school do you go to" or "how old are you" yes all of these things are important but to really KNOW these kids takes far greater attention. I think about all of the students that I talk to on Tuesday nights and I never feel like I have enough time in the day to get to know all of them. I know it's not my "role" to shephard 100 + kids but I feel like I should still attempt to get to know as many of them as I possibly can.

The funeral was filled with pictures, flowers, slideshows, videos, speeches from teachers and friends that were close to him. There were so many people that showed up to give their love and support to this family. Through the service Pastor Billy Phipps (South Campus Pastor) asked that if there was anyone in the room who had not fully given their life to Christ that they can do so RIGHT NOW. How amazing... to see life change in a tragedy.

Towards the end of the service Bryon Bos was singing "Mighty To Save" and I was completely floored when I saw the entire front row that consisted of Driven Youth students and E.J's friends stand up and start reaching their arms out to God in praise! To think that they still want to worship and praise our God even after their best friend was taken up to Heaven early just blows me away! We all followed suit and stood up right there with them. To hear the sounds of singing and praise through a funeral service is something I had never seen.

I know everyone takes death differently but I think for myself I can say that death always makes me want to live more. And yes it may be cliche but we are NEVER gauranteed tomorrow. It always makes me think that if I'm still here on this earth then God still isn't done with me yet and I need to keep going and keep reaching. I believe that goes for all of us.

B.

4.22.2009

Friday: April 24th

This is where I will be...

4.16.2009

"L" is for the way...

It's for the way Candice tagged me in a blog ;)

Love- Is it possible to love, love? Well I do, in all forms. Whether it’s loving your mom, dad, friend, cousin, neighbor, music, food, art etc. Especially love in the romantic way… haven’t given up on it.

Laughter- I absolutely love to laugh. Funny movies, funny stories, funny friends and adventures. If you can make me laugh (which doesn’t take much) you’re pretty much in with me.

LOUD- Yes, *NEWSFLASH* I am loud. I think people sometimes don’t like it. I like the fact that I’m loud. It’s not purposely like “Hey! Look at me!” it’s more of a… that’s how I was born. And I love loud people, especially loud laughs.

Life- I’m pretty much loving it right now, yes it has its downfalls. But I’ve just been feeling so appreciative and blessed that all I can do is look at all the positive things that I have going for me in my life right now. I’m really excited to see what lies ahead as well!

Lounging- I don’t get to do this often BUT I really do enjoy just sitting at home reading, blogging, watching the occasional episode of The O.C. ( I <3 Seth). What can I say? I love the Jews. I especially enjoy lounging with my roomies and friends that come to hang out (most of them) ;)

Long Talks- Hallway talks at the Sheshack are my favorite. Or random talks about anything under the sun and moon until 1 am when I know I have to be up in 6 hrs. Candice and Jolene are my long talk girls at the house. Lindsey is slowly getting there, her and I have our lunch talks going for us for now.

Ladybugs- Because they remind me of Gretchen Baxter and how much I appreciate having her in my life. She’s like a second mom. LOVE her.

Lillies- Stargazers that is. I love Stargazer Lillies, they are one my absolute favorite flowers. I actually have some in my room right now so every time I walk in I get the most amazing aroma. Plus they look amazing, it’s the little things that make me happy.

“Lovers In Japan/ Reign Of Love”- Of course, it’s a COLDPLAY song. It literally just came on my I pod as I started typing this. Coincidence? I don’t believe in coincidence. I love this song, I love what it reminds me of… good times. I constantly attach memories to songs, I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. I think I’ll stick with good thing. I can tell you exactly where I was or who I was with with almost any of my favorite songs.

Latina- Come on… as If I wouldn’t throw out the ethnicity card? I am Cuban/Mexican/American. Only till just recently do I own up to being Mexican. I used to just say I’m Cuban. I love who I am and where I came from. Always room for improvements… yes. Still working on it.


B.

4.13.2009

"Weekend Update"

Sunday:

This weekend has been pretty much awesome from beginning to end. I'll pick up from Sunday morning, none other than Easter. I started out my morning at 530 am to be up in time to grab some Starbucks with Linds before heading to Sunrise Service at 6am. I was up before the sun which is rare for me. I had never been to a sunrise service before so I was really looking forward to it. I was surrounded by family, I say family because to me all of my friends are my family.

We all gathered around at the park and sang worship songs and listened to what Chris had to say. I hadn't seen the sunrise since I was in Africa, it brought back a lot of great memories. So powerful to see the sunrise, to think that God makes that happen for us every single day. As I was sitting there watching the sun come up and listening to the guitars, the voices and the words of the songs I just felt at peace. It was an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness and appreciation for Him. He was present at the park that morning, and He made it known.

After the service we all headed out to Silver Dollar Pancake house where we ran into the entire Camacho clan. Jameson Community Church took over that place! I realized that morning that I really am a morning person, in case any of you wanted to know that. After b fast it was nap time. Took about a three hour nap then needed to start getting things ready for the first annual Pot Luck and Egg Hunt extravaganza at the Sheshack.

I don't think I have ever had such an amazing Easter. We had a blast at the party. So much food. So many friends. So many laughs. So many pictures (hoping to get those soon). I think one of my highlights was getting to hang out with Shunta, he came down to Cali to stay with family. We got the privilege of getting to spend some time with him before he leaves tomorrow morning. We got to talking about the trip I'll be taking in August to Philly. If all goes to plan I'll be able to spend about five days out of CA. I want to start in Philly, spend a day or two in New York and go from there. It'll be my "I'm finished with Catalyst" trip. Can't wait!

Monday:

Today was really relaxing, slept in... did some laundry... walked to Submarina with Nicole and Linds. On that walk I realized that there are so many things around me that I have never noticed before. Nothing spectacular but still just makes me realize that I need to stop being so on the go and stop and look around every so often. I feel like if I don't I may miss something.

Jolene and I made a walk (my second walk of the day) to Starbucks for some catching up. I live with the girl but we all still need to make time for each other because we're so busy. After that we hit up Friday's and finally got to watch "Fast & Furious" can I just say that the movie was AWESOME! Loved every minute of it and it completely had me in suspense. I think everyone should watch it. My favorite part about movies are the previews. Here is a list of what I can't wait to see:

Wolverine

Transformers 2

Public Enemies

The Hangover

There's a few more but I'm tired and can't think right now.



Back to work tomorrow! Which means... bedtime.




B.

4.11.2009

Good Friday

Good Friday. Where do I start? Jolene asked me if I wanted to say a few things about what the cross has done for me during the service. I said yes and then immediately freaked because there was going to be A LOT of people there. BUT, it was a success! I remembered my lines and was glad I got to share my experience.











After service we got to stuff Easter eggs for the hunt today (Saturday). That I sadly do not get to be there for :(










We (Me, Nicolee, Corre, Jolene, Candice and her Geoff) went to Woodranch. We got to watch the rest of the Angel game and had some pretty good laughs. Thank you Corre :)









After dinner Nicole and I went to Barnes and Noble. Seriously, I've said it before but I LOVE that store. I got this bad boy. It's a light so that I can read in my room at night. I used to use a mini flashlight and prop it up on my shoulder haha, I know... ghetto... don't judge me. I also bought myself a pocket bible for my purse and "Jesus wants to save Christians" by Rob Bell. Looking forward to reading it!









Today was an emotional day. If you really stop and think what Good Friday is all about I don't know how you can't be effected by it. PC gave some pretty intense details about that day. Details that I don't want to go into but just listening to him talk about it made me cry. Granted I cry at a lot but to hear about Jesus dying for us and going through so much pain so that we can be saved just blows me away. Makes me want to be a better person.


B.

4.09.2009

"Come be the fire inside of me"

Tuesday night while I was in Youth, P. Chris got on the mic and talked about why we reach our arms out to God during worship. He said it's a way of us showing surrender to Him and just letting Him hold us. I remember back when I was in that room for the first time ever at South Hills, it was for a Furnace service. I remember sitting there during worship and thinking "ok, what are these people doing reaching their arms out?" and just remember feeling so awkward and uncomfortable. Something that I had never experienced coming from Catholic church, that should explain it all.

It trips me out to see how far God has taken me. I went from sitting through worship because I felt awkward putting my arms up, to completely falling to my knees in praise at the sound of a strom on the guitar during worship. Recently I have felt closer to God than ever before. There's something so powerful about music that I feel I can't explain to the best of my ability. As I type this my eyes well up and I get chills because I'm listening to "Jesus Culture" and I just can't help but want to just sing my heart out and thank God over and over. Words can be so moving and emotional, especially in the form of music. I know not everyone shares the love for music as I do but I know for me it's how I feel closest to Him, and for that I thank Him.

I listen to this album over and over and over... some of my favorite lines:

"Come be the fire inside of me, come be the flame upon my heart"

"I don't want to talk about you like you're not in the room, wanna look right at ya, wanna sing right to you"

"Here is my heart, here is my heart you can have it ALL"

"All consuming fire you're our hearts desire, living flame of love come baptize us"

I could go on and on...


Been wanting to share this for a while... not really sure why. But there it is.


B.

4.07.2009

It's A Party!

I got a text today saying that we got another dog! Not really, "Pepe" as we shall call him was found by my lovely roommate/best friend Candice on the street. The little guy might be staying with us if we can't find his home. I wouldn't mind, he's really cute. And it would be nice to get some more latin blood in this house :)

We also had a hair dying party at the house. If anyone should like their hair dyed OR cut feel free to hit me up. Make me an offer I can't refuse! Hmm, Thailand fundraiser?

























B.

At the tone the time will be 1:00 A.M.

Yes, that's right folks 1:00 a.m. and I'm still awake. I feel like I can't go to bed until I get all of these thoughts on here that are just racing through my head. Today has been an absolute emotional rollercoaster. I really have no other words to describe it. I woke up to an empty house with no noise. Which may sound great to everyone but for almost a year I woke up to another person in the house, Heather. It may sound ridiculous but I really do already miss her. I am ridiculously happy for her though that she is now married to an amazing man and is moving on to bigger and better things.

I must say that I feel like I've lost a lot lately. I won't state the obvious but I will say that it's left a gigantic hole in my soul. Call it dramatic, don't really care. I've been trying to fill that hole with none other than God himself. He's been doing a pretty great job so far but some days emotions just get the best of me. I guess that's what it means to be human? I know that's all what I make of it, so I do the best with what I have. I know He knows what he's doing.

Earlier today I was having dinner with my sister, her partner and son. Today (April 6Th) was her birthday. I noticed that my mom didn't show up to dinner which is odd considering she lives with them and we were celebrating a birthday. Half way through the dinner I get a bomb dropped on me that my mom packed her bags and moved out without telling anyone where she was going. Memorable birthday? I would say so. I was told that there was an argument and that she willingly decided to leave. I get a call from my mom later that night saying that she was told to leave. What to believe?

From what I hear she'll be living with one of my aunts in Anaheim until she can find a place of her own. This may not seem like such a big a deal but my mom and sister are the closest family I have. So to hear that the two closest family members to me are in some kind of fight where they aren't speaking just makes me sad. It feels like my family is falling apart. I seriously feel like when it rains it POURS. When one bad thing happeneds I feel there's more to come. Pessimism? I don't think so. More like... that's how my life has been since I can remember.I believe that my mother can turn this situation to benefit her. I believe she can regain her independence and make a life of her own.

It's hard when you want to tell your parents how to live their lives. I had a conversation with an amazing woman the other day (Gretchen Baxter) and she told me this amazing story about a ladybug in the shower with her, odd I know. She finds a ladybug in her shower that she sees is "struggling" to get out of the water flow by the drain and ends up rescuing it and decides she should let it get some fresh air. Little did she know that it was almost freezing outside and the air killed the ladybug instantly. She realized that the ladybug signified the people that she tries to help in their situations instead of letting them go through their trials and learning from them. Gretchen I hope I didn't ruin that story. It made me realize that I do that with my mom, I make suggestions on what she should do or where she should go or who she should talk to. She's a grown woman, who will do whatever she pleases. And I need to realize I'm not in charge of her, she is.

I don't know if any of this made sense because I am incredibly exhausted. I just needed to get it all down before I was going to drive myself crazy with all of this in my head. And I can barely keep my eyes open right now.

I know things can be much worse, so I'm not "drowning in a glass of water" it's an old saying that my family used to say. But I do know that we are all going through a season of change, I always say that change isn't a bad thing it's just the transition that may not be so great. I just know that this season is going to rock me to the core.

Anywho... till next time.


B.

4.06.2009

Mr. & Mrs. Glasby

Well it's the end of an era. Heather and Grayson officially tied the knot, SO happy for them! The wedding was absolutely beautiful, so much hard work and detail put into everything really paid off. Here are some highlights from that night, it was a blast!




























4.04.2009

Another Fear Conquered

Last night we went out to Threshold Rock Climbing in Riverside. We took the 5th and 6th grade kids out for FNL. If you know me then you know that I have a fear of heights, so I consider this a great accomplishment. I went about half way up the first time then came back down. The second time I went all the way up and rang the "victory bell" at the top. What a great feeling! The kids were going up and down like it was nothing, I couldn't lose face in front of them!



video













I had a blast last night. Hanging out with the kids is always a good time. Let the craziness of the weekend begin.


B.

4.02.2009

Last Friday

So I'm a week late on this but I blame Corre for not getting me the pics sooner. Last Friday Me, Nicole, Corre and Jo Jo went out to Disneyland for free courtesy of one my favorites. We had a blasty blast running into people we know and trying to find churros the whole night.

Highlights:

Did I say it was FREE? Ah yes.

Running into Candice and Geoff and the rest of the world

Toy Story Ride while Jo tried to make me dizzy

Jungle Cruise and that dry humor, love it.

Watching the firework show like a 5yr. old

Finally finding churros

Nicole yelling "Blaze a trail Corre!"

2 a.m. Dennys b fast


















4.01.2009

Strangers










Today I ended up at the DMV after realizing that my license has been expired since my b day last year! Which was 09/21/08, so ya... I've been driving around with an expired license for months!

As I was sitting there I realized that I was surrounded by strangers. I'm always in amazement at the fact that I see new people EVERY single day. Another thing that blows me away is that every single person has a story. Doesn't matter how old or young you are, everyone has a story. How amazing is that?

There's something bittersweet about the DMV. Let me try to explain. I see people get upset because maybe their car got towed because they didn't pay their registration or maybe there's a 16 year old teen that just got their license and is super excited. It's full of happiness and sadness. I think I have a new love for this place.

I can't believe I just blogged about the DMV. I wanted to make a point that there are new people everywhere with a story, get to know someone.

P.S. I had to take a new picture for my license and I was wearing my beanie! I was forced to take it off so we'll see how my new picture turns out.

B.

Matthew 6:33

"He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern"


Interesting... He will give you all you NEED not exactly what you WANT. It's so hard to distinguish what God wants for you and not so much what you want for yourself. I think a lot of times it gets fuzzy, at least for me. Either that or you're so dead set on "I know God wants this for me" and then you get attacked from every angle.

I somtimes wonder... if we get attacked does that mean it's the right thing? If Satan didn't think we were going in the right direction would he bother making us second guess ourselves? I'm learning how to distinguish what is from God and what lies I am being fed. Not so easy. It's a day to day struggle.


B.