Friday, September 29, 2006

Bigger or Better

On Friday night, the college group did a scavenger hunt called "Bigger or Better". I had never played before, but I had heard about it and thought it would be fun to try out. We split into teams and started walking around town. We went to people's houses, rang the bell (or knocked) and had conversations like this:

* door opens *

Us: "Hi! We're from (our church name)'s college group and we're playing a game called Bigger or Better. Do you have anything bigger or better than this dime?"

Them: (pause) "Huh??"

Us: "Whoever brings back the biggest or best item after two hours, wins. So do you have anything in your house or garage you want to get rid of? Something...anything bigger or better than this dime?"

Them: (trying to put it all together) "Uhhhhhhh..lemme think. I don't know if I have anything. Lemme look around the house. Where did you say you were from again?"

and so on...

My group went from a dime->stuffed animal->12 pack of 7 Up->vase->two mugs and saucers->coffeemaker->large painting of a rose in a frame->and finally a huge set of Venetian blinds! We totally thought we won.

We went back to the church...and were sadly mistaken. One group brought back a massive BBQ, another group brought a FRIDGE, and the winning team had a DOG! Yes, a dog! Who gives away their DOG!?! But a family actually did. They signed it over to a girl on that team and everything. The girl lives on a ranch and already has a dog, so she is keeping it. It was so nuts.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What happened last night...

Today was an all-church staff prayer and fasting day at work. The following is an email from our head pastor:

<< As you probably know by now, the church property was vandalized by a spray-paint tagger last night who wrote anti-war and anti-Bush slogans on the gym and office building outside walls. Graffiti removal efforts are already underway so that these areas can be cleared of the vandalism as soon as possible. We will find the most cost-effective method and proceed as soon as possible.

More importantly, let's remember a few things:

1. Our battle here is not against flesh and blood. The people who did this are not our enemies; they need to know the love of Jesus. Let's pray for them today.

2. However, we do have an enemy: A spiritual enemy who seeks to distract us from our focus on God's power. He will do that by tempting us in a variety of ways. Today it looks like he's trying to foment emotions like anger, victimization, retaliation, etc. Remember to keep your focus on the Lord today during our day of prayer and fasting, and let the peace that passes all understanding guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus!

The timing of this incident is no coincidence, in my opinion. We are in a battle, but the weapons we wield are not the weapons of this world. Our tools for this battle are love, prayer, acts of service, and the knowledge of God's loving plan for His people.

Love in Christ,

- Rene >>

Monday, September 25, 2006

Let me introduce you... my awesome college staff! God has answered many prayers and provided the most amazing staff EVER. Even beyond what I could have imagined. I honestly feel so blessed to work alongside them in college ministry. From left to right:

Abrem - Abrem and I met a few years ago at my old church. He and I were in a small group together with about 8-10 other people. Amazing man of God. He just started as one of our interns. We were looking for men to mentor the guys in the college group and poof! Enter Abrem.

Karen - this is Karen's second year as a college intern. She and Abrem actually went to college together at Sonoma State, which is so fun. She is going to seminary, works at a bank, and interns with us. She rocks!

Haley up in the tree - LOVE HER! Haley and I met last year when she worked at MH's Outdoor Science School (where I used to work). She is my dear friend, accountability partner, and now co-worker. She organizes Genesis on Sunday mornings and is the admin. for college.

Ryan - we met two summers ago when we were both counselors for the high school week at Hume Lake. Ryan finished seminary (where Karen goes) and is now super involved at our church. Genesis, high school group, and now he is an intern for college. He leads the Worship team, leads a small group, and will soon be starting a ministry on the community college campus nearby with Abrem. Awesome guy.


Philip - Philip is 21 and going to college at Cal State Monterey Bay. He is SO talented when it comes to computers. Hence, he is our Video intern. This is his second year doing it. We make videos, slide shows, etc. and he takes them and turns them into GOLD. I would have no idea what I was doing, so yeah Philip!

Here is my rockin' team. They help with all the planning and implementing of our college activities. It feels so great to be surrounded by such solid people. We really have fun together.

P.S. And in case you're wondering...."The Other Side" is what our college group is called.

Friday, September 22, 2006


I just got back from being downtown today and I feel like it's gotten weirder than ever. I haven't been there in maybe a month or so, so it hasn't been that long, but I just had this strange feeling the whole time. The first thing I noticed was the increase in homeless people. I usually see a few when I walk around, but there seemed to be many more today. Every block, every corner. It made me super sad. The second thing I noticed was all the people selling stuff on the streets. Hand-made things or fortunes or some people just sitting there with cardboard cut-outs of political views.

I don't know exactly how to say it...I felt like it was darker downtown that I ever remember it. Like this darkness is just hovering over that area and it's slowly getting worse. I've heard from some friends who recently went downtown on a Friday night and they felt unsafe from some of the crowds or people there. I'm not sure what lies in store for downtown, but I do know I'm not planning on staying away. I love it there too much. There are too many fun spots I love to visit.

I will share my highlight of the day: I was walking by a man on a bench and he had a puppet. Propped up on his knee and everything. As I walked by the puppet started speaking to me. But you know how puppeteers try to not move their mouths so it looks like the puppet is speaking? Well, the puppet's mouth was opening and closing, but the guy was totally talking to me like normal. Odd, but funny. His puppet was dressed up as a grandpa and had a million questions for me as I walked by. "Hi there! How are you?? What are you eating? Where are you going? Do you like my glasses?" etc etc. It was cute.

P.S. The picture above is of Robert (aka: Pink Umbrella Man). He is quite famous in this area. He walks up and down the streets of downtown every day


People take pictures of him (and with him) and he is very nice, but I think a little off. Gotta love downtown!

Monday, September 18, 2006

The college Survivor video

Oh my word, you guys HAVE to go watch this! A couple Sundays ago my college students and I made a video for our upcoming teaching series. The series is called "Adult Survival 101". We wanted to do a spoof on Survivor. We showed the video last week at college group and then we put it on Google Video. Go check it out! (It's about 2-3 minutes long) Let me know what you think.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


It's not very fun being sick. Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow. Each day I've felt a little bit better, so here's hopin'.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Grey's Anatomy

I really like this show. It's my second fav after LOST. I bought Season 1 in the spring and somehow got all my roomates hooked on it, too. So, for my birthday recently, they all pitched in and bought me season 2. It came in the mail this past week. Season 3 begins next Thursday. That means we have 6 days to watch 27 episodes. Can we do it? Oh heck yes. We are marathon-ing it. In one way, I feel so lazy sitting and watching all these episodes in a row, but it's so dang convenient! There's no commercials and the episodes just go from one to the next. I've heard of people sitting down and doing 5-10 hour marathons of Alias, 24, LOST, etc. So I guess this is our marathon. I don't work on Fridays plus I'm feeling sick, so this is what I will be doing today. And maybe part of tomorrow. Wheeee!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

thumbs up/thumbs down

Thumbs down: I have a cough that has decided to just linger for awhile. And by "awhile" I mean over two weeks. It's the kind where I try to laugh, and I cough instead. Bummer! I miss my laughing. A friend told me she had the same thing and hers lasted a month. Um, sweet. Thumbs down.

Thumbs up: I went for a bike ride last night and went up a hill to a high part of my city and got to watch the sun set behind thousands of trees. It was breath-taking. Thanks God. Thumbs WAY up.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Armor of God pj's

Oh no they DIDN'T!! If I ever buy these for my kids have my permission to de-friend me.

Check out the website -

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Three things

1. My vacay to So. Cal was PERFECT! Just what I needed. It couldn't have come at a better time. The fam and I drove down Wednesday and we went to Disneyland on Thursday. It was not crowded at all. We went on four rides - Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, Jungle Cruise, and Thunder Mountain - within the first hour. It was so awesome. Yes, I got to see Jack Sparrow in the Pirates ride...he is in it 3 times. Loved it. And Barbossa is the captain of the ship that is shooting cannons at the brick wall (if you are familiar with the ride). It was fun to be there with my fam. We went back and forth between D-land and Disney's California Adventure. Our favorite ride at DCA was Soarin' Over California. We also got to see the Aladdin musical at DCA and the genie was hilarious! We ate dinner at a yummy Italian place in Downtown Disney and then headed back into the park to catch a couple more rides and the fireworks.

Friday we drove to the Huntington Beach area because my aunt lives there and my cousin just had a baby boy! He was literally 3 days old when we saw him. Baby Henry. Very cute. My aunt invited people over and we had a BBQ. Then, we drove back up here Saturday. I spent all day Sunday and Monday sleeping and resting which was AMAZING!!! I totally needed it because...

2) The college group started up again last night! Yup, we had our Fall Kick-Off. So now it's non-stop till Christmas. Woohoo! Which is why my vacation came at just the right time. I needed to rest up and have fun before things get nuts this semester. Last night was so fun. I always enjoy spending time with the students (I keep wanting to call them "my students", but they're not mine) =) We had dinner together, introduced student leaders and adult leaders, talked about our mission statement, and looked at events for the fall. The excitement level was really high, which I loved. Yeah for college!

3) Lastly, today was a special day for me. Today is my 1 year anniversary at my church. Exactly one year ago, September 7th, 2005, I came here never having been in ministry, not knowing what the heck I was doing, assisting the College Pastor with the group, and freaking out. And now a year much has happened. I mean, let's be honest...I still freak out sometimes. =) And sometimes I still have no idea what I'm doing. But I'm learning. I've been doing a lot of learning this year and it's been so good. I love that this is my life and this is what I get to do with my life. I wouldn't want anything else.