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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Leading up to the proposal

We are hoping that this will be the final stop for telling "the story" of what happened Monday night.

It all began back in April, Alexis and I "snuck" into a jewelry store here in Gresham and she saw a wedding set that she absolutely loved, albeit way beyond anything that I could afford (and that was without the diamond!). But it gave me an idea of what to look for. A while later, I get a windfall of cash to help with mission trip we would be going on that summer, strangely enough I had received about $600 more than we needed. After prayerful consideration I put down $500 on that very ring she looked at, without any real idea of how on earth I would pay off the whole thing, thankfully the store let me put the ring on lay-away instead of just buying it on credit, and for some strange reason that same day he took off $600. The week after I put down that money we were visiting some old pastor friends of ours, right as we were leaving they slipped me a $500 check, the exact amount I had just put down on the ring. So, essentially at this point I've really paid nothing.

After this I worked my tail off and put every extra penny (at times it was like $20) towards that ring, by October I still owed a fair amount. But I remembered what God had told me just over a year ago, which was that when I finished my journal (not my blog, but a real paper one) it would be time to propose. I still had about 25 pages to go at that point, but something inside of me was pressing to pay off the ring, so I figured out how to work as much as possible and still get my intern and school duties done. By the second week in November it was done, I owned the ring. But there was still one problem; I still didn't have a diamond. I contacted her grandfather (mom's side) who use to be in the jewelry business, he got me some good prices on some great diamonds, but way beyond my financial ability. I contacted her grandmother (father's side) and she had a diamond to send, and I received it, but it wasn't an engagement diamond, however we are putting it into the wedding band. Then I looked on my side of the family, and nothing was found there either. Finally, a solution came about and just last Monday (Nov 21st) the diamond came, from what we think (no one is sure it was in a box) is from my biological dad's mom's ring. A beautiful, hand cut, round, 1 carat diamond.

So, I rushed into the store on Tuesday, had the diamond set, and it was to be ready on Wednesday so I could take it with us to Seattle so I could propose on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Well, on Wednesday I got stuck working late, and when I finally made it to the store, it was closed, it had closed an hour earlier than normal for the Holiday!

Plan A was to propose on the Seattle waterfront after seeing the downtown Christmas tree light up, well without the ring, that wouldn't happen. Funny thing is, the journal still had 5 pages left.

Plan B - Portland on the following Monday. Journal now has 2 pages left. We would go to the Grotto around 1pm. The Grotto is a Catholic Church prayer center, with a park like grounds that you can walk around on, it has a rose garden and a great garden with cool paths to walk on. The best part is the 130 ft ledge that you take an elevator to get up to, and at the top is more gardens, and a prayer room made of marble and huge glass windows that overlook the Columbia gorge towards Vancouver, WA and the cascades, and the Portland airport. My idea was to take her here, walk around, go to the prayer room to pray about stuff and then read some words I had written in my journal that I wanted to say (which are posted below) and then propose in the prayer room (if no one else was there, otherwise just outside looking over the area). - Plan B failed, there was a huge accident on the I205 freeway and we were forced to go another way, which took me forever to figure it out and by the time we got to the Grotto they had closed the upper part (w/ the prayer room) and would be closed until 5pm for the "Festival of lights".

Plan C - We went to Safeway and had a bite to eat, at this point she just thought things were fine. We were waiting for the festival to start. We went in and it was awesome, they had the story of Jesus' birth playing, and scenes made of Christmas lights. When you made it to the end of the path it lead into a big area with a huge life-like nativity scene and a Star of David the size of our house. We walked around, enjoyed the sites, and talked, and laughed. Then as we were about to leave, and grabbed her and took her under one of the spotlights that shined down to make the image of a snowflake on the ground. And I said, "I have a gift for you", she said "You do!", and I said "yes". I pulled the ring out of my inside pocket, and her face froze. I began to slip off the wrong glove, but caught myself, and slipped off the left glove. I took her hand, and said "Would you be my bride?" She was silent, and shocked, and then she buried her head into my chest. She looked up, teary eyed, and then screamed, "OH MY GOSH, IT'S REAL, YES" and did a little dance and then wouldn't budge, and said, "I want to savor this moment!" Later on in the car I read to her the words I originally wanted to say. Oh, yeah, and the Journal got done, with a big 'ol praise to God and closing thoughts on the future.

The rest is history.

The proposal words

There comes a time when people simply do things without any logical reason. Everything around them points towards one path, but the voice of truth says "go another - for I have called you - obey." Alexis, I am in a new season and with every season there is a time, a place, a time for change, and a place of new range. Alexis, God has been doing a lot in our lives and I believe it with all my heart and spirit it is Him that I obey and step into this new season; a season where I must begin a new identity. This new season means that both of us must learn to live without each other, as we know ourselves today. Because this new season requires both of us to gain a new identity - a new identity where Christ strands us together, a strong three strand chord. Simply put, Alexis, would you be my bride?

I had her read this passage afterwards:
Song of Songs 4:1-15

Monday, November 28, 2005

Guess what?

Yep you guessed right.

Another picture.

It's real.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Oh Christmas tree!

Christmas in Seattle!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Three Years Old!

Wow, I just realized this blog is now three years old. I think it is time for a makeover, I'll wait until next week to start that project, I've got too many other projects to pay much attention to my own personal ones right now… sad day. Love ya all.

Bored, tired, not motivated

I'm tired of being tired, but I seem to only be tired during the day, at night I can't get to sleep. This makes for a very frustrating situation. I want to have passion, life, and to be doing things because my heart wants to, not just because I need to. Lately it has been so hard for me to get up, I've been getting up just 30 min before I have to be anywhere (which thankfully has been 10am most days), if I don't have something until 12:30 than I don't get up. It has been so bad. I don't wan to be like that, I want to steward my time properly. I want to give time to God's word, to prayer, and to fellowship. So, I want to be awake, I want to rise up.

In other news, this past weekend was the Jr. High beach retreat at my church, and it was a blast. At first I really wanted to just stay home and do nothing, which is basically all I've felt like recently (I sure hope I'm not getting depressed, I'm pretty sure it is just time for a break, thank God for the holidays). However, once I got there the whole thing was a blast, the kids were great and I saw them really wanting to experience God, big time. This quarter God challenged me to be a fill in, not to simply be in the ministry I wanted, but to go where I was needed and serve, this ended up being Jr. High - never my top choice. During this quarter I have learned that my calling to be a pastor is not just for a specific age group, it is for all, and however I can do that is what matters. Even though I feel like a failure in some pastoral areas, I know that this is my calling and that continuing in it is important and to not give up when I fail to "do" something. This opportunity to serve Jr. Highers has shown me the Father's heart for people, no matter their place with Him, or anything else.

My verse at the moment: Ephesians 5:14 "And where your light shines, it will expose their evil deeds. This is why it is said, 'Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.'"

Monday, November 21, 2005

Alexis writes again.

Listening to: Wonderful Maker - Jeremy Camp

Alexis is updating her blog again, if you're interested click here.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Scary moment

We had a very scary moment top off a rather great day. Today each of us interns were introduced to all the students from 6th to 12th grade, but we were introduced in style. Ill put up pictures as soon as I get some of them, it was a great time, Alexis and I each have different color hair now, its rather shocking for some. Anyway, we were all dressed up and lookin good. So after youth group we wanted to go out, we chose to go to Portland's Le Bistro Montage. Now this place is a bit different, there is one painting, in particular, with a twisted version of the Last Supper. Other things make you think about the spiritual atmosphere of this place, and the area in general.

So, all 18 of us got there, sat down, and began eating some bread with butter and than my roommate, Ryan, began chocking on some of the bread. Not the kind of chocking like most of us have where we cough a bit, no, this was the full-on, he-cant-breath kind of chocking, where no sounds were coming from him. One of the interns, Robyn, immediately got in place to do the Heimlich procedure. However she just wasnt strong enough to get it going so a guy named Ty, who saw as back at the church, who randomly asked us where we were going and had decided to tag along, did it. The horrible moment lasted well over a minute. Ryan is fine now, shaken up, however giving the glory to God and doing a bit of reflecting.

We never know when things like this may happen, and we never know if God puts people around us for some reason. Ty and Ryan didnt really know each other, except for each others name. Just the random chance that Ty came was a miracle, plus Ty is an EMT. During that time I was shaking, but had a peace that Ryan and God were good, and that really things would be okay. However, I am still processing the whole thing;this was certainly a wake up call of some kind. Got us thinking and got us looking at God in a very real way. It has been a while since something so close to death has happened near me. Praise god.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Alexis getting a make over.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

What I think

I know a family who just this past week had their car stolen. It had in it, among other things, a laptop worth $2,000 and with two years worth of work on it, various CDs, DVDs from Block Buster and the public library, and a purse, with the owners Drivers License, Check book, Debit Cards, Credit Cards, also a baby stroller and other miscellaneous things. In addition, this was their only car, their only car with just liability insurance, meaning it isnt covered.

This family is a God-fearing, God-loving, God-understanding family, young, and just beginning to step into their calling as pastors. Some would ask, why would this happen? Others may say Well, they shouldve had full-coverage if it was their only car. I say, this is one of those opportunities in which the body of Christ consistently screws up, especially these days. What am I talking about? Im talking about the fact that people in the Church do not recognize these times as Acts 2:44-47 times.

These are the times when the church could step in, buy a new car, help replace what was stolen, donate whatever resources (maybe guide them in prevention of ID theft) they have, to help this family. This is what the Body of Christ should look like, its Biblical. It is not Biblical for us to pass judgment and say well you should've been safer with your things, you shouldnt live in a place known for cars to be stolen NO! We do what God leads us to do, not what human logic says is okay. We also make mistakes, we are human, that is why the body must work together - Ephesians 3 and 4 - I think are great ones on that.

That's what I think.

Prophetic words

I finally have typed up the prophetic words I have received over the past year. I have retro posted them to go where they should in my archives so that over time I can look and see what else God was doing, where he took me, and where he is taking me.

October of 2004 My first experience with modern-day prophecy 1st year intern retreat. Basically God was calling me into the desert.

January of 2005 My second experience, Alexis and I were broken up, a time of hell in the desert.

September of 2005 The third experience, amazing, God shows His face through the whole thing and previous prophecy is shown to have come to past. Alexis and I received this one together. The promise land is nearing, but there is still work to be done.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Cleanup time

I think I am finally going to get around to doing some cleaning up around here. Maybe put in some new pictures, change some colors, etc. Since we finally have Internet at our place I can get around to these things. Not to mention the million other things "I can finally" do now that I have better access to the Internet…

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I hate being sick

I just am not motivated when I'm sick, I really want to write out our vision for Poland and send it to some important people, but right now, I haven't got the energy.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Stand up

The Church needs to stand up. We need to be real, authentic, and alive in everything we do. We need not cover ourselves with some kind of Christian mask; we must, instead, renew our minds, and awaken our hearts to our Father. We must stand up, wake up, and realize that we are called. The Bible says that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few, and I believe that is also says that many are called but few will go. What if the called went, and the workers worked, what then? Yes I'm on a high. But the Lord has made a difference in my life, let Him make a difference in your life, let Him be your Lord. Jesus is the Pilot, not the co-pilot. His ways are far beyond our understanding, yet when I follow them, even without understanding, the fruit in my life is amazing. Be passionate, be His disciple, and listen to the Father's heart.

I don't care what issues you have in your life, we will never be perfect, we will never be. I still struggle with sexual sins, I struggle with anger issues, I struggle with obsessive compulsive tendencies in many areas. But I know one thing, I am much closer to what God has called me, and the world doesn't understand, but I know my soul is alive, and most of all my Spirit is leading because God's spirit is in me, and as Christians we all have this wonderful advantage, let His spirit grow yours and be walking in the Spirit and not by the desires of the flesh.