I have a new challenge for myself… I want to see how many different places in the world I can submit posts to this blog from! So far I have blogged from Homer, Alaska and San Diego. To add a third location to this list, I am currently blogging from Idyllwild, California. Isn’t that name (Idyllwild) awesome? I bet the name is Welsh and I honestly feel, and the landscape looks, like I have returned to Snowdonia in Northern Whales!
So what am I doing in Idyllwild? Well, since I am about to start a job that will consume my weekends for the rest of the summer, I thought I should make the most of the freedom I have left! Tomorrow morning I am going to get up early and climb the 10,500 foot, Mt. San Jacinto!
I am stoked to be back in the mountains! I do love the beaches down in San Diego but I definitely miss the mountain view in Homer! It is good to be surrounded by mountains again! This town is so rustic and alpine-feeling. Sitting in a coffee shop, called the Java Lounge, sipping a Cafe Milano, and anticipating tomorrow morning’s climb. Does it get any better than this?
Oh wait, I guess having friends along could slightly improve the situation but you know how it is… everybody always talks about how much they love to travel and have adventures but very few people actually the time out of their “busy” lives to actually travel. So that’s fine with me, I’m not going to let that keep me from getting around. If by myself, I get time to think and can concentrate on taking good photos so its all good!
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)
Jesusâ€™ words here speak to me because I often seem to struggle to find spiritual rest within my soul. This timeless verse reveals so much of its meaning in the original language.
â€œ…all ye that labor and are heavy ladenâ€
The term â€œheavy ladenâ€ comes from the Greek word â€œphortizoâ€ which means â€œto load upâ€ or â€œto overburdenâ€. It carries the idea of pouring more into a cup than it can hold or overloading a car or animal with more than it can carry. This is literally what Godâ€™s law does to us. It places a load upon us that we can never carry. This becomes the cause for great spiritual anxiety and unrest until we recognize that Jesus carried the load both of Godâ€™s law and our sin to Calvary. He has fulfilled everything that God has asked of us and offers peace and rest to all who come to Him!
â€œ…and I will give you restâ€
The Greek word for refresh is transliterated â€œanapanoâ€, meaning â€œto repose or to refreshâ€. It stems from two words, the first being â€œanaâ€ meaning â€œupâ€ or â€œatâ€ and the second being â€œpauoâ€, a primary verb that means â€œto stop, restrain, quit, or come to an end.â€ Coming to Jesus for rest simply means that we stop all of our religious striving and fall upon His grace in total dependence. Through the eyes of faith, we must recognize that His redemptive work is the only payment that could truly make us right with God. Jesus brings all of our self-righteous efforts to an end, causing us to live Godly lives out of gratitude rather than religious obligation. When I donâ€™t have the rest that Jesus offers it is because I am relying on my own failing attempts to make me holy.
In the midst of searching for jobs, friends, community and direction for my new life here in San Diego, I found an incredibly encouraging passage of Scripture today. “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are numbered. Fear ye not threfore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)
God is so familiar with His creation that not even sparrows escape his notice. I have no need to fear or worry about the future because God is so intimately acquainted with everything about me and He cares for me! This may seem quite basic but how easily we forget it. God values us and cares for our needs!
I am applying to work for an incredible organization called, Invisible Children, referred to in an earlier blog entry. I really hope to get the job as it would be working for a cause that I very firmly believe in. As part of my application they asked me to do a little design project and here is what I came up with as a mission statement page for them. If you would, please let me know what you think by commenting on this post!
I just spent a few days in Palm Springs and I was amazed at how beautiful it was! As an oasis in the desert, it is permeated with sunshine and accented by flowers, greenery and curvaceous palm trees.
In life I have found that true friends are a gift from God! I just had the chance to spend a few days with my buddy from Alaska, Mike Becker. He came down to Palm Springs for an Audi Specialist event. From attending an incredible concert in LA, to hanging out with a few of his friends, to relaxing at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort in sunny Palm Springs, we had a great time! In the year that I’ve known him, Mike has shown himself to be a loyal friend and has helped me in many ways!
Every night, tens of thousands of children in Northern Uganda walk to nearby cities and sleep outside in order to protect themselves from abduction. For over twenty years, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has been terrorizing Northern Uganda. Part of their strategy is to abduct children, force them to kill others or else be killed, and thereby desensitize them and turn them into brutal soldiers. An estimated 20,000-50,000 children have suffered this fate. Quite possibly the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today, this war has caused 1.7 million people to be forcibly displaced and 130 people continue to die per day in Northern Uganda, due to violence.
Desiring to identify with these children and to stop the war in Northern Uganda, I joined 6,000 people in Balboa Park for the Global Night Commute. This event was organized by Invisible Children, a non-profit organization that is working to communicate the desperate plight of these people to the world. The event was challenging, thought provoking and inspiring. Every one present was given paper to write a letter to the President and our state senators. We also made artwork express our thoughts and feelings about this issue. After writing the letters, we gathered for pictures and then spent the night hanging out and sleeping in the park. It was a night that I won’t soon forget and soon I hope that it will be a night that the world won’t forget!
To learn more about Invisible Children, visit www.invisiblechildren.com. Or to see more images of the event, go to www.ajimaging.com and navigate to the galleries section of the site.
“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets and followed him.” (Matthew 4:19-20) Can you imagine the courage that it must have taken to drop their entire lives down by their nets laying on the ground, to follow a man they had barely even met? I think I’ve got courage when I take steps into the unknown, like moving to San Diego, but anything I’ve done pales in comparison to the decision that Peter and Andrew made here. Didn’t they have questions that they needed answered first? Didn’t they need to discuss things with their families and pray about it? Does Jesus call us like this anymore and if so, how do we answer?