Friday, June 12, 2009

China Beach

No. I'm not talking about the awesome 80's TV show.

I'm talking about an actual Chinese beach. Qingdao, to be more specific.

This is where I will spend 12 days interacting in a cultural exchange with 200 Chinese university students. I will teach them American things like hopscotch and coin collecting. I promise to do my best to represent our country well. 

More importantly, this exchange provides an incredible platform for sharing Jesus. While we can't openly preach the Gospel, we can answer questions. And questions they will ask. One of the most frequented topics at these events is the question of God. I so look forward to having conversations and sharing the love of Jesus with these wonderful people.

I also recently discovered (long after signing up for said trip) that we were traveling to a Chinese paradise. Luscious beaches, hot springs, tropical weather, ocean breezes... I didn't know!! I like to think that it's God's graduation gift to me. How fun to get to serve Him in so beautiful and luxurious a place! AND after our time in paradise, we travel to Beijing to enjoy all of the historic sites for four days! God spoils us when we serve Him. I love it. 

My mom also spoils me. Today the UPS man brought to me this most adorable little purple camera, which I will use to capture the white sand beaches, beautiful faces and historic landmarks of China. This camera is SO cool. It has a touch screen, 10 mega pixels... ultra fancy. And it's purple. I heart it. And my mommy. :)

I get back on July 1. I will be sure to provide a thorough update of all my adventures! Pray for me... pray for health (they are quarantining people who have even the tiniest hint of swine flu-y symptoms), cohesiveness within our little team of five, safety, fruit - fruit - fruit, wisdom, confidence & boldness, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit's leading, and anything else that comes to mind. 

Well, I should probably go pack now. It' 8:44PM and I leave my house tomorrow morning at 7:15... haven't packed at all. It's how I roll. Shoot. See you in July!! 

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Graduation Speech

I graduated from Seattle Bible College tonight. I was valedictorian of my class. Here's the speech I gave...

Nearly four years ago I moved from Everett to Seattle to attend SBC. And nearly three years ago I moved back to Everett to continue attending. I remember my first week of school sitting in Pastor Dan Hammer’s Gospel of John class trying to hold back tears as I realized I was finally doing it. I was finally going to Bible College. And I soon realized that I wasn’t going to just any ordinary Bible College. In that same class I saw people miraculously healed, my dear friend, Tiffany make a decision to follow Christ for the first time, and I heard promises from God that spoke directly to my heart about my future. And this was all during second period!

And that is what marks SBC. God will have His way. The evidence of this is in the leadership. Never have I encountered so humble and sacrificial a leader as Dr. Bryan Johnson. He’s been my president, dean, teacher and boss! And in all of these roles he has exemplified what it means to steward faithfully while “holding loosely.” I have been inspired and challenged by how he serves the Lord and it has been an honor to learn from, serve with and submit to his leadership. Thank you, Bryan and Anna for pouring out your lives for us at Seattle Bible College.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the faculty, staff and board members (who I would love to mention all by name, but I only have 2.5 minutes left!) I want to thank you for investing your time, wisdom, experience, passion and hearts into making SBC what it is. You’ve impacted countless lives through the overflow of what you’ve poured out on us students. I am grateful to have been a recipient of your generosity.

To my family & friends, thank you so much for supporting me and cheering me on, and letting me play the “I have homework / I’m a poor college student” card all these years. I don’t think I’ll miss that card so much! And Mom, thank you for letting me move in… and out… and in… and out. I would not be here if it were not for your generous love & sacrifice. I love you very much.

The last four years have afforded me the privilege of exploring the depths of God, of pouring my life into studying His Word and His heart, and yet in four years I know that I have only seen the edges of His ways. I have only heard the faintest whisper of His voice. There’s so much more!

We’re told in I Corinthians that, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.”

God has incredible, unimaginable, but completely available and wonderful plans for each one of us. Today if you’re here, whether or not you know what tomorrow holds, know this: God loves you. He has a purpose for your life that far exceeds even your wildest dreams. He wants to share an adventure with you. Jesus Christ came to bring life… and that MORE abundantly! And that life is available to each one of us who call upon His name.

I want to leave you tonight with this prayer from Ephesians chapter three:

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Thank you

Me & my beautiful fellow graduate, Alyssa... I'll have more pictures to share soon! :)

Monday, June 1, 2009


Two days of school left.

Five assignments due.

One hour and forty-eight minutes until bedtime.

Five pictures that make me laugh out loud:

"Put your face in the face hole silly."

Incredible fashion sense.


Typical car ride.

We honestly were not trying to act the way we look. Promise.