Saturday, February 28, 2009


On Febuary 20-22 300 college students from Arizona, California and Hawaii took time to remember. To remember God and his faithfulness in our lives and the lives of the men and women in the Bible. It was called the Remember Conference and was held 45 min. outside San Diego. It is an annual thing, this being Ryan's 7th conference, and at each one God has used something durning the conference time to grow him more into the likeness of Christ. Knowing the impact of these conferences we rallied some guys and girls from SDSU with us to this conference. Crazy enough, even though one of the students was adamint about not going...God softened his heart, and much to our excitement and surprise he ended up going with us. How cool!

We also led a workshop focusing on scripture memory. During the workshop we shared a ditty like "song" to remember 2 Cor 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come." Much to our suprise, on Sunday the conference speaker up front asked Ryan to quote this very scripture. To everyone's delight Ryan turned to the students and 40 voices rang out "singing this verse". It was hilarious, but really cool.

God led Valerie to some sweet, sweet time with girls from both SDSU, and some of the girls she used to meet with at ASU. It's amazing to see God's growth in these young women! What a privilege to be part of their lives. Ryan also had some great bonding time with the guys at SDSU and much to his surprise...his brothers. 2 of Ryan's brothers, and both of Val's brothers came to the conference. What a blessing from God. It was so relaxing and encouraging to spend some time with family, especially now that we hardly see them.

Valerie had prayed that God would grant her time to catch up with all the girls that God had laid on her heart. He did this over abundantly! She had amazing quality conversations with every girl and then some. What an awesome answer to pray. Also, we both felt like we bonded much closer with the students at SDSU and in fact had some of the guys came over last night to play games and they stayed till 1AM! It is really cool to finally begin to get to that compfortability with the students.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Why do I fear men?
There are 89 verses in the Bible about fearing God...
yet I choose to fear men.
Can man say any of this?

Job 38
4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?

8 "Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, 9 when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, 10 when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place, 11 when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt'?

12 "Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place,

16 "Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
or walked in the recesses of the deep?

17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death [b] ?

18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.

Can any man know all this? of course not! So why do I cower before a "mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes?" (James 4:14) Why do I freeze up at the thought of meeting new students? Why does the idea of sharing Christ with a stranger feel a little like walking down a dark alley? Why is my fear of man greater then my fear of God?

Fear of man, lack of fear for God. I've been struck by these thoughts this last week. I am commanded to proclaim His good news to everyone possible. Not only that, but it should be EASY to speak up for Him because of his greatness and even all the amazing thing's he's graciously done in my own life. Now, It is pretty easy for me to shepherd the hearts of women, to train them, guide them, even do all I can to help them grow. However, it's so difficult for me to evangelize to them on campus. How can that be?

Where's the synagogue? Where's a place of meeting? Isn't that where you could find Paul preaching? Isn't that where Jesus taught more often then not? Yet there are no bright lit up signs saying "Share the gospel here." But you'rw probably thinking "what does it matter where?" right? All I have to do is find one stranger, engage them in conversation and share the good news with them. Why is it so hard? I mean that's something Paul did on his DOWN time (acts 16:13) "On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there." Paul went to find a place to relax and pray. Instead he ended up sharing the gospel with this group of ladies where Lydia converted and became a faithful follower of Christ. All on his "down" time. *sigh*

This is the first job I've had where I can't evangelize to my co-workes, because they are already saved. It's kinda weird when I step back and think about it. So who do I go after then? neighbors? Just met them 2 months ago. Friends? haven't made too many of those yet. Peers? I don't know if I'd call students my peers. So who? strangers! That's all I have. One small step into conversation and magically they are no longer strangers. Yet it's so difficult for me to get over this bump.

So here I am, in a new land, with new people, and in many ways a new culture. I am a full-time missionary. (Weird. Hard.) There are no natural day-in-day out relationships that I can be praying about evangelistic opportunities for. Nope. Either I go up to a person, meet them, then share Christ, or nothing at all. It's such a weird dynamic.

So as you can tell, this week has really been a good challenge to me in regard to sharing the gospel. So often it's easy on collegiate Nav staff to focus on the disciplining and bible studies rather then the evangelism and planting of seeds. We are going through Phillipians in our large group times and it has been especially convicting for me to hear the words of Paul, "What has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel." He's in prison, yet he's still proclaiming Christ to even his prison guards. How am I serving to advance the gospel? What am I doing on a daily basis to proclaim His name?

Pray for me as I draw supernatural courage from the Holy Spirit. My goal is to meet at least one new girl a day this week. By next post I should have 7 new names I can pray over (I already have one and I just started today). And then next week, who knows, maybe I'll up the anti to 2 girls or maybe 5? All I know is that I have to take some step of faith no matter how small. Because if I don't, I'm just giving into fear of man.

Who are you fearing today, man...or God?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


By Val
Wow! January 14th was the last blog entry, almost a month ago. Sad day. I guess we have been just so busy with school starting up again and all. Plus, I always think these blogs have to be these great epiphanies or these huge informational bulletins so I sometimes shy away from writing them. But honestly, when I read my friends blogs, I just like hearing where their heart is. What they're thinking and how they are doing. It warms my heart to hear about their lives. So here I go.

Oh San Diego, where do I start. I never thought I'd feel this empty home sick feeling. Me! The girl pulling at the bit at every turn. But yea, I really do miss everyone in AZ. It's crazy how much community there I really had. Especially since I had just gotten to the age where I was beginning to explore the beautiful gift of friendship God has given to me in my mom.

Anyways, so yea, it's tough finding friends, especially when we haven't been around most weekends. But I feel like I've always struggled making friends. I feel like it's never been easy. I still remember in 7th grade, I would come home devastated because I didn't know how to talk to the people in my class. My mom just said "smile, and ask how they're doing". That's it! But these simple words became "abracadabra" for me in opening the door to friendships. However, these friendships were shallow because I wasn't willing to put myself out there. If any of my friends asked ME how I was doing I would throw on my mask and become whoever they wanted me to be. Over the years God has taught me how to take off this mask, but I still realize what a long process takes to make these transparent friendships.

My friend Laura and I were "friends" since we were 6! But we never become true friends until we both started going through rough patches and began trusting each other with our junk. That wasn't until COLLEGE. That's like what? 12 Years? I totally hope it won't take me another 12 to learn that lesson here in San Diego. But it was worth it. I know that we will be friends until the end because we have walked with each other through all our junk.

Then is my whirlwind friend Loren. We went from outright hate for each other to BFF status in like 2ish years! Crazy! What was the difference? I think it's because she taught me how to really listen. How to not judge others, because it's only by God's grace that I'm not in their position. I think God also taught me alot about humilty in those years. Loren was so faithful though. So loyal and trustworthy. I thank God everyday for her, and what she taught me about friendship and what she continues to teach me.

Then there's my roomates, Becca, Alicia, Katy and Amber. God did a powerful work in me through them. Before that, I always considered myself a tom boy because my brothers were always my best friends. I just didn't think I could have alot of female friendships in my life. However, each one of these girls stripped me bare of these lies in their own ways and in God's perfect timing. I still remember to this day walking with Becca down campus one day from a bible study. And afterwards thinking..."wow! I really liked talking with this girl. You know, I think I actually like talking with other girls". Of course Alicia, Katy and Amber are not typical girls, yet I've loved them all the more because of that. They are so eccentric and individualistic. It's amazing just to be around them. They have taught me so much about life and just learning to be myself. I love them so much I can't even put into words!

Then there's those precious three girls that God put in my life at just the right time. Giving me hope and a passion for what I'm doing right now. Krystal, Maggie and Lauren our precious, precious gems. I have loved their friendship, insights, passions and honesty. I would not be the same person without them. All of them so so beautiful both insided and out. I'm just so sad that I'm not there as they continue to blossom into the women of God that He has called them to be.

Ah yes, and my heart friends. Sarah and Michelle. Even typing this..I just miss them so much. It's so beautiful to be able to share hard life stuff with someone who not only cares about you, but also looks out for you AND most importantly understands personally why this God stuff is so important. I love these ladies so much I tear up just writing about them. They showed me what true heart friends are. True heart friends are women who love God so much that they're love just spills out onto others. Thanks girls. I look foward to all that God has in store for us and our friendships even though they it looks much different now because of distance.

So, it's no wonder that it's hard for me to make friends. The bar is set so high already. But I know God will do it all in his timing. I just have to wait on Him and remember that he is far better then anything I know or ask for. Or as my new friend Jenelle shared, God asks us "Aren't I better then...." even if it's something as dear to me as a new heart friend. So yes Lord, you are far better then even friends.

Psalm 119:76
May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.