Monday, June 30, 2008

sights and stuff from Hollywood...

So, to share some crazy, funny, or fun sights or things from Hollywood... here is some of what I saw:

  • Guy walking out of a Rite-Aid on a Sunday morning in a hospital gown complete with booties, pants, gown tied in the back, and bracelet. Not sure where he escaped from, but apparently he needed something at Rite-Aid...

  • Jose Canseco came in to eat @ Barney's Beanery in West Hollywood with his brother Ozzie (wearing what appeared to be a Bedazzled black t-shirt...) and their daughters (who appeared to have silicone lips at the age of 12)...they sat right in front and didn't seem to mind when people came up to ask for autographs and such.

  • While playing pool, my friend Shannon didn't realize Jose was actually right behind her, and they sort of "danced" back and forth as he tried to get around her...she had no clue he was right there...I wish I had that on tape!

  • Saw Mila Kunis (she plays Jackie on "That '70s Show" and is on the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall)...though she looked pretty trashed...

  • Got to see old friends like Lindsay Heston & Erinn McVey from LCC and Justin Pouk from High times!

  • While sitting at a great restaurant called Birds (with some amazing rotisserie chicken), we see the host RUN to the table behind us, only to tell some guy that his hair is ON FIRE from the candle on the table...the guy was clearly high or trashed or something b/c he had no idea...and didn't seem to care much. And the smell of burnt hair isn't so appetizing...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

i heart CA

I heart California weather.

It is amazing here right now...Gorgeous days, peaceful & breezy nights, sunny mornings...

I'm in L.A. right now on the campus of UCLA for a camp called Ignite with the Jr./Sr. High kids from Central Christian Church in Las Vegas. There are about 600 of them here, and I'm having a blast getting to know them in little bits and pieces as I'm able to. I had forgotten how funny junior high kids really are, how awkward some home schooled kids can be, and how much high schoolers love to yell "woooo!!!" at every little thing at church camp. Back in the college days I used to do camps every summer as a rep for LCC, and in the past few years working for Admissions I've been privileged to do a few more weeks of conferences and such. I'm so thankful I get to spend this week w/ these kids hanging out and helping them to see that there's more to life than the little snapshot they often see.

It's only their second night here at camp and I love when they start realizing that being a Christian isn't just a show anymore. Some are still great at putting on the masks, but many of them are being introduced to Christ for the first time and many are reconnecting and choosing to grow deeper. I'm helping out w/ a small group of girls who are going to be sophomores in high school, and I can't believe how different each girl is from the next. These kids, having grown up in Vegas their entire lives, have such a different background than what I'm used to.

I love the diversity. It seems to be a rarity in the Midwest. I'm not talking about racial diversity, but differences in cultures, values, families, traditions, theologies. Even as I sat at The Coffee Bean in Westwood Village this afternoon I realized how we're all so different, yet we're still all the same. We look different on the outside, and we've all got such different beliefs, different lives, different upbringings. But we're all looking for purpose. We're all in the same boat looking for love and a reason to be alive and a hope for the future.

Praise God we have that in Christ. No matter what we look like, no matter what we do, how much we sin, He loves us all the same. No questions asked.

And so I'm loving more than the weather in California. I'm loving that my eyes are being opened to the bigger world around me and a love that crosses all boundaries, all differences, all separation. I knew that before, but I'm catching a clearer glimpse of it now.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Well, I'm headed for Hollywood tomorrow! This week I'll be out in L.A. for a youth conference called Ignite held at UCLA with all of the junior high/senior high kids from Central Christian Church in Las Vegas. I'm pretty stoked to go hang out with the kids from their group and the fact that it's my job to do so is pretty awesome. I am thankful.

Looking forward to also catching up with Lindsay Heston who lives IN Hollywood, literally, and hanging out with her a bit before Ignite starts. If you don't know her, you probably should. I was in school with her at LCC and she moved out to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. She has had some minor roles and is getting ready to travel the world for a year to do missions work. Keep up with her in the future...I'm sure you'll see her on the big screen someday! She even has an imdb for Lindsay Heston at

I have a lot left to do today...packing, a quick trip to Springfield, etc. Hopefully I'll be able to update from the west coast, but if not...I'll be in hollyWOOD, ya'll!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

life is good.

My dad loved the shirts and hats and items with the brand "Life is Good" printed on them. Towards the end of his life, it became the theme of his life. Life is good. And we should cherish it. When God was in the process of creating, he labeled his creation as "good." On his last day of creating, He looked at everything He had made, all of it, and decided once again that it was good. This earth, the land, the water, the sky, the air, the plants & animals, and most of all, living, breathing human beings.


It was good.

It is good.

I have been noticing a few simple things in my life lately that are just plain good. And while they're small, insignificant things, I don't recognize their goodness nearly enough. I always see the things I want to change, the negatives, the "what ifs" and "what could bes" and just don't spend time thanking God for all that is good in this life. As Oprah-esque as it is, I am enjoying these simple things and smiling when I see them or think of them. These are on my list, in no particular order:
  • fresh lemons in my kitchen in a red antique-ish enamelware pot. I just smile every time I look at it. I don't know why. They just make me happy.
  • And on that note, making fresh lemonade/lemon shake-ups with the lemons...
  • sitting in my windowsill in the evenings...uncomfortable as it is, I love it.
  • the sunshine on my back through my office window in the mornings at work
  • big, juicy, fresh themselves, with sugar, made into pies, over ice cream, in fruit dip, blended in smoothies, any way they're them. They are a staple.
  • sitting outside and doing absolutely nothing...I wish I had a front porch so I could enjoy this more, but I could sit outside for hours on end in the summertime. Evenings are just perfect.
  • the smells of freshly cut grass...I try to inhale as much as possible whenever I smell grass on my walks or while I'm running. If I could bottle it up, I would. I've thought about writing the Gap to see if they'll bring back the old Grass perfume just for me.
  • weddings...I just love them. Summer is just wedding season. And this year, my best friend Amanda is getting married, and my good friend Steph just got married this past Friday. Both of them are so in love, and I love seeing their futures unfold with this exciting new part of life.
  • Sunny mornings. I rarely enjoy mornings, but in the summertime, it's just different. It doesn't mean I wake up any easier, but once I am up and outside, I love it. I want to create more time to just sit, breathe in, and enjoy it while I can.

While there are dozens of other things I could share, I'll stick to this for now.

Looking over your life, what simple things would you say are just plain "good" right now?