Month: September 2014

WEEKEND REVIEW: Pathway’s Fall Retreat

The Retreat I was waiting for..FINALLY came! I loved every moment of it. Anticipation was built from the first day of September. Granted I had to go because of my roles…but my spirit wanted and needed to go.

We always renew our contract with Koinonia Conference Grounds which is located in the lush forest of Watsonville. I must’ve sounded like a broken record when it came to praising this location and the last leg of the drive up there.

All planning and prayer was finally coming alive on Friday the 26th.

Retreat Team 1 was schedule to leave church no later than 2pm. But, you can’t drive to the forest on an empty stomach right? Of course not! =)

PHO with my Queen April

PHO with my Queen April

That is a large Pho Tai. No shame. I am a big girl ^__^

I started emptying my trunk out and found leftover sparklers from our wedding in 2011. WOW I kept those 36″ sparklers under all my junk for 3 + years.

Baby, you're a firework~~

Baby, you’re a firework~~

 

Our team goal was to arrive at the conference site and set up the check in table which included the retreat booklets and the tshirts…both of which were accidentally loaded into a locked uhaul van. Curious as to what we packed in our Uhaul pre-praise equipment?

SNACK & 10 Boxes of Ramen!

SNACK & 10 Boxes of Ramen! (PC Ivan Yee)

BUT thank God it all got worked out and we were able to leave around 2:07pm. WHEW!

Retreat Team 1: We're off!

Retreat Team 1: We’re off! Heidi-Priscilla-April-Me

The drive down the 152 to Watsonville was therapeutic.

April's 1 hour sniff test

April’s 1 hour sniff test

 

The one biggest thing I wanted all these ladies to experience the cold, crisp piney forest air. With multiple attempts, April could NOT smell this gorgeous oxygen unfortunately. She even sniffed her coconut water to sober up her nasal senses…no luck. =(

We stopped by Cafe Ella to grab an early dinner.  This is a must try place IMO (humble non-foodie opinion) Ella caters but also has a cafe filled with delicious menu items.

 

Totally thankful for Ivan & Gideon who arrived early to help set up. We worked out the remaining details on the registration, ate dinner and set out to pray. We were determined to serve the family of Pathway. IE:

Friendly face, beautiful smiles & 90 degree-hands on belly button bows are a must

Friendly face, beautiful smiles & 90 degree-hands on belly button bows are a must!

We broke off into prayer groups to spread out on the conference grounds. The desire was to sow prayers into the cabins, the sanctuary, and the dining hall. We were asking God to show us His glory, to lead us to divine conversations in our small group/W2W M2M sessions and in our cabins. For grace, humility and love to flow among cabin mates -as we know that can be difficult at times. For hearts to be a good and ready soil for the word of God to speak in each session. As we made our way towards the dining hall, a thick fog settled onto the field of the conference site. I wondered, “Is this what we would have seen in the Old Testament God? The presence of God ..”

PC: Ivan Yee

PC: Ivan Yee

And so it began…registrants rolled through and our 1st worship session began. Usually the 1st night people are kinda not all there. They’re tired from work and not able to focus fully on them and God at the retreat but this evening, it was different. There were hearts that were praying the weeks before and even the morning of..Hearts were ready to worship and seek God out together.

 

 

 

The biggest ways God had convicted my heart regarding the authority of Christ was in my marriage. Perhaps it’s one of the hardest areas to submit to the authority and the authority of your husband. God had been nudging every night about my responses, my attitude, my thoughts and overall the condition of my heart. I was resolved to make some changes and surrender as much as I could to God.. (More to come on Thankful Thursday blog)

 

Some of my favorite highlights of taking photos with my phone at the retreat. I’m hoping to create a simple video from all the clips I got during the game portion of the retreat. =)

 

I really enjoyed the time to heard the Word of God be taught, pray with our church family and just get away from the world’s influence and busyness. Sad that this may be our last retreat but thankful for the time we got to spend together. God is good. He is worthy.

 

 

 

TOP TEN TUESDAY: FALL WISHES

Fall has OFFICIALLY arrived (September 22 for those who are curious)

I’m really excited for Fall. Potentially might be the last fall in California for the Parks so that makes my heart even more excited to make memories with my friends and family this year.

So here are my Tuesday Top Ten Fall Wishes:

1.  The changing leaves

fall leaves

I can’t wait to see the vivid reds, oranges, and yellows. Of course the fading green is pretty too. Although this picture  is gorgeous, I will have to say that this next one, I do squirm in a bad way.

Taken 11/30/2013

Taken 11/30/2013

I don’t care if anybody says that Trypophobia is all in the head or what not.. but I FEEL IT. I feel nauseous and sick when I see patterns that repeat over and over. Vines and Vines filled with leaves on the highway “sound” walls make me sweat. This image makes me squirm. I just want to take a huge broom and sweep it all away so that the sidewalk is smooth and the grass is standing tall.

2. Bring out the Hoodies and Sweater!

I’m a shirt and t-shirt girl but if the weather calls for it. I’m all down for a cozy sweater. =D

SWEATER TIME!

SWEATER TIME!

3.  Apple Cider

apple-cider-cinnamon-sticks-autumn-drinks

I always had a cup or two or three at these Fall Retreats. Something about the flavor just warms my heart and soul…even over Hot cocoa.

4. Operation Christmas Child 2014!!

By far one of the hardest things to organize but it’s only because we know that the Gospel is being shared and children’s lives are being changed in the name of Jesus, that we go back to all the planning and coordinating. Kinda bittersweet as this may by the last time I get to coordinate at Pathway but definitely looking forward to our fundraisers and OCC Packing Party! We began all the way back in 2007 but here’s the last two years of how it has grown from 100 shoeboxes to…

2012

Our 2013 OCC

5.  Hot soup on cold days

 

Cold days and hot soup is like PB&J! My all time favorite soup to have is PHO! Oh man! Can’t wait to walk into a Pho restaurant, smell the broth, flood it with basil leaves and Siracha! Hmm white onions in Vinegar! =D

 

PHOOOOO!!!!!

PHOOOOO!!!!!

 

 

 6.  Pathway’s Fall Retreat

It’s coming up this weekend! I am SOO EXCITED! The body of believers so desperately needs a retreat(?) NO, we so desperately need Jesus and so to get away from the technology, the busyness and demands of work and family is a MUST. We’re going back to our annual location of Koinonia Conference Grounds. I am looking forward to worship, teaching, fellowship, prayer, laughter, meeting new folks, roughing it (a lil) together, and a special side note: The fresh crisp air of the forest. OH MAN!! FOREST CRUSH FRIDAYS! I can’t wait for Friday to drive down to Santa Cruz and enter the lush forest where the air is cold, crisp and oh so piney!

7.  RAIN! I LOVE RAIN!

I especially LOVE the smell of fresh rain on the sidewalk. The presence of rain changes the temperature of the air to a crisp cold air which is fahbulous! ❤

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Puddles of rain today!

8.  Snuggling in bed/ Waking up cold with a warm blanket to press into

I’d rather be cold than hot any given day. I just have natural body heat radiating out of me (husband agrees) so to wake up in a cold room with a warm blanket to wrap myself with is a perfect combination! Especially love snugging with this furball in the mornings.

Krazy Kitler

Krazy Kitler

9.   More reasons to have an attitude of gratitude

We all know gratitude shouldn’t just be a seasonal condition of our heart and mind but Thanksgiving and something  closing out the year brings a stronger desire to be thankful and do good to those around us. Maybe it’s the weather growing colder and the increased family gatherings  that make us think about those who may not have what we have. There’s so many opportunities that pop up during the fall season. City Impact is one that I hope to participate in and Operation Blessed to be a Blessing for the Homeless Ministry.

10. Comfortable clothes.

I’ll be real. Summer time feels good and happy but I am not down to strip down to short this and short that. Fall time means boots, jeans, jeggings, leggings, oversized tops, sweaters, mmmmm. Comfortable.

If I could wear this all day everyday I would.

If I could wear this all day everyday I would.

WEEKEND REVIEW: What is a birthday?

This weekend was completely filled with birthday fun. It started off with the highly anticipated birthday party of the Ibanez brothers! 6 and 1 year old! My coworker Rosa is always so open to inviting her coworkers. I love going to their parties. 1. Because the food is BOMB authentic and 2. I love their family!

Here’s their Despicable Me & Lego Themed party.

The food was fabulous. The company was heartwarming and entertaining. The clown was kinda scary and although I didnt’ understand the Spanish that was being spoken..it was just fun to watch the kids laughing and adults having fun.

Happy 6th and 1st birthday you two. You’re beautiful and a one of a kind gift from God to this earth.

The Ibanez Brothers

The Ibanez Brothers

 

On top of celebration the physical birth and health of these cuties, I got to witness the baptism of a young lady. Our pastor’s daughter who I’ve known since mid 2000s. I’ve watched from afar, and seen her wrestle with her identity in her family and just life overall. She’s her mother’s right hand helper. To hear her testimony this past Sunday brought nothing but praises to my heart. Only be the grace of God has she come to the saving knowledge of Jesus and it will be only by the grace of God that she will continue to know God intimately and mature in her faith.

We take our faith seriously!

We take our faith seriously!

Sad I accidentally deleted a photo of her sharing her testimony before she was baptized.

 

Birthdays are great. Both physical and spiritual birthdays. Can’t go wrong celebrating them. Birthdays (to me) are not just a date in the calendar that says, “You were born into the world today.”

Every year a person ages represents the year they’ve lived. An opportunity to reflect on the past year’s memories. But it’s also an invitation from God to look into the future +1 year and dream God -sized dreams, grow in life and in relationship with our Creator,..so many hopes and dreams that can lie in the +1 year. On a realistic note, nobody is guaranteed tomorrow so live today to the fullest, dream great things for the future and celebrate the past…none of it is in vain when you have God.

 

 

 

 

THANKFUL THURSDAY: Today, I’m thankful for…

Because of the week’s schedule, I usually end up sharing all my praises and thanksgiving on Thursday about Wednesday’s CG gathering…which is probably how Thankful Thursday worked out so well for me so far. Last night’s study, we focused on the topic of prayer. One of the verses we didn’t get a chance to look at but still left an impression on my heart was Colossians 4:2

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”

I have a constant complaint to God but instead of focusing on the complaint I want to shift my attitude to gratitude. Here’s what I’m thankful for this morning.

MULTIPLICATION of WDMULTIPLY

Our fist night...away

Our fist night…away

Our 1st week of fellowshipping as two CGs. Bittersweet but absolutely in awe of God and how He works. His timing, His purpose. His work in our hearts to trust and obey even if the road is unknown. All the more praises.

 MY JOB

2014 has been an amazing year. It’s my 4th year at this law office and at times I can’t believe what has been happening. I had the opportunity to lead a lunch discussion once a month from April to July. I felt like God was placing it on my heart to invite all my female coworkers and do a “study”. It was for school and a temporary project.  I would offer a free lunch on the first Friday of the month and we’d read a passage, go over a few questions and pray. So amazed at how so many of them came out faithfully. We took a a break in August and came back in September because they wanted to continue meeting and learning about God.

Just this week, my boss approved purchasing personalized bibles for the gathering! Ah so excited. I wondered at times, “Is this what life can look like when we choose to obey (even with reluctant attitudes and delays) God?” I’m sure it’s more than this. Crazier and wilder than this…

 

LOVING FRIENDS:

There are a handful of those in my life that check up on me, ask me “How are you today?”, not just keep connected with me but genuinely care for my wellbeing by asking questions, praying for me, and going beyond the surface level conversations..We all know friends don’t grow on trees.

Everybody wants to be loved and encouraged. I don’t think there’s anybody who was born wanting to be rejected, despised or discouraged.  So grateful for the Kakao voice notes that come through sharing how God is speaking to them, their struggles, prayer requests, and just showing honor/respect/encouragement.

“Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good. Love one another warmly as Christians, and be eater to show respect for one another.” Romans 12:10 GNT

 

One area I am working on being thankful or more thankful is my marriage. Marriage is so hard and when you’re in the refinery, boy being thankful is not naturally overflowing from the heart. But I’m learning and being gently reminded by God’s spirit how to become more and more like a 1 peter 3:1 wife. It’s not easy to always do the 1st part of it or..all of it to be honest.

“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,”

But I’m thankful God has been teaching me about becoming a 1 Peter 3:1 wife. I probably fall under the unsuccessful wife than the successful one but I want to continue obeying and not giving up God’s Word and His promise of the Holy Spirit’s power living in me..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He said “ABSOLUTELY”

After September’s First Friday Devotional I noticed how much the participants are missing out by not having a Bible to flip through the verses.

I started brainstorming on how I should go about getting them Bibles. They have never owned one for themselves so I’d like to get them personalized Bibles as well.

Gofundme?

Ask the husband?

Shared with the prayer ministry and lifted it up Sunday morning.

On my way to work Monday morning, the thought came to mind that I could/should ask my boss if he can pay for them.

 

So…

I asked today,

” 오빠…나 오빠 돈 좀 쓰고 싶은데…사무실을 위해” (Big brother (in an affectionate asian way) I want to use some of your money…for the office)

“오! 써!” (Oh yeah? Go ahead!)

“………아니 성경 책 좀 살려고. 저번에 성경 책이 없으니까..좀 어렵더라. ..다들 성경 책이 없어서..사주고 싶어.”  (Oh..I wanted to buy them Bibles. Last time it seemed hard to teach them without the Bible and nobody owns their own Bible anyways.)

“Absolutely!”

 

Praise be to God! WOW! I’m learning more and more bit by bit who this God is I love and serve. How He works when we step out in faith. Amazing.

My boss later came by my cubicle and said, “Judy..buy them an easy to read Bible..don’t get no King James Version hahaha.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEKEND REVIEW: BLUE! POWER!

SATURDAY

So Friday morning I had a bit of a scare. I woke up and went about my typical morning routine of checking emails, reading some verses and trying to catch up with overnight social media action. I sat up and took my first step but it didn’t feel right. I kept leaning to the right and couldn’t regain my balance. I had to lean on the walls, my dresser and the doors to get from my bed to the bathroom. At first i thought it was my grogginess but it never took this long if I lost my balance.

I contacted my friend who’s a chiropractor and gave the run down of my symptoms the past few weeks. I have problems with my TMJ specifically the right side of my jaw so I had been experiencing sharp random pains inside my right ear, tingling numbness on my right side of my face and scalp..then this happened. She had me come into her office on Saturday so she could readjust me and roll out some knots in my shoulders and neck.

I knew Jenny when she first decided to go into Chiro school back when we were housemates. I never knew she was this determined and watching her study for school and tests was quite impressive. She always had her bag of M&Ms (Something about chocolate helps retain information in the brain) and her 3X5 cards handy. Visited her during clinics at Palmer and now she’s on her own: name on the window: JENNY KIM, D.C. I kept telling her that her hands were so much more confident than her Palmer days. She used to worry about the strength of her hands for this practice, wondering whether she could do a good job. She did a fabulous job. Got some cracks and pops here and there with some electric stimulation on my upper back. I don’t think my upper back/neck/face situation will get fixed immediately but it was really nice to have somebody I know and trust work on me.

We grabbed some breakfast for lunch at a really cute place called Alana’s Cafe in downtown Redwood City. Right next door was a local gallery called The Main Gallery. We both fell in love with the artist, Helen Christoph. Her work is absolutely adorable, whimsical and captivating. Something about her drawings make me feel…happy.

I wish I took more pictures of her art that was hidden in her bin.

I love looking at art done by local folks. The next ones reminded me of the talented Grace Song.

Wish I could afford the art in there. Hopefully Helga has some postcard prints or card prints available! =)

I didn’t expect much from Alana’s Cafe boy was it delicious! I ordered the Mediterranean Scramble that had artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, provolone cheese and prosciutto. It came with homefries (DELICIOUSLY SEASONED) and a choice of bread which were not your typical white, wheat or english. When our server said coffeebread I said, “YES PLEASE!”

Jenny got Martha’s famous Swedish Oatmeal Pancakes with a side of sliced bananas/lingonberries (think of Ikea Jam) with a side of ham steak. Her pancakes came with the CUTEST “mini jug” of syrup. Of course she quickly ran out and we asked for more= MOAR MINI JUGS OF SYRUP! Died inside from the cuteness!

SUNDAY

Sunday was a LONG day but a really fun and exciting one. It was the last day for our Fall retreat registration and folks were in line to register which was exciting to see! =D I can’t wait for the end of this month! We had our orientation for upcoming missions opportunities in NE Asia after worship. So excited to see how God is stirring interest beyond our “comfort zones” in the hearts of people. Faces I didn’t expect showed up and faces I believe God is calling came and it was just a beautiful sight to see. Of course, I wish there was more. We watched a video of a couple who is out serving as missionaries. One of the greatest encouragement I heard from the orientation was how to pray as to whether or not God is calling you. They said everybody is called to “go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” EVERYBODY. So it’s not a matter of  asking God, “God are you calling me to go?” They were encouraging us to pray, “God are you NOT calling me to go at this time? Show me the red flags. Close doors.” Can’t wait to see who goes to the nations in 2014-2015.

 

 

Lord, bring clarify and confirmation to these individuals.

Lord, bring clarify and confirmation to these individuals.

Been lifting up specific individuals to go.  God is on the move. Yes He is! He is pressing on the hearts, knocking on the door …

Right after we had our last Flag Football practice. DUN DUN DUNNNN~~~! This Saturday is our GameDay! I can’t believe this day is finally here. I could tell we were really serious on the field. Even myself. I was stoked to try out my new gloves but even during drills, I couldn’t catch the football. Frustration to the max. Then during scrimmage, Defense was on top of their game. I had these two  defense “flies” (hehehe) on me for almost every play. They were pushing back even harder when it was a gender play. Interception after interception. Block after block. Smacked my hand to reject the football. Tough. I had told my BLUE POWER partner that now that we have the blue gloves, let’s work hard to get a touchdown for sure. There’s no excuse!! I had both Isaiah and Eddie (my sweet brother flies) on me in the endzone. I couldn’t shake them off. Ran left, ran right- I had two Goliaths blocking me for what felt like 5 minutes.  I took another run to the right and my eyes locked with the QB & we made contact. FINALLY! A  TOUCHDOWN!!!! (And I was within the endzone! I kept going out of bounds which was driving me nuts!)

The feeling of finally accomplishing something after trying so many times–just overwhelmed me. I was screaming off my head like a maniac! And just like that, all the pent up frustration just POOF disappeared. LOL Although I ended up screaming in Isaiah’s face. I’m actually pretty proud of our Defense. They have a lot of former football athletes so I can see the determination and passion in their eyes to pursue, pursue and create incomplete plays. I’m banking on them to set the field on FIEE-YAH!

 

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Done with our final practice

 

That my friend is "POWER"'s Touchdown of the day

That my friend is “POWER”‘s Touchdown of the day

We were invited by our pastor to have dinner before the tournament. Man it was so much fun to just hang out, see other players off the field with their families and eat some really good food!

 

 

Every time I walk away from a gathering with my spiritual family, I wonder how and what I would do in life without this community. Not just specifically talking about Pathway (although I love these guys!) but just any spiritual family/community. Love doing life with these guys.