Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tis the Season...

To give away.

I often forget or I grow complacent of where I live and how much I have been given.

I grew up in a family that didn't necessarily give away things to every homeless person or person in need we met, but I did grow up with the outlook of we have so much, so keep your eyes open and a sense of where you can be used to fill someones tangible need.

Tonight was one of those nights.

I was taking a friend home from a cookie party we has just gone to. When we arrived at her house and as we walked in her husband began to explain that there was a homeless girl who was planning on sleeping in their apartments car-park. Now in Orange County, especially Irvine, you don't see many homeless people; there are reasons for that, but I won't get into it on this entry. As I walked outside, I saw her huddled up between the corner and the wall trying to escape the wind. I walked back inside had the husband look up the closest homeless shelter within walking distance and walked back out to my car to grab the tin of cookies I had just received from the exchange. I grabbed the tin, the piece of paper with the shelter information, and a bottle of water.

As I approached her I thought she might back away a bit, but as I got closer I found her to be dosing off as she tried to sleep sitting up. As I got her attention she moved with little energy. I asked her name. Sharon she told. She had been on the streets for about a month and was getting placed in a shelter in two days, but till then had no where to go. I explained to her she could stay there for the night, but in the morning there was shelter within walking distance that she could stay for the next night before getting placed into her more permanent shelter. She was grateful. I handed her then tin of cookies and a little money I slipped inside as well as the water bottle. I ashamedly in a way explained that I was sorry it wasn't more and with the most sincere response she looked right at me and smiled at me saying this was the most anyone had done for her in many months. My heart twisted a bit.

Sharon left the next morning my friend told me. I have no idea where she is and how she is, but it is my prayer that she is safe and warm. It is my hope and prayer that our one night encounter changed and shifted something within her and God meets her on this rough and rugged journey she is on.

Tis the season to give away...regardless of what little I may have.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I think that I have to have at least one of these entries once a year...or maybe a couple times a year. This has been a year of great change around me...not so much for myself, but for those that have surrounded my life for many years now. As of the new year approaching three of my dearest friends will have moved out of the state and on to new sections in their lives. I think that when I see these changes taking place for those that surround my life it makes me wonder if I am next or maybe I need to start looking towards moving on and away from this place that I know in its own way has become my own comfort zone?

Who would have thought Orange County would have become that for me? I can recall eight years ago that, that statement couldn't be anything farther from the truth...but it is amazing what a little time will do.

Change can be hard. The passing of seasons and the patience to get through them can be hard. I used to think that when these seasons came around that I was the one being left behind in all of it, I don't think that so much anymore, but more focus on the element of what direction am I supposed to be heading towards if all of these changes are happening around me. I guess time will always does.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Christmas Cheer

The older I get the more I realize I have to start standing up for what I believe in. I may be put in certain environments that have rules and regulations about how I vocalize my beliefs but when it comes to being out of the those environments I have to remember who I am and what it is that I believe. Christmas is a special time for me, my family, and many of my friends. Christmas is about being together and remembering that the reason we celebrate is because of a baby who entered this world and was the ultimate gift.

I get discouraged in a way when I am forced to dim my cheer and enthusiasm for the season. This Christmas season is teaching me a lot about myself and a lot about the world around me. But I also realize that I can't let those influence change me and rob me of the joy of why I celebrate this time of year.

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'" Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."

So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead."

So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."

--Matthew 1:18 - 2:23 New International Version

Friday, December 04, 2009


I love my Dad and I love when I get to catch glimpses of things that insprire him and make him happy. This past weekend was one of those moments. We had some time to kill before I had to catch a plane back to Orange County after Thanksgiving and it just so happened to be close enough to wander around his old Alma Mater in Berkley. As we walked around the campus and the campus community my Dad lit up in a way I hadn't seen in ages. He showed my Mum and I where all his classes had been, where he and his buddies used to hang out, as well as several of the dormitories he was housed in. It was a pretty special afternoon for us as a family and I could tell it was specifically special for my Dad. He isn't the most expressive person so when it comes to walking around and sharing a portion of his life that myself and my Mum were never apart of I knew it held great meaning for him.