Monday, December 15, 2014

lily's essay

my friend lily is a freshman at a catholic high school here in town- she asked me if she could interview me for a paper for her religion class. she shared the paper with me this morning- it was super-encouraging- and such a huge honor- so I thought I 'd share it!

Semester Project - Religion 9A
My Model of Faith is Rob W, the youth pastor in the middle school ministry of Venture Christian Church. I chose him to be my Model of Faith because he inspires me to pursue my faith as a Christian even further than I ever thought possible. I also chose him because he is so committed to believing, celebrating, and living the Christian faith in his works as a pastor and outside of church.

Rob shows me that he truly believes his faith and wants to embrace it to the fullest. He believes that we as humans need to trust God and not do things our way, because when we do what we want, things don’t turn out too well. When you live for yourself, you are not allowing God to speak to your heart and conscience. Rob explained to me that he can now relate more to God as a father, since he has a daughter of his own. He is passionate about caring for her and loves her so much, just as God does for us. He never turns his back on her, just like when we are in dark and troubling times, God doesn’t turn his back on us. When Rob is preaching and a kid is being rude to him or another individual, he isn’t rude back, because he knows that God will take care of it. Rob also told me that sometimes when he finds loose change on the ground, he picks it up and reads the script on it that says,"In God We Trust." When reading those words, he knows that he needs to trust God right now. When preparing for a speech and occasionally when he is presenting a strong message, sometimes an idea gets implanted in his head, and that is when he feels in the presence of the Holy Spirit. He also feels close to the Spirit when he goes on walks in the great outdoors, especially in autumn when the leaves are changing color.

There was a time when Rob was in high school when he was invited to go to a church service. That was when he realized that he wanted to serve God for the rest of his life. He connects religion and faith by believing that religion will lead you to a deeper understanding of your faith. He sees religion as habits and practices, which in turn connect him to the Christian faith, particularly when he is living in the moment or reviewing his favorite Bible verses, because that is when he feels like God is listening to him and he is listening to God the most. Rob also told me that religion is just a door. By itself religion isn’t anything that will help us - it’s what’s on the other side of that door that helps us keep on going. When he told me this, it really motivated me to become a stronger Christian and pursue my faith.

Rob celebrates his faith according to the teaching of  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” He is always considering the welfare of people around him and is regularly trying to live more like Jesus and is aspires to represent Him well. Rob is a strong supporter of simple acts of kindness, because even just a smile or a compliment can make someone’s day infinitely better. It may surprise you when I tell you that Rob was not baptized by his parents, but he chose to totally commit to Christianity when he was a junior in high school. He told me that he knew that he wanted to become more serious in practicing his faith. When Rob was in high school, he was a little insecure about his faith, but after being baptized, he knew that he wanted to follow God for the rest of his life. By taking on this responsibility, he decided in college that he wanted to become a youth pastor. Whenever I see Rob in public, his attitude is like he never left church! Some might say that Rob has an advantage, working at church, since it is a holy place where people can praise the Lord, along with other people of the same faith by their side. Since he works as a minister, he gets to continually preach the good news of Jesus Christ, and he gets to spend time helping students and leaders. He loves to help them discover faith, plus he gets to assist students by talking to them about any struggles that they might have within them.

Rob lives out his faith by spending much of his time in prayers of adoration and blessing of God. He truly values the Bible, and he believes that every Christian should be familiar with it, because it is the Word of the Lord! He also values people and thinks that every person is important, has dignity, and should be treated with respect,whether they are rich or poor, strong or weak, it doesn’t matter! We are all equal in the eyes of God. One other thing that Rob strongly believes in is excellence, and that if you are going to do something, you should do it right. You, too, should be the best that you can be because we are acting for Jesus. In addition to having many values, Rob believes in living for God through prayer and worship. He told me that prayer would make him have more faith, be less stressed, and allow him to have more powerful sermons. He said that the whole of humanity would benefit from praying more, because it not only brings people closer to God, but in turn it brings people closer to others and themselves. I believe that Rob has a particular way of celebrating his faith, because he devotes so much time to the well-being of others before himself. He works to be a light to his neighbors, and not just at church, but to the people he sees in the streets and the people who take his order at restaurants. His goal is to be an encourager and to represent Jesus well.

Rob motivates me to always trust in God, help others, and that when you have doubts, pray. I am so inspired by how much Rob respects God and trusts Him. He encourages people at our church to donate. Having met him, my family donates money and time to charities across the globe. With Rob continually inspiring me to pray, I now do so every night, thanking God for the day I had, as well as the days to come. Even though I pray at night, I think that more prayer would make a big difference in my life, too, like being more connected to God. I also learned from him to never give up on God, and to trust God with everything. Whenever I have a problem, I take it to God, because He helps me to figure out a solution. Rob is also respectful to others, and his kind influence has made me into a more compassionate person. Many people look forward to Sunday church, because they know Rob is the one who is going to be preaching. He also leads fun activities outside of Venture, like immersion trips and parties, but the events somehow always make everyone feel closer to God. One other thing that Rob told me was that his wish is for himself to be a great model of faith to everyone. He wants people to look at his life and be able to say, “If I want to grow in Jesus, I should just do what Rob does.” I know that I certainly consider Rob as my model of faith, and I absolutely look at his life as a great example of how to grow in the Lord to the fullest extent. As you can see, I chose Rob Walter for my project because of how he lives life for God, believes that, and celebrates his faith. He truly motivates everyone he meets to improve their relationships with God and to trust Him.

God is love.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

ten parties

happy tenth birthday jane!
today is her 10th birthday party- here are all of the parties that came before:

this party was at o'connor hospital on December 2, 2004

this party was sort of a "pink-party" at our house for birthday #1:

birthday #2 was at the san Francisco zoo- we were going through a serious bear phase at the time.

birthday number 3 was a blues clues party! aunt susan made paw print clues all over our house so that jane could solve the puzzle. we were big into blues clues at the time.

birthday #4 was a jolly holiday- our mary poppins party!

birthday number 5 was a hello kitty party at grandma's house-

birthday #6 was jane's first "friend-birthday party." she and her buddies painted pottery at the art beat in Campbell-

birthday #7 was at Disneyland!

birthday #8 was a rainbow party at the bowling alley with her parents and her pals.
(where else would you have a rainbow party?!)

birthday #9 was with her relatives at chuck e. cheese in modesto.
sketchiest chuck e. cheese ever.

and today, for birthday #10, she and her homeschool buddies are off to the movies to catch a matinee of big hero 6- because when you're a homeschooler, you can go to the movies in the middle of the day on a Tuesday.

this kid knows how to have fun. words can't express how much I love this girl.
God is love.