A place that honors political, psychological, and spiritual realism. Challenging assumptions while moving towards solutions.

Location: Santa Rosa, California, United States

I'm currently a student at Azusa Pacific University studying International Relations. I'm from Santa Rosa in Northern CA

Monday, October 03, 2005

War on Evil

Browse on over to this Article by Robert Wright for Foreign Policy magazine. This is a really important concept to me and highlights both the problem of extreemism in American politics and externalization, creating a "bad guy" so you don't have to worry about your own areas where you need growth (or where one's country needs to grow). Psychology and Politics, its all related Yo! Really, go read the article, it's short, it's only a click away, and you'll be glad you did.


Friday, July 29, 2005

Percy Aldridge Grainger

I want a picture of me with this much class.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Tunisia - Pt 3

Missions in areas where one cannot proclaim outright the message of Christ, forces the missionary to show Christ's life changing power through relationships and how they live their daily life. This is so beneficial for the missionary because this is how acceptance of Christ's life happens anyway, we just fool ourselves into thinking we can argue someone into Christianity. Arguing easily turns into pride at our intellect while love centered living points to Christ and the life changing power he possesses.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Tunisia - Pt 2

Why did the early church survive the Roman conquest but not the Islamic?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Tunisia - Pt 1

Welcome to Tunisia!
Where all the men are men, all the women and women, and all the children don't have jobs!

Going into this trip I had very romanticised visions dancing in my head. When I pictured being in Tunisia, I thought of movies: Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, English Patient; I thought of the history of the place: Carthage, Rome, World War II. I don't really know what I thought about the people. I did expect them to be very European which was true, but my other expectations were challenged.
The weird thing is that I knew that I had these romanticised preconceptions of Tunisia, I wrote about them in my application to join the team and I was hoping to have them replaced by the real Tunisia: real people, real sights and sounds, real experiences and memories. These things did happen and I'm happy for reality to replace fantasy but I can't keep myself from feeling a small amount of disapointment...
But that's life, I just want to keep the reality of Tunisia in my head and begin the process of integrating my experiences into my life.

Friday, June 10, 2005

How does life work?

Being a Christian is largely looking to God the creator to find how He designed life to work and changing ourselves to be more in-line with that design. Dallas Willard calls this Kingdom living and developing a heart that will naturally fit in God's Kingdom. What are some of these principles of how God designed life to work? Here are some that I believed to be true:

Sacrifice leads to gain

Things go from internal to external

Middle Road between extreemes is usually best

Relationship is usually the catalyst for change

Change happens slowly
*look for a baby step to make instead of a leap
*change is also a natural process not a supernatural process

Actions have consiquences in the future
*actions form patterns
*practice leads to habit

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Grainger clips

Here's a site I found with some clips of the St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble playing some songs by my favorite composer Percy Grainger! Free music is always exciting. For more on Grainger see
and for more clips of Grainger's music go to and search music for Grainger.
Also if anyone wants to go with me to a Grainger concert there's one on Saturday June 11th at 8pm at the Ojai music festival in Ojai, CA, only $5!
To the Fore!

Saturday, April 02, 2005


Monday, March 14, 2005

Now O Now I Needs Must Part...

Now, oh, now I needs must part,
Parting tho' I absent mourn;
Abscence can no joy impart;
Joy once fled cannot return.

While I live I needs must love;
Love lives not when hope is gone,
Now at last despair doth prove:
Love divided loveth none.

Dear when I am from thee gone,
Gone are all my joys at once!
I love thee and thee alone,
In whose love I joyed once.

Sad dispair doth drive me hence,
This dispair unkindness sends,
If that parting be offence,
It is she which then offends

And altho' your sight I leave,
Sight wherein my joys do lie,
Till that death do sense bereave,
Never shall affection die.

Dear, if I do not return,
Love and I shall die together,
For my abscence never mourn
Whom you might have joyed ever.

Part we must, tho' now I die;
Die I do, to part with you.
For my abscence never mourn,
Who both lived and died true.

Friday, February 25, 2005

God's Will

Here's an article written by my friend Chase's father Tim Stafford. It deals with the issue of God talking to us and "God's will." Click the Post title to read the article.

This idea is very important to me, my theology, and my relationship with God. Many people speak of God talking to them in a "still small voice" or "God's will" for them to do certain things. Often these things are decisions such as what job to take, who to marry, or what school to go to.

However, in the Bible, when people have communication with God it is no small thing. An angel appeared to Mary, Moses was glowing after an encounter with God, and Paul fell to the ground saw Jesus and then went blind! If this has happened to anyone please let me know! What I believe is that our communication (not neccesarily our whole experience) with God happens primarily through the Bible as Tim Stafford says.

God is not primarily concerned with what school we go to, who we marry, or if we go into the mission field or not. What the bible describes is making decisions by looking at what gifts and passions God has given us to make a decision and then developing Christ-like character in our marriage, in the mission field, or with the people we meet at school. Christ was more concerned with the way-or the heart with which-we are doing things than what we are doing. This is an important idea to me and one I think is missing from a lot of Christian teaching and definately at APU.


Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Here's my Strengths list that was made through taking on online personality test with Strengthsquest. Team Tunisia disscussed our respective strengths on our Team Weekend. If anyone that knows me well could look at these and see if you agree with this assesment of my strengths and if you think I have any of these, maybe give an example of where you've seen me use each particular gift. I'd appreciate your insight and affirmation!

You look back. You look back because that is where the answers lie. You look back to understand the present. From your vantage point the present is unstable, a confusing clamor of competing voices. It is only by casting your mind back to an earlier time, a time when the plans were being drawn up, that the present regains its stability. The earlier time was a simpler time. It was a time of blueprints. As you look back, you begin to see these blueprints emerge. You realize what the initial intentions were. These blueprints or intentions have since become so embellished that they are almost unrecognizable, but now this Context theme reveals them again. This understanding brings you confidence. No longer disoriented, you make better decisions because you sense the underlying structure. You become a better partner because you understand how your colleagues came to be who they are. And counterintuitively you become wiser about the future because you saw its seeds being sown in the past. Faced with new people and new situations, it will take you a little time to orient yourself, but you must give yourself this time. You must discipline yourself to ask the questions and allow the blueprints to emerge because no matter what the situation, if you haven't seen the blueprints, you will have less confidence in your decisions.

Things happen for a reason. You are sure of it. You are sure of it because in your soul you know that we are all connected. Yes, we are individuals, responsible for our own judgments and in possession of our own free will, but nonetheless we are part of something larger. Some may call it the collective unconscious. Others may label it spirit or life force. But whatever your word of choice, you gain confidence from knowing that we are not isolated from one another or from the earth and the life on it. This feeling of Connectedness implies certain responsibilities. If we are all part of a larger picture, then we must not harm others because we will be harming ourselves. We must not exploit because we will be exploiting ourselves. Your awareness of these responsibilities creates your value system. You are considerate, caring, and accepting. Certain of the unity of humankind, you are a bridge builder for people of different cultures. Sensitive to the invisible hand, you can give others comfort that there is a purpose beyond our humdrum lives. The exact articles of your faith will depend on your upbringing and your culture, but your faith is strong. It sustains you and your close friends in the face of life's mysteries.

You are fascinated by ideas. What is an idea? An idea is a concept, the best explanation of the most events. You are delighted when you discover beneath the complex surface an elegantly simple concept to explain why things are the way they are. An idea is a connection. Yours is the kind of mind that is always looking for connections, and so you are intrigued when seemingly disparate phenomena can be linked by an obscure connection. An idea is a new perspective on familiar challenges. You revel in taking the world we all know and turning it around so we can view it from a strange but strangely enlightening angle. You love all these ideas because they are profound, because they are novel, because they are clarifying, because they are contrary, because they are bizarre. For all these reasons you derive a jolt of energy whenever a new idea occurs to you. Others may label you creative or original or conceptual or even smart. Perhaps you are all of these. Who can be sure? What you are sure of is that ideas are thrilling. And on most days this is enough.

Your world needs to be predictable. It needs to be ordered and planned. So you instinctively impose structure on your world. You set up routines. You focus on timelines and deadlines. You break long-term projects into a series of specific short-term plans, and you work through each plan diligently. You are not necessarily neat and clean, but you do need precision. Faced with the inherent messiness of life, you want to feel in control. The routines, the timelines, the structure, all of these help create this feeling of control. Lacking this theme of Discipline, others may sometimes resent your need for order, but there need not be conflict. You must understand that not everyone feels your urge for predictability; they have other ways of getting things done. Likewise, you can help them understand and even appreciate your need for structure. Your dislike of surprises, your impatience with errors, your routines, and your detail orientation don't need to be misinterpreted as controlling behaviors that box people in. Rather, these behaviors can be understood as your instinctive method for maintaining your progress and your productivity in the face of life's many distractions.

You want to be very significant in the eyes of other people. In the truest sense of the word you want to be recognized. You want to be heard. You want to stand out. You want to be known. In particular, you want to be known and appreciated for the unique strengths you bring. You feel a need to be admired as credible, professional, and successful. Likewise, you want to associate with others who are credible, professional, and successful. And if they aren't, you will push them to achieve until they are. Or you will move on. An independent spirit, you want your work to be a way of life rather than a job, and in that work you want to be given free rein, the leeway to do things your way. Your yearnings feel intense to you, and you honor those yearnings. And so your life is filled with goals, achievements, or qualifications that you crave. Whatever your focus--and each person is distinct--your Significance theme will keep pulling you upward, away from the mediocre toward the exceptional. It is the theme that keeps you reaching.

The All-Pervading

The vales of Corona where T.T. hiked

Amu, Julia, and Steven on the ridge for Team Tunisia

Monday, February 21, 2005


Out of doubt, out of dark, to the day's rising
he rode singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
Hope he rekindled, and in hope ended;
over death, over dread, over doom lifted
out of loss, out of life, unto long glory.

Tunisia's Ten

This weekend my Summer Missions team was supposed to go to Mexico but it was cancelled because of damaged roads. I was not too dissapointed because I've been to Mexico several times already.

Instead, we met at a church and then went to Christine's house and bonded. We talked about our strengths, ran a-muck in a golf course at night, hiked together, took communion together, and ate mock-Tunisian food together (dee-lish!). I really felt the love of family and fellow believers through this 'Fellowship' and felt very affirmed, especially by our leader Greg.

Greg - Aragorn, leader w/o having to prove it
Christine - warm but tender heart, encourager, sometimes silly girl
Sara - still waters run deep, kind eyes
Lesa - Intelligent and driven
J - bubbly & very considerate

Julia - strong in her beliefs, a bit o' spunk
Laurel - sensitive and eager to learn
Amu - Peaceful, considerate, observant
Steven - Lover & a fighter


This web log has now begun. Let it honor you Lord Jesus. I'm going to say some REALLY smart stuff!