His Strength, My Strength

Friday, April 13, 2012

Leavin' on a jetplane...

So as written about before, I not only know my summer plans, but I have details as well!!

I will be teaching English overseas in Central Asia for 6 weeks with a team from USC and Wichita State. There are five Trojans and one Shocker :) I will also be a co-team leader with one of the guys from USC and I am super excited for it!! I am also nervous, to be honest, because this is my first trip like this and it'll be a big adjustment in every area, BUT, I also know that with God's help I'll be able to do it!!

And speaking of help, I could use some in order to get there! Each one of my team needs to raise $5100 to go, and right now I am about halfway there, which is AWESOME, but I also need the rest by May 1st! I know God is a big God and this is a BIG prayer request for me right now!! If you would like to contribute financially, your gifts are not only SUPER appreciated, but they're tax-deductible too! Here is the info:

- by mail:
you can send a check payable to "Christian Challenge" with my name NOWHERE on the check (for tax purposes) and mail it to:
Christian Challenge
P.O.Box 1791
Monterey Park, CA. 91754
and you can include a sticky note saying it's designated for Courtney and I'll be sure to get it!

- online:
go to www.uscchristianchallenge.com and click on the "Giving" tab. Then click on "Give now" and scroll down to "Campus Staff and Projects" and click on "Projects." From the subcategory menu, click on "Summer Missions" and then write my name in the Comments section.

Thank You!! Any little bit helps!

I'll let you know more details as they get fleshed out!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Summer Plans!!

So I finally know what I am doing this summer!! And yes, due to the fact that my job revolves around college ministry that means I still get summers :) usually I help out with our summer Christian Challenge or a few years ago I was staff at a discipleship training program called Project Impact in Costa Mesa, CA. but *this* summer will be different. Why, you ask? Well, it's because I will be going OVERSEAS!!!

It'll be my first time going overseas in order to share the gospel so I am really, really, really excited but also scared, because, you know, I've never been! It'll be a different country, different language, different culture, different food, different everything! But that is one of the coolest things about God, is that He is a global God and while I will need to learn how to share His good news differently wherever I am going, it's the same message as it is here in the US! The things that God is doing here are going to be the same things He is doing over there! It might look differently, but He is in the business of reconciling people to Himself, no matter where they are or who they are, and I cannot wait to be a part of that in a different location across the world!!

Now, I actually don't have any details as of yet because my team has yet to be finalized, but I *can* tell you that I will be going with some fellow Trojans in Challenge! That's really all I know at this point! We are hoping to have one more member added to our team in the next few days and once we get that settled, then we'll find out where we are going, for how long (usually 6 weeks but could be longer), how much it's going to cost (we are going to be raising support for this so it's going to be faith-growing exercise!!) and the like.

I am just excited to go because I have been wanting to go overseas for a long time but have not been able to for various reasons. I was even going to go last summer but then my lovely rheumatoid arthritis decided to flare up and along with the length it just wasn't going to work out. But now it is all falling into place and I am so looking forward to it! It still is scary, but God promised that He would never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5) so who am I to tell Him that that promise isn't good enough for me? I know that it could be dangerous too, but heck, it's dangerous here in LA! From the driving to the smog to the area around USC, you never know! And that is not a good enough reason to say no to God either. If He wants me overseas, who am I to tell Him otherwise? It is safer to be in the center of God's will, wherever that is, than in my own version of safety.

So even though I don't know too many details, I trust God that He knows what He is doing! Once I know then I will let you know, all two of you who read this :)

and here is the funny of the day to hopefully leave you with a smile:

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

We have way too much fun together

So last night for Life group we had a fun night and lemme tell you, it was super awesome :) We started off with MILKSHAKES at a coffee house on campus unfortunately called "Ground Zero" (yes, it was named that before the other ground zero happened) but anyways they have amazing milkshakes, in fact, they're known for them. They have tons 'o swanky flavors, including Luke Chaiwalker (which is chai, gingerbread and something else and it's fantastic), or Everyday I'm Truffl-in (which is white chocolate raspberry truffle shake) and yours truly ordered a funfetti shake which included white chocolate, bits of cookie dough and rainbow sprinkles, and yes, it was exactly as yummy as it sounds. I would have a picture of it but I scarfed it down too fast so google image will have to suffice:


Then, once we had our sugar fill we headed over to one of the girl's rooms to play Apples to Apples. I love that game. Everybody loves that game. But you know what? Not everybody *has* the game. That would include both me and my awesome co-leader! We both thought the other had the game so alas, we were not able to play it BUT we played something perhaps even better - telephone pictionary. Yes, you read that correctly, it's a wonderful blend of the zaniness of telephone with the hilarity of trying to draw things that people come up with.

It's a great comedy of errors if you will. So we played two rounds of that before we called it a night. I took a picture of my set of cards, but it didn't come out too clearly, but know that it went from a girl trying to marry a man made out of movie tickets to Ray Charles giving candy to a baby :)

We had most of the girls show up and even one of my friends that has come to a few things in the past and it was a great time! Man, sometimes I have to pinch myself that I'm not dreaming, that I get to reach out to women on the USC campus and help them come to know Christ and grow in that relationship as my job!

I thought I was going to have news to share regarding my summer plans, but alas, I have to wait until Friday, but I do know that I will be traveling overseas somewhere with some people from USC!! yay! I'm scared but also really looking forward to it :)

and now here is the funny of the day:

OH! and before I forget, today is VERY special - you know why?? Because now we can purchase tickets to see Hunger Games when it comes out in theaters in THIRTY days!! ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! I am slightly obsessed with these books so I am very much looking forward to the movie, as in, I like to watch the trailer every few days...it's awesome.

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's a Girl Thing

So this past weekend USC Christian Challenge had a women's retreat and the theme was God's amazing love for us. Our theme verse was:

1 John 3:1, "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him." (in NIV1984)

I also like the paraphrase The Message, which says it this way: "What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it - we're called children of God! That's who we really are. But that's also the reason why the world doesn't recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who He is or what He's up to."

Our speaker was Rebecca Unruh who is the wife of pastor Bevun Unruh from Seabreeze Church in Huntington Beach and she was amazing!! I have always loved hearing from her, whether it's a large group session or just a one-on-one because she is so easy to relate to and can explain things like God's love in a way that makes it personal. One thing she shared was the following poem:

Alphabet of Praise

He is the Awesome, Almighty Authority
He is the Beautiful, Beloved Burdenbearer
He is the Caring, Changeless Creator
He is the Delightful, Divine Defender
He is the Eternal, Everlasting Endurer
He is the Faithful, Forgiving Father
He is the Glorious, Gracious Guide
He is the Highest, Holiest Head
He is the Invisible, Incredible "I AM"
He is the Jealous, Just Judge
He is the Kind, Kingly Keeper
He is the Living, Loving Lord
He is the Magnificent, Merciful Maker
He is the Necessary, Noble Name
He is the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omni-present Owner
He is the Patient, Powerful Prince of Peace
He is the Quiet, Quickening Qualifier
He is the Righteous, Resurrected Redeemer
He is the Sacrificial, Seeking Shepherd
He is the Triumphant, Trustworthy Teacher
He is the Universal, Understanding Unequal
He is the Vast, Victorious Voice
He is the eXcellent, eXalted eXample
He is the Yearning, Yielded Yoke-fellow
He is the Zealous, cZar of Zion.

by Ana Jane Venosdel 1996, PWC Conf. Jenness Park, CA.

I love this poem and even reading it again, you can't help but have your heart swell with love and gratitude for God, for how He has been pursuing you, for how He helps you day-to-day (whether or not you have come to know Him) and for saving you!

Hope this gives you hope for today :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Super long catch-up

okay, so I realized I haven't done an update in a while, so let me es'plain, no, there's too much, let me sum up:

- after Fall Conference, my Life group and I continued to dig into the book of Ephesians and find applications from it for our own lives which was super encouraging and awesome. It's so much fun to learn from the Bible together and see all the different ways God speaks to us!

- went on annual Disneyland trip during finals week with a few students, Rebekah from my Life group and then 2 other girls I know and it was a blast!! (but really, how could it not be?? it's *Disneyland**! plus, we all got in for free, so that's always a plus :)

chilling with Pooh Bear (although, have to say, this year we didn't get a photo with Eeyore OR Tigger, who also happens to be my personal favorite)

- huge Christmas party given by Christian Challenge at my boss' house, which is ALWAYS a huge hit and tons of fun with loads of new people to meet and food to taste!

This is all members of my Life group (Top from L to R: Lensa, Rebekah, myself & Charlene, Bottom row: Alex, Megan, Vanessa & Lauren) can you spot which ones are identical twins? :)

what can I say? We like to have fun together!

- annual Tacky Christmas Sweater Party thrown by a friend of mine and yours truly and her sister won a prize!! so exciting, and Mom, if you're reading this, I actually *liked* that sweater! I swear I don't think your Christmas sweaters are ugly, they are just colorful and I love them :)

Courtney-friend along with Kourtney-sister :)

- I went to the USC press conference with two of my friends (who are also USC alumnae) and we watched as Matt Barkley announced he was going to stay for his senior year!! (yes, I realize this makes me a crazy fan, but hey, I wasn't the only one, not by a long shot! the venue was *packed* with fans and sportswriters and it was awesome)

Barkley is STAYING!!! watch out world, USC hopes to lead the PAC and the nation in 2012!

- got to see my sister and bro-in-law from Hawaii for a week

hanging with my siblings the day after Christmas, and yes, we are posing with random mannequins in a store...

- saw Wicked for the second time and it. was. AMAZING!! I think I liked this time better than the first time I saw it because I was pretty far away last time so this time we were pretty close which was pretty darn cool, I mean, we could see the detail in all the costumes and it was awesome! The detail the people went to to make them was crazy! (Plus, and it must be said, the guy playing Fiyero was super handsome, so it was pretty nice to be close to him :)

what a wicked good show

- went shopping and got some much-needed tops with my sisters and mom

- saw Sherlock Holmes 2 (very good and entertaining, although, I think the music was better in the first one) and also saw The Artist which was a truly great film that I plan on seeing again and again! It is a black and white silent film, but it is amazing, seriously, and the Oscars agree with me because it is nominated for TEN awards! All in the big categories too! (best director, best actor, best supporting actress, best original score, best original screenplay, best editing, etc.) I saw it with my movie buddy Katelin and I have to say, we have good taste. The last movie we saw together before this one was Midnight in Paris, and both are nominated for Best Picture this year! Danh we have good taste :)

jolly good show!!

you. need. to. see. this. movie!!!

- woke up sick on new year's day (no, not from a crazy night before) but I had been fighting a stuffy nose all the previous week but ignoring it and it finally caught up with me. I literally spent two whole days in my pajamas! I also forgot that with my rheumatoid arthritis, with all the drugs I'm taking, that any time I get sick I stay sick for a longer time period b/c my drugs suppress my immune system so it just takes longer to get over even a common cold. That was great.

- had my 10 YEAR HIGH SCHOOL REUNION!!! Yes, I realize that makes me old, but it was pretty awesome actually!

one of my dear friends Katelin and I (she is also my aforementioned movie buddy, between the two of us we know everything about Hollywood and movies, it's pretty awesome)

WHEW!! sorry that was such a long jump, next time it won't be so bad :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fall Conference FUN!

So our Fall Discipleship Conference was a few weekends back and wanted to put up some photos of what all we did and learned about so without further ado, here is a snapshot of our time in Big Bear!

Who: The Christian Challenges from USC, San Diego State Univ and Cal Baptist Univ

What: retreat to get away, grow closer in walk with God and be refreshed for the last bit of the semester

Where: Camp Cedar Lake in Big Bear

Some photos:

Becky and I as we were helping to set up the bookstore, attired in USC garb of course!

Jessyka, Katy, Makena & Michelle having a grand 'ole time :)

Myself and Emily with our matching white sunglasses :)

Makena and I "heisman-ing" (the latest craze after "Tebow-ing")

Baby Samantha (our mascot if you will) surrounded by some of her fans :) Isn't she crazy cute?!?!

Josephine and I chilling in our room before a session! See that blue and orange bag in the lower right corner? I got that my *freshman year of high school*!!! As in, fall of '98, and that bag is still going strong!! One of the best purchases I've ever made :)

Rebakah, me and Jessyka chillaxing during some of the free time

And lastly, here is the funny/sad of the day. Some poor dog's owners are *super* big Star Wars fans, dressing up their pooch to look like an AT-AT from Episode V. And yes, I knew what it was called without having to look it up...

Monday, October 17, 2011

12 is an awesome number

I have decided that 12 is an extremely awesome number. Why you ask? Why 12, of all the other numbers out there? Why is 12 now so special? Here are some fun facts about the number 12:

- it's Tom Brady's number, and he's a pretty good qb... (it's also Andrew Luck's number, but he's lame so I don't count him)

- it's the name of a Russian film from 2007 that is a loose re-make of 12 Angry Men

- it's the largest number with a single-morpheme name in English

- it's the atomic number for magnesium in the periodic table

- the average human has 12 cranial nerves

- has to do with the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 disciples of Jesus

- there are 12 days of Christmas

- there are 12 months in a year

- 12 people have walked on the moon


- it's also the number of my current sedimentation rate!!!!! My sedimentation rate, or sed rate for short, is a basic barometer of how my RA is doing b/c it measures inflammation in my joints. The normal adult's range is between 10-20 and mine have usually been upwards of 50. In the summer it was a 69, then it was a 44 and just last week found out it is now a TWELVE!!! Now do you see the amazingness that is the number 12?? Now, I know my sed rate will continue to fluctuate the rest of my life, but I will enjoy having it at a 12 for right now :)

yay 12!!!!

and now here is the funny of the day: