The hidden Cross atop Mount Davidson 

We had the best classroom spaces ever this week! 
Our topic was "cities", and our teacher, Tim Svoboda took us to multiple beautiful vistas overlooking San Francisco for class times.  It was delightful to get out of our basement classroom for several sessions to enjoy the gorgeous day and views.  A great diversion and an amazing way to dialogue about cities from these heights.

Amazing views with Tim with sunset included!

Other highlights from the week included visiting the Castro and hearing from a pastor there about ways to actively engage one's community, and doing chair aerobics with our friends at the senior center.

Spring has sprung!

Chair Aerobics at the Senior Center

Cable car riding

1 out of 10 miles down for the day...
We were also blessed by a visit from my parents this week!  They came Thursday and are staying in a nearby hotel until Tuesday [early] morning.  They've been able to join us for some classes and activities, and we've had fun showing them around town.  We even got to do a bunch of things we hadn't done before including: walking the Golden Gate Bridge, visiting the town of Sausalito, bringing the ferry back to San Francisco, dining in at Tony's Pizza, and going to the cable car museum.  Of course, we also got to show them some of our favorites here as well, such as Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower (where we got to see a beautiful sunset), Filbert [wooden stair] Street, and the cable cars.  Yet Saturday alone we logged about 10 miles on foot!  (My parents are pretty spry, I'd say...)  I believe the highlights for them were walking the Golden Gate and riding the cable cars (besides being with us of course!).  We have had an wonderful time together being outdoors and enjoying the lovely spring weather.


where has the time gone???

We've suddenly realized that we have a mere 3 weeks between us and Italy!  It's hard to believe that the months here in San Francisco will so quickly be over.  We have learned so much, built amazing friendships, and are slowly, but steadily, translating new concepts into everyday life.  And I've relearned how much I love living in a close community (yeah, I might annul this statement while traveling together for 3 months with more cramped and less ideal accommodations...but for now I'm thinking I'll really miss these folks when we finally part in June!).  We've really become a sort of [big] family.  Today we had the pleasure of all spending the day at the home of one of the students who lives about 1.5 hours from the base.  Her parents graciously opened their beautiful home to us, made lots of amazing food, and provided us with a gorgeous place to kick back, relax, and enjoy each other and nature.  It was a beautiful sunny day in Sunnyvale, CA and super refreshing for all of us.  I think we'd forgotten what grass was like!  We all enjoyed it immensely.  The back yard offered such a peaceful haven and was a lovely change from the sights and smells of the city.

Our class topic this week was Lordship, and was taught by multiple speakers from the YWAM SF community.  There were so many profound truths (as usual), I'm not sure how to condense it.  (My plan for tomorrow--in addition to getting up super early to ride along to Twin Peaks to see the sunrise--is to review my notes from the past week in an attempt to increase absorption.)  We talked about allowing God to show us what areas of life we are maintaining control over.  For me, this included my rights, my reputation, and my ideas/ theories/opinions.  A few other concepts that were highlighted to me in reflecting on the week were: entitlement vs. serving, hiding vs. leading, my agenda vs. God's will, and self-protection vs. vulnerability (all of which boil down to selfishness vs. Lordship).  I kept coming back to how counterintuitive the gospel is.  In search for peace, happiness, love, there are only counterfeits, but in seeking God, all these and more are fully realized.  Hmmm, perhaps that's what the Bible means when it says, "For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it." Luke 9:24

I hope you're all doing well.  I'd really REALLY love to hear from you!!!  If you have a chance, please drop a line via comment, email, or FB!  I'm always interested in feedback and/or hearing how life is going for you.  Love to all!


God's kingdom and my Kingdom

My Kingdom (sphere of influence, realm of decision making, anything I own), is now under God's rule, made a part of his kingdom. I'm no longer king, but a representative of the heavenly king to whom it now belongs! His Kingdom has come to earth and we are all invited to join His kingdom, and be a part of the amazing riches, and wealth that the heavenly kingdom offers to all who make the God of the universe the King of their kingdom! Jason


Who am I?

I have always had a fear of public speaking and felt like there was always someone else who should do it because they were more gifted then I was. Most times when I did need to speak publicly, I felt like I became a different person because I was bound by fear of messing up in front of everyone, convinced I didn’t have what it took to do it. I believed that at the core of who I was I just wasn’t cut out for it, that somehow God didn’t give me that ability. But then why did so much of what I was called to involve speaking publicly? Why couldn’t I conquer my fear of what others thought of me, and live with confidence in what I knew God called me to? It was a completely new thought to me that God wanted to talk to me about who I am and through this struggle I had and show me what he thought of me and what he created me for. 
The root of this problem was deeper than speaking, it was in finding my identity in Christ, which is a "christian" term for hearing from God himself what he thinks of you and who he says you are.

God has been teaching me so much in the past few weeks about how much he wants to be in communication with us as his sons and daughters. He doesn’t just want a one sided conversation with me, where I’m doing all the talking and he is doing all the listening, but actually wants to talk to me as I listen to him. He wants to tell me what he thinks of me, tell me who I am, and the plans he has for me. It’s about a relationship where God is my perfect father and I hear from him the kind of things a son needs to hear from a father.  
So I took these big questions of "who I am?" and "what am I made to do?" to my creator and father and asked Him and then listened as he talked. Let me tell you, I have never been so affected by a talk in my life. When you find out what God thinks of you and what the truth about yourself is, there is nothing so freeing, nothing so life giving as God telling you who you are. In spite of past failings and sin, not because of anything I have done, but because of how much he loves me; because I am His creation. I know we cannot fully understand how much God loves us, but if we can begin to let God tell us, show us, and begin to experience his love, that is life like no other.
Ep. 3:17-19 17 May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, 18 That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; 19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!

When I hear from God and find security in him as my father and creator, I learn who I really am and am set free to be who he created me to be. All of a sudden the fear of what others think about me lessens, the thoughts that I don’t have what it takes melt away in the reality of who I really am and the plans that the God who made me has for my life. Where could I better find out what gifts I have, what I was created for, and why I am here in the world, than to get it from the one who created me and made plans for my life since the beginning of time? 
(Ep. 2:10 AMP For we are God’s own handiwork, His workmanship, re-created in Christ Jesus, born anew that we may do those good works which God planned before hand for us, taking paths which he prepared ahead of time, that we should walk in them  living the good life which he prearranged and made ready for us to live) 
Why would I ever try to figure it out on my own if my heavenly father who knows me better then I know myself is wanting to tell me all these things? I’m learning through this that God has the perfect plan for my life and if he asks me to do something he will provide me with the means to carry it out, even if it means speaking publicly! I choose to let God define my identity not my fear.