Monday, March 22, 2010


It is currently 12:47 am. I have a 4 page paper due at 2 pm today (monday). I have not started it. I love college (but am definitely ready to not have papers due anymore).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Philippians 3:17, or Follow My Example

I've found myself reading most of Paul's letters and the book of Acts through my personal devotional time, at Navs, for Sons of Thunder, and the Bible study I'm leading. What's slowly but steadily emerging is an ever-clearer vision and understanding of Paul's heart. There are simply no words that can describe the depth of the desire I have to love Christ even just half as much as Paul did.

In Acts 21 Paul's friends and followers are pleading with him not to continue on to Jerusalem because they're almost certain he'll be arrested or worse. Luke records in verse 12: "When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem." Paul's response in verse 13 to their entreaties almost brings me to tears:

"Then Paul answered 'What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.'"

What a heart for Christ! As I've been gaining this insight into Paul's heart and thoughts I've really begun to identify with Paul. More than any other character in the Old or New Testament, I feel a connection with Paul. This is NOT to say that I view myself as a master evangelist or anything. Paul just resonates with me.

Who do you identify with? I have three close friends whose answers would be Jacob, Peter, and David, and I sometimes enjoy viewing them in light of that revelation. What about you-who is it that you can point to and say "That's who I feel most like or closest to"?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I only alluded to the day's activities, but thought this was too good not to share. The original spelling errors are presented here in their original form lol

"December 17, 1997

Tomoroy (it's kinda a y mixed with a w at the end?) is our Christmas party. I don't want to eat Mexican food, so I will bring a sandwich. P.E. has changed from football to basketball. I have started playing a new game at school. It all started when me, Jason & Kendal discovered that the girls were playing a soldier game. We started anoying them by ignoring them and fighting them. Then they threatened to tell so Jason offered a white flag but latter declared war. That's how it started. I'm going to start writeing a prayer and the end or of each entry.

Dear Lord,

Please forgive me for my sins. Please help me to be better at my math facts. i''m praying I can go over to Jason's house during Christmas vacation. Please help me to become closer to you every day. Amen."

Is it funny that the biggest thing that stands out to me is that I didn't like Mexican food when I was 8??? lol. Shame on you, younger Josh, for taking so long to discover how amazing Mexican food is!


1 Thess 4:10b

"But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more." (NASB)

I've been meditating on this idea of excelling "still more"...such an amazing thought! I'll have more to share here after tomorrow night, but I just wanted to share Paul's exhortation: don't settle for staying content with where you're at! An impudent attitude isn't one that's content with where you're at with no future prospects or plans-instead it's one of longing and eager expectation for what God has in store! In the words of another beloved author, "Further up and further in!" :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Our God is an amazing God, Amen?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word "impudent" as 1) Wanting in shame or modesty; shameless, unblushing, immodest; indelicate 2) Possessed of unblushing presumption, effrontery, or assurance; shamelessly forward, insolently disrespectful.

I've been dwelling on boldness and impudence for the past few weeks. As I shared at open mic night at Nav Nite, my dad gave me Luke 11:1-13 to read through and meditate on as soon as he heard that I'd been accepted into EDGE. He said, "Begin to ask now...[and] He will answer the impudent prayer." (*impudences is the ESV translation in verse 8 of what appears as "boldness" in the NIV or "persistence" in the NASB)

How can one be impudent with God? How can I present requests to God the same way the man in the parable asked his neighbor for food for his guest at midnight?

By not waiting to ask. By having full assurance that God will take care of EVERYTHING that I need. By taking God's promises at face value and seeing him as Yahweh-yireh, the Lord who sees and provides.

In light of this I've been praying for things in ways that I might not have dared to before. Among other things, I'm already praying (impudently) for God to provide for my fundraising and housing situation next year.

This is where the story gets good and God shows his lovingkindness :D

This past Sunday Zack and I went with Don to a church in Burbank to help him-it was Missions week at the church and so they had a few of the missionaries they were supporting come and share about what they were doing. This church has supported Don and his family for decades now and Don wanted to bring a few "living examples" of what the Navigator ministry at Long Beach was doing. At the two services Zack and I spoke to the people there for about two minutes each during Don's allotted time, answering two simple questions: how the Nav ministry at Long Beach had impacted us and what our plans for the future were.

In answer to the first question I talked about how Navs provided the soil for my faith to germinate, using 1 Cor 3:5-7 and equating my parents, upbringing, and education with Paul and the Navs with Apollos. For the second question I talked a bit about EDGE and going onto staff with the Navigators. I was honest with everyone in attendance and shared that fundraising is a bit of a daunting thing. But I also shared that God's answer to Paul's prayers about his "thorn in the flesh" is the same answer to my needs for next year: "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9) I said that that's what next year is all about for me: being weak so that Christ can be exalted through me.

After the first service Zack and I got to talk to a few people from the church but after the second service we had to leave immediately after we were done speaking. Fast forward to tonight at Navs: without saying too much Don came up to me and gave me an envelope with my name on it. I figured it was a thank you note from Don and set it aside for the night. After Don was done speaking I picked it up and opened it.

I was half-right. Along with a thank you from Don was a card with the contact info for one of the missionaries from the church. The last line from Don's note says "This missionary gave this card to me because she wants to support you!"

I have my first donor! And I haven't done anything other than pray for God to provide!

Let me rephrase that, because that's my old view on prayer sneaking through: I've asked impudently and God has accepted the challenge implicit in my prayers, providing before I've even had time to do something that I could claim as my own efforts! I haven't contacted her yet and so nothing is set in stone, but as far as I'm concerned she could tell me that she could only contribute 10 cents a YEAR and the message from God wouldn't change a bit:

"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened." Luke 11: 9-10

Here I am knocking, God. Impudently, I expect nothing else than for you to answer.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


If you haven't seen this yet (or want to watch it again!):

Enjoy! :)


It's been a bit since my last update...and I'm fully conscious of that. It's like I've been avoiding this last post because to hit "publish" means I've completed my project and symbolizes the trip fading into my memories. But not doing this won't change the fact that the trip IS becoming more and more a part of my past and less and less of my present. So here goes!

I just wanted to repost this picture because it's one of my favorites from the trip. Definitely in the top 5 favorite photos that I took.

So quick summary of the trip from our last night in chennai to getting home: flew air singapore again from Chennai to Singapore to Tokyo to LAX. We got into LAX around 11 or so on the 23rd. On the flight I started reading The Moor's Last Sigh by Rushdie (which I still haven't finished because of all my reading for school...) but to briefly share my favorite quote so far (that I might have already shared but w/e it's good enough to share

"A sigh isn't just a sigh. We inhale the world and breathe out meaning. While we can. While we can."

I love Rushdie.

Anywho, the first thing Zack and I did when we were back in the states was have my dad take us to In-N-Out :D. It was great to have a burger!

The rest of that day and the morning on Sunday was spent catching up with the family, showing them pictures, and just trying to get everything organized because the spring semester started that next Monday, the 25th. That's right: less than 48 hours after being in India I was sitting in class again! It was quite the adjustment. Luckily I wasn't jet lagged AT ALL :). Before we left the airport in Chennai I set my watch to LA time and just chanted "it's morning, it's morning" to myself a couple times. I stayed up until it was time to go to bed here in Cali and then dozed through the night. I was still super tired when I got back, but I was tired at the right times. So that was good-I heard that some of the other people from the trip didn't adjust quite as quickly!

And here I was-back home and ready to tackle my last semester here at Long Beach. It's been six weeks already and things have been movin movin movin-I don't know if I'll go back and cover the highlights of the semester so far or just pick up from here and allude to some things along the way, but the period at the end of this sentence marks the official transition from the "India Travel Blog" to the "everyday Josh blog" and functions as a nice dividing point, so without further ado: fin.