Tuesday, August 25, 2009

last post by evan again

Doin life...

quick story: One tuesday night at 7:15 i was bored as ever here in irvine. I thought back to sunday where a guy named johnathon preached at oasis church in L.A. (Kayla's old church). He was from newport church and it was an amazing message. So i looked up newport church and saw they had "lifegroups" (laid back small groups for college kids) at 7:30 on tuesday nights! So, i hopped on the phone and the 405 north to newport (about 8 mins away) and figured i'd give it a shot. So i get a call and long story short I get set up with a bbq life group. i walk in the door to a room full of people ages 20 and above of people I had never seen or talked to. I was a complete stranger to these people. i thought to myself, "what the heck am i doing in CA?" I introduced myself to about 20 ppl and remembered 4. By the end of the night i made a few good friends, two being twin brothers who have a clothing label, run worship at newport church, and one is an architect. They were really good guys to take me in and take an interest in me, since I knew NOBODY and just had to put myself out there. they invited me to the next sunday service at night (this past sunday). Kayla and I went and it was AWESOME! We really enjoyed this church, as we are looking for a church to join now. We went to the dream center and are planning on going to a few more churches coming up. Right now we are really longing to plug into a community and get grounded in a church to serve and be a real part of.

I spend my time during the week spending time with my family (Aunt, Uncle and cousins), looking for houses/apartments, and helping out around this house any way that I can. On the weekend I go up to see kayla (couple hours away) and we look at places for me to live, go to the park, watch her dance, just hang out and be together. This has been really amazing, but I am ready to have my own place to live and a job. I am ready to get settled somewhere, get into our own church, and get going on this. This time is somewhat awkward for I am not sure what else I am supposed to be doing! School is coming up August 31st, and I would like to have a job and a place to stay in by that day. It would be my ideal to have a job and house by the time school starts. Also, to have the faith I should to get me there. With my feeble bank account and seemingly impossible circumstances, I am really in a place where I need to have great faith. I want to have this so badly! It is much different reading the bible and hearing in church how faith is so important and putting it into practical life and needing to completely rely on God having faith. Boy it's a new way of life that is for sure!

If you would be willing, please pray that
- Kayla and I would plug into a great community of believers
- I would grow in my faith and find God to be faithful to His word
- I would know how to be obedient to Him in this time and obey Him

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Melrose and Stanley

I am sitting here in the star bucks at Melrose and Stanley- Hollywood California. In this crazy mess I become settled... somehow. I don't know how that works because of how ADD i am, especially with coffee. I began to think of where I stood in this crazy land. Of this foriegn place. I mean, when i walk the streets I feel normal. More normal than India at least. But im still not in place. I feel like if i am to run this race that i am surrounded by then I am going to fail miserably. Because there is always someone better, taller, wealthier, nicer car, better looking- you name it! I felt more and more still as I realized that this race was escapable! I was telling Kayla- that when I am at a stop light I never have to fret. This is because we are surrounded by opulent vehicles that would smoke my four-cylinder, two door escort if I had a jet engine on it. But automatically I found the peace that comes with aiming for a different goal. Suddenly i felt like a winner when I opted out of this race. When i gave up my will- and surrendered it with determination. I meditated on Romans Chapter 12 verses 1 and 2 which say,

"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice--the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is."

This was so inspiring to hear that God has a specific will and identity for each one of us. This changes us when we really believe it and take it in! And He has created us so unique and special, but it's for Gods glory. It is so people will see the vastness of God. And so again it was amazing to step out of the oh so popular "Ray Bans" and skinny jeans race (A popular look here). So sure, I am excited to walk these broken streets of Hollywood with Kayla and seek whatever can be done to pass the love on we have received. But its a different kingdom, a different purpose. It's a totally different experience! I must say that its much more peaceful and fulfilling. What an exciting thing it is to have a way out of this world!

~Evan Stookey 7:52 p.m.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A walk to remember...

This evening I took a walk down Newport Beach. From about a mile south of the peir to a few miles north of the pier. On the way I stopped at the pier and was asking God if He had plans for me in California. As i began my walk down the pier I saw an elderly lady laying down on a bench with EVERYTHING she owned packed into a grocery cart. People stared at her as they walked by. I found MYSELF walking by as well- feeling pity. On my way toward the end of the pier, i realized... "what am i doing? I call myself a follower of Christ but I won't do what He did or wants me to do!!!" So i turned around and asked God to take care of the rest. To take care of the words, of other's reactions, of her reaction- and just had a simple desire for her to feel loved. I sat down next to her prepared to let it all hang out and see what would happen... but she was asleep. Some others passed, woke her up and gave her money. after THEY prayed for her and left, i realized THIS WAS MY CHANCE!!! i scooted in, trying not to freak her out and told her my story. I didn't have much to give because I didn't have much at all, haha :) But we sat there and talked. Angel is her name, and I found how desperate she was for love. Just for someone to listen. For someone to sit next to her and not be freaked out. She spilled the beans of everything she could think of to not lose my attention. we talked for sometime about the reality of Matthew ch. 5- the beatitudes where Jesus teaches many people some basic yet challenging principals for comfortable, affluent Americans.

Later I walked down a jetty just north as the sun was setting and found a man fishing among the crashing waves. Shortly after introducing myself, I found (through his broken english and spanish accent) that he loved to fish. That he was where nobody was to catch the more rare fish- although he hadn't had any luck :) Very quickly we began talking about life with our hands and spanish/english. Very quickly we realized as we discussed together- "Life is so full with Jesus! If you have Him, you have everything! If you don't life is empty!!! Jesus is everthing!" I found that William was extremely passionate about the fact that Jesus is the way, truth and life. How exciting to meet him!? Just before leaving we talked about how pretty the ocean was and what a wonderful place to be. As i departed he reassured me, "Because of Christ, we are very good brothers!!!" I left on that note and returned to my walk down memorable Newport beach, Southern CA.

I don't know what all of this means, but I do know that an adventure lies ahead no matter the location or if its mundane. Gods gotta sweet plan for all of us :)