Friday, April 30, 2010

4.30.10 iHeart.

iHeart my family :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

jealousy.



jenny wrote a really interesting post yesterday about jealousy. i highly suggest that you click on her link and check out her blog.

part of what she said really stuck with me. she said "insatiability is the appetite of the damned." it's so very true. as i was reading through her post and all the comments (including mine) these verses came to mind:

what leads to strife (discord and feuds) and how do conflicts (quarrels and fightings) originate among you? Do they not arise from your sensual desires that are ever warring in your bodily members?
You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask.
[Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures. [james 4:1-3 amp]


after reading these verses....i felt like i got punched in the gut. what a freakin' wake up call.

im so thankful for women like Jenny who keep it real.
i could not help but leave a looooong comment (sorry about that Jenny).

because of her post... i was able to, for the very first time, share my heart about being jealous of others
when i was in the desert/dry season of my life. I
t helped me to see the condition of my heart during that time and made me realize how selfish i was.... even though in my head, i thought my feelings were justified coz of the pain i was going through.


now that i can look back with a more proper perspective... i realize how wretched i really was.





im so thankful that she ended her post with this verse:



"He gives us more grace"

i am so thankful for His grace. His grace that allowed me to be broken. His grace that allowed me to go through the crucible of life to the point where it was extremely painful to bear. His grace that knew the evil in my heart, even if i didn't recognize it... and the fact that He went through extensive measures to make sure that the evil that is 'coveting and jealousy' would be purged out of me. He knew that the only way to have done that was to not answer my prayers for a season and watch everyone around me get their prayers answered.

part of my super long comment was this:
(speaking of the past 7 years when i was struggling internally with the issue of jealousy coz i was going through a really hard time being almost homeless, jobless, ministry-less, etc. etc)
"i
think He allowed for that to happen to break me, just like Jacob, so that i may walk with a limp for the rest of my life and never forget that i had nothing to do with anything that was going to happen to my life from that point on. and to also remove the selfishness in me and the need to want to compare why God chooses to bless others but not me (or vice versa.)
when i remember how painful that limp is… then the green eyed monster leaves and succumbs to the stronger force in me that is GRATEFULNESS."
i pray that God will continue to purge me off of that ugly sin called jealousy. i ask that when the green eyed monster creeps up, He will remind me of the painful limp so i can choose to be grateful for what i do have. i pray that He continues to strip me off my pride and the feeling of entitlement. i pray that His grace will abound more and more. and i ask that i will continue to desire to be satisfied in Him alone.

4.29.10 in the zone.


My boy gettin cleaned up. Thanks kelz! If you're looking for a barbershop - make sure to get "in the zone" (in the zone barbershop located @ granada hills).

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

4.28.10 preachin'


He put his fake "3D" glasses on... and stood up and read 1 John 5 out loud to me. now he's explaining what he understood from that chapter. This lil dude is a preacher already. =)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

4.27.10 sweet tooth.


YUM!! Ube cake roll and brownies. Clearly I have no boundaries with food. #help

sensationalized testimonies.

abuse.lust.adultery.homosexuality.
prostitution.sex-slavery.witchcraft.pornography.drugs.

post anyone of these words to your twitter/facebook with a link to your blog and you get major traffic...

post words about: parenting. family. insecurities. fears. grace. community outreach. stories about the poor and the orphans and you'll get a pretty good amount of traffic, but probably not as much as if you were to post stories about the first batch of words.

post words such as: forgiveness, discipleship, lordship, fearing the holy Lord, obeying when it hurts, the truth about heaven and hell, evangelism, the great commission, suffering...and you'll be able to hear crickets chirping from miles away. there might be a couple of onlookers... but no one stays on your blog long enough to finish what you wrote or stay long enough to share their thoughts about it.

we try to make our stories feel relevant...but i feel like most of us christians, (i included) have missed the point. our stories are centered mostly on us instead of God.

we have sensationalized our testimonies.
to the point where it's almost tabloid worthy.

According to wikipedia: a tabloid is an industry that focuses on local-interest stories and entertainment, often distributed free (or to a newspaper magazine) that tends to sensationalize and emphasize or exaggerate sensational crime stories, repeating scandalous and innuendos about the deeply personal lives of celebrities and sports stars.

please don't get me wrong.... i think testimonies are powerful. i love hearing, reading and knowing about people's stories, struggles and victories. the book of revelation even says that sharing our testimony is one way to overcome the enemy.

i absolutely love sharing my story. i love telling people how God was able to free me from the bondage of my past. i will never forget the moment He grabbed a hold of my heart because it was such a saul-to-paul conversion that there was NO MISTAKING that it was only God who could change my life in that way.

but my story means nothing if all i do is focus on me. my story is rubbish if all i do is sensationalize the past sins that i made and do not point to a loving, yet holy God that needed for His Son to die to take my place.

  • without the cross... i have no story to tell.
  • with His cross... i have a story of death to tell. my death. it is no longer i that rules my life. my old self is gone.
  • with His resurrection... i have a story of a new life. ruled by a new Master. He calls the shots now. i have no "rights"
  • with the hope of the Holy Spirit living in me...there is power to live a life that He commands us to live.

  • if our message is centered by our story alone,
    then we've completely missed the point.
    because it's never about our story.
    it's always about HIS.

    if our stories don't point people to:
    *our own filthiness
    *His Holiness
    *the need for substitution
    *the Cross
    *His Blood
    *His resurrection
    *His Forgiveness, Mercy and Grace
    *His command for us to be holy
    *the Holy Spirit living inside of us and His power & ability to transform us
    *our response to heed to His call to obey Him daily.

    then our testimonies are nothing but stories. it's not "book of life" worthy. it's just tabloid material.

    out of all of those... the two things that should only be about us are:
    1. our filthiness
    2. our response to heed to His call to obey daily.

    everything else should point to Him.

    remember:
    God has chosen to use fools like us to receive His grace and share about His love. Let us never forget, that without Him.... we wouldn't even have a story.

    without Him... we are NOTHING.

    what do you have that you did not receive? and if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you did not [1cor4:7]

    Monday, April 26, 2010

    4.26.10 pizza.




    hawaiian pizza + good friends + ice cream + chips and dip + coke = great time.

    Sunday, April 25, 2010

    4.25.10 hooray.

    we love camping!

    Saturday, April 24, 2010

    4.24.10 log.


    firewood.

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    4.23.10 cest la vie.

    Celebrating life :)


    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    4.22.10 plump.

    Plump, juicy, red strawberries :)


    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    4.21.10 colors.


    Flowers brigthen up any room...
    They are especially nice to see in the office when all you see are papers/files/computer.

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    vessels of hope.

    last saturday 4-17-10.

    we bought 300 burgers and 300 apple pies and 300 capri suns.

    strangers helped us take the food to church...coz it couldn't fit in our car.
    little did we know it was a divine appointment for us to bless them with prayer.

    more burgers. more capri suns. more apple pies.

    here are the pretty volunteers.

    even more volunteers stuffing more bags.

    the vessels of hope.

    hello skid row...we're back =]

    lining up to get some mickey d's.

    this man was preaching the gospel to us.
    except that he was using the "F" word before every word He said.
    so imagine "effin Jesus effin came to effin save your effin selves from your effin sins"
    it was QUITE entertaining.

    more people coming looking for food and clothes.

    beautiful smiles. beautiful souls.

    praying is love in action.

    some of us going to eat at daikokuya after.
    ofcourse we wouldnt pass up this chance ;)

    gettin' their ramen on.

    after feeing the poor.... we fed ourselves as well.

    it was such a great day!

    one of the people that went said "she went there with the heart to give, but in the end she was the one that received so much out of the experience."

    my heart and my goal is to continue to do projects like this to raise awareness for community outreach. my desire is for people to see that one of the greatest mission fields is right here in our own backyard. and if the church isn't going to rise up to the challenge of being an extension of God's love... then who will? even if it's just sharing a smile, or praying for strangers or meeting the simplest of needs (like food and clothing), we CAN do something about it. [James 2:16-18]

    thank you to all of you who donated your clothes/blankets/shoes/finances and gave your time to help out with this event. i really appreciate you guys and im sure the people in skid row did too. thank you for being vessels of hope.


    what's next: PROJECT PROM - dressing orphan teenagers and getting them ready for their prom. so if you have any dresses, shoes, bras, accessories - and/ or if you would like to give financial donations... please email me at ricianne (at) ricianne (dot) com and i will let you know more details about this project. thanks

    4.20.10 creek.

    Creekside.

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    4.19.10 - rockin.


    Rockin' the 80's :)

    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    4.18.10 - meet nala.



    the car's name is nala.
    coz she has the same golden color like a lioness. (see lion king - nala )
    and nala means gift.
    [my son wanted to name him shadowknight....uuhhmmm *NO*]

    someone, who wanted to remain anonymous...
    provided money for me to be able to get this car.
    thank you dear angel.

    this is my 4th free car.
    well...semi-free. explanation below.

    sounds too good to be true, right?

    - my first free car was an 86 celica.
    - my second free car was a 96 toyota camry.
    - my third free car was a 95 honda civic.
    they were given to me by church friends and family.
    and i try to pay it forward by giving away those other cars to those who need it as well.

    yes ya'll...
    what happened back in ACTS chapter 2 is still happening today.
    people are still giving stuff away for FREE to help other people.

    this car is such an overwhelming surprise.
    i was praying for a newer car, but i wasn't expecting this.
    such a wonderful gift from God for me and my son.
    it's a gift - coz we didn't do anything to deserve it.
    nor could we even afford it.
    it's an undeserved gift - just like His grace.

    it's a gift to remind me that...

    He sees.
    He knows.
    He is my provider.
    He hears every heart cry.
    He is into the smallest of details.
    He loves to surprise His children.
    His timing is absolutely impeccable.
    and
    HE IS ALWAYS, ALWAYS FAITHFUL.

    *it's semi-free coz i have to share a bit for the monthly payments and insurance for this 2009 car .... which ofcourse i don't mind that at all ;)

    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    4.17 - vessels of hope.


    vessels of hope. our volunteers for hope on skid row.

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    4.16.10 porch.


    Dinner at the porch with sisters. And yes that is my son sitting on that baby swing o_O
    this was a perfect friday evening.

    in your bag.

    people who know me know how much i LOVE using big bags. people who really know me will let you also know that it doesnt matter what size of bag i use... i always seem to find a way to fill my bags up with lots and lots of things.

    i have lots of different kinds of bags. big bags, small bags, totes, hobo,s bohos and a couple of designer bags. but this by far is my favorite bag ever. it was given to me as a surprise gift by one of my dearest friends. it's a gina alexander leather picture bag (this is the koko design) with a collage of my son's pictures.


    and the following pictures below are my MUST HAVES inside my bag. on any given day... you will find these things loitering around inside my heavy-almost-weapon-like-marry-poppins-bag. i never go anywhere without them. (well except if im attending a formal party - then i just keep all this in my car in case i need it for emergency.

    my phone.
    i bring it with me everywhere i go.
    i do all my email / twitter / facebook stuff on this phone.
    and i always bring a charger with me.

    this is my handy-dandy notebook.
    everytime i think of something to write,
    or if i read my word and i get a "revelation or a-ha moment"
    i jot down my mental notes and my brain farts on this note pad.


    im not a big fan of make up.
    in fact i always leave my house without make up
    and only put it on if it's absolutely necessary.
    but if i do... my must haves are: a lipstick, lipgloss and 2 different colors of eyeliner
    & my chanel lipliner (which is not shown here coz i don't take it with me everywhere i go...i leave that at home)


    yes...i still carry a bible with me everywhere i go.

    i always have some type of book or devotional that i carry with me. i LOVE reading.


    my keys & keychain. my squirt the turle. my pepper spray and lots & lots of keys.


    my trusty lil' camera to capture random little events and life's beautiful moments.


    my pink swiss army knife (the most girly colored-non-girly gadget i have)
    my sister gave me as a"thank you for being my maid-of-honor gift"
    this is one of my most favorite things ever.


    my 2 wallets. one stashed with pics and receipts and business cards and grocery cards.
    one flat one with my license, my library card and my debit card.
    unfortunately the most cash i carry in my wallet is $5 max, if not less.
    all the rest go into my dave ramsey envelope system.

    more random stuff like:
    gum & lots of gum wrappers,
    a granola/trailmix bar (in case my son gets hungry),
    hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes,
    cologne spray,
    lotion,
    tylenol/medicine/band aids,
    cheap sunglasses (coz i always seem to misplace them),
    pens, sharpies, post it pads,
    that circular silver thing that you use to hold your bag on the table instead of plopping it on the floor...

    and ofcourse...a SOCK. yes. my son decided to put his sock in my bag..
    not a pair of socks. nope. just one sock.
    i always find random things that my son leaves in my bag. socks / toys / his DSi / candy wrappers / etc.


    what's in YOUR bag?

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    open book.




    my life is His letter. an open book for the world to read. i pray that my life will be a story worth reading about and sharing to other people. i pray that through my experiences, joys and tragedies, laughter and tears, sorrow and pain - that the readers of this letter will be drawn to the love of Christ.

    in each season and chapter of my life that He pens and writes for me...
    i pray that i will be faithful, especially in the smallest of things.
    i shall not despise the day of small beginnings.
    there is much to be said with the way i will choose to be faithful with the little things (like dotting the i's or crossing the t's)
    because words become sentences and sentences become paragraphs. and if i miss one thing or over look the smaller details, a minor mistake can change the whole letter.


    i pray that the readers will find adventure. love. joy. passion. grace. forgiveness. a lil danger. fun-filled. a lil craziness. okay maybe a lot of craziness. humor. action. i hope that each page would be so fun to read that the readers would be captured and will not be able to wait to read more of what this Amazing Author can unfold in each page that is turned.

    i pray that when Perfecter of my faith decides to publish this letter... that my life will be worthy to bear His name as my Author. signed with His Blood. Presented and read to the heavens as He shouts in celebration "well done good and faithful servant....come and share in your Master's happiness."

    Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. 2Cor. 3:2-3

    picture taken from here.