Sunday, June 29, 2008


So in the journey to live more simply, to be more connected to the world as a whole, to purchase food that is more likely just (it is estimated that 7% of slavery in the US is farm based), to have a more positive impact on the global economy, and to generally live a more holistic life, I have started to work on cooking more, and buying locally. 

Also in the goal of connectedness I want to offer hospitality when I can. So I invited a bunch of friends over yesterday for some great food! (plus I have a hard time motivating myself to cook great food for just me, but I am working on that; being single and living alone seems an even better excuse to make great food cause i has to cost less to make great food for one, but anyway.)

It was a great day. I went to the farmers market at the ferry building (too expensive but super cute). I bought my produce and then went to trader joes and rainbow for the rest. When I was cooking I was inspired to take some photos of my amazing meal as it was being prepared. (this post is really just an excuse to post these pics so enjoy!)

these are the amazing black berries (which by the way taste so much better from the farmers market then they do from the store) on the cheese clothe, just before I squeezed all the juice out of them. It was so messy! I had purple all over my hands, SO FUN!

These are the tortilla strips I made myself!! They were super yummy! And that is not grease it is olive oil (EVOO is the best! it adds great flavor to everything!) Also making the chips myself seems like it was way cheaper then buying chips and they tasted better hot out of the oven. You should try it!

These really were to inspiration for the photo shoot. OMG! I used to think I did not like tomatoes, I was wrong! I just don't like tomatoes that have traveled 1500 miles to the grocery store (most food in the US travels at least that far to make it to our tables! crazy!). So yeah, fresh local tomatoes are so much better! And look at all the colors! They all have their own flavor. I never knew tomatoes came in such wonderful varieties! They were so good in the soup, and they were delicious as I popped some in my mouth as I was preparing the soup!

So this is my post on food, amazing, wonderful, local, homemade food! The dinner party was a blast! We ate, drank, sucked helium (thanks to Adam and his randomness!). It was a fabulous night!

FYI: I got the recipes from 

Sunday, June 22, 2008

trying again...

so i posted that we were in the news a few weeks ago, but the link isn't working... oopsy!

I can't decide!!

So my amazing friend Melody Gates is an fabulous photographer (you should hire her if you ever need photos). I needed a bio pic for my job at ReIMAGINE and I might need one for my job at Soul Shoppe. So we did a photo day... now I have to pic a picture!!! 

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I walked into the park to see this sign:
the music is loud but not oppressive
the band is decent but not good 
the band members are all older
they do not see the park the way I do

Dolores Park makes me feel connected in this great city
I can go there and lay on a blanket alone for hours 
when I am there I feel welcomed 
I watch the people around me 
I am astonished by the freedom they feel
They express themselves with their clothes or lack there of
Silver hot pants with a black bra and nothing more
Children's animal masks
Vintage 1970s dresses and swim suits
Total freedom of expression 

And today freedom includes a Christian Evangelism Band complete with signs

Their gospel message is the condensed version:
Jesus died so that you wouldn't go to Hell
I am not going to Hell
You don't have to go to Hell

I am not sure if they know about the part where Jesus taught a new way to be human
I feel like the message centers around the after life and how we were all going to Hell
I know their hearts are in the right place
but for all the time they spend preaching in a park they could serve along side people in need, feed the hungry, develop a life giving friendship
They could live the way of Jesus 
Instead of trying to explain to me why my salvation experience might not be valid, they could live the life more abundant we have been called to
I am not trying to hate on them, when they are not singing or preaching their music isn't too bad, and I am sure they have good intentions, even if they do make a great many people angry

I am sometimes still torn on the issue of direct evangelism
I believe in Hell (although I am not sure what I think it looks like, and the ideas I lean towards were deemed heretical by some council over a thousand years ago)
I do not want anyone to have to suffer the reality of Hell
I do not think Hell is the point
The point seems to me to be more about life, about abundant life
Abundant life cannot be thrown at people in a park- it comes from following the teachings of Jesus and engaging in the life we are called into as God's creation

Further IF salvation from Hell is our only goal, I am not sure that it is at all possible to achieve that goal. God knows our hearts. Jesus called for repentance. Jesus taught us to think of others before ourselves. Salvation for the sake of avoiding Hell doesn't sound at all like taking up one's cross to follow. In fact it sounds just selfish enough to be the same sin that we are called to repent from. It is almost as if in seeking fire insurance we have set ourselves on fire, and we are inviting others to jump in the flame under the guise that we will eventually be able to get ourselves out. What if in all of the evangelistic talk about avoiding Hell we are actually causing genuine seekers to be pushed further away from a relationship with God? In Hell based evangelism we create a lie that says that on judgment day all God wants to know if you were scared of Hell. In Hell based evangelism we are robing people of the revolutionary challenge Jesus calls us all into.

In truth I believe that at this moment what God wants to know is if you are willing to love, to follow, to give mercy, and to help those in need. Right now, not in some distant future, God desires the bride, a bride that is pure and holy, a bride that has chosen the beloved because of who God is, not because the alternative is too scary. I mean really everyone who believes in heaven wants to go there. So I don't think God cares if we want to go to heaven. I think God cares about how we live a life of love. 

I took a picture of one of their signs. I am going to post it as soon as I figure out how to get photos off my camera. 

I am not opposed to people hearing the message of Jesus, but I want them to hear the actual message.


So I want to write

Okay so I have started it. 
I am writing a short article/story/rant about my experiment without makeup or jewelry. I am excited about it. I am hoping it will be inspiring to insecure people everywhere. (by everywhere i mean within the small circle of people who get to read it).

So if you are a writer and you have a source of writing tips please send them my way. 

Also soon I will be posting some updates on the amazing student groups that just left.

I am excited to say that they are helping spread awareness about Slavery. They are wearing their orange. They have agreed that they will participate in the change that must happen for all of us to end modern day slavery.


Thursday, June 5, 2008


so for a few weeks i was freaking out. i wasn't sure if i could or should live here. and like the blabber mouth i am i told all my friends about how i was freaking out, lonely, and poor.

then it started. these repeating voices. coming from different places, but all saying the same thing in various ways. they all reminded me of the same 2 things.

1) God told me to come here with a purpose for me here- there is a task for me in this city

2) God told me to come here to teach me- most lessons worth learning are usually hard

it might be possible that the second of the two was the greater reason for God bringing me to this city.

i moved out here knowing that this was going to be challenging. i was going to have to give stuff up. i was going to have to trust God to provide. i was changing cultures and that is always work. yet, i believed this city was a teacher and i thought i was ready to learn.

i have lived here for 5 months now and it is very true: the city is a teacher. it teaches you to be humble and accept help. it teaches you to work hard and want it bad enough to keep going. it teaches you to live simply, because if you don't save every penny you can you will never make rent. it teaches you that God will provide for the calling that has brought you here.

it teaches you to push into life.

these lessons come in all forms. the city is loosing its shock value. today i saw someone pull a knife on another person and a dead body on the street where i live. i also saw a performance put on by an after school program that reflected hard work, dedication, love, and hope for the future. i had a conversation with a woman who believes that her mother was probably brought to this country as a domestic slave. her mother lived in silence in this country, no one seems to have cared, it happened before caring about trafficking was sexy. STILL i have hope because i also spoke with a friend over breakfast about how we have to do something about slavery and there was an energy there that can only lead to action. 

the city is a paradox. in this place there is peace and violence. celebration and mourning. freedom of expression and inhumane slavery. the city is all of life crammed unto 7x7. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Counted among the just...

I just left a Coalition meeting about trafficking hosted by the Not For Sale Campaign, there is real momentum to get something done. This is the time and place that I have been asking God for. People are getting together to do something.

I was reading Not For Sale, by David Batstone, and he asks multiple times as he recounts history: "Would we have stood up and been counted among the just?" 

I have read history and wished I could be part of the great movements. As a teenager I selfishly wished there was some great evil in the world I could fight. Sadly some wishes do come true. There is a great evil. There are more slaves now then there were in all of the days of the African slave trade combined. Someday history will tell of this grave injustice. People will either be shocked by our apathy, or inspired by our action. There is no middle ground. We are either going to be counted among the just, or we will be spectators.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What would you die for?

Mark asked a question the other day that was basically what would you die for? or something like that...

We started casting the vision for the fall project today. I am excited.
It is going to be a crash course in activism and we are taking on the slave trade.

Also I signed up to go to some Advocacy days in DC in october. I will get to advocate for improvement on the T Visa. 

In short at this point people who have been trafficked in illegally can get up to a 3 year visa, if they help the prosecution. So basically our government thinks that people who have been severely abused, raped, and psychologically manipulated, should go to court and then get shipped home. They are being treated like accomplices to the crime that has been committed against them. It is like they are being offered a really bad plea agreement. They have already been imprisoned, they need to be set free.

One of the biggest holes in the trafficking problem is aftercare. There is no where for these people to go once released where they will be safe, where they can heal emotionally and physically, where they will be cared for as they recreate their lives. They have already been traumatized enough without. They should not be treated like criminals. Forcing them to relive their experiences in front of a court is immoral. Yes we need them to testify so their captors can be stopped, but we need to care for them. This is our shared humanity we are talking about here, the only way we can end slavery is if we can live the belief that all people are equal and all of us are loved.

This is going to be a long journey. To end trafficking we must deal with poverty, globalization, the sex industry, human rights, women's rights, children's rights, we will have to take on cultures and be willing to say that some elements of culture are evil. People will need to open their homes to former slaves. We will need to take on our government and tell them their laws are unjust. 

As we talked about this in the staff meeting today Adam threw out some ideas that would get him killed. Most of them required that we have more money than we have and again they would get us killed. Oddly it was the fact that we simply don't have the money for this idea that held me back in my head more than the getting killed. 

What if we bought people? I think old time abolitionist used to do, right? but we don't have the funds or the network inside the trade, and plus the government might not know that we want to free them so that is a problem, cause buying people is illegal (which is a good thing). So we can't do that. 

But still I wonder. What if we were as brave of the underground railroad? What if we were willing to get ourselves killed to save others? What if we had the type of love that would lay down one's life?

I want to be like Paul able to say that I do not fear death. He said it when he was in prison on his way to his execution. It wasn't just a figure of speak. It death was right before him. Still he did not fear death. Right now I am so safe that I don't even know what it would mean to not fear death, but I know that I need that kind of courage. 

I feel like I am speaking of lofty ideals, I hope I am spreading a vision, I hope that I have the courage to find a way to enact change. I think that activism is the first place to start. Rescue work is glamorous, and necessary; but we need to get to the root of the problem, and we need to offer hope to survivors before they are trafficked again. There is so much to be done.

If you know anything about how people can help please leave a comment. I want to know. 

Monday, June 2, 2008

the work

A few weeks ago when I was in Texas I wrote a few entries about not wanting to leave, but the idea of faith being an action of obedience and following. Faith cannot simply be a thought it has to be an active following after and seeking after God. So there was the tension- I love my home but I feel this push to someplace else, a push that I feel is from God.

So I have been reading about trafficking for a few days. The first time I read about it was last year and I knew then that someday somehow I was going to have to join the fight to end slavery.

I am more sure than ever that I need to be in this city at this time. Something is going to happen. I am not sure what and I beg you to pray with me for whatever it is. But something must happen and I believe that it will.

There are multiple cities in the US that are known to be high trafficking areas. San Francisco, Houston, LA, New York City, Atlanta, and more. I am in one of those cities at a time when awareness is on the rise. 

Trafficking thrives off the fact that people know so little about it. Most of us believe that slavery has been abolished. It has not. There is a new wave of abolitionists that have already laid the ground work for all of us to join the cause. Now that we know more we need to do the work to end slavery.

please check out:
Also if you read this talk to someone about it. Make it a goal of yours this week to talk to a friend about modern day slavery. 

27 million people- mostly women and children. 

Follow this blog with bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin