Archive | October, 2010

In 2 weeks…

22 Oct

…I’ll be boarding a


on my way to





(photo by Rachel Barsness)

and their newest addition…

(photo by Rachel Barsness)

it makes me feel kind of like this all over again…


Jesus is my homeboy?

20 Oct

 C’mon, you all have seen the shirt and there are even some of you that have it tucked away in the back of your dresser or “gifted” it to someone else at a garage sale. If you lived in the past decade, you’ve seen the very ‘American’ version of Jesus portrayed on everything from a t-shirt to a bobble head. While I will reluctantly admit that I once was the owner of a pink “Jesus is my homeboy” shirt, I remember buying the shirt not for trend, but in spite of all the religious people who were proclaiming blasphemy. I was in the midst of High School and my relationship with Jesus was moving from my parents relationship to my own. Without pointing fingers to any one institution or person, my relationship with Jesus up until that point was based on religion; laws, lists of cans and cants, tradition for the sake of tradition. My prayer life was non-existent because of the phrase in itself…”prayer life”?! As a teenager, that phrase was overwhelming, especially when my experience with prayer was me mimicking those around me. Lots of “Dear Heavenly Father, Thou art great” and not excluding all other King James language. Although there is nothing wrong with that in itself, it was so scripted…for me.

Enter “homeboy” fad. It was during this time that I was fortunate to have youth pastors that invested their lives into mine and taught me to figure out this whole “Jesus” thing for myself. And that’s just it, at that point in my life, Jesus was just another thing, another priority I was making room for, just not solely invested into. It’s like having an answer to a math problem, having confirmed it was right, but not knowing how you got there. If you’re not involved in the process, there’s no learning involved. Jesus didn’t come to proclaim an answer, but to provide a relationship. He wants to be apart of the process of life with us and through High School, that process for me was figuring what and how that looked like.

 Jesus became a real person to me. Someone I began to believe, heard me when I prayed. I remember one service where the pastor prayed with his eyes open and like most of us in high school who can’t keep our eyes closed without the occasional glance around the room, I was stunned. Apparently, he was onto us all because his message followed his prayer on how we don’t have to have the “prayer stature” to speak to God; eyes closed, head bowed and if you were in your room…kneeled by your bed, hands palm to palm like all the wooden statues you’ve seen in stores. If you’ve ever been to a church service, you’ve had to notice it…at the very phrase “Lets Pray” given by the pastor, its automatic. In fact, you may have even been apart of a service where you’ve fought back laughter when the pastor messed up the wording and said, “with every eye bowed and every head closed, let’s pray”. The message that Sunday opened up a process in my new-found relationship with Jesus. I no longer felt like a robot, clinging to the prayer words, stature, mannerisms and cliché’s that I felt I had to fake until I made it, I felt free to accept Jesus loving me just as I was and who I was. Honestly, I’ve known of Jesus my whole life, but it wasn’t until this point in time where I actually began to know him.

 Out of my stubborn tendencies and desire for anything that’s not ordinary, I find myself constantly pushing against the grain. Fighting against tradition, religion, and all things scripted or forced. I constantly blog and speak about the “rawness” of Jesus and how we need to stop adding to and tying on strings that don’t belong to him. In this journey of developing my relationship with Jesus, I have found myself at a crossroad of what another blogger described as daily vs. the divine. He goes on to write:

The idea of Jesus is mainly our “friend” is deeply rooted in our particular religious culture. Our lack of reverence expresses itself in everything from our worship to our evangelism. How many times, for instance, have we seen an earnest Christian approach someone (including us) and ask, “Do you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?”

While intended as a means of carrying out the Great Commission, the question is asking something else entirely. In essence, it’s asking whether we possess God rather than whether God possess us. God is, indeed, our friend. But there is something about claiming God as our “personal” friend that seems to imply that we are putting him in the same category as our “personal trainers” and “personal assistants,” people who serve us, rather than someone whom we are expected to serve. When Jesus becomes someone we can befriend he becomes someone we can take lightly.

Jesus, however, is not my homeboy. The term “homeboy” always implies a co-equal relationship and never refers to someone who could be considered either superior or an inferior. Jesus may be a friend, but he is not my “buddy.” Christ is my master, my redeemer, my Lord and my God.

(Post by Joe Carter, July 7th, 2010)

 In my pursuit to have a real, genuine, unscripted, raw relationship with Jesus, I have made him (for reference sake) my “homeboy”. In efforts to value sincerity, I have lost sight of his sacredness. While trying to remain genuine and unscripted, I scaled back his grandor. Subconsciously, by doing this, I limit him to the finiteness of friends. I equalize our friendship and scale the give and takes. And like Joe Carter mentioned, I have come to forgivingly refute that Jesus, in fact, is not my homeboy. Jesus is my friend, but he is SO much more than that. He is worthy of so much more than my “friendship”.

And so, I remain here at this crossroad. Where do you go from here? When you’re at that place of a real relationship with the creator of the universe that has transformed your life, yet He is just that, the creator of the universe. The one the Bible speaks of as having given his very life for sins of the world. The one who knows me by name, yet sits at the right hand of God. Full of splendor and walked the earth without sin, but spent his time with sinners and thieves and even more humbling…loves me as I proclaim him to be my “homeboy”. How do you speak to the one who keeps your heart beating and blood flowing, in all of his sovereignty? It’s not that I wasn’t aware of who and how great Jesus was and is, it’s just that I lost sight of it.

Addison Road writes in one of their songs:

I guess I thought that I had figured You out

I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about

How You were mighty to save

Those were only empty words on a page

Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be

The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees

What do I know of You Who spoke me into motion?

Where have I even stood But the shore along Your ocean?

Are You fire? Are You fury?

 Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?

What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

Sorry, there’s no conclusion to this post, just a transparent glimpse of where I’m at. Maybe you’ve been in this place to?

top ten #345

19 Oct

These are the top ten pictures that continue to make me laugh uncontrollably everytime I come across them…enjoy 🙂




and the one that cracks me up the most (drum roll please)…


Molls had an amputee moment 😉


19 Oct


18 Oct

Photo by Hatch Photography

On October 12th, our Lynden Papa Murphy’s location opened its doors to a community of people who proved to be so generous to come in and buy a pizza in support of Jensen Anderson, a 6-year-old boy fighting cancer. Our Lynden Crew members stepped up their game, sporting their teamJENSEN shirts, making pizzas as fast as they could…and with a smile! I knew the town of Lynden would be kind enough to show up, I just didn’t expect them to pack our store like they did. With a donation buckets overflowing, a sign covered in thoughts and prayers for Jensen and a lobby full of people with big hearts so joyfully giving to a family fighting for their son in Houston, TX. It’s days like those that make me feel honored to work where I do.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all that came out and to all that sent pictures of your families eating pizza for this great cause. I am so looking forward to the day where Jensen walks through the doors of our Lynden store, as well as the other businesses in his community, happy and healthy and 100% cancer free! Who knows, maybe he’ll even be the friendly crew member making your pizza one day ;). Here are some pictures that families in the Lynden Community sent in!

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teamJENSEN part2.

12 Oct

Below is a part of an e-mail recently sent by Julie, Jensen’s mom:

…had a melt down and wouldn’t let us put him on the table for treatment. He was crying so hard and yelling at me that it’s all my fault that he has to do this. It was killing us, usually Jeff or I am able to deal with him and distract him from his negative mindset, but not last night. Even Auntie Charmae and all her joking antics wouldn’t distract him. It took us about 45 minutes or so to finally get him calmed down and then I promised to watch him on the screen from the other room and Jeff said he would stand right outside the door. They had to put his mask on and his mouth guard and then I stood there watching vigilantly because I was so afraid he would throw up inside that mask with the guard in his mouth and not be able to breathe. It was really freaking me out because the mask snaps to the table. If he threw up in it, it would be a very scary situation because Jensen can’t talk with a mouth guard in and he can’t turn on his side because he isn’t able to move his body like we are and his head is snapped down to the table!!! Now you can pray that I don’t have a heart attack!

Jeff and I were so overwhelmed with the stress of trying to get Jensen on the table last night that he had to walk out to get some air and I walked out with him crying. The 3 security guards standing there didn’t know what to think…well they didn’t know what to think when we walked in either…. with 13 of us!

I post this, not with the intent to cause an emotional reaction (however, I am certain it does), but to give you a glimpse of what Jensen at age 6 is going through, not to mention the rest of his family. Maybe you’ve been in their shoes, maybe you’re going through a similar situation or maybe you are fortunate enough to not even be able to comprehend. I wanted to paint a picture for you of a real boy, a real face, a real reality of who you are impacting when and if you make the choice to buy a pizza today in honor of Jensen Anderson. Your $2 from every pizza purchased today at our Lynden Papa Murphy’s, goes to him. A real 6-year-old boy, fighting for his life. Don’t count yourself short, you CAN make a difference.

Can’t buy a pizza? You can still give to an account set up at Bank of America. Mention that the account is in Texas and the number is 5860 1965 7528. You can also join the Anderson’s mailing list and get frequent updates on Jensen. Send Julie an e-mail and request to be added. Her e-mail is jand911 @ (to avoid spaming, I have added the spacing, obviously there is no spaces in her address). If you can stop by and buy a pizza today, make sure and call ahead so you can avoid the lines; 360-354-5600.

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.Marian Wright Edelman

post its. (engagement edition)

12 Oct

Dear town of Lynden,

No, the man who was with me this weekend was not my boyfriend. He is my cousin and due to the top secrecy of my brothers engagement (thus the reason for my visit), I was apparently unable to accurately and convincingly explain as to why we were up “visiting my brother” yet he was nowhere to be found. Rumors can now be halted.

Dear friends,

Sorry for all the lies as to the reason for my visit. Wasn’t my BIG news to share, so I hope you understand. On a positive note, I am a HORRIBLE liar..come to find out.

Dear Border Patrol,

When asked, “What is the reason for your visit”, please help me better answer your question because when answered, “My brother is proposing”, apparently that is not specific enough and can only be responded to with, “Proposing what?” P.S. thank you for making the border line wait time 45 minutes by holding up the cars due to your unprofessional banter of how you would rather be inside with less people. Us too dude, us too.

Dear Duty Free,

Well done. What brought us in for a simple piece of candy in order to jump the lines, left us walking out the door…$50 receipts in hand. Very clever…

Dear mother nature,

Not too sure what your beef is with my brother, but the torrential downpour….really? Jokes on you I guess because she said yes!

Dear random Canadian ladies,

If there is a random, candlelit path lined with flowers on a beach…in the middle of a rainstorm…leading to a huge sign that isn’t about you…in front of a crowd of people holding cameras and video’s….maybe next time you will realize what was about to happen instead of being asked to move by the nervous boyfriend looking to change his title to fiance. We forgive you though….it made for some hysterical footage, so please forgive us for making you the reference of all jokes when we bring up the proposal 🙂

Dear Walsh Family,

Thank you for bringing us in as family and treating us with such great hospitality. You guys are everything and more that Amy has been raving about. Thanks for opening up your lives to my brother and taking care of him. I couldn’t ask for a better family of in-laws for him!

Dear perfectly cut diamond that now sits on the hand of its rightful owner,

You are the symbol of prayers answered.

Dear brother and soon to be sister-in-law,

Thank you for letting me be part of your special day. You guys are perfect for each other and it is evident how much you make each other better people. I can’t wait for the days, months and years to come and feel so blessed to be a small part in your journey. Love you both!

Dear Bcuz,

Thanks for making the long journey to “Oh, Canada” with me. Who knew that 12 hours in a car together could bring about so many inside jokes, painful gut-wreching laughter, temporary brain abnormalities that resulted in a horrifying loss of peripheral vision, a convenient loss of money on a certain Starbucks card, a new career plan as Freeway Etchers, an unintended expensive bill at the Duty Free store, many jam sessions, SNF via 2 competing radio stations and many more memories I would be embarrassed to share here 🙂

game changer.

12 Oct

Tuesday afternoon, a sophomore in HS at the time, walking through the front door like every other day after school. Dropped my keys on the entry table plate, reached for the doorknob, but as I was about to head downstairs I was startled by the words, “Jenn, I need to tell you something”. The words that followed were shaky and as my mom wiped the tears from her eyes, I tried to grasp the reality spilled out before me. My grandpa was sick and it didn’t look good. Silently, I walked down the stairs to my room where I spent the rest of the day and night sobbing on my bed. Game changer.

Nervous and pacing, a million thoughts run through his head. Tonight will be the biggest night of his life to date. The ring is gently placed in his inside coat pocket, the stage is set and his crowd of supporters are in place. His heart beats faster and faster. He picks her up for their “date” and attempts to contain all normalcy. The plan is in motion. The steps he takes with her down the path to the “place” are fast and purposeful. The rain becomes non-existent as the reality of the moment competes with the words he tries to express to her. As he steps back, it takes her breath away as she sees everyone she loves holding the one question she was waiting for. He drops to his knee and the moment is surreal. Game changer.

Right now a family sits in Houston, Texas, 7 members strong. They are actively fighting cancer for one of their youngest members, Jensen. Pursing every possible resource and outlet to find a cure for the tumor(s) that is attempting to take his life. They have good days and bad. Some days they are filled with strength and some days they are filled with tears. Yet, they continue to fight and with a community of people standing behind them, they are not alone. Game changer.

Circumstances arise all the time. Life happens; good moments and bad. And in the midst of our few moments here on earth, curve balls come our way that have the potential to change the game forever. And although life is so much more than a game, sometimes we treat as if it were. As if we were able to strategize, plan for, prepare even, for the game changers in our lives.

This weekend I heard a message on prayer. I mean, I really heard it. To the point that I walked away with a new perspective, a new fervor and realization that when we pray according to His will and His promises, we are participating in the very will of God. It’s about changing your perception that prayer is a duty or is active based on your circumstance because it’s not. It’s about relinquishing control to actually have it. The Pastor said something that I can’t stop repeating, “If we really understood God’s intent of prayer, we would be more eager to pray.”

When I encounter “game changers” in my life, I am more apt to pray. When I really evaluated my life, I realized I thank God for the good moments and plead and beg God in the bad. And although my reaction is probably common to most, I came across a couple’s story about their game changing moment and was and AM encouraged by their response.

Prayer is the ultimate game changer. And when we come to the realization that prayer is a God-appointed means to accomplish His purpose in us, the church, and in the world and when we pray according to his will and his promises and not our own, we are open to the reality that prayer is powerful and has the immeasurable possibility to change things. Our circumstances do not define our future. So pray; be in conversation with the one who knows you and loves you and has never left you. The one who gave joy and unexplainable peace to me when my grandpa’s life was cut short on earth; the one who had a plan for my brother and the woman of his dreams that was far greater than he ever deemed being worthy of; the one who holds the Anderson family in his arms reassuring them he is faithful still. And when you can’t pray any longer, pray some more.