Saturday, January 20, 2007

Life is Happening

It's been an eventful few weeks in a couple different ways so I figured I'd share some of the highlights in pictures and a link....

While this announcement is a bit late, it is still very exciting--Kerry's baby arrived! Adisen
Ellen Fankhauser was born December 29 at 12:57 p.m. She weighs 6lbs. 13oz. and is 20 inches long. Congrats to Bob and Kerry!

The next exciting event is that Sarah preached for the first time. One of my favorite things in the world is watching people operate in their gifts and passions. As Sarah preaching I knew that this was happening. She did an amazing job and I can't wait to watch as she further develops her gift.

Above: Sarah's name was on the sign!
Below: The Fuller cheering crowd--Ryan, Christina, Alan, Sarah, Dave, Alethia, and me.

Another exciting time was exploring our cite for the upcoming San Marino junior high mission trip. We are going through an organization called the Center for Student Missions (CSM). In short, we will be spending 4 days living, serving, and experiencing all different parts of the city of Los Angeles--from Beverly Hills to Skid Row. We took a driving tour of LA and I admit that I have never seen anything like it. Please be praying for our trip--particularly that more youth sign up. Check out this link for more information:

And the last event isn't as positive as the last three... I love condiments more than your average person--mayo, ranch dressing, ketchup, soy sauce, curry sauce, you name it. I can't eat bland food. But my love of condiments got me in trouble this week. I left a homemade wrap with creamy Caesar dressing out of a refrigerator for hours. You guessed it, exactly 6 hours later I had food poisoning. It was a mild case, just a half day or so of being sick, but still no fun. Thankfully I'm feeling much better now. I've learned a big lesson: always refrigerate.
Despite my mishap, I still love condiments and I think my refrigerator is a testament to that:

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I was going through old emails tonight and found this devotional that a dear friend sent me. It encouraged me that as we are with God, He is constantly transforming us and healing us to something that we cannot imagine. I pray that this message can give you hope!

(The spacing is a bit weird--but I didn't know how to fix it).

Written from God's perspective...

"Take time to be holy. The word holy does not mean goody-goody; it means set apart for sacred use. That is what these quiet moments in My Presence are accomplishing within you. As you focus your mind and heart on Me, you are being transformed: re-created into the one I designed you to be. This process required blocks of time set aside for communion with me.

The benefits of this practice are limitless. Emotional and physical healing are enhanced by your soaking in the Light of My Presence. You experience a nearness to Me that strengthens your faith and fills you with Peace. You open yourself up to receive the many blessings that I have prepared for you. You become a cleansed temple of My Holy Spirit, who is able to do in and through you immeasurably more than you ask or imagine. These are just some of the benefits of being still in My Presence."

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Denise's Ordination

On Sunday January 7th Denise was ordained in the Presbyterian Church as Assistant Director and Chaplain of Office of Presbyterian Ministries at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Prior to the big day of Sunday--much had to be done. Denise had given the responsibility of the ordination reception to Fuller students so I spearheaded a team that put on that. By the end of it I felt like we had put on a mini wedding reception! Here's a picture of Becca and I setting up--and as you see from the picture--don't mess with us!
We also surprised Denise by flying in her twin sister from VA, and her 5 month old nephew--Caleb. He doesn't look too happy in this picture...but he's a cutie!
Presenting....Reverend Denise Overholser!

Denise with the participants in her ordination service.
Denise, Debbie (her twin sister ) and Caleb.
Onto the reception...Sophie looks like she has two small children:)
Sarah, Sophie, and I
Ron--the Director of the Office of Presbyterian Ministries--and Denise
Jaden was super excited because she had a Polly Pocket and thought that Polly might be related to me since I'm "Jenn Pocket" :)

All in all it was an exhausting day, but also amazing and emotional to watch a friend be ordained. Seeing the service made me dream about the future that lie ahead of us after seminary...ordained or not.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ringing in the New Year...Pasadena Style

Ringing in the New Year in Pasadena, CA has a unique feel to it. The annual Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game are hosted in Pasadena. This means that people begin celebrating the new year early on the 31st and through the night of the 1st. As I drove home from church Sunday morning I took a route through Colorade Blvd. At 11:30am the street was lined with tents and chairs of people. Many camp out all night on Colorado to claim the best seats to watch the parade. Even those that aren't camping out stay up all night to be ready for the parade early the next morning.

I attended a party with some other Fuller friends. I then attempted to sleep 3 hours prior to my 4am wake up time for the parade. However it was so loud with most of the city awake that I didn't sleep at all that night. I got up at 4am, cooked breakfast with friends, and headed two blocks south to Colorado Blvd. Miraculously we found a great spot and we sat and waited several hours till the parade reached us. It was a beautiful parade and fun time with friends--and a celebratory time for USC fans. Here are some pictures from new year's eve and the rose bowl parade...
The first roommate picture we have---Julie and I.

My Gospels study group (me, Christina, Josh) reenacting our pre exam umm "highlighter ritual." It must have worked because I did well in the class!

Lisa and Chris came to the party briefly before camping out all night for the parade!

Anna, me, Becca, and Sophie. Anna and Becca hosted the new year's party.

Becca and I

The next day at the Rose Parade--it was a great day for the USC Trojans.
And a bad day for Michigan....

This picture gives y'all an idea of just how many people were at the parade....

This is the Trader Joe's float with our very own Shannon on it--how exciting!

Sophie and I watching the parade.

Sophie, me, and Becca huddled together to stay warm as we waited for the parade to start.

George Lucus (creator of Star Wars) was the grand marshal.

My favorite animals of the parade--the mini horses!

The theme of the parade was nature--so there was an unusual number of butterflies on the floats--yay!

This was my favorite float in the parade--the frog actually moved it's head and tongue to capture the running water.

The Fuller crew--Bob, Christina, me, Sophie, Becca, Dave, Alethia, and Ryan

The aftermath of the Rose Parade.....

And after a fun night and morning, here's us heading home to go to BED!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

There are nice people in LA!

There's a common stereotype that people in LA are more self centered and materialistic than other parts of the country. I am definitely guilty of telling people about this stereotype. However two things happened over this past week that may have changed my mind--funny enough both involved trips from LAX and cars.

On Wednesday the 27th I flew into LAX from Richmond. It had been a long day of flying only to be topped off with luggage that didn't make it onto my connecting flight from Chicago. I was hungry and tired as I climbed into Becca's red Jeep to take me home. We chatted on our way home and barely noticed that it had started to rain. As we neared my apartment Becca looked at her gas gauge and said--"Pocket (a nickname I often am called in CA) I'm almost out of gas!" I saw a gas station about 20 feet away from us and said "surely you can make it to the gas station." She said "um...I don't know." I still didn't think she was serious. The slow stop her Jeep made in the intersection convinced me she was though. We had run out of gas in the middle of Los Robles (a pretty busy road). Becca got out and attempted to push her Jeep as I steered it. [Sidenote--put your car in neutral when pushing it...oops]. We must have looked funny as she pushed the car in the pouring rain. However in less than a minute a runner saw Becca and came to help. Then a car pulled over to the side of the road and 2 guys got out and helped. Then 2 cars in the nearby gas station opened their doors and 2 more guys came to help. Pretty soon we had 6 people pushing the Jeep in the pouring rain as I steered it--this time in neutral. :) We got to the gas station in no time and filled up the tank and were good to go.

The next Saturday I set out to LAX with a youth group kid to pick up Sophie. We had an uneventful ride to the airport without much traffic. We found Sophie and another Fuller student she had found randomly run into on her plane and picked them up. As we got onto the freeway an SUV kept honking their horn and waving at me. At first I thought the people thought I was someone I wasn't. I waved back and kept driving. They kept honking. Finally I rolled down my window. A woman stuck her head out the window and said "you have a flat tire--you need to get off the freeway!" My mind immediately went to that Redbook magazine article I had read this summer while bored in the hospital. What do you do in a flat tire? Keep driving straight and get off the freeway asap. So we got off the first exit and pulled over to the first gas station we saw. None of us really knew a whole lot abut car maintenance. We tried pumping the tire with air but it was obviously not working. A car pulled up behind me in line--there was a whole family in the station wagon. Darn, I thought--they're going to want to use the air pump... As I prepared to be told to move, the father walked up to us with a car jack. He didn't speak a lot of English but said he was going to help us. He quickly figured out that the tire was flat and needed to be changed. As he tried to get the bad tire off he realized his wrench wouldn't fit a Ford... We needed to find another Ford owner and borrow their wrench. I noticed a guy was pumping gas in a Ford. We asked to borrow his wrench and next thing I knew he had pulled his car up next to mine and was helping the father change the tire. In a few minutes my spare tire was on and we were off back to Pasadena.

This is a city where people don't smile or speak when passing each other on the sidewalk. This is a city in which Crash accurately portrays a diverse city filled racism. This is a city where homeless wander the streets of the stores that the richest of rich shop at. However these two days showed something different about the city. Both days an incredibly diverse group (in age, race, ethnicity, and class) came together to help a stranger. These people knew nothing about me--and me nothing about them. Yet I was in a crisis and they showed up without hesitation. There are nice people in LA.