It’s Time that you Rest like a Jr. High Camper

I captured a moment during Jr. High camp this summer that truly touched my heart.  11742726_857866400928029_5506362834823519033_nIt was the last evening of camp. The previous three hours were spent in a mud bowl, and now, the campers had jrwashed up and were waiting for a casual dinner at the playground.  Strolling through the dusty campground, I quietly admired the sun’s warm hue through the trees. When suddenly, we came across a few young lads resting on a grassy knoll.  Silas, being his extroverted self, immediately sat down and showed them this giant lizard (which is neither real or his so it remains utterly intriguing).  They were really impressed, and asked if He had a name.  I, naturally, thought they were talking about the reptile, so I said, “Oh, he doesn’t have one” They laughed and said, “No, the boy” “Does HE have a name?” I laughed and said, “Yes”.  The small conversation continued and ended; I had to keep the stroller moving for the twinsies…

I thought regretfully to myself. “I wish I could have asked them what they learned this week, or if they had anything moving to say about IHC, or Jesus, or Josh, that I could report back to our supporters…” But the Holy Spirit inside me rebuked those thoughts.

I did NOT need to hear anything from those boys. I SAW IT. And you can too. These boys are resting, truly resting.


It felt like a heaven on earth moment. Everything was good, because it was the Lord’s. His kids, on His grass, under the warmth of His sun. Completely care-less, in the care of God.

By day 4, these kids had a new rhythm to their lives. Free from first world distractions, their time was completley free to claim God’s creation as good and fun. By day 4, they would play outside for more than 60 minutes!…in the mud and on the rocks, playing in trees like the generations of old!

By day 4, these Junior Highers grasped the Gospel as green pasture. The Lord’s kindness as a deep breath of fresh air.

Yes, the Gospel is our green pasture, and if you aren’t resting in it, then it’s not grace, and if it’s not grace, then it’s not the message that Jesus died to give you.

I pray after reading this, you feel God’s kindness drawing you back to Himself. That your ever-increasing desire for rest leads you to Christ.  And that His Spirit guides you through a holy moment of surrender.  Hear his firm yet loving voice calling you unto Himself.  Feel His strong yet gentle hand moving you far from condemnation into a pasture unlike any other.

Put your whole self in the care of this shepherd and you will want for nothing. His love is deeper, and his joy is greater than any momentary comfort we could create for ourselves. Nothing was meant to sustain us like Him. No religion, political party, or economic structure can take care of us  like Christ. He alone was meant to bear the weight of all the joy we hope to graze.

Some Truth to REST in:

Psalm 23:1-4  ” The Lord is my Shepherd. I will have everything I need.  He lets me rest in fields of green grass. He leads me beside the quiet waters. He makes me strong again. He leads me in the way of living right with Himself which brings honor to His name. Yes, even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not be afraid of anything, because You are with me. You have a walking stick with which to guide and one with which to help. These comfort me.” 

John 10:10-11 “The robber comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I came so they might have life, a great full life .I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep. “

Luke 12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”

Romans 8:1-2 “Now, because of this, those who belong to Christ will not suffer the punishment of sin. The power of the Holy Spirit has made me free from the power of sin and death. This power is mine because I belong to Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 16:5-11 “The Lord is all that I am to receive, and my cup. My future is in Your hands. The land given to me is good. Yes, my share is beautiful to me. I will give honor and thanks to the Lord, Who has told me what to do. Yes, even at night my mind teaches me. I have placed the Lord always in front of me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be moved. And so my heart is glad. My soul is full of joy. My body also will rest without fear.  For You will not give me over to the grave. And You will not allow Your Holy One to return to dust. You will show me the way of life. Being with You is to be full of joy. In Your right hand there is happiness forever.”

Luke 12:29-32(the msg) ” What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.”

Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all of you who work and have heavy loads. I will give you rest.”

Matthew 18:14 “I tell you, My Father in heaven does not want one of these little children to be lost.” (Parable of the Lost Sheep)

A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 By Phillip Keller


Please Stop Moving

Our college interns are leaving us this week. A full school year now over, they are competent in office, grounds, and programming here at Indian Hills Camp.  We will miss All the energy and accidental twinning moments with my son!IMG_0959
I confess I didn’t get to spend much time with them.  We hosted a few family dinners and, occasionally, I got to chatting about college units and future plans.  But really, I couldn’t sustain many conversations while chasing my eldest on his strider bike.  But at the end-of-year dessert banquet, I meditated on a lantern, 1 John 1:5. It says “…God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.” There is no darkness in God, but there is deep darkness in me, and it led me to write this final memo to CREW… and to you! :)


I don’t know where it was darkest for you this year. Maybe it was a circumstance, a death grieved, a friendship divided. Or maybe it was within your own mind– fighting back the ache of depression or battling the compulsions of the flesh. Our doubts and our lusts consume us whole.  And digging deeper within ourselves for solutions only brings more shame and hopelessness.  Yet we continually convince our minds that we are one decision away from a good idea, that we are one step closer to enlightenment if we just keep trying.  My friends.  Please. Stop. Moving.  Sit in your darkness and wait for the Lord, like the prophet Micah. He knew he was guilty, but he boldly accepted the reality of his darkness, knowing God’s light would eventually shine.  And that Light did shine, in the face of a man, Jesus Christ.  So friends, do not be ashamed of your dark, for that is where we so clearly see our Savior’s face.  IMG_1147

In His love, Alicia

 Some little lanterns for you:

Micah 7:8 “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.”

2 Cor. 4: 6-7 “…..For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet,a light on my path.”

Psalm 16:2 “I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear?”

Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

One Big Happy Family

I haven’t blogged since we found out we were having twins. And now, Owen and Caleb are almost four months old.

Edit  , time is flying as usual. It never stops or lands. Our lives are louder and brighter than ever before since we moved to Indian Hills Camp.

But I’m taken this moment to stop and reflect upon what God has done and what He is continually doing. So, what is He doing? What is he all about?

Yesterday I realized the answer to this question is family. God is all about making His family bigger. I see this in my own life as I am now SIGNIFICANTLY outnumbered by boys!  Having 3 babies in only 4 years of marriage, it was whoa moment after WHOA moment!  God built our family fast.  But Why? I ask this question not to get a definitive answer, but to remind myself that God is Father. He is a dad longing to see all his children come home (see, Luke 15:11-32).  My marriage love and my mother love is supposed to give me a small glimpse of God’s love.  He gave us this universal concept of family to illustrate an undying love.  A love we all long for and crave.  Of course, it is just an illustration because our human connections are fragile and break easily by our sin.  Divorce and death choke our glorified image of family to the grave.  So, we continue to long and crave for a restored family, a perfect father.

 We may be miring in broken families, and abusive relationships. But God is waiting for His sons and daughters to come home. His house is big. His house is warm.


Teeva and Silas eating some snow cones

I saw this yesterday, during our last day of camp for the refugees of San Diego. We hold a carnival with snow cones, hay rides, and balloon animals.  Kids with all colored faces and eye shapes, Teens with bright headdresses and burkas run through the dusty, western campsite.  The sight amazed me, it was like the whole world was in one place!  One 12 year old girl, Teeva, remembered me from last year. This made me happy because I don’t get out of the house much and when I do, I feel sort of anonymous, pushing a stroller through the dirt.  But I’m not anonymous when I make myself available to God.  Neesha held my son, Silas, as I smiled and laughed at the tender interaction.  This turned out to be a very powerful moment for Neesha.  She told me she loved camp so much and that since she moved to San Diego and started coming to IHC, she has always felt “surrounded by God”.  I was so happy she shared that with me. I looked at her and then all around. These children were displaced by war and poverty, and now were dancing and smiling with juice-stained lips! God protected them and God restored them. After she confided her words to me, I couldn’t help but add, “It’s because you are apart of the family of God!” She replied quickly, “I know!!!” We hugged like sisters reunited, so joyful, we were giddy.


Me and Shanelle (1st grade from Uganda) hanging out talking about Jesus love!

No other name has brought so many cultures together. eastercamp

Jesus, Thank you for taking the wrath upon yourself for our sin. So that we could be reunited with our perfect, heavenly Father. Thank you for preparing a place for us— for having many rooms and for speaking every language. 


 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Ephesians 1:5 “He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will”

John 14:2 “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?”

Romans 8:15 “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Romans 8:15 (the message) “This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!”

Be Prepared to Be Surprised

So, Josh and I went to get an ultrasound, yes we are pregnant! Expecting in January! But what’s really a surprise is that there are TWO little babies growing inside me! Yes, Twins! I could not believe the ultrasound technician; I kept looking at the door expecting some hidden camera show host to debrief me from this epic prank. But it wasn’t a prank, or a dream. This is happening. And it’s both exciting and terrifying. Exciting because we saw them. We saw there tiny, little formed bodies playing and snuggling together in the same little, precious space. And terrifying because all the questions, fears, logistics, and worries rushed through my mind like a stampede of wild babies (3 children under 2)!!

But the peace of God comforts me. Why? Because He is NEVER surprised.

Me, on the other hand, I have never ever ever…EVER been so surprised by anything in my entire life! Twins does not run in my family, we were preparing for ONE brother or sister for Silas, not TWO. But God knew the whole time,  probably snickering and smiling with joy as he knit the two from one! These are His little wonders, his precious creations. :)

A good surprise is humbling. Because for a moment you think you got it all figured out. For a moment, you think you are in control. A good surprise reminds us that we are not all-knowing, we are semi-knowing at best. Our mind forges shortcuts and stereotypes to create a sensation of omniscience.  Because it’s easier to hide in what we know than  to embrace the humbling truth that only God knows what’s next. Only He knows what tomorrow looks like, he formed us and numbered our days. His mind has no short circuits. He is all-knowing.  And this reality is simply a constant opportunity to humble ourselves, and trust Him with every prepared surprise.

Something I’ve been meditating on since I found out about my little surprise(s) :

 Phil. 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Sandwich Living

I thought I would take a moment to blog about sandwiches, not only because it aligns with Liz Lemon’s Sandwich Worldview, but because I had a good whoa moment over a sandwich recently.

In our house, I usually start making meals, but Josh finishes them. Why?  Well, mainly because He loves to cook and I prefer….     to just eat. Also, because I’m a cave woman in the kitchen. Me. hungry. make sandwich. with bread. add peanut butter. hurry. fast. eat. now.  That being grunted, I mean said, there will probably never be a recipe on this blog, I’m just not that person.

Good think my husband will eat anything ;)

Good thing my husband will eat anything ;)

My husband on the other hand, cooks food that makes me cry.

Seriously, I know that sounds exaggerated and crazy, and maybe pathetic, but sometimes, I literally start tearing up as I eat. I cry because I can taste the time, love, and effort.  I cry because Josh is intentional: He picks out ingredients, cuts it, and layers it all with specific purpose in mind. The onions are sliced small to not overwhelm, and intermingled with red peppers to emphasis their sweetness. Given the same ingredients, I would have not thought twice about how to cut or where to place. I get too impatient to stop and think intentionally about the end result. My meal ends up tasting boring, ordinary, and loveless.

I think it’s safe to say, How we cook reflects how we live. I hurry through recipes and ignore directions. I avoid extraneous ingredients, while imagining myself in a restaurant. All these observations infer less than amiable qualities about who I am and how I live.

But I’m telling you right now I desire to be different. Not because I envy “Martha Stewart Living” homemakers, but because I know that hard work is honored and being intentional blesses everyone involved.


The extra two minutes adding fresh peppers, and rosemary, gives not only more flavor to our food, but more purpose to our living. These types of sandwiches make us feel more loved. It sounds silly, but it’s true. Anyone can swipe peanut butter on a piece of bread to feed the hungry… but when time is spent building a better sandwich, people can taste the love. 

So, when I’m feeling lazy and blah, I look to my husband and his sandwiches for inspiration. I think about how that sandwich made me feel.  I wasn’t just fed, I was understood, appreciated and loved.

I know everyday I’m going to have to remind myself come morning, evening, and night: the extra time IS there and it IS worth it. Slow down. Become a part of the process, Turn a mundane, drudgerous day into an opportunity to instil love and value. Ditch survival-mode and begin the persevering march through intentional living, remembering every little chirping mouth deserves something special. cutefood

Dinner with Elmo

Whatta whirlwind! SO much has happened since our last blog.  We don’t live in Julian anymore, We have a ONE year old, instead of a __month old, and…

We became fully funded to start our ministry at Indian Hills Camp!…

Literally, within minutes of our deadline. Another lesson in God’s provison: It’s always in His timing, and it’s always perfectly sufficient, and seemingly effortless.  Again and again we are standing in awe of his provisions little and small. From the inhales and the exhales, to the lunches and the dinners.  God is good, gracious, and gentle as he tends to us, His sheep.

We moved to Jamul last Monday and are settling in to our cozy two bedroom trailer on the outskirts of camp.

A few boxes are still piled on top of each other, and closets are jammed full, but the living room and kitchen are  functioning, Hooray!  Moving with an infant was challenging, but having super-awesome-helper friends made all the difference.  AND did I mention dinners every night planned by our ever so caring co-workers?!   Never in my life have I been blessed to behold a homemade chicken pot pie, complete with a heart stamped center.  And it wasn’t just delish food, it was wholesome company.

Silas loves the screen doors


Each night we were welcomed into a fellow staff member’s home, for dinner and conversation.  We’d talk for hours about how we met our spouses and other fun facts that most assuradely lead to laugh out loud moments. Like when Marlin (camp name: Kazoo) randomly perfomed flawless impersonations of Gollum and Elmo.  And when I say flawless, I mean flaw-less.  These are some amazing peeps we have neighboring us.  Not just because of their humor or hospitality, but because of their testimonies and faith in the Lord Jesus.  It is so encouraging to be surrounded by fellow believers and to work towards one common goal– to reach and teach children for Jesus.  We are so thankful for this new opportunity to impact so many children for the Lord.  I can’t wait to share more with you about what the Lord does here.


This week is Easter camp. Please pray for the 200 + refugee kids from City Heights area that will be attending this week. These kids can bring a lot of their past demonic forces with them from their previous countries and homes in City Heights. The spiritual battle can be a little heavier in many ways. Prayer is crucial for this camp. It is one of our favorite camps for the year!!!10154529_651184028262935_7275908128718941880_n Last year we had over 75 kids receive Christ. sing the kids up to IHC on Tuesday, Weds. and Thursday. 40 high schools students will be the Camp Counselors and 10 college students as our Support Staff running the activities. These kids can bring a lot of their past demonic forces with them from their previous countries and homes in City Heights. The spiritual battle can be a little heavier in many ways.Prayer is crucial for this camp. Thanks for your prayers and your support!







Depth Over Distance

Depth over Distance

By Josh Rasmussen

Mark 12:43-44

New International Version (NIV)

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

We may build an empire, financial or spiritual, and out of its wealth rejoice at the distance covered, its reach.  We may temper our service to God and neighbor as to not burn out, sustain, to go the distance.  We may travel to the ends of the earth in His name, and after all these things still not know Him.  Still not understand the depths of His sacrifice.  To know the fellowship of His sufferings, to lose our lives, to be poured out like a drink offering, to cast our entire self onto His alter.  Out of our poverty of spirit, have we given all?  Out of our poverty of wealth, have we given all?  Out of our poverty of time, have we given all?  Out of our poverty of energy, have we given all?  Out of our poverty of relationships, have we given all?  When all resources have been exhausted, have we given all?

If we are honest, we tend to give to a point.  We calculate time, distance, effectiveness, and often give from our excesses.  Yes, occasionally we dig into our resources for something big, something really effective, a great cause, something that will go the distance.  Has the Lord ever challenged you to be like the poor widow? To empty the depths of whom you are, and what you have?  To make every commitment and decision for the Lord as if it was your last?  Can you wager your entire future well-being on Christ?  Can we answer that call?

Philippians 3:10

Living Bible (TLB)

10 Now I have given up everything else—I have found it to be the only way to really know Christ and to experience the mighty power that brought him back to life again, and to find out what it means to suffer and to die with him.

Depth over Distance.