Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kindergarten Night!

The cooks at Joshua decided that every Wednesday night for dinner will be a 'theme' night. This gives us a break from the usual dinner night at Joshua where we are required to dress nice. Our first theme night of the year was 'Kindergarten Night". It was quite interesting to see how dressing like kindergarteners caused many to act like kindergarteners during dinner. The meal included applesauce, baby carrots, raisens, graham crackers with peanut butter in the center and macaroni and cheese with hot dogs cut up in it :)

"We must aim to put more into life than we take out"

Right now in Joshua we are reading a book called, "Spiritual Leadership" by J. Oswald Sanders. So far this book has been amazing! If you are looking for a good read, check this book out!

"Because we children of Adam want to become great,
He became small.
Because we will not stoop,
He humbled Himself.
Because we want to rule,
He came to serve."

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.
Mark 10:43-44

A weekend off!

This past weekend i was blessed to have work duty off! This was a HUGE blessing because it had been a LOOOONG week with lots of new things/experiences. There is a joke up at Hume that the only thing a Joshua student can really do on their weekend off is go down to Fresno and eat In N Out and walk around Target. They say this because you can't go to the movies, a concert, etc. So... what did I do on my weekend off? Ate at In N Out and walked around Target! I also managed to find a giant horse to take a picture with! I missed "The Well", EFCC's College group, and managed to find a church called "The Well". Definitely a blessed weekend of relaxing and getting to have some fun down the hill with Kim & Kellie :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A walk around the lake...

After a VERY busy first week, it was nice to get out and take a walk around Hume with Kim. What a blessing it has been with all of this change to have a little piece of home with me. God has blessed me with having one of my dear friends up at Hume until the end of October. Thank you Lord for Kim! :)
Hume Lake has been quite strange for me to get used to. I am definitely a city girl at heart so all of these new sights and sounds and smells have been something i have been marvelling at while i comprehend that this will be my new home for 9 months. Every time i am outside and i take a look into the tall trees or see creatures crawling below, i can't help but praise God and say, WOW! What an awesome Creator you are! What beauty! What greatness! I am so small and insignificant compared to who you are! One of my favorite hymns is 'How Great Thou Art' and i find myself whistling it quite often here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Joshua Commitment

The first day of Joshua, we signed a commitment letter that would change the next 9 months for me in a LOT of ways... below is the commitment I painfully signed :)

The Joshua Commitment

Understanding the purpose of the Joshua Wilderness Institute Commitment to be threefold; developing and demonstrating the priority of personal discipline in my life, denying myself access to practices which might prove a distraction from hearing the voice of God clearly, and making a distinct and determined separation from the world and it's influences, I have decided to commit myself to the following, for the complete duration of the nine month course, including all breaks, days off, and holidays:

1. To abstain from any and all movies, including theatrical releases, videos, DVDs or Internet features, with absolutely no exception made for company, content or occasion.

2. To abstain from any and all television programming, whether live or pre-recorded, and with absolutely no exception made for company, content or occasion.

3. To abstain from any and all video games, in any format, or on any platform, with absolutely no exception made for company, content or occasion.

4. To abstain from any and all music, except for live Worship music, whether pre-recorded in any format or live with absolutely no exception made for content, company or occasion.

5. To abstain from any and all dating, defined as "Social engagements with persons of the opposite sex", whether alone or in groups, and including phone, post, or email interactions for the purpose of developing future dating activities, except for those with existing dating relationships as established at the outset of the program, and with absolutely no other exception made for incident, company or occasion.

Having read and acknowledged the above code of conduct, I do hereby commit myself to the guidelines above, and will willingly submit myself to any disciplinary action that may be incurred by their compromise.

Signed Dominique Valenzuela

Lord be my strength!

First day at Hume!

After a little less then 6.5 hrs my family and i arrived at Hume Lake. We stayed overnight in Grant Grove and the next morning we drove to the Joshua Building to begin moving in :) My mom, sis, and bro Donovan were such a HUGE help to me! After many trips up the stairs and some organizing, my room was complete! Below is a picture of me and my family on my bed and a picture of me and my roommate Stephanie. Above is a picture of Stephanie, Kim and I taking a walk around the lake. It was fun setting the camera timer and running down to be in the picture.

saying goodbye...

Saying goodbye to family to leave to Joshua was probably one of
the hardest things i have ever done in my life. My wonderful job, my family of Jr. Higher's and staff, and my own family and friends... all of these i will miss greatly. One of the hardest things about leaving is knowing how much different everything will be when you return. I am confident though, that the Lord has a plan and purpose for me attending the Joshua Wilderness Institute.

Here are just a few pictures of my last days at Jr. High and some of the wonderful people who showed me love as I left my home and journeyed up to Hume. My Jr. High family prayed over me and sent me off with their blessing.